Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Business of Plarn

Plarn, or plastic yarn, is a wonderful way to recycle/upcycle those plastic bags that most people throw away. Heck, I made a business out of it!

The best thing about my bags is that they are easy-care. Machine wash cold and hang to dry!
Also, the totes this size use 100+ plastic bags. One person uses about 300-700 bags per year. Three to seven TDD totes takes what one person in the U.S. uses out of our landfills!

So, we are celebrating our eco-success with this great feature on Go Green America TV where The Go Green Guy talks about TDD's process and products.

33 comments:

  1. Incredible.............and so creative...I really honor what you are doing!

    Victoria
    www.FeminineChicBoutique.com

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  2. cool! I wondered how it was done. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Thank you so much, Victoria!

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  4. Oooh, I love seeing some of the process. That's fascinating. Love your best selling bag but the
    Peppermint is still my fave:)

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  5. These are the neatest looking and what a great way to recycle

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  6. Wow, really machine washable? Even better! :)

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  7. Great photo-rich post of the process!

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  8. I have a question- how did you connect the strips? They don't appear to be tied, so I'm not sure how they stay together.

    LOVE the idea. Thanks

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  9. Apologies for the late answer, Jen. :)
    When the strips are cut they form loops. It's just a matter of connecting the loops, one end thru the other so a knot is formed. I hope that helps.

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  10. I've heard of someone here in NW Ohio knitting blankets for the homeless out of plarn. I wondered how it was done. GREAT uses for those little bags that cause BIG problems in our landfills. Thanks for this article and good luck.

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  11. Such a great idea! I had planned on making a rug out of mine - but am wowed by the tote!

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  12. about20 years ago I read in a magazine where someone made a rug this way.my question is what about the plastic holding mildew and mold?

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  13. Very cool - how do I buy a bag or two?

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  14. @Mike & @danielle - Thanks!

    @Anonymous - Just as with anything else, if you keep it clean, it'll be fine. I have customers that take their bags everywhere, including the beach and pool. They throw it in the washer on gentle cold and air dry. No one has ever had an issue.

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  15. How exactly are the bags folded. I love this project.

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  16. You can check out my website by hitting the "Tina Dean Designs Shop" links, either on the top menu bar, or on the right side under "Find Us". I have some of my work there. Most of my orders are custom, so I will be working soon on getting more items listed. If you see something that is out of stock, shoot me an email through the site.

    Bags are folded lengthwise in half, then in half two more times. :)

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  17. Hi Tina, I've experimented with plarn and find it fun and fast to crochet. Would you mind sharing your tote pattern? thanks in advance!

    Victoria

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  18. @Victoria - Thanks so much for your interest, but my patterns are currently exclusive to the Tina Dean Designs brand.

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  19. I have seen this on another pattern "page."
    It takes some time to get it into the plarn stage.
    However, worth it if you can stick with it.
    Use your imagination to make items...if it can be done with yarn, it might be done with plarn.

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  20. This is really impressive! So so creative, and very inspiring. Thanks for sharing the process!

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  21. Absolutely! Imagination is key, especially in the design process.

    @Jen - Thanks for coming by to read about it. :)

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  22. yes years ago they used bread bags to crochet.. and they are also currently crocheting homless mats in sw Ohio... they are warm as well as moisture barrier from the ground.

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  23. so cool! I wish i know how to crochet. It'll be so cool to make like those willow basket.

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  24. Wow! I want to thank you for being so creative and "green" and sharing this with us all. I have always tried to find new ways to lower my footprint and recycle every item possible...this definitely fits in! I have never been interested in crocheting but I will be visiting my grandmother VERY soon to have lessons :)

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  25. Thanks so much for sharing! This is really great and I love having such a creative option for those pesky plastic bags. Can't wait to try it!

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  26. This is fantastic! I never considered crocheting with plastic bags... very inspiring.

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  27. this is completely amazing! I love the eco-green idea instead of just recycling...as some companies only recycle a percentage of the returned plastic bags....
    patti

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  28. I'm still confused on how you cut your bags and attach together???? Your bags almost look like they haven't been used? I would love to learn to do this but need some more info. I LOVE going green so please help!

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    Replies
    1. You can search on YouTube. There are some great instructional videos there.
      And, yes, the majority of bags I use are used. I do get some that are newish because stores will put those that have small defects in the recycle bin. :)

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  29. I want to make plarn so i can make a hammock!!! I didn't know it was machine washable!!! And your idea for using it to make a bag is super, i will be trying alot patterns i have!! I love the idea of using it to make thing for the needy :-)

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