Making 2-Ply Plarn

How to make plastic bag yarn, or plarn.Plarn is a yarn that can be made out of plastic grocery bags. You can use it to make rugs, placemats, coasters, bags, and much more. It can be crocheted, knitted or woven to create many inexpensive, unique, and earth friendly projects.

A little common sense warning before we get started. Plarn is made from plastic grocery bags. Do not expose plastic bags, plarn, or your finished project to any source of heat or flame. They will melt and/or ignite FAST! Just be aware they are highly flammable.


  • lots of plastic grocery bags
  • scissors or a rotary cutter
  • ruler (optional)
  • large cutting mat (optional)


Before you begin wash your grocery bags! You don't want your finished project to be harboring bacteria. Yuk!

Washing plastic bags is easy. First, make sure there are no items or paper receipts are in the bags. Place the bags in your washing machine. I was able to fit about 50 bags in without a problem. Add laundry soap and wash the bags on a delicate cycle using cold water and low spin.

Do NOT place bags in the dryer!  As I said before, this material will melt or ignite if exposed to a heat source.

Instead, you can hang them out to dry. I placed a curtain rod through the handles and set it outside between two chairs. After the outside of the bags were dry, I turned them inside out to dry the insides, too.

Once the bags are dry, you are ready to make plarn.

Preparing the bags for cutting - Carefully fold in the sides of a bag and lay it flat on a cutting mat or other flat surface.

Fold the bag in half lengthwise.

Fold the bag in half lengthwise, again.

Cutting the Bags into Strips - First, cut off the bottom of the bag.

Next, cut the bag into equal width strips. I like to use 3/4 inch wide strips and a size G crochet hook when I am making purses. 1-1 1/4 inch strips work better for placemats and rugs.

Discard the handles of the bag. Carefully open the strips into loops. 

Connecting Two Loops - Lay two loops on your work surface so that the top loop is laying over the bottom loop.

 Pull the bottom loop so it goes over the top loop then under itself.

Gently pull both loops until a knot forms. (Note: You want the knot to be as small and neat as possible so that it does not show in your finished work.)

Continue adding loops as shown making sure that your plarn lies flat between the two knots.


I like to use tan plarn for making purses. A medium sized purse can be made with 25-30 grocery bags. Depending on your project, white or colored plarn may be more appropriate. Be creative!

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The Chilly Dog: Making 2-Ply Plarn
Making 2-Ply Plarn
How to make plastic bag yarn, or plarn.
The Chilly Dog
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