Thursday, December 27, 2012

Tutorial - How to Flatten a Plastic Cup (Part 1- With Heat)

My favorite type of plastic to craft with other than plastic yarn is a plastic container (e.g. fast food plastic cup, yogurt cups, shampoo bottle, etc.). These containers are something that you wouldn't typically give a second thought to tossing away when empty.

Hopefully, after reading this post, you will think differently about them. You wouldn't know how versatile it can be just by looking at the plastic container.

If you're still not quite sure, maybe a creative visual will help. The pictures below are samples of my plastic container designs.
This is my Florida Gator tote made from 2 (back and front) souvenir Florida Gator plastic cups. I grabbed several of these out of the trash container at one of the baseball home games.
Sun Visor made from a Taco Bell plastic cup.
  This design was inspired by Suzie's Visor Cap pattern.


This is a Coca Cola plastic cup tote made from a large Coca Cola cup
that I took out of the trash container at one of the local S&S gas station.
This is a cell phone sleeve I made to hang inside a market bag
made from a Wendy's plastic cup.

So are you feeling it yet? Hopefully you are so let me share with you how I breakdown down and flatten a plastic container. You'll notice the technique I use mirrors how I make plastic fusion.
This is what you will need:

 Scissors, Iron (set on polyester), plastic cup, file folder and a sheet of wax paper
From rim cut down to right above bottom section. 

Cut around cup just above bottom section.

Cut off top rim of cup.  Feel free to leave it on but experience has shown me that it is more difficult to flatten with the rim on.   

  Place the cup inside the file folder then lay a piece of wax paper on top.


  Using one hand to keep it flat, use the other hand to place iron flat in the middle of folder then move iron out. As you continue this, you'll see the cup/container begin to flatten.

Keep moving the iron back and forth wax paper until the cup is completely flat.

 Now it's ready to craft with - let your imagination run wild.
p.s.  One thing I'll suggest now but will repeat on each tutorial, cover the front of cup with clear tape (masking or shelf cover) to protect the ink.  If not, you will notice over time and usage the ink will fade.
Please leave me a comment if you have any questions or would like additional clarification or details.  

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Free Pattern - Coupon Organizer Handbag w/plastic cup bottom

Yes - I am a couponer!!  I have so much fun clipping, sorting and categorizing them.     I have been addicted to using coupons since the handing a small stack of coupons to the cashier.  There is an overwhelming amount of enjoyment that you get while standing there watching the toal amount of your purchase decrease as each coupon is entered. 

With that being said, I don't want to give anyone the wrong impression - I would not call me an 'extreme' couponer but moreso a conscious couponer.  I don't stock pile, I stock up. 

Normally, I will purchase 4 Sunday newspapers - the Gainesville Sun and spend the day either sitting on the floor Indiana style or at my dining room table re-organizing my coupon binder.   

I designed the Coupon Organizer Handbag because as an alternative approach to organizing all my coupons.   Once the handbag was completed,


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Friday, August 3, 2012

Free Crochet Pattern: CVS Plarn Pouch with slanted double crochet edging and Pop Tab Heart Applique

It is for your personal use only.  This pattern may not be sold, published, reproduced-mechanically or electronically, or by any other means, including photocopying from any website(s) or electronic mailing lists, etc…  Please do not offer, sell or distribute this pattern in any way to anyone else. 

**This and my other plarn patterns are all yarn friendly**


·        Crochet Hook – Size H
·        Red Button or color of choice
·        Plastic Yarn (NOTE:  12 – 1” strips per standard size plastic bag  = 6 yards):
         o   (Main Color) White wih red plastic yarn - approx  12 CVS plastic bags
         o   (Contrasting Color) Gray plastic yarn – approx 1 WalMart/Lowe's/Kohl's plastic bag
·        Craft needle for weaving in ends 

SIZE:  Width:  5”, Height:  4 ½”  

With Main Color, chain 15
Round 1:  2 half double crochets in 2nd chain from hook and in each chain across, 4 hdc in beginning ch (forming the corner).  DO NOT TURN.  Working on opposite side of chain, half double crochet in each st across and 2 more half double crochets in last stitch.  Join with slip stitch in 1st half double crochet.

Round 2:  Chain 1, half double crochet in same stitch and in each stitch across to corner, 2 half double crochet in first corner stitch, half double crochet in next stitch, 2 half double crochet in next stitch (working around corner).  Working opposite side, half double crochet in each stitch across, 2 half double crochet in first corner stitch, half double in next stitch.  Join with slip stitch to 1st half double crochet.
Round 3:  Working in continuous rounds - half double crochet in each sitch around for a total of 13 rounds or when desired height is achieved. 
If you do not end at a corner stitch, fasten off and weave in ends.

With front of flap facing you, determine which side will be decreased.
Row 1-6:  Join main color with a slip stitch in corner stitch,  chain 2, half double crochet in each stitch across to opposite corner, turn. 
Row 7:  Chain 2, half double crochet in each stitch across, half double crochet the last 2 stitches together, turn.
Row 8:   Half double crochet first 2 stitches together, half double crochet in each stitch across.
Row 9:  Repeat row 7.
Row 10: Repeat row 8.
Row 11: Repeat row 7.
Row 12: Repeat row 8.
Row 13:  Repeat row 7,  chain 6, join with a slip stitch in last stitch of Row 11(making the button hole on the decreased side of flap).  Turn, slip stitch in each chain 6.


