Beginner Recycle Crochet Project

After I created the Recycle Crochet Floor Pillow using used padded envelopes, I started brainstorming of other ways that I could incorporate the padded envelopes into more crochet projects. One day I was looking through a garden magazine and saw an advertisement for a kneeler and the lightbulb went off – aha!

The padded envelopes would be great for providing ‘padding’ to one’s knees when working outside in the garden or doing some kind of project that requires you to be on the floor. (When my daughters were little and drawing with chalk on the driveway, they actually used my garden kneelers as little seats to protect their clothing from the asphalt and chalk.)

Then I decided that using “plarn” (yarn made out of recycled plastic bags) would probably be best since it can be rinsed off with a hose and can handle being outside on the ground.

One of my daughters created a beautiful plarn project (pattern and video to come soon to this blog) this summer and I LOVED her color choices and combos. I would never have thought to put red and hot pink next to each other or use 3 shades of blue but she did! (I have called her my “color genius” since she was a little girl)

So, I took her color ideas and my “padded envelope brainstorm” and created this Recycle Rainbow Garden Kneeler – I love how it turned out and it works great, too!

Skill Level: Confident Beginner

Measurements: 16″ long x 12 1/2″ wide


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Size N/10mm crochet hook by Clover – This hook is essential when crocheting with plarn – it’s shape and smoothness make it easier to glide through the plarn and reduce hand strain

Plarn (see Notes below) made from recycled plastic bags and plastic tablecloths

(Approximately 15 bags for the back panel and one table cloth each of each color: Bright Red, Hot Pink, Light Blue, Turquoise Blue, Cobalt Blue, Lime Green – you will have extra plarn from the tablecloths – enough to make a couple more kneelers; For how to make the yarn from the tablecloths, see this blog post here)

5 used plastic padded envelopes (11 1/4″ wide x 13 1/2″ long – after top ripped off to open)

1 plastic bag and packing tape

Optional: 2 large plastic buttons


Front panel of project is crocheted with Right Side showing every row

Back panel is crocheted back and forth as usual turning project at end of each row

Project is worked up like a standard pillow with option of using a button closure

Here is a step-by-step graphic taking you through how to make yarn from plastic bags (“plarn”) by All Free Crochet – click on the graphic to be able to download this graphic as a pdf file!

Here is a video tutorial by Favecrafts of how to make plarn


With Red, ch 22

Row 1(Top Side): Hdc in 3rd ch from hook and in each ch across; ch 2, sl st in same st as last hdc; Do not turn and keep this side facing

Row 1 (Bottom Side): Ch 2 and turn work so that Row 1 Top Side is on the bottom with Right Side still facing; Now working on other side of starting ch, hdc in each st across; ch 2, sl st in same st as last hdc. Fasten off. (see color order below)

Row 2: With Right Side facing, join with sl st to top of ch-2 at beg. of Row 1 Top Side (Bottom Side is now pointing downward); Ch 2, hdc in each st across, ch 2, sl st in same st as last hdc. Fasten off.

Work Row 2 with each color in this order:

Hot Pink

Cobalt Blue

Turquoise Blue

Light Blue

Lime Green

Light Blue

Turquoise Blue

Cobalt Blue

Hot Pink

Turn work around so that the Top Side is facing downward and Bottom Side is now pointing upward; Repeat Row 2 with each color as listed above

**Front panel has a total of 20 rows before edging**


With Red join with sc in 1st stitch of last row of the Top Side; sc in each st across; 2 sc in corner; Continue down long side of panel working scs evenly spaced across to next corner; 2 sc in corner; Work sc in each st across next short side (last Row of Bottom Side); 2 sc in corner; Continue down last long side of panel working scs evenly spaced across to last corner; sc in same st as joining sc; sl st to 1st sc. Fasten off.

Optional: Do not fasten off after edging. Ch 2, turn and work hdc in each st across short side of panel. (This extra row will allow for buttons to be inserted to make the crocheted cover removable for washing)

Back Panel:

With plarn made from plastic bags, ch 22

Row 1: Hdc in 3rd ch from hook and in each ch across. Turn.

Row 2: Ch 2, hdc in 1st hdc and in each st across. (20 hdc) Turn.

Repeat Row 2 until panel measures same length as front panel. Fasten off.

**Note: If you crocheted the extra row listed above, then make sure your back panel has this extra row as well so it is the same length**

Making Base:

Stack 5 envelopes on top of each other and wrap with a plastic garbage bag

Seal bag around envelopes with packing tape


Using plastic bag plarn and large eye yarn needle, whip stitch the front and back panels together with Wrong Sides facing leaving one side open

Insert base made from padded envelopes

Sew up remaining side

Optional: Sew on 2 large plastic buttons to the inside of the last Row of the Back Panel at opening – Do not sew up this last side and just use buttons to close up

And now your Recycled Rainbow Garden Kneeler is complete! Don’t you just love the color combination and the fact that it is repurposing items that would normally be thrown away?

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And don’t forget – if you make this project I would love to see a photo and hear about it. Just email me a snapshot at [email protected]


Here is an image for your Pinterest board:

Here are some more recycle projects that you might like (click on image to be taken to pattern):

Copyright 2020 – Jennifer E Ryan, all rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

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