Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Recycled Grocery Tote

Today I want to show you a recent project.

my grocery helper carrying several canned goods, a couple boxes of mac/cheese, a bag of pretzels and tortilla chips, probably a few more items as well
A Grocery Tote made from grocery bags. You know, those plastic bags that seem to breed in the dark corners of the pantry or broom closet or kitchen cabinet?

And where would I come up with such a wacky idea?
It happened something like this:

While traveling across the midwest via train, a friend hollers calls out,
"Hey, Linda! You need to come see this!"

I walk up the aisle and look in the direction my friend is pointing.
I meet a sweet lady with an unusual handbag. A handbag crocheted from strips of plastic grocery bags.

"Do you mind if I have a closer look," I ask her.

"Be my guest," she says, and she proceeds to open her handcrafted purse. She gives me a tour, invites me to dig in and see the construction all the way down deep to the bottom. She grins and shares how a friend made it just for her and how it's the perfect thing for traveling. We discuss all the possibilities and uses and you-coulds.

Once I had returned home, I 'googled' and searched and found out that when you cut those pesky plastic bags into strips (cut off the handles, slit open the bottom, begin cutting 1 inch strips in a circular fashion) and roll them into a ball like you would yarn, you have created 'plarn'. Cool!

I saw many patterns out there, but opted to create my own. I made several sturdy foundation rows using a half-double-crochet and then worked rows in the round, with a bit of an open pattern.

the perfect grocery tote or beach bag or whatever bag
To form the handle, I chained several stitched at about a third into the row, slip-stitched it to the previous row and continued around, creating a matching handle around the other side.

I then single-crocheted a couple of rows to finish it off. This was a create-as-you go project, and lots of fun! It was quick and easy. Once my stash of bags gets unmanageable again, I think I'll have a couple of my assistants making up big balls of 'plarn' so I can create a few more.

A big thank you goes to this friendly lady, wherever/whoever she may be for inspiring this project.

I have shared this post over at Titus 2 Tuesdays and Raising Homemakers and Works For Me Wednesday 
 and Thrifty Thursday 

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