We see them everywhere and probably don’t think much of them. They are plastic bags that we get, well everywhere in the US. Go to Walmart, liqueur store, gas station, grocery and they will be there. In fact in the United States there are 102 Billion bags used per year, or approximately 1 million per 5 minutes, accoding to Plastic Waste Solutions. In other countries there are charges to put your items in a plastic bag, or plastic bags of the lightweight style are completely banned.
By no means is this meant to be a “wag the finger, shame on you for not recycling” type post. Actually, just the opposite. This is more a creative call to action. Let’s see what we can make with this plastic problem.
Some time last year I posted about playing with Plastic. There I talked about one crafty way of taking those plastic bags and re-purposing them as a craft material. Since then, I have been playing designs one can make with plarn.
Take a look at these! Rug 1
Over the summer I worked on making the start of another woven rug. Its the same pattern I learned in the Playing with plastic post and the rugs measure 18 X 30 inches.
My original plans for this project was to weave a bright strip of yellow through the holes the pattern made. That didn’t happen. My dad had been thinking about buying a anti-fatigue rug for him to stand on as he was grilling for my brother’s grad party. I had him stand on the unfinished rug and asked him to give it a try before spending 30-40 bucks.
That day we got a down pour of rain and the rug held up nicely. As you can see from the picture, there is snow. I half expected it to freeze and snap, but it was just as flexible as the day of the grad party. I’m also surprised that it hasn’t blown away. Just goes to show the versatility of the material.
This next rug is very similar to the black one above. This time I used a single ply of clear plastic to make the body. The woven strands are a braided rope made of 6 strips of black garbage bags and 1 strand of a snowflake patterned table clothe that I picked up at the Bemidji State University’s free store.
This rug is also 18 X 30 inches. I’m not surer where this on will find a home but it’s sure to add a pop of personality.
The final rug is a different pattern than the other two but has the same measurements. It plays with the leaping blocks and stripes crochet pattern.
Before making this rug I had made a blanket with this same patterns and it turned out fantastic! I took a break from crafting to give my hands a break after completing the project, but even as I was resting I was playing with the idea of adapting the pattern for Plarn.
The rows of white on the ends were a little tricky in the fact that I had to go down the row and then pick up the other color and bring it down before tying off. I know that sounds a little confusing, but I really don’t have a better way of explaining it.
If I try this project again I need to figure out how to make it a rectangle and not an hour glass. This warping of the shape happened because I used two different plastics with different thicknesses.
Maybe if I had used 2 ply for the white it wouldn’t have bowed. Or if it does still bow when I try it again, I’ll try using a double crochet when I go around for the boarder.
Currently this rug is sitting in the porch at my parent’s house. Maybe my next experiment will be able to have “wipe you feet” crocheted into the pattern.
Only time can tell.
With crafting, your only limitation is you imagination