Thursday, January 5, 2012

Recycled plastic grocery bag tote

I started making recycled plastic grocery bag totes earlier this summer, and it is addicting.  It is very easy, and it costs you nothing to make.  I started with a different pattern, but I found another one I liked a little better, then I modified the pattern to make it even better. ;)

Here is what you will need:

About 30 plastic grocery or shopping bags
1 pair of size 11 knitting needles
1 crochet hook or rug hook

Before you start, you will need to make your "yarn."
Start by taking your first bag and flattening it.

Then cut off the handles and the bottom of the bag.

Next, flatten the bag again so it's completely flat with no folds.
What you will do next is to cut the bag into loops approximately 1- 1 1/2 inches wide.  You can cut straight across the bag, but after I had made about a dozen of these bags, I realized that there is a much faster and easier way.  First, fold the bag in half lengthwise 3 times.  Then cut your strips.
You should get 10-12 strips from each bag.  Then you will want to loop them together to make yarn.  I can't really explain how, but I have included photos below which hopefully will clarify what I mean.

Wind your plastic "yarn" into a nice little ball.  Now you are ready to start!

Tote bag Instructions:

Cast on 38 stitches.  Knit 6 rows in stockinette stitch.
Row 7: K 13, cast off 12, k 13
Row 8: K 13, cast on 12, k 13
Continue in st stitch until the bag measures approximately 26 inches.
Repeat rows 7-8
Knit 6 rows in st stitch then bind off.

Use additional plastic strips and a crochet or rug hook to sew up the sides.  Voila!  You now have a reusable shopping bag that cost you nothing, and saved 30 bags that otherwise would have been thrown away.


  1. How long do they last used on a weekly basis ? Because i notice they can get brittle even if they are not used just stored in another bag full neat Thanks