How We Make Our "Plarn" Sleeping Mats

Bags waiting to be stuffed.

This pillow is being stuffed with pillow batting.

After we began making the sleeping mats, someone said, "How can you give them a mat without a pillow?" So, they were tasked with creating a pillow that would work with the mats.


After some trial and error, we developed a small pillow to accompany each mat. 


  1. The pillows are approximately 8" x 14" (20 cm x 35 cm).
  2. Each pillow is stuffed with scraps from trimming the handles and bottoms from the bags or donated pillow batting.
  3. The bags are made from a plastic material we had donated and encased with a cotton pillow case to be more comfortable for sleeping on.
  4. Each mat has a pillow rolled up inside.
  5. The plastic pillow can used as a pillow or can also double as a pad to sit on. Because it is plastic, you can sit on damp ground and stay dry.
  6. We then cut bags into 4 - 2" wide strips and finger crochet these smaller pieces into ropes about 72" (180 cm) long. These ropes are tied around the mat to secure it when rolled up or can also be tied as a strap to carry on ones back for transportation.
  7. Often they are tied into the end of the mat so they will not be lost.
  8. The most amazing part about the pillows is they are made from scraps and donated supplies so they cost nothing for us to make.

Mat Pillows

A pillow on a completed mat.