Living Lake Livingston!


How to Make Mats For The Homeless


How to Make Mats For The Homeless


This is something ANY size of church can do. If you think it is something that your church would like to do, here's how!


There are 5 ways that people can help. Some just do one thing, and others do ALL five things. Pray about it, and do what God tells you to do. Here are the options.


1. Be a collector: Collect CLEAN plastic bags from the grocery store, Target, Wal-Mart, Academy. The store t-shirt bags are what the mats are made of. The bags need to be in good shape -- not full of holes.


Fold the bags to their original shape


2. Be a folder: Return the bags to their original shape.


3. Be a cutter: Cut the bags into 2.5 inch strips.




 4. Be a PLARN (Plastic Yarn) Maker: Link the strips to form PLARN and roll into balls.  I typically put together 600 strips to form 1 ball. Then it takes between 5 and 6 balls to complete a mat. That is a total of 3000-3600 strips or 600-700 bags per mat.


Two Crocheted Mats5. Crochet the mat: Crochet the mat into a 3 foot by 6 foot mat. It is a single crochet with a size P or Q Hook. Our crocheters are using the size Q hook.

  • Make a chain 36 inches long which is about 66 chains. Make the loops loose with a little space between each loop.
  • Make an extra loop at the end to use as your turning point.
  • Start at the 3rd loop to make your second row.
  • Continue until the mat is 6 feet long.
  • Crochet from front to back so that it does not pucker up.
  • Crochet 2 rows of a single crochet to form a tie that is 80 inches long. Connect the tie to the mat so the mat can be rolled up and carried like a sleeping bag.


Looking for a way to pay it forward in your own community. Here it is! All it takes is some plastic grocery bags, a rotary cutter and a mat, a ruler, and a crochet hook. Pretty easy! :)



Supplies that make cutting a lot easier. 



How to Make Mats For The Homeless



This has been brought to you by Joni Bailey, YOUR Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area real estate professional. Before you buy or sell, call Joni Bailey at (936) 650-9017. I look forward to earning your business and exceeding your expectations. 






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Comment balloon 23 commentsJoni Bailey • October 01 2013 08:18PM


Hi Joni thanks for sharing and maybe just someone will help those of less fortune. I have seen these done before and you are so right even the smallest of churches could do it.

Posted by Charles Stallions Property Manager, Pensacola, Pace & Gulf Breeze Property Management (Charles Stallions Real Estate Services) over 6 years ago

I think anything that helps out the poor and disadvantaged in our society is wonderful.  But what are the mats for??  

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) over 6 years ago

That's a lot of work I have a hard time tying my shoes some days.

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) over 6 years ago

Good morning Joni, that is a detailed concise explanation of making are right any group could do this! I'm sure there are many homeless who would welcome a nights sleep on on of these mats. Thanks for sharing!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) over 6 years ago

Michelle: Absolutely! We have some folks that do ALL of the steps. So in reality, a church of 1 could make a mat. :) Though I will say, It's fun to do it as a team.

Carla: Once they are made we bring them to a larger church in Huntsville that has a College Ministry called the Bridge Ministry. They bring them to Houston once a month along with a hot meal, clothing, and blankets, and these mats. The mats are used to keep the homeless off of the wet, cold/hot, hard ground. Though they may live under a bridge, when it rains, the ground still gets wet. The mat is made of plastic and is about a 1/2 inch thick. It keeps them dry. When it's cold, the concrete is FREEZING and it keeps them warm. If you feel one, you will be amazed. The concrete is hard, the mats provide comfort. :)

James: I cannot crochet. But I can collect, fold, and cut. So I don't have to tie shoes. You can do the same! HA! :)

Dorie: It's really a very simple project. And if divided up properly, an easy project. Most of the tasks, if you only have to do one, are relaxing and enjoyable. When you are trying to do it all, it can be overwhelming. So we like to split the tasks up so everyone can help.

Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (101 Main St. Realty) over 6 years ago

Joni, We have ladies groups at church that are gathering supplies and making these mats. They are nice looking and durable and even offer a little cushion. It is amazing what we can do if we all pull together.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) over 6 years ago

Debbie: That is very exciting to hear!! :) Thanks for stopping by and sharing this with me! XOXO

Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (101 Main St. Realty) over 6 years ago

Joni, I have never thought about this, but what a great idea.     As Dorie said - you have very detailed directions for anyone to follow.    I am going to try this!

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) over 6 years ago

Joan: Good for you!! You can do it! It is super easy! It takes a lot of time... but a little time each day adds up and before you know it, you will have a mat!

Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (101 Main St. Realty) over 6 years ago

This is a great idea that should be copied in other communities.

I hope you are enjoying an outstanding week. 

Think autumn and plan those decorations!

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) over 6 years ago


These are great ideas. I especially like the crocheted mats. 

Something tells me the supply for these materials will increase exponentially as the demand goes up due to unemployment and health costs!

Posted by Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP, Selling Homes Changing Lives (DFW FINE PROPERTIES) over 6 years ago

fabulous way to re-cycle for a good cause -- have a super Wednesday -- ERic

Posted by Eric Crane -- Your Full Service, Discount Fee Realtor®, Greater Metro Phoenix Arizona (DPR Realty LLC) over 6 years ago

I just took my first crochet lesson and am so frustrated!  I can do the first chain but looping back gets me flustered.  Hearing your idea to pay it back may just give me the oomph to go to my second lesson.  You're such an amazing person Joni, I'd expect nothing less from you giving back to those who need it most.

Posted by Kerrie La Guardia, Let it Rain! (ActiveRain, Community Manager) over 6 years ago

Thanks Joni . . . I thought it had something to do with that, but wasn't sure.  Used as insulation, what a wonderful idea.

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) over 6 years ago

Laughing OUT LOUD at Roy Kelly! I am thinking Autumn in my cute blingy flip flops and capri pants! 

Patricia: We can't have too many. They will wear out after awhile, they get stolen, and sometimes they just lose them. So we keep busy! :)

Thanks, Eric!!

Kerrie: I really need to take a crochet lesson from one of the ladies, but I'm not sure I hage the patience. HA! Thank you for the kind word my little Princess. I think you're a pretty amazing girl yourself! XOXO

Carla: As Eric said, it is a GREAT way to recycle!!:)

Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (101 Main St. Realty) over 6 years ago

Very cool project Joni. Our biggest difficulty would be the ban on plastic bags in San Jose & Cupertino, making it much harder to collect enough bags.

Posted by MichelleCherie Carr Crowe Just Call...408-252-8900, Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years (Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty) over 6 years ago

Michelle: If it is something that you are supposed to do, God will deliver the bags.  Put a note out on facebook saying that you want to make plastic mats for the homeless but need 700 plastic grocery bags, can anyone help. Don't ask if you don't want them, you may just be surprised!! You can also ask your local stores if the can donate some for you. They can order them, even if they can't use them. They may just give you enough to make a mat. We had that happen. Tallents donated 2 boxes of 500 bags each. WOW! That was cool! No folding necessary. They were brand new!

Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (101 Main St. Realty) over 6 years ago

Joni, I have seen these but did not know how to make them. Have a blessed weekend!

Posted by Mike Frazier, Northwest Tennessee Realtor (Carousel Realty of Dyer County) over 6 years ago

Where can I donat them?

Posted by justina over 3 years ago

I did 40 chains with a size J hook and used this method for plarn

Posted by Yarnfanatic over 3 years ago

Wonderful project going to get it started here in my area.. GOD bless you

Posted by Elizabeth Murray over 3 years ago

Getting some people interestedPray for this to take off here

Posted by Elizabeth Murray over 3 years ago

We are doing this! People are involved and loving it. Be the one to show the love of Christ in your town!

Posted by Anne almost 3 years ago

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