Local woman makes hats out of grocery bags

By Crystal Britt - bio | email

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - A local woman has found a unique way to recycle plastic bags, like the kind you'd get from Wal-Mart.
She turns them into hats.
Mary Ann Cruse of Cape Girardeau has always loved to sew and she certainly loves to try new things, so this just made sense.
To top it off, the hats will be auctioned off to help children currently living with cancer and other illnesses.
"Just sat down one day and tried it," said Mary Ann Cruse.
She literally woke up one morning and thought, 'I wonder if I could make hats out of plastic bags.'
"My husband, every time I would make something he would say 'Did you make that?' I'd say 'yeah,'" said Cruse.
It was no major surprise to people in her family that she could turn a sack into a hat.
"It's like crocheting with yarn; it's the same thing. You just pick a stitch and start crocheting."
All of the work she has right now is three years in the making.  She has hats of all shapes, sizes and colors.  
"The one with the gold here is from Kay's Jewelers," said Cruse. 
She has one that's made out of Wal-Mart bags, one out of bread bags, one from Barnes and Noble, and one from the 99 cent store, plus many more. 
People donate sacks to Mary Ann from all over.
Her latest creation is made out of bags from her hometown of Santa Maria, California.  
She first cuts the bags into strips.
"Then you take and tie them off together," she said. 
Then the hard work begins.  
"You do a half double crochet and pull them all through."
The process continues on and on and on.
Mary Ann says, "It takes from 30 to 90 bags per hat."
She also makes some out of plastic table cloths.
Mary Ann will soon ship off many of her hats to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.  They'll be auctioned off, and the proceeds will go to the hospital.
She's also crocheted a number of hats out of yarn for the children to wear during their treatments.
"I'm just into children, I guess," said Mary Ann. 
She spent her life as a homemaker loving to sew.
It's a trait you could say she got from her father.
"And my two brothers and my son sews also."
It's anyone's guess what she'll come up with next.
"I just like to keep busy."
Mary Ann Cruse also has a few hats that she is giving to Wal-Mart where she's says the store will auction them off and donate the money to the Children's Miracle Network.
So far she hasn't sold any, but isn't opposed to the idea if you're interested.

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