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How to Braid a Large Rag Rug

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Updated December 13, 2016
How to Braid a Large Rag Rug
How to Braid a Large Rag Rug
This image courtesy of grandmashousediy.com

From the blogger: "Did you hear about that insane winter storm we got hit by a couple of Fridays ago? Well, it meant I was basically stranded at home for three days straight and I thought, “I know, I’ll make that rug I’ve been planning on working on!” So, while the snow piled up outside, I grabbed two $5 blankets and a big drop cloth I had purchased just for this project and I started cutting them all into strips so I could braid them. Here's how to braid a fantastic large rag rug!"

Time to CompleteLonger than a weekend

Estimated Cost$21-$30

Primary TechniqueHome Decor

Easy

Materials List

  • Fabric cut into 1-2 inch wide strips. (I purchased two giant blankets from my local thrift store for $5 each - great deal!)
  • Glue gun (I get the stick in bulk on amazon)
  • Rubber rug mat the size you want your rug to be.
  • Needle and thread.

DIY Project Instructions

  1. With all of your strips cut and in a big pile settle in to start your braid.

  2. You want your three strips at three completely different lengths so you always have one pretty short strip as you go.

  3. Braid your shortest strip around the other two strips or else you will end up with a giant knot at the bottom of your braid.

  4. When your shortest strip runs out sew a new strip on to the end of it and then find your other shortest strip out of the remaining two and continue you this until the rest of time (or you run out of material)

  5. With your braid ready to go glue it in one strip down the center of your rubber mat.

  6. (The glue will go through the mat, so make sure to protect any surface under your rug project. I used old towels.) 

  7. Keep gluing your briad to itself and to the mat until you get the rug as big as you want.

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I have never tried to do this before but I want to give it a shot. I just cleaned out my aunts home since she is going into an assisted living place and she gave me her old extra blankets so I don't have to buy them. I just have to decide on what colors to use. I hope I can do this.

Just to add to the other comments, when you are finishing the edge, cut the last strips narrower. This will cause a tapering effect to the braid, then you can tuck the ends under. Also, to get an oval shape, make the first length(before you turn it on itself) about 1/3 the size of the finished rug. If it's too long, you will have a runner instead of an oval rug. If you've never made a braided rug, read through some general instructions before beginning this.

The previous poster makes a good point. It always helps to have the braid be held tight so you get even tension on the braid, otherwise, it can be too loose in spots or tight in others. Also, an option to hot gluing is the old fashioned way of sewing each coil - when it is smaller, a simple zigzag stitch on your machine, if the blanket or fabric you use isnt too thick, otherwise, you can use carpet thread - and a good thimble. Great project - perfect for a cold winter night!

Just a couple of tips for making this type of rug. 1) When using a thick fabric (like a blanket) you can use narrower strips, like 1" wide. 2) Tack the beginning ends of the braid together - sew over the them a couple times back and forth. 3) Clamp down the beginning end of the braid, or put it under something heavy on a table top, to make it easier to do the braiding and help it come out smoother.

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