Editors' Choice

Turn Plastic Bags Into Beds For The Homeless

Diana Rolland / January 19, 2017

Most of us have plastic bags lying around. Whether we brought them home from our last grocery run, or from the last time we went shopping, but some folks have been turning these plastic bags into something more.


It’s hard to pinpoint who came up with the idea exactly, as many people and groups across the country have been creating “plarn” out of these bags and have been crocheting with it for years, to create things like sleeping mats.


People such as Dawn Warmbold from Arkansas, Tori Carle from Greensboro, North Carolina, and the ‘Bag Ladies’ from Union City, Tennessee are just some names who are using their hands and crocheting skills to help those in need.



Intended for those who are less fortunate, the homeless community, refugees, and people in third world countries, these sleeping mats are to help those who find themselves with no choice but to sleep on the ground.


Each sleeping mat is about 3 feet by 6 feet, takes about 500 to 700 plastic bags and is quite comfortable. They help retain body heat while sleeping, they’re light, portable, and can be easily cleaned and dried, due to its plastic composure. The mat can be easily carried with an over-the-shoulder strap. Also, the plarn (plastic-yarn) material is not one bugs like.



In addition to the impact it’s making to those in need, providing a physical and tangible help to those who have to sleep on concrete and other floors, this initiative is also environmentally friendly.


Creating these sleeping mats with plarn by hand not only cuts the need for machinery, energy consumption and creating more pollution, but it also helps keep thousands and thousands of plastic bags out of the already limited landfills.


You can read more about these people making a difference, including Dawn Warmbold, from Arkansas, The Operation Bed Roll developed by Tori Carle from Greensboro, North Carolina and the older women (aka “The Bag Ladies“) in Union City, Tennessee.


For more detailed instructions with pictures, check out how to make plarn here and how to crochet a sleeping mat here.