Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Crochet Plarn Handbag - FREE Pattern

For anyone looking to make a cute, new handbag and to use of some of the millions of plastic shopping bags you have around your house, here is a free pattern for you!

This handbag looks great at the end of each stage - you could leave it without the buttons, and/or you could leave it without the wrist strap. You're the artist - it's up to you!

     - *N15/10mm Crochet Hook - I used Boye brand
     - Less than 25 plastic shopping bags (Less than 4 Gray bags)
     - Tapestry Needle for Weaving in Ends - I used a #18
     - Stitch Marker, Optional
     - **1 Button - I used a 7/8" (22m) Black Colored Button from Crafting with Buttons [found at JoAnn's, but not available for purchase online from JoAnn's.]

Pattern Notes:
I do have a DIY Plarn tutorial should you be interested in making your own plarn, or if you just need a refresher!

*I would recommend using a hook that is more open. I tried a K10.5/6.5mm, a L11/8mm and the N15/10mm. The 6.5mm and the 10mm were of the same brand - Boye - with a more open mouth so they worked better than the 8mm - Susan Bates.

**Usually I go to Hobby Lobby for my buttons - the Sewology brand. They are available in multiple sizes and shapes in each color, available in any color, great price and sturdier. When I went to buy buttons for this project (and a few others waiting on buttons), I happened to be going to a restaurant that was in the same plaza as JoAnn's and I ran in five minutes before closing. I quickly grabbed three packages of different colors and raced to the register.

When I got them home, I was disappointed. These buttons are halves. They have a regular smooth top side, and a flat bottom side, which made me feel like these weren't as sturdy. I ended up having to use two of them held together to complete one full button.
I'm sure for many other projects in which you need a flat back button with holes (ie sewing a monogram or picture on a pillow or hoop art), these buttons would be great but I wouldn't buy them again to use for closures.

Time Spent:
     It took me about an hour and 15 minutes to work up this bag from start to finish, not including making the plarn. 
It took me about an hour to make the plarn used for this bag.

     This handbag measures 9" wide by 6" in length with no stretch, and the optional wrist strap measures 10" around.

   SC - Single Crochet
   CH - Chain
   ea - each
   st/ST - stitch
   BLO - Back Loop Only
   sl st - Slip Stitch
   sc2tog - Single Crochet Two Stitches Together/Decrease

Pattern Notes:

     Join to 1st ST, not beginning chain.

     Beginning in Round 4, you will work your rounds in a continuous manner.  

     *If you run out of yarn while working this handbag, don't fear! I did. Simply, attach another strip (or two, or three) to the remaining loop of plarn you have left. If you do not have a loop remaining, pull out some of your work, cut the last strip remaining so you can get to the loop of the strip right before it. Sorry, no photo!

CH 19. SC in the 2nd CH from the hook and in ea CH across. Add 2 more SCs in the last st, then begin to SC on the opposite side of the foundation chain. Add 1 more SC in the last st (to make 3). Join to the 1st SC. (38 SC)

R2: CH 1. SC in ea SC around. Join.

R3: BLO, SC in ea SC around. Join.

R4 - 13: In both loops, SC in ea SC around. DO NOT JOIN.

R14: SC in ea SC around. Sl st in next ST.

     Change color.

R15: CH 1, SC in ea SC around. Join.

R16: sl st into next ST. sc2tog, SC in the next 14 STs, sc2tog. (16 SC)

R17 - R19: CH 1, SC in ea ST across. 

R20: CH 1, sc2tog, SC in the next 12 STs, sc2tog. (14 SC)

R21: CH 1, SC in ea ST across.

R22: CH 1, sc2tog, SC in the next 10 STs, sc2tog. (12 SC)

R23: CH 1, SC in ea ST across - Continue on to the border.

