Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bread-Bag Plarn tutorial!

woo hoo! tute-tute-tuesday!

i love finding fun new ways to recycle and re-use. i stumbled across this a while ago, and have been hoarding plastic bread-bags, and dreaming up all sorts of cool things to make with them. 

plus, it's REALLY simple:
(um... disclaimer... i'm feeling kind of silly...)

 first, you're going to need some bread bags. save them, beg them from friends... just try not to steal them from the grocery store shelves.

when you have a fair number of bags, take one and lay it out flat. (note: don't forget to take the bread out first. seriously. you have no idea the number of bread-related fatalities that have come from irresponsible plarn-making)

fold it in half, the long way.
(i can feel your burgeoning excitement)

and in half the long way, again. 
(the tension is mounting)

cut off the very top piece (where you twist the bag to close it) and the very bottom piece (where it's all folded over extra thick). you won't be using those.  

then cut your strip into pieces roughly the width of your finger. (don't try this blindfolded, or after consuming copious amount of alcohol. it might be fun and make you feel dangerous, but think about how hard it would be to fingerpaint with only four fingers... yeah. safety first) 

you should get pieces that look roughly like these. (tiny little rectangles of plastic that used to know what their purpose was... do you think they're nervous? take a moment to reassure them that everything's going to be ok)

and, when opened up look like this. circles of plastic. (twist them like a figure 8 to make an infinity sign, then take a moment to contemplate the universe.) 

do this for all the bags you collected, and throw the pieces into a bowl or bag to keep them together.  (they don't like to be alone) 

mix them up a little. (the kids find it helpful to jump a little on your tippy-toes and yell 'whee!' when you do this. this is not necessary. however, i'm sure a little mingling music wouldn't be unappreciated.)

choose two random pieces from the bowl (perhaps holding a wooden spoon as a microphone and announcing 'yellow piece... coooome oooon dooowwnn!!,' as you do so.)

fold one piece over the other (after making the proper introductions first, of course, and preferably while singing 'the hokey pokey')

then pull through. (firmly, to show that you're in charge, but not so roughly that you cause pain. we're here to help, not hurt.) this is how you connect the circles. don't they look like they're holding hands? (happy sigh, it's so nice when these things work out.)

keep adding on (note: this string does not work well with soup-can telephones... just a heads-up).

don't give up till all your circles are linked up. (you might want to stop for a cliff bar if you need to, to keep your energy up. or a tiramisou. there is no shame in this)

finally, roll it up neatly and start making stuff!
(and just think, you were going to throw that away!) even if you don't have a project in mind, try it out. give your bags a new chance at life, use it to hang your clothes outside; or, you know, just have some handy, in case you're ever called-upon to wrestle a bad guy to the ground, and need something with which to hog tie the scoundrel. 

i've been using it to make these market or beach bag totes, which you can find at The Shop.

and i currently have plans to make a floor mat. how cool would that be! it's kind of squishy-feeling, and plastic, and colorful... great for muddy feet, or for just getting out of the shower... i'll let you know how it all pans out.

thanks for playing, today. 
and tune in - book picks for today coming soon. 

- shawnacy

ps: click on over here to see what everyone else is making!

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AllieMakes! said...

What a great recycling project! Fabulous job!
Thanks for linking up to Making It With Allie! I can't wait to see what you have for next week!

quiverfull said...

thanks so much! i wasn't sure what kind of projects were ok, but there were so many cool ideas on the list! such a fun way to link up. :)

Jenn Erickson said...

You're incredible! What a wonderful way to upcycle. I'm simply in awe of the market bag you wove!

Katie said...

A plarn bath matt would be FABULOUS! Thanks much for putting the time into this tutorial, I'm just getting back into knitting and this is super inspiring!