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It all started with this. My son found some fruit nets in my collection of recycling-for-crafting and decided to use one to hang up his toys. Total genius right? And so, I came up with these:
Oh yes! I took those fruit and onion nets and crocheted around their edges, creating a comfy shoulder strap and… voilà: kid’s carry bags!
These are seriously so awesome. They take about one hour to make, are cost free to make (unless you count random yarn you already have hanging around) and are a perfect gift for kids. Over the past six months or so I’ve given away loads of them, usually with some candy or other goody inside (because you can’t give a kid an empty bag, right?!). They fit comfortably over a child’s shoulder and are wonderful for collecting treasures at the beach, in the woods or in the yard because sand and dirt just fall right through the netting, leaving just the things that count most! And you don’t have to be a crochet expert to make them. All you need to know is single crochet, double crochet, chain and slip stitch. Want to find out how to make these sweet crochet carry bags? Then read on!
Collect your materials. For one bag you need one fruit net, cleaned and trimmed at the very top. A 4 mm (size G) crochet hook is a good size to fit in the holes of the net, but you can use a slightly smaller or larger one, too. And then use whatever yarn you happen to have that is good for your crochet hook.
The very first crochet hook I ever bought is the Prym 4 mm hook* that you see here, and it remains my favorite hook that I use most often. I’ll add that I am generally the envy of other crocheters when they see it. I’ve used Caron Simply Soft Eco yarn*, color “Ocean” for all my bags because I like the color paired with the bright yellow or orange of the nets I usually have, but also because its 20% fiber content from recycled plastic drinking bottles seems a fitting choice to use with recycled fruit nets.
1. Turn your fruit net so that the knotted end is facing inwards, not outwards. It’ll look like a little belly button on the outside.
2. Crochet around the net’s top (cut) edge with single crochet. Here’s how to make your first single crochet:
Pull a loop of yarn through one of the holes near the top edge (A). Pull the yarn through the loop of yarn from step A. I pull both strands up to keep it in place better (B). Pull another loop through the hole diagonally to the left (C) and then pull the yarn through both loops, or in this case, the single loop and the double loops from step B (D).
3. Continue around the top of the bag with single crochet, working into each hole diagonally to the left of the current one. If the net hasn’t been cut evenly across the top, just move up or down a hole as necessary. Nobody will notice once it’s finished.
4. Work a slip stitch into the first single crochet stitch to close the round. Work two chain stitches, then work around the whole edge with double crochet stitches.
5. At the end of the first round of double crochet stitches, work a slip stitch into the first double crochet to close the round.
6. Work two chain stitches and work another round of double crochet stitches, closing it with a slip stitch.
7. This could be enough, but I prefer three rounds of double crochet. You decide!
8. Close the last round with a slip stitch, then work 90 chain stitches. (If making this bag for someone over 10 years old, you might want to make the strap longer).
9. Anchor the end of the chain to the other side of the crocheted bag edge with a slip stitch, being very careful NOT to twist the chain! Work a slip stitch into each of the two stitches to the left of the anchored stitch (to the left as seen from above).
10. Work a double crochet stitch into the last chain stitch.
11. Like that!
12. Continue working double crochet into the chain stitches, thereby creating the shoulder strap.
13. When you get to the end of the chain stitches, anchor the yarn to the edge of the last round of double crochet with a slip stitch.
14. Work another few slip stitches into the edge of the bag to make the strap stronger, cut the yarn, and weave in the yarn end. And you’re done!
Now all that’s left to do is see what fun things your kids will fill these bags up with!
So whip up one or two of these carry bags and take them with your little ones to a fun destination. They’ll have a ball collecting all sorts of exciting finds! The shoulder strap leaves their hands free for easier exploring!
I actually have a sort of confession to make. You know how easy it is to save things to your Pinterest boards, then completely forget about them? Well, it seems that the idea wasn’t totally mine because I apparently saved a tutorial for this technique, using it as a produce bag, three years ago on Pinterest. But I swear, I had no recollection at all of it, so I must’ve had the general idea still lurking in the back of my brain when I developed my own version of this carry bag. Has this subconsious Pinterest phenomenon ever happened to any of you?
Another cool idea along the same lines are the containers made from crocheted plastic bottles. I made these ones using this tutorial from Filth Wizardry. I pinned this tutorial before I even knew how to crochet because I loved it so much! (Isn’t it funny to see what things kids put together? A rat with baby bottles? Huh…?!)
Anyway, these fruit net bags only take about one hour to make and are such a cheap, yet greatly appreciated, gift for kids! So grab your supplies crafting supplies and a fruit net, and get crocheting!
Did you like these crochet carry bags from upcycled netting? Well then don’t forget to check out my tutorial for mesh drawstring bags for kids made from an old shirt!
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