Border: Add 1 SC in the last ST to form a rounded corner. Evenly SC down the side (I made 7), then sl st to into the the next ST - skipping the ST where the flap and bag meet. Sl st in the next 17 STs, skip the ST where the flap and bag meet on the other side, evenly SC up the side and join to the 1st SC.

Fasten Off and Weave in Your Ends. 
*Use caution when weaving in your ends to ensure that your needle makes it all the way through the section your weaving through and does not get caught in the plastic.

   Button Closure:

I added a button to mine. I was afraid that the use of the button would stretch out the plastic and it wouldn't go back to size, but it all has held up really well. 
Alternatively, you could sew on a snap button with a bigger button on the outside as decoration, you could add a button hole/tie to go around the button, or you could add a magnetic closure.

   Optional Wrist Strap - 10" around:

Lay bag flat so you can find the edge part of the bag on your side of choosing. I put mine on the right side.
Insert your hook to join the plarn. 
Chain desired length - I chained 20. Then slip stitch into the same stitch that the chain is coming out of, chain 1, turn and single crochet back across. This will give you a nice, sturdier strap.
Fasten Off and Weave in Your Ends.

This bag is the perfect size for travel sized containers.
And it's waterproof so no big deal is something spills inside!
Here, I have a bottle of lotion, shampoo, and conditioner, lube of toothpaste, toothbrush and a container of Aspirin.

You could also use it as an every day purse, but I would recommend sticking in a smaller bag for things like pens/pencils, change, keys, make up brushes, etc. These items may slip or poke out of the holes.
Here, I have a container of Aspirin, bottle of lotion, smaller bag container my ID, bank card, keys, and pen.

Don't Crochet but Interested in Purchasing Your Own Plarn Handbag?
     I have TONS of grocery store plastic bags around the house that I would be happy to work into a plarn handbag for you. I will be adding a few to my Etsy store as I complete them for pattern designing, but it is a very tedious process in making the plarn itself that I probably will not be regularly adding plarn items. Feel free to send in your custom requests though, and if you have bags you'd like me to use just let me know.

Linked Up To...
Lou Lou Girls Fabulous Party #33 - Lou Lou Girls
243rd Inspire Me Tuesday - A Stroll Thru Life
Awesome Things Tuesday Link Party - Krafting Kreations
The Sunday Showcase No. 267 - By Stephanie Lynn
Christmas Decor Tutorials - Link Party - Oh Everything Handmade
Wow Me Wednesday #181 - Ginger Snap Crafts
Yarn Fanatic Party #14 - The Philosopher's Wife
Share Your Creativity Link Party No. 138 - It's Overflowing
Tutorials & Tips Link Party {184} - Home Stories A to Z

Monday, November 10, 2014

Blogging World - Please Don't Pin My Image! How to Prevent Your Images From Being Pinned

*This post is from a Blogger point of view. I am not sure if the process for other blog sites such as Wordpress is the same.

I absolutely love Pinterest! And I spend way too much time on it everyday but I think it is a genius idea.

I also love sharing my creations and tips with everyone! However, some items I feel should not be repinned unless I choose to introduce it into the mix.

Some Examples of Items I Don't Want To Be Pinnable Include
     - Crochet and Plastic Canvas Charts/Graphs
*I consider pinning of crochet charts and plastic canvas graphs to be stealing, and a copyright infringement. Whether the pattern is free or not, charts and graphs should not be shared unless marked "Free to Share". This not only takes away from the blog views one might get from returning and new viewers, but if they were "paid patterns", then it also takes away from the income that may have been earned.
     - Pictures of My Family or Myself
*I do not want random images not pertaining to the project surfacing on Pinterest. For example - me giving the Thumbs Up sign after receiving my first order from Artbeads should not be shared on Pinterest.
     - Images of My Process
*Sometimes I pin images of my process and include a "tip" in the caption. Unless I choose to share this image and/or tip, I consider pinning of my process to also be stealing.
     - Images That Aren't Mine
*Pinning should be done from the original source. Take a trip over to the original source and do your pinning from there. An example of when you will find an image that does not belong to the one sharing it, is through a Round Up. I may show a collection of 10 crochet patterns with the main picture and then a short description on each pattern. If you are interested in pinning the round up, do so with the main collage or title picture, or click on the link of the project to pin from the original source itself.

