This is an ideal project while travelling or watching kids play. I completed the majority of this bag during the fall soccer season practices and game sessions. The handles I completed today. Preparation work is easy to do in advance while watching tv, or with a portable cutting board while anywhere.
Skill level: Intermediate
Cost: Less than $5
Time Required: Approximately 10 to 15 hours
- Crochet Hook
- Lots of grocery bags
- Cutting board
- Rotary cutter
The instructions that I followed recommend a size M hook. I used a size 000 (10 mm) hook. If you have hook sizes near M, try them out to see if it might work and then adjust the quantity of stitches according to your desired bag size.
I saved the grocery bags for this project 7 years ago. It seems like the bags back then were a bit more durable than grocery bags are now. Other shopping bags such as from department stores may offer more strength and durability to this tote bag. I did not count the number of bags used for this project.
If anyone wants to learn how to crochet, I highly recommend the book Crocheting for Dummies. The book has easy to follow instructions and pictures that clearly illustrate each step to learning the various stitches. Once comfortable with uniform stitches, then try this project.
1. Internet search for directions to crochet plastic tote bag. I found mine at www.marloscrochetcorner.com/Plastic%20Bag%20tote.html but this evening was not able to open the web page. There are other websites with instructions also.
2. Prepare bags. Fold bag lengthwise in half, in half, and in half again. (Figure 1) Cut bottom 1/4 inch off bag. (Figure 2) Cut strips approximately 1 & 1/2 inches to 2 inches wide. (Figure 3) Discard/recycle handle and bottom waste. Figure 4 shows strips from one bag. Figure 1 – Neatly fold bag lengthwise.Repeat process over and over again.Figure 2 – Cut off bottom 1/4″ of bag.
3. Loop strips of plastic together. Do this by inserting one strip through another, fold over top and back through center of the first strip. (Figures 5, 6 a, 6 b and 7) Continue process until there is a long chain of looped strips. (Figure To manage chain, roll into a ball just like with yarn.
4. Crochet the plastic just like yarn following the instructions. (Figures 9 and 10) It’s possible to change color of bag strips just like when crocheting with yarn. For this bag, I chained approximately 15, then double chain stitched surrounding that until I was satisfied with the width and height of the bag.
To stitch the handles, chain approximately 10 stitches until you have the desired opening, resume double chain stitch around to the other side and repeat with 10 stitches to match the count on the other side. Resume double chains around and over the handles until it’s suitable to your needs. Two or three rows of double chains for the handles should be sufficient.
Below is a photo of my completed bag filled with 3 graham cracker sized snack boxes. The boxes are a snug fit. This bag may be more usefull for small fruit, vegetables, several smaller sized items or clothes.
This bag should be stronger than one regular grocery bag and last longer than regular grocery bags.