Making Crocheted and Woven Items from Trash

In my young adult years, I loved to knit and crochet. I remember making blankets, sweaters and vests. Decades later I worked with a group of Amma devotees knitting and crocheting hats and scarves for Seattle’s homeless.  We also crocheted quilts for poor women who were moving from the street to transitional housing.

In 2007 or 2008, we started crocheting purses, hats, bags, and other items from materials that would normally be thrown into the garbage.  Some of the trash could also be woven into baskets.  By making crafts such as these, we could, in a small way, reduce the amount of garbage going into a landfill and polluting the earth.  Below you can see pictures of some of the items I made during that time.  (If you hover your cursor over a picture, you will be able to see what the item was made from.  If you click on any of the pictures, they will become a slide show.)

If you are interested in crocheting items such as these, know that most of the patterns can be found on

21 thoughts on “Making Crocheted and Woven Items from Trash

  1. I don’t crochet well with plarn… it’s way too stiff for me to use easily and my wrists don’t like it. However! I like braiding it into rope of various sizes and using it that way. Nice bags btw. Much nicer than anything I ever tried with plarn.


    1. Many people don’t have trouble crocheting endlessly with the plarn but I ended up needing to stop for the same reason. What kinds of things can you do with the rope? I’m curious!


      1. Oh, it depends on how thick I make the rope. I’ve made plant hangers, rugs for the bathroom, coasters, and just keep it as rope. It’s very handy to have rope around when you need it. Surprisingly, braided plarn makes good rope, and the braiding it is really meditative for me.

        Also, did you know you could iron sheets of plastic bags into a more solid fabric and “sew” with it? I made a few small purses that way. It’s also how I put some of my rugs together, I looped the rope how I wanted it and ironed a bag to the bottom. Way easier than sewing or gluing and much more secure because it melts the bottom together.


      2. At the ashram I go to in India they iron sheets of plastic into solid fabric and sew purses and wallets with it.

        I’d love to see some of your things. If I gave you my email address would you be willing to email some pictures of the braided rope…… or make a post about it and let me know!


      3. I gave most of it away and the rest is packed up (moving soon you know). I think I have one rug that’s left out… If I do make a post of it, I’ll link back to you. 🙂


      1. The year I developed the problems I had also started doing email with a Blackberry. The combination ended the crocheting…. and the phone emailing!


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