Archive for March, 2012

Collecting all those bags!

Collecting milkbags seems like a good idea, right? But … the logistics of saving up a bunch of plastic bags, to take to a collecting point (a church, school, community centre) start to get a bit awkward … So here are some ideas I’ve been seeing as I’ve been dumping out black garbage bags stuffed to the gills with … milkbags:

  • crumpled up into a single milkbag — this actually takes up a lot of space
  • several bags folded in half and then slid into a single milkbag — very tidy but a largish footprint
  • each bag folded 4 times and then an elastic band put around it — very tidy and a small footprint (I’ve seen up to 10 bags in a bundle)

In all cases, the bags should be clean: a stinky bag just makes all the others in contact with it smell … not nice. I usually turn the bag inside out and let the water run over it while rotating it around my arm. Then it’s upside down to drain and dry, before pulling it right side out again.

What other ways are there, esp. if they can save space while building up your collection?


P.S. I just remembered — they say not to use the BIODEGRADABLE bags.

A variation on cutting strips

Hi there. I’ve been thinking about how to make it easier to cut strips.

Back in my first post, I’d included a link to instructions on cutting milbags. Well … I don’t actually do the whole thing — lay the folded bag on a measuring strip, pin it down with clothes pins, and then make cuts to match the marks … I just eyeball it! From time to time, I hold the folded strip against the measuring strip but … well … I just go with what seems a nice width! So, depending on how much attention I pay, I get 11 or 12 cuts per bag. That’s fine for me, as I’m still using my Phildar no.8 crochet hook. So that’s for the width of the strips.

For the actual cutting, I’m also now doing this: rather than folding (lengthwise) 4 times, I make each fold smaller, so that there are 5 of them. That still leaves a nice margin at the top, where the cuts don’t go. A narrower folded layer means you can usually just do one snip and the whole strip’s cut — rather than 2 or 3 short snips.

Updated instructions for a nice big bag


These instructions (bag-instructions-2) are now out of date. Please use bag-instructions-3



These instructions (bag-instructions-2) are a revision of my first draft.

After having made several bags, I’ve settled on a suitable size. I’ll add some photos in another entry.

The original, more generic instructions from the blog entry for 5 MAR ’12 are here: bag-instructions.

Milkbags into mats and bags (list of URLs)

Here’s the main local reference I use:

The lower half of the home page has a lot of links to schools which are participating, including this one. There’s a section now for sites that focus on making bags.

Where to get crochet hooks

I’ve found that Michael’s doesn’t seem to carry the no.8 hook on its own. However, there’s a place called Wool-Tyme, on Colonade Rd South, which has _every_ size! Not as cheap as Michael’s, though.

Milkbag crochet work

Smaller bag


These instructions (bag-instructions) are out of date. Please use bag-instructions-3.



Here are some useful documents

1. making a plarn shoulder bag:


2. cutting milkbags:


Please note: the cutting instructions originally came from another site, but the fonts hadn’t been embedded. That’s now been remedied, so the file will print nicely. Original site: /MILK%20BAG%20MAT%20instruction%20SINGLE%20LAYER.pdf

I’ll add more links in another post. So far, so good, for a first stab at this blogging thing …

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