What would you think if you got an invitation to a night of wine tasting and trash bag crochet? (I’d probably think, “Huh?”) Kim Masoner invited friends in Seal Beach, Calif., for just such an event to help the homeless.

I’ve seen products knitted from used plastic grocery bags before. The bags can be turned into floor mats, handbags, and even durable reusable grocery bags, but Masoner has taken this trash and turned it into something particularly useful — bedrolls and blankets for the homeless.

The Los Alamitos-Seal Beach Patch reports that some of the bags Masoner uses come straight from her beach cleanup efforts. She runs the nonprofit organization Save Our Beach in Seal Beach and the Los Cerritos wetlands. Before each cleanup she demonstrates the crocheting technique to volunteers so they can take up the cause, too.

Each bedroll uses 120 plastic bags that would otherwise end up in a landfill. The only financial cost to make a bedroll (or any item knitted from plastic bags) is a $2.50 crochet hook. The cost in time is a bit more significant. It takes Masoner four to five hours a night, working for seven nights, to complete one bedroll/mat. She ends up with “a durable, surprisingly cushioned mat” that is given to someone who can really use it.

In case you are someone who likes to knit or crochet and would like to take up this type of project yourself — I have a feeling Masoner wouldn’t mind you stealing her idea at all — I tracked down this video from Moonlit Circus. The video demonstrates in detail how to make "plarn" (yard from plastic bags). I imagine that once the plarn is created, making a long bedroll/mat from it is a basic project. Of course, I’ve never picked up a knitting needle in my life, so if I’m wrong about that, please let me know.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Knitting bedrolls from 'plarn' for the homeless
One California woman is teaching others to knit with grocery bags for a good cause.