Free Pattern and Tutorial: "Fmelted Plarn" coasters

No, its not totally mumbo-jumbo or a typo, but I did make it up. So what is it?...

  When you crochet or knit with certain fabrics, it can be felted. How do you do that with a plarn project?... Melt it! Using an iron on low temperature, some wax paper, and your finished project, you can turn ordinary plarn into solid plastic. Let's get started!

See How to make Plarn
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Notes on "Fmelting":

  • If you have ever worked with fusing perler beads, this works (and smells) the same way. Make sure you have plenty of ventilation. You will be melting plastic, and its a really bad idea to inhale a bunch of fumes.
  • You will be using a hot iron. Use the usual and necessary precautions.
  • I'm providing a free, simple pattern for this tutorial, but feel free to try this with any of your own projects. First, practice the "fmelting" on a small piece to test the temperature of your iron. Appliance temperatures may vary.

First, for the pattern details:

Finished size:
4 1/4" (10.8 cm) diameter

Skill Level:

Crochet hook size G/6 - 4.25mm or size needed to obtain gauge
Plarn cut 3" (about 7.5 cm) thick - about 4 bags per coaster
Cork and/or felt stickers

First round measures 1 1/4" (3.2 cm) across


Round 1:
Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 11 dc in farthest ch from hook. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3. (12 dc)

Round 2:
Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), turn. 1 dc in same st. 2 dc in each of next 11 sts. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3. (24 dc)

Round 3:
Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), turn. 1 dc in next st, ch 1. {1 dc in each of next 2 dc, ch 1} 11 times. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3. (24 dc, 12 ch)

Round 4:
Turn. Sl st into nearest ch-1 sp, ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc in same sp, ch 1. {3 dc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1} 11 times. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3. (36 dc, 12 ch)

  Stop! At this point, you have a perfectly good, usable, crocheted coaster. You don't have to continue if you don't want to. If so, bind off and weave in your ends now. Call it done and don't look back. But...if you want to have some fun, follow along...

Round 5:
Sl st in each st around. Bind off, weave in ends.

Because this round has no increases, your piece will begin to curl. That's okay, it will come out flat when you "fmelt" it.

Mainly to make it easier to attach the cork, I blocked the pieces overnight under a heavy jar.

Preparing the coaster for "fmelting":
If you are using cork on your coaster, cut it to the desired shape and size:

Center it on the side of the coaster you want it on. I used cork with adhesive so it would stay put while "fmelting". If you don't have adhesive cork, its okay, it will bond when the plastic melts.

If you are using felt stickers for "feet", don't put those on yet.

Directions for "fmelting plarn":

Coaster or other object crocheted with plarn
Wax paper
Ironing board or other heatproof surface for ironing on

Preheat you iron on the synthetic (lowest) setting.

On your heatproof surface, sandwich your plarn object between two layers of waxed paper.

Remember: Ventilation!

Get ready to "fmelt":
Once your iron is ready, gently set it on the waxed paper. Do not push or add pressure. It is best to slowly move the iron in small circles:

I started by melting each side for 30 seconds. I want mine really melted, so this won't do. However, its looks and feels cool:

You can melt it a little, and it will still be flexible, sort of crispy, and your stitches will show. It takes about  1 1/2 - 2 minutes per side to get to this stage:

Or you can melt it a lot, and it will be solid plastic, with not much showing of the stitches. It takes almost 4 minutes per side to become this way:

This last one is one I was just practicing on. After about 5-6 minutes per side, the end result is this:

Although I didn't think about it while making these, I really recommend putting some non-skid felt stickers on the bottom, because the plastic slides easily across a tabletop. You can put a glass on the plastic side and use the cork as the bottom side, or just use felt stickers and no cork, but I worry the plastic could damage finished surfaces without something to cushion it.

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