Crochet Basket with Plastic Bags, a Free Pattern
Crochet Basket With Plastic Bags Pattern
You can make a crochet basket with plastic bags! This project is as environmentally-friendly as it gets! In this post I will share a pattern with you to make your own round baskets out of plastic bags. I now have a companion video up to show you how to make your “plarn,” that’s plastic yarn, out of grocery bags. Click here!
This was a fun project! I enjoyed making this crochet basket with plastic bags, as it was something new and different. I like the squishy feel of these lightweight baskets and my family loves them as well.
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Table of Contents
All my plastic grocery bags came from the same store, so they all look the same. But I think it could be fun to combine different colors of bags into one project. You could get different colors of speckles in yours if the bags have the same color base, but different colors of writing. Or you could get stripes of color if you have bags with a different color base.
If you don’t have enough plastic bags, or run out, consider asking friends or family to donate theirs. Most people are happy to see their grocery bags get reused for a worthwhile purpose.
Facts About Plastic Bags
On the topic of plastic bags, here are some facts about plastic from National Geographic:
“Some 18 billion pounds of plastic waste flows into the oceans every year from coastal regions. That’s the equivalent of five grocery bags of plastic trash sitting on every foot of coastline around the world.
Shoppers in the United States use almost one [plastic bag] per resident per day. Shoppers in Denmark use an average of four plastic bags a year.”
It’s great to know that as yarn-crafters, we can help take some of that plastic trash and turn it into something useful!
If you would like the free pattern, scroll down. If you would prefer an inexpensive ad-free PDF you can purchase one on Etsy or Ravelry.
As always, if you would like to share my pattern with others, please direct them to my website to get their own instead of making a copy. Thank you!
Plastic Baskets, a Crochet Basket with Plastic Bags
By April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio
Difficulty Level: Easy
Finished Measurements: Custom. I made two baskets in the following sizes. You can customize yours to whatever size you like.
Smaller basket (on the right in the photo below): About 10 inches in diameter x 5 ¼ inches tall. This basket was made with 5 rnds of increases in the Basket Base, and 7 rnds even for the Basket Sides.
Larger basket (on the left in the photo below): About 11 inches in diameter x 6 inches tall. This basket was made with 6 rnds of increases in the Basket Base, and 8 rnds even for the Basket Sides.
Yarn: Plarn made from plastic grocery bags. I will give a written explanation below of how to make your plarn and I will shortly have a video tutorial for this.
My smaller basket used about 34 bags.
My larger basket used about 54 bags.
Crochet hook: Q/16 mm, or any size close to this.
Notions: locking stitch marker
Gauge: Mine was 2 rounds of basket pattern = 4 inches in diameter, but gauge is not critical for this project, so don’t stress about matching it.
You can make your round basket any size you like. I give instructions for 7 rnds of the basket base, but you can make your basket base smaller or larger than this. Complete as many rnds as you like, and then move on to the basket sides.
Making plarn from plastic grocery bags
See the video tutorial! Click here!
Lay a bag out on a flat surface and smooth it out, with the sides folded in so that you can smooth out all the wrinkles. Fold it long ways in fourths. Cut off the handles and irregular bits at the top. Cut a thin sliver off the bottom to get rid of the seams.
No need to be precise for this next bit, just eyeball it. Cut this long, thin rectangle in half long-ways. Layer the two pieces on top of each other and cut them in half again the same direction. If you do this correctly, you should now have four loops of plastic bag. I suggest you do a bunch of cutting, and put these folded loops into a reusable bag. Once you have a bunch, move on to joining them.
To join, start with two loops. Place one loop through the end of the other so that your loops make a “T,” with the second one going cross-ways at the top. Pass one end of the second loop through its other end and pull the ends apart so that your loop is straightened out again. Drop the bottom end of this loop, and grab the bottom end of the other loop, pulling the ends of the two loops away from each other to form a knot between them. If they aren’t sliding easily, open the loops up a little to undo the catch.
Repeat this joining process by placing a third loop cross-ways through the end of your second loop. Place one end of the third loop through the other end of the third loop, pulling the two ends of the third loop apart, etc.
Make a loop for your hook by folding down the end of the first loop, and grabbing both strands of the plastic through the loop made by the end, then folding the two circles together. See pictures. Place the hook through this double-stranded circle.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in 1st ch, placing a locking st marker in first st, do not join or turn — 6 sts. After you complete the first st of each rnd, move the st marker into this new st to mark beg of rnd.
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each st around — 12 sts.
Rnd 3: *sc in next st, 2 sc in next st, repeat from * around — 18 sts.
Rnd 4: *sc in next 2 sts, 2 sc in next st, repeat from * around — 24 sts.
Rnd 5: *sc in next 3 sts, 2 sc in next st, repeat from * around — 30 sts.
Rnd 6: *sc in next 4 sts, 2 sc in next st, repeat from * around — 36 sts.
Rnd 7: *sc in next 5 sts, 2 sc in next st, repeat from * around — 42 sts.
Do you see the pattern here? Every round adds an additional sc before the next increase. An increase is where you put 2 sts into the same st. You can continue in this pattern as long as you like to make the base of your basket bigger.
Once you have the base of your basket as big or as small as you want it, continue as follows for the sides.
Rnd 1: sc in each st around.
Repeat Rnd 1 as many times as you like to make the sides of your basket. When you are happy with the height of your basket, sl st in the next 5 sts. Fasten off, leaving end 4-8 inches long. Use a size K, L, or M crochet hook to weave in your end.
And now you’ve finished your crochet basket with plastic bags. Congrats!
As with all my patterns, if you’d like to share it with others, please direct them to my website instead of making copies for them. Thank you!
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I love this recycling idea! Especially since I hate just throwing these bags out. No matter how many crocheted or cloth bags I use, somehow the plastic ones seem to accumulate and multiply (like rabbits!).
However, one statistic you have not noted here is that, eventually these bags break down. Have you ever kept craft supplies or unfinished projects stored in these bags? Have you gone to pick up these bags only to have them break apart or disintegrate in your hands and the contents spill all over the floor?
Well, it happens, and that’s just what they do. So, I’d be interested in learning what the “life expectancy” of these lovely baskets is … before they too disintegrate.
Hi there. This is not scientific research of great quality, but a quick google search comes up with somewhere between 500-1000 years for a plastic bag to break down into microscopic plastic bits. Now, I’ve definitely experienced a grocery bag ripping when I have things in it, and you are only asking how long it will take the basket to degrade enough to make it unusable, not completely broken down. I will say that a crochet basket is significantly stronger than the bag itself. You are bunching up the plastic and knotting it together, so it’s going to be stronger, just like how twisting strands of wool or cotton together increases its strength dramatically. I crocheted my own baskets about 2 1/2 years ago, and they have no signs of wear whatsoever. I have every expectation that they will outlive me, given the long lifespan of plastic bags. And I’m just storing balls of yarn in them on top of a shelf. Nothing heavy, and I’m not carrying it around, chances of it tearing under those circumstances are very small. Great questions!