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Create A Day

One creative project every day for a year


Day 339: “Plarn” Pencil Holder/Can Cozy

Posted by annagrace under Days 301-365

Yet again it has been quite awhile since I posted last, but between moving and trying to find a job, I haven’t really had much free time to post. I’ve got several projects that I’ve finally uploaded the pictures to my computer, so hopefully I can bust out a few posts and get back on track!

At any rate, today’s creative is for my Dad’s birthday! For once I actually have a present ready on the actual date it should be given, so I thought I’d go ahead and post it! Of course, I still have to mail it, but baby steps people! In case you don’t know, my dad is amazing! And one of my favorite things about him is how environmentally conscious he is! I wish I was as good as him with composting and buying local/organic goods, but I’m sadly not at a place where that’s possible at the moment… maybe once I actually have a job! But the point is, he’s more environmentally friendly than anyone I know, so I thought why not make him something for his birthday that embraces that eco friendly side of him? Enter “plarn.” I don’t know if you all have heard of it, but Plarn, or plastic yarn, is made by upcycling used plastic grocery bags into a long strip or ball of “yarn” that can be used for crocheting or knitting! I found this great website that gives you step by step instructions to make your own if you want! I came across this a few months ago when a friend of mine was making a plarn basket. I wanted to make something for Dad with this material, but didn’t have that many plastic bags (my loving boyfriend recycled the huge pile I had… he knows now to save them :P ), so I found this project for a can cozy/pencil holder that uses about 10 bags!

I went around the house and gathered up all the bags I could find, but ended up only having about 6, so I thought, why not use some used zip-lock bags as well? I had several lying around from a recent trip that had holes in them or whatever, so I made do! Following the instructions in the tutorial, here is my ball of plarn!

So then I started crocheting. Before I post the final pictures there are a few things I learned that will help with future plarn projects, so I thought I’d share with you. First of all, try and get fairly new bags. A couple of the bags I had were probably at least a few months old and were holding stuff from my move. Because they were so old and worn, when I was tying them together, they were tearing super easily! Secondly, if you want to use zip-lock bags, I would do the entire project out of them. Since they were a thicker plastic, the rows that I used zip-lock bags on were a lot thicker, so the holder doesn’t look as uniform as I would like. And finally, while the zip-lock bags were a lot easier to tie together because they were so strong, they were much harder to crochet with. If you use those, I would use a much bigger crochet hook (this project called for the H size) and reduce your stitch counts. They always say to do a test square to see how big your stitches will be, which I never did, but I think this is definitely one case where that would be beneficial! At any rate, it was a bit of a struggle at some points, but here is the finished project!

And here it is with pens/pencils in it.

No pictures with a can in it for now, but you get the idea. :P I’m pretty happy with how this turned out, especially since this was my first plarn project! I think my dad will really like it and I will be making many more projects with plastic bags!

Happy Birthday, Dad! You’re the greatest! I miss you and love you so much!

Anna Grace