Friday, 12 July 2013

Plastic Bag Upcycle

I am embracing the whole upcycling vibe and stashing stuff that will be reincarnated into something useful and beautiful just as soon as I can work out what.

Yes it is bonkers, but today, a humble plastic bag will become a soap dish.

One plastic bag - Useful lifespan: about 20 minutes being the length of time to walk home with a 3 year old from the shops, empty the bag and throw it away.

Yet, with a couple of folds, snips and a flick of the crochet hook it's useful life is miraculously extended about 13,650 times assuming its reincarnated form lasts 6 months.

The first step is to convert the plastic bag into a length of plarn (plastic yarn).

Here's the best way I have found to make a continuous length of plarn. This can equally be used to cut a continuous length of tarn (t-shirt yarn).

1. Take a light weight plastic bag. (Other supermarkets are available).

the humble plastic bag

2. Trip off the seam at the bottom.

Trim off bottom seam

 3. Extend out and flatten the sides so it lies completely flat with no folds.

Lay out flat

4. Fold the bag lengthwise so the side seams are within 3cms of each other.

Fold almost in half

5. Cut a 1cm strip along the bottom through all the layers passing through one side seam but NOT all the way across to the other side seam. Stop just after you have cut through the first side seam.

Cut 1cm strips but NOT all the way across

Cut strips all the way up the bag

6. Continue to cut 1 cm strips till you are at the top of the bag. Discard the handles.

7. Open the bag out where the side seam remains intact.

8. Starting at the bottom, cut upwards and across the side seam to where the next strip has been cut. Continue to cut diagonally across the side seam until you reach the top.

Cut diagonally across side seam

9. Tah-dah - one continuous length of plarn.

Plarn in all its glory

With my plarn I crocheted a simple circle of 6 rounds using UK single crochet stitch increasing by 8 stitches on each round. I then continued to crochet around the edge 2 times to form a slight rim.

From one plastic bag you will have enough plarn to crochet up to 9 rounds to suit the size of your soap.

Here is my upcycled, hygienic soap dish. Rinse daily to remove excess soap under the tap. 

The Five Go Blogging plastic bag soap dish upcycle


  1. I blooming love this. What a clever person you are

  2. That's absolutely amazing - how on earth did you think of doing it? Even if I could crochet I'd never have the imagination to do this. (I thought I'd come up with a clever teachers present idea from Pinterest but it's not a patch on your soap dish!)

  3. Brilliant, utterly brilliant. I love this and am going to try it soon


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