Grandma’s Back Door

Wonder Bread Rug

(Image of a Wonder Bread bag from a Folk Art Museum!)

I was always fascinated by the crinkle-crackle of the mat just inside Grandma’s back door. Crocheted in a circular pattern was yard upon yard of plastic bread bags. It was always fun to sit while tying my shoes and see if I could identify any of the bags from the interwoven strips now just spots of color here and there.

Grandma recycled or repurposed just about everything. If she wasn’t taking something apart to use in something else, she was putting something together. She saved bread bags, mesh bags, and even the little square plastic clips from the bags. I still have a white cross bookmark made from the bread clips in Sunday School. We might have thought Grams was just a little carried away with all this re-using and re-crafting. What I wouldn’t give to have her imagination instead of the recycling bin that goes to the road every week and the contents sent somewhere to be melted or fused into something else (recycling doesn’t always eliminate or reduce pollution!).

So I’m going to work on a new craft/creation and I invite you to join me on one way or another. I’ve found how to make plarn. Plarn is plastic yarn and it is made from plastic grocery bags looped together.  Crafters use plarn to make door mats like Grandma’s, shopping totes, play mats for kids and even sleeping mats to keep the homeless clean and dry on the ground.

Here’s how you can help–bring your plastic grocery bags (I know, you use the reusable shopping bags, but I also know you forget to grab them and end up with the plastic ones anyway!) and bread bags to Nardin Park this week when you drop your kids off for Kids at the Park VBS or when you come to the evening sessions for adults.  We will cut the bags into loops and then loop them into plarn.  As we collect the bags and cut them into strips we will begin our first sleeping mat project in simple single crochet!

Check back often for pics (I’m imagining a mountain of bags!) and watch our progress.  I’ll post the pattern and plarn-making instructions (or you can find the instructions here–