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.