After much research, I found lots of generic and questionable answers. This is what I finally came up with.

I apologize in advance for the lack of photos - I could not for the life of me, figure out how to get the Print Screen function on my laptop to work.

If using Blogger, follow these steps to Prevent Your Image From Being Pinned. You will need to do this for each image you don't want pinned, so it's best to do this on a post-by-post/photo-by-photo basis rather than saving it for later or to do all at once.

Step 1: 
     From the Compose/Edit Screen, you will want to click on the HTML tab located on the top left part of your screen just underneath the title of your blog.
You will see a lot of random combinations of letters, numbers and symbols, along with pieces of the text that you've included in that post. This is the code - instructions for the page to appear as you have put it together to appear.

Step 2:
     Sort through the code for each image, and locate the following part:
<img border=" " src="" height=" "
 This should be the second part of your code. Do not insert the block code in the first section of the code. The first part has "imageanchor=" instead of "height".

Step 3:
     Directly following the last quotation mark of the height text, insert a single space and then this text, nopin="nopin"
     Your code should look similar to this:
<img border=" " src="" height=" " nopin="nopin" width=" "

Step 4: Once you have completed this for all of the photos you do not want to be pinned, then you can click the Preview button located on the top right part of your screen, sandwiched in between the Save and Close buttons, to double check that the code has gone through.

At the Preview screen, scroll over one of your images, right click on the image and click on the "Pin It" option. You should get a similar message to:
The page at says:
Sorry, this image can't be pinned.
Except it will have your name on it, since you are testing this out on your page.

Another way to tell whether or not the code went through, is when you scroll over the image, the "Pin It" button should not show up.

Now you can click back on the Compose Tab on the left side of your screen, and then Publish or Update your post.

I hope you find this information to be useful! 

If you do have a different hosting site, comment below to share your tips and views on this matter.

Linked Up To...
5 Fall Gift Ideas and Recipes + Monday Funday - Club Chica Circle
The Sunday Showcase No. 266 - By Stephanie Lynn
Make it Monday! - Etcetorize
Count Your Many Blessings, Share Your Creativity Party No. 137 - It's Overflowing
Think Pink Sunday No 190 - Flamingo Toes
Craft Schooling Sunday - Creative Jewish Mom
November 2014 Sharing Time Week 1 - Raising Memories
Kitchen Fun and Crafty Link Party #139 - Kitchen Fun with my 3 Sons
Inspiration Monday #80 - Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom
Lou Lou Girls Fabulous Link Party #32 - Lou Lou Girls
242nd Inspire Me Tuesday - A Stroll Thru Life
Tutorials & Tips Link Party {183} - Home Stories A to Z
Take a Look Tuesday - Sugar Bee Crafts
Handmade Hangout #22 - Too Much Time on My Hands
Thanksgiving Table Inspiration / I'm Lovin' It - TidyMom
Best DIY Projects and Recipe Party - the 36th Avenue
The Creative Collection Link Party - The Cards We Drew / Blooming Homestead
Your Whims Wednesday #188 - My Girlish Whims

DIY - Make Your Own Plarn - Plastic Yarn from Shopping Bags

I recently moved all of my stuff from one room in my house to another room in my house. You would not believe all of the plastic shopping bags I pulled out of my closest! I would need like five or more plastic bag bag holders to house my collection - Yikes! It doesn't help that I can't just put them out in my recycling bin, as it is not recyclable in this manner.

I decided to try my hand at making plarn, and a handbag.

