Recycle Tutorial: Braided Rag Rug

braided rag rug
My mum threw me 2 bundles of old bed sheets she found during spring cleaning. She knows that I love to recycle and able to make something good out from them. In support of the Earth Hour campaign, I am going to spend the whole March making recycle handmade and will switch off my lights for 1 hour on March 27, 8:30pm. Hope you will do so too 🙂

The first idea that came across my mind was rag rug, yes, with all this rotten bed sheets I can make lots of rag rugs. I stumbled upon some rag rug tutorials before, and this one really caught my attention, Moda Bake Shop’s braided rag rug. I like their idea to braid the fabric strips and sew it into a rag rug. Since I did it a little different from them, here is my version, a versatile and strong rag rug that can be used for many years, just like my granny’s rag rug.

DIY braided rag rug

I love the touch of this braided rag rug….. it is rough!!! My mum loves to rub her feet against floor mat, so this should fits her right. I will send this back to my mum, she is going to love it!!!! I will make one for myself, I need one to comfort my feet too…. I inherited this habit from her… :mrgreen:

Let’s go and see how I make this 22″ x  16″ oval shape braided rag rug 🙂

bottom of braided rug

{CLICK HERE to get the Recycle Tutorial: Braided Rag Rug.}

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116 comments... read them below or add one

  1. My mom used to make these when I was a little girl. It’s how I learned to braid. I never knew how she finished it though! Thanks for sharing this!

  2. good one… I really liked the step by step detail provided.. m surely going to try it out.

  3. This is great! My mom made these when I was a kid but she “crocheted” them. This is going to be fun and I have old bed sheets to use, too!!

  4. This is perfect timing!! My dog just (accidentally) tore a big hole in my favourite sheet. I couldn’t bare to just throw it out as most of it is still like new. I will be doing this and then my hubby will have a rug for his feet when he gets out of bed in the morning! And it will even perfectly match our decor!! Win-win!!

  5. I like the idea but it seems a little more work to cut it, braid it, and then sew it all together. I like the idea of making it all into yarn *a lot like shirt yarn, just cutting it and then pulling it taught until the edges curl*, and then using that yarn to crochet a rug. this would seem a lot…fluffier. like it would be pleasant to stand on.

  6. Could you please tell me what size rug this makes. Thanks. Linda

  7. I am wondering if you can give more instruction on how you join the extenstion pieces. I am struggling the picture and instructions. Everything else is easy for me to understand:)

  8. Love have several braided can’t finish them because they curl thank you so much and I will put rubber pad under mine you are a life saver thanks so much

  9. hello Im making your woven rag rug I got all the pieces cut out so do you really put 6 strands of fabric through each slit in the cardboard loom

  10. I think it could work in other sizes also. Placemats perhaps? Bedspreads? A rags to rugs story.

  11. Wow………….

  12. Any items for yarn !! I have a ton of it

  13. The braids can be “laced” together with a large “needle” that can be bought. It’s about 3/8″ wide. My dad used to make them from the “tail” of a rattail comb. Drill a hole in the large end and smooth that end with sand paper. My mom used Aunt Lydia’s very heavy thread.

    Lay a braid in the form that you want the rug to be – round or oval.

    Run the “needle” through the braid that is on the side of the previous braid. As you lace a braid onto the previous braid, continue laying the next braid beside the finished part.

    My mom bought the wool strips from a catalog. Don’t mix used wool with old wool because the rug won’t wear evenly.

    Lay the rug flat as you work or it will take the form or a “hat”.
    There isn’t a need for a backing or to sew it on the machine.

    The rugs that I have from my mom are made of wool and are very neat and strong.

  14. Do you think this could work with old towels? I’m thinking bathmat

  15. It looks like Angie’s question about joining the extensions was ever answered. I too am having difficulty with this step. An answer or response of any kind would be nice. Thanks

  16. un grand merci c est super qu’ elle bonne idée je vais essayer

    Translation (by Google):
    a big thank you c is great that it good idea I’ll try

  17. I love your ideas. Thanks.

  18. Hi! I’m having trouble with my machine skipping stitches. I think it might have something to do with the thickness of the braids, but I’m not sure. It’ usually on the right-hand side of the zig zag. Anyone else have this trouble and figure out a solution? I tried a new needle, a ball point needle, and a denim needle. The denim needle worked best, but it still did it. So it’s problematic when it skips every-other stitch, aka all the right-hand stitches, in a zig zag, because then it’s essentially just a straight stitch that only catches the left-hand braid.

  19. was just wondering what size needle do you use to zig zag and what kind of thread, to sew the braided rug together?

  20. I’ve just made this rug using the tutorial and it looks great, I used moss green gingham, cream, green and pink floral fabric and raspberry pink linen. Love it, thanks for making it idiot proof. I used an ordinary sewing machine with a standard needle and left my braids slightly loose so they were not too think, I think this helped to avoid broken thead, needles and skipping stitched.

  21. I saw this post and was inspired to make a rag rug of my own,I made one while in high school which I sewed together by hand. Turned out very well. This time around I’ve used sheets (aquire at a thrift shop)and used the zigzag sewing machine problem is my rug is rippling, am I doing something wrong? I’ve thought about it and thought maybei was braiding it too tight? Or had the tension wrong on my machine? I’m at a loss.

    • Hi Lydia, I braided quite firm on the strips but I didn’t have ripple problem so I would say that it could be your machine tension issue. Please adjust your thread upper tension and see if it works.

  22. I make what are called Appalacian weave rugs. There is no sewing involved. When weaving the rug, I loop one strand through the side of the previous braid. i start with either 3 strands or 6. (The 6 strand is a lot harder to describe.)When you get to the end,you have to put two strands through one loop to make the braid go around the corner. I do not know how to make the square rugs yet. When you get to the end of a strand, the ladies of time past, would either tie the ends together, or cut a slit in each end, then pass one end through the other and bring the strand through.There was “no” sewing involved at all. I sew the ends together. That is all the sewing I do. Hope you can understand my directions. A good winter project!

    • i’ve been searching and searching for directions like yours on how to do this technique. would you know the name used for this technique or where i may find directions for? Would love your help .. Thank you soo much

  23. I have worked for several days on this and its frustrating. I’m now sewing it and its bowing up, like its trying to make a bowl. Idk what to do.

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