We have been collecting milk bags to give to my Grandmother for years and years. Her church group uses them to make milk bag mats for people in need who have no beds. I have never explored the idea further, until a friend of mine and I attended a milk bag mat making workshop as a part of our Girl Guide training. We learned how to cut milk bags to make plastic yarn that we could in turn weave into mats. The milk bags are used because they are durable, washable, water and UV ray resistant, and repel bugs.
We borrowed a few wooden frames from one of the Girl Guide leaders who organized the workshop, and we taught our girls at Girl Guides how to make mats. We had everyone involved from leaders, parent volunteers, Sparks, Brownies, and Guides. The girls caught on pretty quickly and were able to complete a mat in an hour and half, from start to finish. Great teamwork! I’ve also seen these mats crocheted instead of woven, but I can definitely see how much more work that is! The crocheted ones seem a bit more matted too, and not as plush when sat on. So in terms of time to complete and finished product, I would definitely recommend the weaving method. The frame we used completed half a mat, so two completed mats were then hand-sewn together with the plastic yarn to make one full adult mat.
Another type of mat we saw at the workshop was a small square that the leaders have the girls make as sit-upons for camps and outdoor gatherings. I have these on my to-do list! You simply have to make a wooden frame that is the length and width of two plastic bag loops tied together, and that will be the dimensions of your sit-upon. The leader at the workshop also recommended using screws instead of nails, since they are more durable, and easily to loop the milk bags on.
Overall it was a great project on recycling, and community service. Alhumdulillah I was glad to learn about it and share it with the girls!