This process does take quite a long time as you must cut up all of the bags and then loop them all together and roll into a ball (if you feel like it in the end). So you may want to put together a small bowl of fruit, grab a cup of coffee, put on your favorite show/movie or whatever you would like by your side to help pass the time.
It took me approximately 3 minutes to cup up on bag and loop all the pieces together.

First things, first. I sorted my plastic bags into piles of the stores they came from. I wanted my handbag to have a consistent coloring to it. 
I concluded I had the most bags from Winn Dixie (White and Black), and the most amount of colored bags from Walmart (Gray).

I pulled out 40 Winn Dixie Bags and 10 Walmart Bags and got to work.

Below you will find the tutorial for creating plarn so you can make your own! Free handbag pattern to follow!

Lay your plastic bag down flat.
It doesn't have to be perfect, just relatively close.
Otherwise you'll go crazy once you figure in all those other bags!
Don't mind the scissors - it was windy out.

Fold your bag in half once.

Fold you bag in half again.
*If you're using a larger bag, or a more stretched out bag, then
you may need to fold your bag again. It's up to you.

Cut off the handles. Make sure you cut down far enough to get
the piece from where the bag was attached to the rack.

Cut off the bottom binding piece of the bag.

This is what your handle-less and bottom-leg bag will look like.

Begin cutting strips. I cut 1" strips. I did not outright measure,
just eyeballed it.
I found that anything smaller made the strips too thin making it
easy to break in the connecting process.

This is the last strip. Just because it is the last one, do
not just put it with the rest. Cut it down to match the size
of your other strips.

Here are your cut strips.
Mine measure 3.5" long by 1" wide, and I was able to cut about
14 strips from 1 Walmart bag, and 11 strips from 1 Winn Dixie

Here is one strip unfolded, compared to a folded strip.
Unfolded, it measures about 19" long.

When you open your strips up, you will see these loops on
both ends. You will begin the looping process here.
Insert one loop into the other.
You want to create a "U" shape with the piece that
you inserted into the other.
You'll take the right-side piece and move in to the
left through the loop on the other side.

Then pull to tighten the knot.
Don't pull too tight or fast because if it gets caught on itself, you
will break/rip the plastic piece.
If your piece does get caught on itself, hold one
with one hand (see where my thumb is), and
pull the top and bottom pieces on the other
side one at a time.

Yay! You've got two pieces connected! And you are
on your way to having your own plarn to work up a
project with.
Two of my pieces connected measure about 37.5" in length.
1 Winn Dixie bag all looped together measured about 180" in

Enjoy making your own plarn!

Since the plastic bags are waterproof, this is a good thing to use to make cosmetic bags and soap dishes out of (to name a few), and also durable enough to make tote/market bags out of. You could also make baskets for organizing in your home, especially in the laundry room or garage area.

Linked Up To...
5 Fall Gift Ideas and Recipes + Monday Funday - Club Chica Circle
The Sunday Showcase No. 266 - By Stephanie Lynn
Make it Monday! - Etcetorize
Count Your Many Blessings, Share Your Creativity Party No. 137 - It's Overflowing
Think Pink Sunday No 190 - Flamingo Toes
Craft Schooling Sunday - Creative Jewish Mom
November 2014 Sharing Time Week 1 - Raising Memories
Kitchen Fun and Crafty Link Party #139 - Kitchen Fun with my 3 Sons
Inspiration Monday #80 - Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom
Lou Lou Girls Fabulous Link Party #32 - Lou Lou Girls
242nd Inspire Me Tuesday - A Stroll Thru Life
Tutorials & Tips Link Party {183} - Home Stories A to Z
Take a Look Tuesday - Sugar Bee Crafts
Handmade Hangout #22 - Too Much Time on My Hands
Thanksgiving Table Inspiration / I'm Lovin' It - TidyMom
Best DIY Projects and Recipe Party - the 36th Avenue
The Creative Collection Link Party - The Cards We Drew / Blooming Homestead
Your Whims Wednesday #188 - My Girlish Whims