This handy pouch is crocheted using "plarn," AKA plastic yarn, which is cut from ordinary plastic grocery shopping bags.
If this pattern were crocheted with yarn, it would be easy enough for a total beginner. Working with plarn complicates things a bit; it takes a little more patience to work with plarn. For that reason, I'd label it "easy" rather than "beginner," although I am sure a determined beginner could successfully complete this project if (s)he has a mind to do so.
Materials and Supplies Needed:
To crochet my sample bag, I upcycled four white plastic grocery bags to make plarn. Depending on several factors, such as the size of the bags, the way you cut your strips, and your unique way of crocheting, you might need a different number of bags.
To make your plarn, cut each bag into one long strip measuring roughly one half inch wide; start at the top of the bag and cut one long continuous piece, spiraling down and around the bag. Continue to cut until you run out of useable material, then stop and go on to the next bag until you have the amount of plarn you need.
Try to be as neat and precise as you can, but don't stress about it if your cuts aren't perfect. When I was cutting the strips for my sample bag, I wasn't entirely precise about it, so my strips do have areas sometimes measuring as much as three-quarters of an inch. So if you don't cut precisely either, no worries.
I used a size I / 5.5 mm crochet hook. Use whatever crochet hook feels most comfortable for you when working with your plarn.Other:
- 7 inch zipper in a color that matches your plarn
- Sewing needle
- Thread to match your plarn
- Straight pins
Gauge isn't all that critical for this project, but in case you're wondering, I got about 3 stitches per inch.
My finished pouch measures about 8.25 inches wide by about 5 inches high.
Design Note: Whenever possible, crochet overtop of your plarn ends, then cut off and recycle any leftovers.
Crochet two identical rectangle pieces measuring anywhere in the range from 7 to 7.5 inches wide; you can make them as high as you want them.
To make my sample pouch, I worked a starting chain of 24 stitches and then worked entirely in single crochet stitch. I worked 15 rows.
Finishing the Pouch:
Unzip the zipper; pin and sew one side of the zipper to one crocheted rectangle piece, and the other side of the zipper to the other piece.
The zippered area forms the top of your pouch. At this point, you want to be sure that the entire top will be closed. Zip the zipper. If your zipper is shorter than the length of your pouch -- in other words, if your pouch extends beyond the zipper a bit -- then stitch the two rectangle pieces together at either side in any remaining area(s) along the top where the zipper is absent. Otherwise you could possibly end up with a little hole on either side at the top of your pouch.
The next step is to turn the two rectangle pieces into a pouch by joining them. Pin the pieces together if that will make it easier for you. Attach a new length of plarn to the upper left corner of the project with a slip stitch. Working through both rectangle pieces, crochet an outside round of single crochet stitch around three sides; you don't need to worry about the fourth side since it is already joined by the zipper. When you get to a corner, ch 2, turn the corner and keep going. When you've worked all the way around to the zipper, end off.
Weave in loose end carefully.
Using This Crocheted Pouch:
This pouch has a lot going for it; it's really an affordable project, and it's pretty quick to make. The downside to this pouch is that, unless you decide to give it a lining, it is not totally multi-purpose.
For various reasons, I chose not to line my sample pouch. It did occur to me to give it a lining made out of the same type of plastic bag as my pouch; in the end, I decided not to do that because the lining could so easily tear, defeating the purpose. I did not want to bother with a fabric lining, although you can if you want to.
So, the end result is that the pouch won't hold anything and everything; still, it's good for holding quite a few different types of items.
Good: grocery coupons, bottles of nail polish, feminine hygiene products, random craft supplies (mine is holding an assortment of crafty objects I have been saving to upcycle -- bottle caps, wine bottle corks and empty spools of thread.)
Not So Good: pencils, pens, eyeliner, lip liner, emery boards; these objects and others like them might at some point fall out of the little holes in the pouch.