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Knitted Tote Made Of Plastic Grocery Bags

This recycled craft project shows you how to knit with shopping bags that have been cut up and turned into recycled plastic yarn.

Knitted Tote Made Of Plastic Grocery Bags

What you need

Size 10 (6 mm) Knitting needles
32 plastic bags
Scissors
Spray oil (optional)



Instructions

This knitted shopping bag tote is durable, washable and most important re-useable time and time again.

To create plastic bag yarn you will need to cut your recycled plastic bags into strips around 1-2 inch wide.

Do this by cutting off the base of the bag and the handles. Then start cutting the bag in a spiral to create one long length from the bag.

Keep doing this with 32 bags.

This bag is knit in one piece and then joined to create the bag.

Using 6 mm Needles cast on 37 stitches and working in garter stitch continue until your work measures 12 inch or 30 cm. (adding a little spray oil to your needles helps the plastic yarn slide).

Knitted Bag Closeup

Straps:

To make the straps cast off 8 stitches and K to the end.

Next row cast off 8 stitches K 16, turn. Place the remaining 6 stitches on a spare needle.

Next row cast off 10 stitches K 6.

Continue on these 6 stitches until the strap measures 40cm or the desired length, leave these stitches on a spare needle .

Pick up the remaining 6 stitches and continue on these stitches until the second strap matches the first strap.

Cast on 8 stitches K6 turn,

K6 turn.

Cast on 8 stitches turn.

K all 38 stitches, continue in garter st until both sides of your bag are the same size.

Finishing:

Join the sides using strips of plastic left at the sides by lacing up the bag. Use a crochet hook to make it easier to push the plastic bag yarn through the sides.

All done!

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Comments

  1. I have been making these for awhile also but I have found that using old mens ties for the straps make them not so scratchy. I can also make small pockets with the ends of the ties so the fit cell phones. My friends use them for their swimming bags also or they’re great for the beach..

  2. DeeDee Bolander says:

    My sister in law and I have been making these for several years now. We crochet them. We like the straps going the other way, easier to get into. Make great gifts with a couple of beach towels, funky sunglasses and lotion! Mix and match different colors. If I knew how to post pictures, I would send a few.

  3. Jean Pitely says:

    When I make these, I loop the straps totally around the bags…i.e. down the side, across the bottom for extra support & up the other side and continue for the loops to go over your shoulder to carry easy. never have a problem with stretching after carrying heavy items

  4. Lucy depalma says:

    I am confused after both straps are done. Please explain how I get 38 stitches back on the needle to knit the other side.

  5. This is a great pattern and idea. I can’t beleive how many people ask how wide the strips and straps are when the answer the questions right in the pattern. And the different colors are obviously different colored bags. Read people!

  6. tHe strips are one to two inches wide . Read the pattern it tells you…….

  7. this is a great idea, but with bags these days that are bi degradable in time the bag will brake down

  8. Great recycling project, I love it! I have made (crocheted) sleeping mats for Haiti after that terrible hurricane out of milk bags, but never thought about making a shopping bag/tote out of the plastic grocery bags… Brilliant! And I have tons of these bags I’ve been saving for years. (I do use reusable shopping bags, I just saved the plastic ones for years & years… Guess I was waiting for a great project!) (:

  9. Great project, maybe I can make these with my daughter´s knitting group at school, maybe raise a few euros for our charities. Great idea.
    Sam from Germany

  10. Susan Lea says:

    I am having difficulty with cutting the strips to make 1 strand from 1 bag even with the sprial technique. I read ijdebusk comments but when I went to cut diagonally it cut all the strips off individually?
    Does it end up being double thickness plastic that you work with?

  11. The pattern clearly states one to two inches wide for cut strips at the beginning. Thank you for the memory jog. I needed this for a great kids project! Kudos to you my dear.

  12. hillbubba, you just hav to look thru all the posting here to see answers to questions. And make sure you check the box to notify you on new comments.

  13. hillbubba says:

    where do you find the answers to comments/questions?

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