Row 14:  Single crochet in each stitch across.  Repeat row 14 for longer front flap.  Fasten off, weave in end. 

With front of pouch facing you, attach contrasting color at opposite corner of decreased side.  Single crochet across front opening of pouch to corner stitch,  continuing up front of pouch, single crochet in next 2 end stitches of flap, *chain 2, double crochet in same end stitch,  skip next end stitch, slip stitch in next end stitch.  *Repeat up flap to next corner ending with a slip stitch in last single crochet of row 14.  Single crochet in end row stitch up flap to first single crochet, join with slip stitch of first single crochet stitch.  Fasten off, weave in end.  

Pop Tab Heart Applique

Please don't hesitate to email me at if you have any questions.

You can also friend me on Facebook at
Find me in Ravelry under Crochooley

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Free Pattern: Pop Tab Plarn Heart applique


· Crochet Hook – Size F
· Plastic Yarn:  1 plastic bag
· 4 pop/pull tabs (clean, same size)
· Craft needle for weaving in ends

SIZE: Width: 3” 


Join plarn with slip stitch.  Make a single crochet in same hole.

Lay 2nd pop tab over 2nd hole of 1st pop tab, 2 single crochet stitches through both holes.

Lay 3rd pop tab over 2nd hole of 2nd pop tab, 3 single crochet stitches through both holes.

Single crochet in next hole.

5 single crochet stitches in next hole to form corner.

Make a single crochet stitch in next hole.  In same hole,  start a single crochet stitch but do not plarn over to finish the stitch,  instead insert hook in next hole, plarn over and pull through, plarn over and pull through all 3 stitches on hook to complete the single crochet stitch.  

Single crochet in same in same hole, 3 more single crochet stitches in starting hole, join with slip stitch at top of beginning single crochet stitch.  This makes a small pop tab heart.  Continue the pattern to make a larger heart.  

Round 2:  Chain 3 is 1st double crochet stitch,  double crochet in same stitch,  2 double crochet in next stitch,  double crochet and half double crochet in next stitch, single crochet in next 2 stitches, half double crochet in next stitch, 2 double crochet in next stitch (bottom mid point of heart), half double in next stitch, single crochet in next 2 stitches, half  double and double crochet in next stitch, 2 double crochet in next 3 stitches, half double and double crochet in next stitch, single crochet in next 3 stitches, half double and double in next stitch, 2 double crochet in remaining stitch, join with slip stitch in top of beginning chain 3. 

Finish off, weave in ends.

For a different look, reverse single crochet around outside of heart.  To make a small bow - chain 30 then slip stitch in each chain back to 1st chain made.  Pull each chain strand from behind heart through each hole to front, tie to make bow.   

I did this one with the AT&T orange with blue letters plastic bag the telephone books come in and reversed single crochet in S&S Foods plastic bag that is white with orange/blue letters. 

Please don't hesitate to email me at if you have any questions.

You can also friend me on Facebook at
I'm in Ravelry under Crochooley

Friday, July 27, 2012

Tutorial - How to Make a Continuous Strand of Yarn using a flat textile like sheets or curtains

Since creating the tutorial on how to make blue jean yarn (, I've learned with experience that once a seam is cut into, it becomes compromised making it vulnerable to falling apart.   So while I'm in the process of making something, it falls apart.   I have been lucky enough that some seams that are cut through are sewn stronger and stay in tact even after the fray process.  But the majority of time I end up with multiple strands of various lengths.  As a result, I spend more time than I want sewing the ends together.  And, yes this can be time consuming.

If there is a way to make yarn in a single strand with a tube, then there is a way to make a continuious strand of yarn without a tube.  I could use the 'make a slit and connect the strips' but that for me is just too time consuming.  If you haven't learned by now, I am impatient.

After much practice, I finally figured it out.    The awesome thing is this cutting method can be used on any type of material like sheets, curtains, etc..

For this tutorial, pants are used.   Feel free to skip down to the 'Cutting Method':

Cut legs off below crotch.

Cutt off bottom hem or pull out the stitches of bottom hem. 


  Rip out side seams.   

1 pair of pants gives you 4 strips  


Cutting Method 

  Take one layer and match up the sides lengthwise.

Lay flat on cutting board. Starting at right edge, measure in desired width of strip, cut through bottom fold up to approx. 1/4" to 1/2" below top edge. Recommended width for each strip is not less than 1/2". 

This is what it will look like when cutting is done.

Lay piece flat.


Starting at bottom edge, cut through to make 1st strip. 


Each cut after 1st will be every 2nd strip to end.

This is what it will look like when all done.

Now working on the opposite side.

Starting at bottom edge, each cut will be opposite of other side.

 If it helps, the strip looks like an upside 'V'. Cut through the middle of the 'V'.   

After the continuous strip is completed, go back and look at the strips and cut closer to the edge.

Not too close because you want it to hold up through the wash and driy process.


Here is what it looks like right after cutting but before wash/dry processing.

The wash & dry process gives yarn the frayed look.


Here are a few other pant yarns that I have made.  I would love to know what types of yarn you make with this tutorial.  Let me know if additional clarification is needed.   By all means don't hesitate to email me at if you have any questions.