Reusing Plastic Bags to Create Sleeping Mats for the Homeless
Getting started with PLARN
Edmond Satsang joins with an Edmond Christian Church to reuse plastic bags to create sleeping mats for the homeless

The Edmond, Oklahoma satsang has joined with an Edmond christian church to reuse plastic bags to create plastic sleeping mats for the homeless. We have had a wonderful time reusing the plastic bags and singing bhajans while creating the mats. Each mat is blessed by both prayers and songs. This project takes recycling to a new level!

The mats are lightweight, provide protection from cold and wind for the homeless, do not attract bugs and are easily hosed off. The completed mats are taken to a Rescue Church. They can also be given to policemen who work in homeless areas.

This is a fun way to get together and serve! We create plarn balls (plastic yarn balls)! The balls are then crocheted or braided into sleep mats. When we sang Amma’s “We are all Beads” song, the church minister and members loved it and wanted the words so they could sing it at their church. Amma’s songs are going mainstream!.

PlARN is lightweight and attractive
Finished plarn sleep mat is lightweight and attractive and wipes clean easily!
Learning how to make PLARN
Receiving instruction on reusing plastic bags to create plastic yarn for sleep mats for the homeless. Tom and Ruby picked up plarning quickly. Tom is strong and can cut 8 bags at a time!

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Creating plastic yarn balls
Tim, Anaswara, Ben, Tom and Beverly learn to create plastic yarn balls.
101 year old helps make plarn balls
Plarning is easy! Can be done by all ages. Beth’s 101 year old mother helps make plarn balls. We plan to have children help when school is not in session.
Cut bags in strips, tie them together and roll them into a ball
Beth shows us how to cut plastic bags in strips, tie them together and roll them into a ball. Tim, Mary, Ben, Tom, Bev, Steve, Deb, Weldon and Mary Jo are quick learners.

Many hands make light work
Many hands make light work! When we have a dozen volunteers we create many plarn balls!

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With a little help from our friends we’ll figure this out
With a little help from our friends we’ll figure this out!
How to Make a PLARN Bed Roll


This video shows how to create the PLARN sleep mats by crocheting
Braiding may be an even quicker and stronger method of PLARNing than crocheting

This video shows how to make PLARN by braiding

Instructions for Creating Plastic Yarn Balls for Crocheting Mats for the Homeless

Start with grocery-type weight plastic bags. Heavier ones will not work.

  • Lay out one bag at a time on a flat surface, smoothing out from the seam at the bottom to the top of the bag.
  • Straighten the sides by holding the bottom of the bag flat and pulling on one top handle of the bag and then the other handle.
  • Fold over from side to side and smooth out again. Fold until you have a bag that is a few inches wide.
  • Run your hand over from top to bottom, or use the flat side of a ruler or scissors to crease.
  • Cut 3” sections from top to bottom. You should be able to get 4 or 5 cuts per bag.
  • Continue cutting sections and place them into a bag or set aside to be tied together into a ball.
  • To tie sections together, take one 3" section and open it up. Tie a knot by adding another section to each 3" section. Continue tying the sections together and then wrap into a ball. (The ball is called "plarn") When you have a ball approximately the size of a softball, begin to crochet (use a size Q crochet hook) for 3" strips by chaining enough chains to make a 30”-36” wide. Continue to half-double crochet(hdc) until mat is 72” long.

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One of Amma’s songs fits our plarning adventure well - we are all strung on the same thread or yarn (plarn yarn)!


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