Choosing To Improve My Life

Crochet To Make A Difference

If you are short on financial resources, but want to make an impact in the life of a homeless person, consider creating sleeping mats that are woven from plastic bags. All you need is a few supplies and basic crochet skills. These mats are inexpensive to make and lightweight, making them ideal for homeless individuals to transport during the day.

Why Plastic Bags?

Using plastic bags to make the mats recycles old grocery bags into a helpful creation. You can use the grocery bags you have in your cupboard, or you can obtain bags from recycle bins specifically for plastic bags. These bins are often found outside of retailers who use plastic bags.

The plastic is effective at providing cushioning from an otherwise hard, uncomfortable ground. It also provides a barrier against bugs. Users remain dry and cozy if the ground is damp. The mat also keeps their blankets and other sleeping materials dry thanks to the layer that the mat creates between the ground and sleeping individual.

Even if the mat gets soaked, the plastic quickly dries so that the user has a dry place to sleep before nightfall.

What Do You Need to Make a Mat?

In order to make a mat that measures approximately 6 feet in length and 4 feet in width, you need 500 to 700 plastic grocery bags. Other than the bags, you need a size 10 or larger crochet hook and scissors to cut the bags.

A large crochet hook is preferred because it results in a loose weave that makes the mat have more cushion.

How Do You Make a Mat?

The first step is to turn the plastic bags into plarn (plastic yarn). To do so, fold a flattened plastic bag in half. Fold it a couple more times before cutting the top and bottom of the bag off. Use the scissors to cut the bag into evenly sized portions. 

Unfold your pieces and loop them together. The technique is similar to the one you use to loop rubber bands together. 

Repeat this process with several plastic bags until you have a chain of plarn. The chain should be about three feet in length.

You will now crochet the plarn to make the mat. The process is exactly the same as the one you use to crochet yarn. 

Some makers like to use different colored bags to create a design in the mat. You can also use plarn to attach carrying handles to the mat. If you know how to crochet or are willing to learn, you can change the lives of homeless individuals by providing them with a nicer place to sleep.

Go to websites for homeless shelters to get more information about how you can help.