Braided rugs (or rag rugs) are not only useful around the home but they are also a great way to recycle fabrics. You can make your own braided rug using old t-shirts, boxers, linen and even scrap fabric from sewing projects! These are sometimes referred to as “rag rugs” they have great character and are a wonderful way to recycle and reuse.
I have been wanting to make one of these for our home for quite sometime and I am finally making it happen this week. I like the idea of the braided rug because it is made from recycled material that I would otherwise throw away. Plus the rug has a unique, primitive charm about it. It is extra special because it is 100% homemade too!
The instructions I found were pretty confusing, eventually I was able to make it all come together. With my simple instructions you will be able to make your own braided rug now too!
Here are the easy instructions followed by a helpful video tutorial:
1. Get fabric & cut strips
Gather scrap fabric & old clothes, you can color coordinate them based upon the desired color scheme of your rug. I like using dark fabric colors. Using white or lighter colored fabric will only show dirt and look dirty faster. Next cut the fabric into strips that are about 1 inch wide, the longer your strips the less sewing you will need to do later. Just get as many strips as you can from the scrap fabric you have rounded up. Also, the accuracy of the strip width is not really a huge deal it is just a guideline. I am not good a cutting straight lines so my strips weren’t perfect. The condition of your strips will greatly impact the look and feel of your rug. If you don’t mind a rustic rag look then hack those strips up but if you want a neater look take care when cutting your strips so they are not jagged.
2. Join strips together
Now sew a few of your fabric strips together to form 3 longer strips. Each strip should be about 12 – 18 inches long for optimal braiding ease. Strips that are too long will tangle while you braid and that is pretty annoying, you’ll see this mistake in the demonstration video.
3. Begin braiding
Now tie a knot at the top edge of the strips to secure the three fabric strips together. You can rubber band the strips to a door handle, coat rack or whatever is convenient for you. You can begin braiding the three strips together like you would braid hair. When you get to the edges of the fabric strips (leave about 1-2 inches from the edge) pin the braid so it doesn’t come undone and sew additional strips on to the braided strips so you can braid more.
4. Rinse and repeat
Continue braiding and sewing strips on till the cows come home! Seriously though, you should continue till your braid is long enough to make the size rug you desire. This is lots of braiding and sewing! Every now and then do a test wind to see how much rug your braid huge braid will make. Use a clothes pin to secure your braided fabric while you do your test wind (like the video shows). Add more fabric strips and continue braiding if necessary.
5. Sew coiled braids to finish
When your braid is the desired length tie it off and get some thread and a needle. You will now begin sewing your braid in the shape you want it. Sew each braid coil till you have a rug in your desired shape! Trim excess string and fabric when you are done sewing and you’ll have your very own homemade braided rug. Mine is a permanent fixture in front of my washroom sink. Give it a try, its super easy and rewarding!
If you enjoyed this and would like more craft project inspiration you should check out some of my past projects here.