I've had tons of ideas for plarn (plastic yarn) projects over the years, but I've only created a few. That didn't stop me from collecting the grocery bags for the intended projects, and it led to a bit of a bag-hoarding problem. I had bags in the closet, bags in a box, bags under the bed, and bags in a plastic bin. Plarn is a great way to recycle, but it can take a long time to turn your grocery bags into enough material for a crochet project.
Giant plarn to the rescue! No spiral cutting needed, and only three cuts per bag: Cut off the top and bottom of the bag, then cut the remainder in half to form loops. Join the loops together, and you'll have ridiculously thick, double-strand plarn that's great for making a super-squishy rug like this one. (Find help with how-to here!) I made this monster to fit in The Kid's room, but it's easy for you to make yours any size you need. And there's no hook required! This project is worked up using finger crochet.
Finished size of the rug shown is 89" (226 cm) long (width of rows) by 38" (96.5 cm) tall.
Plarn created with method described in 2nd paragraph above - The project shown used over 500 bags! - I've made the process of cutting easier by stacking multiple bags and cutting them with a rotary cutter. If you're using some good sharp scissors, you may be able to cut more than one bag at a time.
In the project shown, there is over 400 bags of the main color and about 100 bags of the contrasting color.
You can figure how many you'll need with a quick test swatch... My gauge used one whole bag (a length of 2 loops) over just two stitches (single crochet).
You may want optional items to create a non-slip backing - The easy solution is hot glue. Non-slip drawer liner is another option.
...And that's it - No hook, no needle!
Not important, and will most likely vary because of finger crochet.
My gauge from using my index and middle fingers as a hook: 2 rows of 2 single crochet stiches = 4" by 4" (10 cm by 10 cm).
Chain-1 at beginning of rows counts as a single crochet.
Change colors on the last stitch in the row, pulling the new color through with the last yarn-over of the stitch.
The pattern gives you instructions for how to make the rug any size you wish, plus I'm providing the exact instructions for how I made mine in parenthesis ( ). You can work more rows, alter the pattern for more space between color changes, make it all one color, or use a random placement of colors for a funky look.
Foundation single crochet (Click here to watch me make this stitch using giant plarn and finger crochet!)
Use your index and middle fingers held together as a hook.
Make (42) foundation single crochet to begin.
Chain 1, turn. Make 1 single crochet in each single crochet across.
All additional rows:
Repeat row 2 for the desired number of rows to a color change (5 total), ending on an odd numbered row.
With contrasting color, repeat row 2, changing back to main color on the last stitch. Mark this side as the right side (if desired) before turning.
Repeat previous 2 steps, then repeat row 2 with main color for the desired number (5) of rows. You can bind off here to follow my design, or you can continue repeating the pattern for a taller rug.
With wrong side facing and contrasting color, begin in any stitch with chain 1. Work 1 single crochet in each stitch across, and (single crochet, chain 1, single crochet) in corner spaces, repeating around. Join with a slip stitch to beginning chain-1. Bind off contrasting color.
With main color, begin in a corner chain-1 space with chain 2, single crochet (counts as single crochet, chain 1, single crochet). Make 1 single crochet in each stitch across, and (single crochet, chain 1, single crochet) in corner chain-1 spaces, repeating around. Join with a slip stitch to beginning chain-1.
Slip stitch in the corner space, chain 2, single crochet in same space. Work same as previous round. Join and bind off, or continue repeating for desired number of rounds.
Weave in ends on wrong side, using your finger to pull the material through as you would with a hook.
On carpet, I don't have any problem with this rug slipping. But I know from experience that a plarn rug will slip on a bare floor. You may want to run some hot-glue lines across the back side to prevent it from sliding. Because I only get about three feet of coverage from a glue stick, I concentrate on getting the corners and a bit of the center. You can also attach non-slip drawer liner for a completely skid-roof back.
And for an extra tip: The Kid discovered that she can roll this rug up and use it for a pillow against the wall. She made herself a cute little reading nook, took off with one of my Dean Koontz books, and I haven't seen her much since....
Remember to watch small kids and all pets around your plarn projects!