Crochet a Mat for the Homeless – Made from plastic shopping bags

We all have them…plastic bags from shopping trips! Make a mat for use by the homeless and also put those bags to good use. These mats are lightweight enough to carry, are insulating from the cold/wet ground, and warm. They are also easy to rinse off and dry. Each mat requires 400-600 plastic bags.


First, flatten each bag into a rectangle. You can also stack bags on top of each other to speed up the process. Cut strips from the bags (about 3″ wide). Each strip will be in the form of a loop. Then chain the bags together.  This creates “Plarn” (Plastic + Yarn = Plarn)

After you make a good sized chain of “Plarn”, you can start to crochet it.

Use a big crochet hook that is Q-17, #16 or #15.

Row 1: Ch 40-50. Insert hook into third ch from hook, sc in ea ch across (33sc), ch 2, turn.

Row 2: sk sp, sc across, sc in ch 2 spaces at end (33 sc). Measure work (approx 36″), ch 2, turn.

Row 3-78: Repeat row 2, tie off and hide ends. Finished mat is approximately 3′ by 6′.

For instruction on making these mats, you can visit here. There are also other ways to make the mats by knitting, braiding and weaving. Visit Youtube for more videos.