Craft for Humanity: Creativity with a Mission

Craft for Humanity, crochet a plarn sleeping mat for the homeless.

Have you heard of plarn? Plarn is the ‘yarn’ that is used to crochet the plastic mats. It’s constructed from plastic bags. The concept is pretty simple but simply AWESOME. Using upcycled crocheted plastic shopping bags and turning them into functional items. For this specific project sleeping mats would be made.

The sleeping mats are intended for people who are less fortunate. These crochet mats are remarkable comfortable and offer just enough to create a barrier between the ground and the body, to help retain body heat while sleeping. It’s no problem if the mats get wet as they can easily be dried. The mats are also a cleaner way of sleeping. Bugs don’t like them. And when dirty, they can be easily hosed off, shaken out and be good to go again. They are portable as well, the crochet plastic makes for a very lightweight mat.

Each mat will keep 500-700 plastic bags out of the landfill. Humanitarian and eco-friendly, what is not to love?!

This AWESOME project allows children and adults of all ages to get access to the art form of crocheting while also using creativity to provide sleeping mats to individuals and organizations that need help. This project would focus on involving city of Youngstown church groups, knitting and/or crochet groups, youth groups, nursing homes, Youngstown City School children, etc.

Sleeping Mat Materials Needed:
• Plastic Bags (500-700 per mat)
• Bamboo Crochet Needles (size: O or P)
• Scissors

The goal is a 3’x6’ size plastic yarn mat.

How to make plarn:
1. Lay out and smooth plastic bags.
2. Fold in bottom and side pleats of bags.
3. Cut off horizontally the top and bottom of the bag.
4. Fold bag into accordion.
5. Snip ends off each “roll” of bags you will then have many loops of plastic aka plarn.
6. With a simple slip knot, each loop is tied together.
7. Roll attached loops into a ball of plarn.

Funded by Youngstown, OH (October 2017)