Artist in Residence – DIY Resources

All public workshops, meet-ups, school visits and other events related to ACAC’s Artist-in-Residence program with Michelle Lougee are postponed due to the coronavirus. We are following Town of Arlington guidelines and will not resume until we receive notice that it is again safe for people to gather. If you are interested in crocheting at home please review this page for DIY Resources. For project updates and questions, please contact our public art curator Cecily Miller!

DIY: Plarn Art at Home

We have produced videos and worksheets to support people who would like to participate in Plarn Art to Save The Planet at home. Although we are living through challenging times requiring social distancing, you can still join the Plarn Art community and contribute to our collaborative public art project, or simply learn more about it.




Introducing ACAC’s public art initiative on the Minuteman Bikeway and explaining how this project with Artist-in-Residence Michelle Lougee fits into it. (9 minutes)




A conversation between Curator Cecily Miller and Artist-in-Residence Michelle Lougee with content from our workshops as well as a project update on the impact of the pandemic. (30 minutes)


Although we are providing Do-It-Yourself resources, Cecily and Michelle are happy to connect directly with anyone with questions, concerns, or suggestions. You can send email ( or join our Facebook Group ArtsArlingtonCreates. We also send our occasional updates to a Google group (join by sending an email) and we hold occasional Zoom calls.


These step-by-step videos should help you get started and guide you through completion of sculptural shapes. Please contact us at after you have made several and we will be happy to pick them up! If you are having good success and would like a delivery of plastic bags collected and stored by Michelle BEFORE the pandemic, let us know; she has been working with this material for more than 10 years and has a supply.


A NOTE ABOUT SAFETY: use common sense to avoid spread of the Corona Virus. Detectable (but not necessarily contagious) amounts of virus have been found on plastic for up to 3 days in a lab setting. Do not collect bags from neighbors unless you can quarantine them. If you are collecting your own bags, let them sit for 3 or more days before you use them, and wash your hands after working with them.

Overview of Sculptural Shapes

Michelle reviews the various components that you can make for the project and how they might be combined to make larger sculpture.


How to Make Plarn

Michelle shows you how to cut up light weight single-use plastic bags to make “Plarn” – a plastic yarn used for crocheting. Newspaper delivery bags and most grocery store bags (not the heavy weight “reusable bags) are ideal. Produce bags are also possible. Bread bags, bags that have a “crispy” texture, and any heavier weight more durable or “reusable” plastic bags are not recommended.

How to Crochet the Beginner Square

This is the best project to start with if you are a beginner, and it is very useful to our project. You can use any color of plarn, but do not mix two colors in a square (for example, blue and yellow). Some variation in color is ok; two greens do not have to absolutely match. Do not worry about your square being perfect. Ragged edges or distorted shape is still usable and can feel more organic.

How to Crochet the Blue Bowl

This project requires a little more crochet experience, but is easy once you get the hang of it. Use only blue bags. You can also make a smaller scale version (we refer to as a “cup” using other colors; it is the same basic pattern but fewer stitches – see worksheets below). Do not worry about your square being perfect. Ragged edges or distorted shape is still usable and can feel more organic.