Repurposing Grocery Bags for a Greater Use

So last year I had come across an article about a group of older women giving back to the community by repurposing or recycling grocery bags into a medium generally called plarn (plastic yarn).  I had been hoarding a great number of plastic grocery bags (about four bags worth) and last Sunday I spent a great deal finally tackling this project.  Now, for those who do not know my husband, he constantly questions not only my purpose for a particular project but in the past has probably questioned my sanity.  So you can imagine, as I am surrounded by multiple plastic bags full of plastic….well….I’m sure I can understand the humor.

I have taken a few pictures of the steps taken to harvest such material.  I have never considered myself a fantastic photographer.  Youtube?  Yeah forget it but hey I made the attempt to document the steps the best of my ability while trying to avoid further teasing from my significant other.  First I’m going to share the illustration that I found online then the actual photos of each step.

step by step visual instructions on how to set up your bag for creating plarn. Image credited to

So as you can see it is looks pretty straight forward and definitely easier than how I planned to do it (cutting the physical strips).  So far I still need to figure out how to utilize the entire bag rather than having a small strip from the bottom and the handles left still to be in the landfill.  Still a significant amount of plastic reused for another purpose.

So far I have a ball of plarn roughly the size of a softball.  I am currently torn whether to make a stronger reusable grocery bag for myself or a basket of some kind.  The ladies I mentioned at the beginning of this article donated a good portion of their time using this same kind of material to make reusable sleeping mats for the homeless and also I think I had read somewhere where the same mats were used for animal shelters but I can’t remember for sure. Just to share the reference here is the original source about the older ladies making the mats. Pretty cool stuff.

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