ST. CLOUD -- Have you ever wondered what to do with your excess plastic bags? A group of central Minnesota crocheters is putting them to good use.

Weaving Love has been turning bags into mats for the homeless since 2017. Jenna Slama is the group’s co-founder. She says the process is simple.

You take the bags, then they’re flattened, they’re cut into strips, then those are tied together to make plarn which is plastic yarn, and then that is crocheted to make the mats.

They "upcycle" the bags which means they take the original product and turn it into something new without breaking it down first, as is the case with recycling.

Anywhere from 500 to 700 bags go into making each mat, and the group has completed around 50 mats each year of the last two years. Slama says each mat is unique.

We aim for roughly a three by six-foot mat when they’re completed, but some are a little thinner or longer. It kinda depends on the crocheter, and it’s kinda like a person. Everybody’s different so they’re kind of all sized a little bit differently.

The volunteer group meets in St. Cloud once per month and is open to all ages.

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