Sleeping Mats for the Homeless

Rhonda and Amanda displaying sleeping mats for the homelessTransform all of those unwanted plastic shopping bags into something useful!  By single crocheting strips of plastic bags together, you can make a plastic sleeping mat, which can be distributed to the homeless.  The plastic bag mats are moisture resistant, durable, lightweight, easy to store, and make a great temperature barrier.


Instructions for Sleeping Mat

If you would like to crochet a plastic sleeping mat too, here are the instructions and pattern.

Materials: Plarn (plastic yarn) – (Instructions below)  You will need approximately 500-700 bags.

Crochet Hook – Size P


Crochet Pattern:

Row 1: make a chain that is as wide as you desire your mat to be (Adults 4’x6′, Children 3’x5′).

Row 2: sc in second ch from hook and in each ch across.

Row 3: ch 1, turn, sc in each sc across.

Repeat row 3, until the mat is 6 feet long, then finish off.

For a tie, crochet 2 rows of single loops to make an 80-nch string.  Connect the tie to the middle top.  This allows the mat to be rolled up for transporting.


Directions for Plarn (Plastic Yarn)


  • Lay recycled bag out flat
  • Fold in half lengthwise then fold in half again
  • Cut off top handles
  • Cut bag in strips about 1 inch wide or as desired
  • Discard the end of the bag where bottom edge


Tying Strips Together:

  • Pickup two plastic bag rings
  • Loop one end through the other
  • Loop end of the second ring through itself, pull until tight
  • Continue connecting strips until you have a large ball of plarn.

Tips: Pull ends evenly to create a smooth flat strip

If a strip doesn’t lie flat between knots, you didn’t pull evenly which creates a bunched strip.  Just make sure strip is even before pulling your knot tight between the connected strips.

To fix a bunched strip, loosen the knot between the strips, then pull on the ends again to make your strip flat and smooth.