Design Crafts Classes Create
Sleeping Mats for Homeless Teens

MatAn exciting project is getting accomplished at Southeast Tech. Mrs. Yeoman’s Design Crafts classes are partnering with the Green Valley Kiwanis Recycle Project under the direction of Cheryl Barnson to create plastic mats made from grocery bags. These mats are being made for the local organization “Street Teens“, and are intended for less fortunate teens that have no place to sleep at night.  The mats create a barrier between the ground and body, and can be easily washed and dried, and bugs are not attracted to them.


Hanna starts her section of the mat on a loom

Some additional cool facts:

  • Each mat uses approximately 700-1000 bags
  • Each mat prevents approximately 700-1000 bags from reaching our landfills
  • Each mat is unique, and is either crocheted, knitted, or loomed
  • Mats are 30 to 36 inches wide and 5.5 to 6 feet long
  • We estimate that it takes 65 to 100 hours to complete one mat

pile of bags-r We estimate that we have:

  • collected over 10,000 grocery bags from Southeast Tech students, faculty, and friends!
  • created over 25,000 feet of Plarn, the “plastic yarn” needed for the mats


  • Students receive their own loom to work on
  • Looms are on loan from the Green Valley Kiwanis Club for this project 

3 girls

  • Students work diligently to loom the sections of the mat
  • On the table is a large ball of “plarn” (plastic yarn) made from plastic bags

Mrs. Yeoman and the students in the Design Crafts classes at Southeast Tech are grateful to contribute their time and energy in making these useful sleeping mats for homeless teens.

If you would like additional information on this project including directions and/or opportunities to volunteer, please contact Cheryl Barnson at