Homeless mats made from plarn

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As part of the service projects from our troop, we are making mats from plarn. They will be distributed to homeless people; the mats are waterproof and provide a cushioning surface.

Ball of plarn

Start by making plarn. You are going to need a lot of it: 700-1000 bags worth. It’s an easy task for kids to do, get them involved.

Starting a plarn mat

Using your favorite method (chain, base chain) make a row that is 3 ft (36 inches) wide. You will be doing single crochet for the body of the mat.

Body of plarn mat

Just keep (single) crocheting, just keep (single) crocheting, just keep (single) crocheting… until the rectangle is 6ft (72 inches) long. As you see, there will be all sorts of colors because of the different bags you use. I suppose if you really wanted to get fancy, you could only use bags from one store, or create some sort of striped pattern.

Tie wraps

Using the chain stitch, make two strips around 56 inches long. Tie them to one end of the mat.

Plarn mat handle

Add a handle to the same side where you tied the strips. Use single crochet as the body of the mat, and make it around 3 inches wide, so that when the mat hangs on your shoulder, it doesn’t pinch like a narrow band would.

Plarn mat - tied

And that’s it. The mat can be rolled up and tied and then carried around with the handle you added. It is not a hard item to make, but it takes around 30 hours of crocheting, not counting the time needed to make the plarn. Any questions? Send them in the comments.

Bonus: here is a video from the local station WSB-TV that shows the work our troop is doing.

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