*This week I am on Spring Break!  Well, for this post, at least ;).  But, since this this Saturday is Earth Day, I thought I’d renew, reuse and recycle a post I wrote for another blog last year.  Hope you enjoy, and give it a try! ~Happy Crocheting!

*I have had an idea to repurpose plastic bags for a while now.  It all started with some wrought iron chairs that we have out by our grill.  They have a criss-cross pattern and can be sat on without a cushion, but is definitely more comfortable with one.  We do have fabric cushions that came with the chairs, but I had the (albeit lazy) thought that if we had waterproof pads, I wouldn’t have to worry about putting them in the garage night after night.  This was my first idea for the plastic bags, and the first step was to make some plastic yarn.

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The material needed for this project was simple.  I chose red bags from a local Milwaukee grocery store, because I liked the bright color and they are strong and won’t break easily.  I used a cutting mat and a rotary cutter, but a scissors and a flat surface would do the same.  I also used a button for the last part of the piece.

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I started with flattening the bag and cutting the closed end off so that the bag now looks like a tube with two open ends.

 

With the rotary cutter, I cut 1 inch rows leaving about an inch and a half at the top of one closed ends of the tube.  The last row (with the handles) I cut right off.  It ended up looking like a fringed bag.

 

Opening up the bag so that it was still in tube form (fringed tube form), I cut diagonally from one fringe to the next row across.

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This leaves a long plastic yarn that can be wound up into a skein for crocheting.  I ended up making yarn from 16 plastic bags.

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I used a half double crochet to make my mat 18 inches wide by 22 inches long.

I chained a long piece at the top of the mat and attached a button.  The longer I crocheted this mat, the more I thought about all the possibilities it had.  A seat cushion for my wrought iron chairs will be helpful, but if you folded the mat up, you could use it in many other ways.

 

Folding it up multiple times, and securing it with the button, you have a great knee pad.  I can just imagine myself planting flowers, or weeding my herb garden.  I don’t have to squat or tire my knees out any more!

IMG_4160 Laying it flat makes a nice cushion for the yard when I am playing with my daughter by our sandbox.  Or, I could lay it out on our pavement as a mat when hosing down dirty feet or sandals.

 

The possibilities of this mat are endless.  This project has not only let me up-cycle plastic bags for the better, but has given me a new product to use over and over all summer long.  I hope you like my idea as much as I do!

What are you crocheting for Earth Day?

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