Some people feed their crafting hobbies by collecting yarn or paint. Delores Stika collects boxes and boxes of plastic bags.
Stika is one of four women at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Marion who crochet mats out of shopping bags. They work together from 1 to 3 p.m. on Thursdays in the church as well as on their own time.
“I think I get more done,” Stika said. “The other women have husbands to cook for.”
Stika’s left foot healed wrong after an injury, which makes walking difficult. She also hasn’t gone out often because of COVID-19 concerns.
“I used to go to Wal-Mart,” she said. “I thought I couldn’t live without it. Now I’ve found places around here.”
She joined the church’s project to stave off boredom a year ago. She has finished 50 mats so far, each 36 inches wide and six feet long. Thousands of plastic bags have been cut into 3-inch loops and tied together to make her “thread”.
When the mats are finished, they are taken to Manhattan and sent throughout Kansas to be used as portable sleeping mats. Stika also made a smaller one to show her brother from California.
“He was going to come for Christmas, but decided not to,” she said.
Stika’s siblings in El Dorado and Newton help her collect bags. She has many bags from different stores to create colorful patterns.
“We get them from all over. I’m saving all the red ones to make a red mat,” she said.
She can even use the thin bags meant for carrying fresh produce if they’re cut correctly.
“It gives me something to do, because I can’t go get a job,” Stika said.