A colorful braided rug is a great way to make a room feel cozy, bring in some warmth, and add a touch of handmade charm. It's also the perfect way to use up all those old fabric scraps you may have laying around; any old sheets and no-longer-worn sweatshirts that are just taking up room in your closet can be repurposed and sustainably turned into this beautiful rug for your home. This is a fun craft project that you can complete in a weekend or over a couple of evenings, and you will absolutely love the finished result! Read on to find out how to make a braided rug of your own.
Equipment / Tools
- Fabric scissors
- Large clothes pin or binder clip
- Fabric scraps such as sheets, clothing, curtains, or blankets
Create a Design
First, decide on the design for your rug. Think about the room where you want to place it, what shape would look best in there, and what colors you want to use. Perhaps you want a braided runner for a hallway, or a round rug for a seating area in your living room; consider what would work in that space and how large of a rug you want to make and think about what colors would complement each other and the room well.
Cut the Fabric
Now that you have a design in mind, it's time to start preparing the fabric. This project is a great way to use up fabric scraps you may have as well as any old sheets, clothing, blankets, or curtains. Take your chosen fabric and, using a ruler, measure 2-inch-wide strips, then cut them with fabric scissors. Next, take each fabric strip, gently stretch it out a little bit, cut off any frayed bits, and then roll it into a ball like you would do with yarn.
Once you have a good amount of fabric strips, it's time to start braiding. Think about how many different colors you want to use for each braid, as this will affect the final look of the rug — for a very colorful rug, use three different colors in each braid; for just a speck of color, use two different colors; and if you want a solid colored rug, simply use fabric that's all one color. The braiding step may take you a couple of days, but it's a simple and relaxing task that you can do while watching a movie or catching up with a friend on the phone! Take three of the rolled up balls of fabric, attach the end of each of the three pieces to a surface such as a table using a clothes pin or a large binder clip and simply start braiding like you would braid hair.
Sew the Ends
When you come to the end of the fabric strips, cut off any excess fabric at the end, then using a needle and thread (you could of course do this with a sewing machine, too), sew the top and bottom ends of the three strips together so the fabrics don't separate and you have a long braided rope. Continue this process until you have used up all the fabric. Then, sew the braided pieces together so that you have one long continuous rope, and form it into a ball so that it doesn't get all tangled up.
Lay It Out
Now it's time to start laying out the rug, either on the floor or on a large crafting table. If you want to make an oval-shaped rug, starting with one end of the braided rope, lay it down on your chosen surface and begin creating an oval shape, laying the braid down in a clockwise direction.
Start Sewing It Together
As soon as you have decided on the length of the rug and have laid down its central and beginning piece, sew it together using a needle and thread (or, again, if the material is too thick or you'd simply prefer a different method, use a sewing machine to do this). Continue going around with your braid, pushing it together, and sewing the pieces together as you go along. Keep stretching out the rug gently to make sure that it's keeping its shape.
Finish It Off
When you are nearing the end of the braided rope and your rug is almost finished, simply tuck the end of the braid under the finished rug and secure it by sewing it. Look over the rug and cut off any little pieces of frayed fabric and make sure that all the edges look nice and clean, and then you're ready to enjoy the fruits of your labor and place your braided creation in its designated spot!