From Bags to Bedding…

Once a week, I volunteer at the local high school library.  Typically, I sort through books, and help with students, but for the last two weeks, I have been helping with a completely different mission.  The head librarian has enlisted her library aides, and myself, to work on a recycling project, turning old, plastic, shopping bags into ropes that are then crocheted into sleeping mats for the homeless population.  Observe…

First, we take the bags, and lay them out nice and flat, and cut off the bottoms and the handles…

Then, you cut the bags in half,

and then cut those halves in half…

So the short version, is that you cut the bag into fourths.

Then, you begin linking the loops together – I had a student demonstrate.

Slip one loop into another…

Then, holding both ends of the same loop, pass your right hand through the end of your left…

And pull gently, until tight…

After a while, you will have a long chain…

which I rolled into giant yarn-balls…

The one thing you will want to remember, is to try to keep similar bag sizes, and thinnesses together.  (I realize that “thinnesses isn’t a word.)  You could also get fancy, and keep your bags sorted by colour as well, so that when you crochet, you can have stripes, or other designs.  Since I don’t crochet, I can’t show you a final product on my own.  I just made the “yarn,” but I did find a video that explains what we’re doing, and may be a bit more understandable than the still images I shared.

What I really like most about this project is how it uses something that would otherwise be filling up our landfills, and polluting our oceans.  I don’t use plastic bags too often, but I know someone who has enough bags to outfit a shelter, Mom.  And if you’re one of those, at least now you have something more to do with them than packing them with dirty clothes….



Filed under DIY, Fun and Free Ideas, Save my Wallet, Save the Earth

8 responses to “From Bags to Bedding…

  1. Caedwin

    So, if I bring them to you, will you take them to the Librarian? Bob will be SO PLEASED!!

  2. Audra

    What a great idea! I shared it with my friends on Facebook!

  3. Lauren V.

    Cool! I have made a bathmat from ripped sheets basically the same way, although I knitted it instead of crochet.

  4. A group of women in our church are taking this on which I expect will become a church-wide project. Thanks SO much for the great idea! Many people all over the world will be blessed by it. Finally, a real way to recycle these bags!

  5. Becky

    Check first with the local shelters. Our homeless in Louisville did not want these. Really.

  6. Linda

    What an awesome way to recycle bags and helping out others in the process.

  7. Susan

    The American Legion in our area crochets the “yarn” into sleeping mats for homeless vets. It takes 700 bags to make one mat and it takes 100 hours of crocheting. God bless those ladies.

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