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Knitting patterns using recycled or upcycled materials such as yarn made from plastic bags - plarn, t-shirts, fabric and more

There is something satisfying about knitting a re-usable shopping bag from old plastic bags. Or creating a pretty waste basket from waste materials.

Here are knitting patterns using recycled or upcycled materials such as yarn made from plastic bags – plarn, t-shirts, fabric and more

Be patient with these new materials. Plastic bag yarn is less stretchy than fibre yarn. Some knitters also have said it is easier to knit with thinner plastic bags.

To get the knitting patterns, scroll down the page to the individual pattern you want and click on the link to that pattern.

All links on this site are for informational purposes, but please note that some links are to affiliate sellers that pay me a small commission on purchases.

Free Knitting Patterns

Free knitting pattern for tote bag made with plastic bags

 Re-Bag

Julie Weisenberger’s totes are knit from plastic bags and come in two sizes – large and small.

Free knitting pattern for sandals made with plastic yarn plarn

Plastic Bag I-cord Sandals

Kimberly Golynskiy designed these sandals as part of a thesis project to upcycle plastic bags. Size shown is for 12-18 months but is easily customizable.

Free knitting pattern for Market Bag made of plastic bag yarn plarn

© jamiemyselfandi

Plastic Bag Shopping Bag

This shopping bag won 1st place in a 2015 Earth Day Recycled Art Show for its creator jamiemyselfandi. Molly Aplet created the original design for this shopping bag knit from old shopping bags. However, this pictured project and others added several modifications so I recommend you check out the project gallery.

Free knitting pattern for ladycaroline's Recycled Plastic Business Card Case

Recycled Plastic Business Card Case

Caroline Steinford’s small pouch could be made using strips of any plastic (the more flexible, the better), scrap cloth, or less than a skein of leftover worsted-weight yarn.

Free knitting pattern for Plarn Bowl

Plarn Bowl

Alison Hogg designed this small bowl that is about 4cms (1¾ in) high and 8cms (3¼ ins) in diameter.

Free knitting pattern for eyeglass case made of plastic bag yarn plarn

Eyepod Eyeglass Case

Laurie Balbo designed these cute striped cases made of plastic bag yarn.

Free knitting pattern for bracelet using recycled bottle base

Recycled Plastic Bottle Cable Knit Bracelet

Zylo Lugosi’s bracelet uses leftover plastic bottles to create the base of this bracelet. The instructions outline the cable knit cover and assembly instructions for the bracelet.

Free knitting pattern for Floor Mat knit from clothesline rope

Clothesline Floor Mat

This floor rug by CraftPassion is 40″ x 29″ and made of durable clothesline rope.

Knitting pattern for Cowl Neck Poncho

Cowl Neck Poncho

Denae Merrill’s prize-winning design drop-stitch poncho uses sport-weight Recycled Silk Yarn.

Free Knitting Pattern for Polo Collar Shawl

Polo Collar Shawl

This openwork drop-stitch shawl with garter stitch color gets its unique look from yarn reclaimed from a sweater. But you can knit it with regular yarn, of course! Designed by moon_custafer

Free knitting pattern for Openwork sweater in t-shirt yarn

Openwork Sweater in T-Shirt Yarn

Love this pullover by Donatella Mestriner! The strips are cut at 3/4” width so won’t be too bulky, and there will be enough to knit the whole garment.

Free knitting pattern for Upcycled Oven Mitts

Upcycled Oven Mitts in T-Shirt Yarn

Melissa Somerville’s oven mitts come in three sizes and take approximately two men’s large t-shirts.

Free knitting pattern for Rag Doily Rug

© print-of-the-wave

Rag Doily Rug

Julie Weisenberger’s design uses old sheets for yarn to create a pretty and absorbent rug for bathrooms and entryways.

Free knitting pattern for Mom and Me Cloche Hats in t-shirt yarn

Mom & Me Cloche Hats

Denae Merrill’s t-shirt yarn hat is available in 3 sizes from mom (20-22in), older child/teen (18-20in) as well as younger child (16-18in). The hat is knit in reclaimed t-shirt yarn.

Free knitting pattern for Arm Knit T-Shirt cowl

Arm Knit T-shirt Yarn Cowl

Heidi Arjes’s cowl is stretchy and comfy and made from two t-shirts.

Free knitting pattern for Injeanious tote bag made from recycled jeans

Injeanius

Janine Le Cras recycled old denim jeans to make this clever tote bag that even recycles the seams for the straps.

Free knitting pattern for Adventure Cardi of recycled yarn

Adventure Cardi

Denae Merrill offers a universe of options with this pattern for a vest or cardigan with various sleeve lengths. She also gives instructions for five different types of recycled yarns. Sizes XS-XL

Patterns for Purchase

Plarn

Plarn

Save time by buying your plastic bag yarn! You’re still making eco-friendly designs without the hassle of cutting and winding the plastic bags. Many colors available!

tshirt yarn

T-shirt yarn

Save time by buying your t-shirt yarn! You’re still making eco-friendly designs without the hassle of cutting and winding. Many colors available!

Knitting pattern for Garden Planters made of plastic bag yarn plarn

Ombre Garden Pods / Planters Using Plarn

Knitted plant pods from plastic bags make great planters! The woven plastic retains water, keeping the soil moist and the plant well-watered while also allowing airflow and drainage, keeping the plant healthy and thriving! This pattern offers detailed instructions on how to make the plarn needed for the pattern as well as instruction for making three sizes (small-4″ diameter x 2″ high, medium-6″ diameter x 3″ high, large-8″ diameter x 4″ high) of ombre style plant pods.

Knitting pattern for waste basket made of plastic bag yarn plarn

Waste Basket from Plastic Yarn

Emily Blades designed this very meta pattern that turns waste bags into waste basket! One of the 20 designs for plastic bag yarn in her book Eco-Friendly Knits

Knitting pattern for Daffodil Brooch made of plastic yarn

Daffodil Brooch from Plastic Yarn

Hard to believe you can knit this beautiful flower by Emily Blades out of plastic bags! One of the 20 designs for plastic bag yarn in her book Eco-Friendly Knits

Knitting pattern for T-shirt Clutch made with t-shirt yarn

T-shirt Yarn Clutch

Knit a small purse with recycled t-shirt yarn. The size of the clutch is 33 x16 cm.

Knitting pattern for Pouf of T-Shirt Yarn

DIY Tutorial XXL Pouf

This footstool is knit with t-shirt yarn. Diameter 55 cm (22“) Height 40 cm (16“)

Knitting pattern for Rope Basket

Rope Basket

Easy pattern for knitting a garter stitch basket from cotton rope.

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