SaturdaySpecial: #Crochet #PlasticBags

New Church of Montgomery Board Member, Gloria Shepherd took time out of her Saturday to share a special skill: Crocheting sleeping mats made of plastic bags!

These mats require some basic materials:

  • About 800 plastic bags! (collect them from your friends, collect from the Kroger plastic bag recycling bin or purchase them online)
  • Sharp scissors
  • Size 8/9/10 (approx) Crochet hook
  • Patience!

You will begin by gathering clean, un-ripped plastic shopping bags.  Flatten them, making sure the rounded sides are tucked in.  Stack them by threes. Flatten again and cut off the handle end and bottoms of the bags, making straight cuts.

Fold them in half lengthwise twice.  Then, cut them into 2″ strips, discarding any that are jagged or not strong enough.

Next tie the strips together with knots (see video 1) and continue making a chain.  Eventually you will have a ball.  This project will use multiple “yarn” balls.

Make a side knot for your crochet hook, to begin your first chain (see video 2.)

To discover how to make a crochet chain stitch, see video 3:. Make about 75 chains to create your beginning row.  It should be approximately 36″ (3 feet long).

Begin your next line of crocheting by hooking into the last hole of the line you just created.  You will then make a double chain, which you will pull the “yarn” through.  Continue along that line in the same fashion.  When you reach the end you will make a single chain stitch and start the third line!  Make an extra crochet chain stitch at the end of each subsequent line to create room to line up with your previous line.

When your mat is done, the dimensions should be 3′ x 6′, and you can donate to Matthew 25 Ministries or give them to a person experiencing homelessness!


Cutting into your folded bags: 2″ strips



Plastic strips, still folded up

Plastic strips, unfolded

Beginning “yarn” creation

plastic “Yarn” ball


Loop for your crochet hook to fit into

Stay tuned in the months ahead to see the finished product! Learn more about basic crocheting here!

Organizations in our city that help the large population of un-housed people.

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