10 Items You Can Recycle With Crochet

Upcycled Crochet Including Pull Tabs, Plastic Bags and CDs

Recycled Pull Tab Crochet Purse
Pull tabs can be recycled with crochet. Lucy Lambriex / Getty Images

We honor the fragile beauty of our planet when you take the time to focus on ways that we can reduce our own eco-footprint. There are many terrific earth-friendly crochet ideas. One of the best is to recycle old items using crochet, whether that means tearing the items into strips to crochet with or adding crochet to something to give new life to an object. Here are 10 items that you can recycle with crochet.

1. Plastic Bags

Plastic bags can be cut into strips to make "plarn", a plastic form of yarn. This yarn can then be crocheted into a variety of items. It is especially popular among people who make crochet mats for the homeless as a form of charity crochet but it can be used to make many other items as well.

2. Rags and Other Textiles

Rag rugs have been made for decades upon decades. When a clothing item has gone completely past its use or your linens are no longer looking good enough to sit on your bed, that's okay. Just cut them into strips and then crochet them into tote bags, jewelry items or those quintessential rag rugs. Denim also upcycles.

3. Aluminum Can Pop Tabs

You can take the tabs off of soda cans and crochet them together to make jewelry, accessories and even clothing. Here is a pull tab napkins ring free crochet pattern

4. Bottle Caps

You can also upcycle bottle caps with crochet to make unique designs.

For example, here is a crochet snowflake trivet pattern that uses bottle caps.

5. Old Accessories

Breathe new life into accessories that you'd otherwise toss away by adding crochet. A headband can be tightened up and prettified with crochet edging. A belt can become the new handle for a crochet purse.

A single earring that lost its mate can become the jeweled centerpiece of a mixed media crochet necklace. Get creative with your leftovers! Even stray buttons are great for crochet!

6. Paper

All different kinds of paper can be turned into strips that function like yarn. Newspaper works especially well for crocheting; just take a look at the amazing newspaper crochet garments of Ivano Vitali to get inspired! You can also crochet around old pieces of paper and greeting cards to upcycle them as well; here are 20 creative crochet ideas for paper.

7. Miscellaneous Jars, Cans and Bins

Don't throw out that old jelly jar, aluminum can or ratty bin. Instead, crochet a fresh new cozy for it to make stylish storage options for your home, studio and even your car!

8. VHS Tape Ribbon

Do you have a stack of old VHS tapes that you'll never use but haven't wanted to send to the landfill? What about cassette tapes that won't get listened to but you can't seem to throw them away because you just know that there's a use for them? There is! Take the ribbon out of them, get your crochet hook ready and make yourself something new! Tina Dean Designs actually made VHS tape crochet wristlets that went into gift bags at The Emmys!

 

9. CDs

Of course, there is no ribbon to take out of a CD for crochet but that doesn't mean you can't upcycle CDs with your craft. Take your crochet and work it around CDs to make new coasters and other circular patterns. Here is one example of a crochet-covered CD mandala curtain.

10. Thrift Store Sweaters

You can purchase knit and crochet sweaters at a bargain price from thrift stores. Instead of just wearing them, take them apart, unravel the yarn, reclaim it and use it to create brand new crochet designs! Here are some additional upcycled sweater ideas.

Need more ideas? Here are 100 Mixed Media Crochet Ideas!