This project is great for upcycling some old t-shirts you don't wear anymore! The size of the rug depends on the size and how many shirts you have. This rug can be used anywhere in your home!
Step 1: Materials
o Recycled T-Shirts
o Fabric scissors
o Marker or pen
o Fabric glue
o Sewing needle and thread (pictured is a simple sewing kit)
o (Optional, not pictured) Fabric to cover bottom of the rug, see last step
Step 2: Prepare T-shirt
- Cut horizontally below the sleeves and above the bottom seam of the T-shirt. Discard the top portion.
Cut up one side to open up the T-shirt.
Measure and cut out 6 inch strips, the excess may be discarded.
** You will now be working with one 6 inch strip in the following steps** Divide the 6 inch strip into three smaller strips (2 inches). Leave a 1 inch border at one end and cut the rest.
Stretch out each 2 inch strip.
Step 3: Braiding
For this step, you can either have someone hold the 1 inch border while you braid or clamp it onto a table. Repeat these steps until strips are fully braided. Make sure braids are not too tight or too loose.
Step 4: Binding and Glueing Braids Together
- Start by weaving the ends of the first braid into the beginning of the second braid.
The ends of the first braid should all go through the second braid to look like the pictures.
Side view of what it should look like.
Top and bottom view.
Glue down the ends of the first braid using the fabric glue. If the ends are too long, you can cut the excess. Be careful not to cut it too short, so that you can glue it down.
Cut off the 1 inch border on the second braid.
Glue down the pieces from the second braid.
Pin the pieces you glued down to hold it in place while it dries. The time it takes to dry depends on the brand of glue, so read the label! **Take pins out once the glue dries and before you start sewing this part of the braid**.
Step 5: Hand-sewing
- The oval shaped rug must be sewed as shown. Begin at point A and sew to point B. The next sew should be from point A towards point C and onwards, wrapping the braid around and around until you use all of your braided pieces. **The pins are just to show how the rug should be sewn. The rug should not have pins in it while sewing.**
- To thread the needle, put the thread through the hole in the needle. Then, gather the ends of the thread and knot them together. The knot should be near the end of the thread, not near the needle.
- Begin by inserting the needle on the edge of one braid through and out the edge of the second braid. Pull the needle out to tighten the seam. Continue doing this until you have about 4 inches of thread left.
- When you have about 4 inches of thread left the sewing should be knotted. To create a knot, insert the needle through a small portion of the braid (left), but do not pull the needle enough to tighten the seam. Before the seam is completely tight, a loop will form (right). Put the needle through the loop, then pull and tighten it.
- After you knot the sew, cut off the excess string on the needle.
- This is what the first sewing part should look like (sewing from point A to point B).
- Rethread the needle and begin sewing the next part (from point A to point C and onwards). Remember to knot the sew when you have about 4 inches left in order to put the needle through the loop. Also, do not forget to remove the pins!
Step 6: (Optional) Bottom Cover
- For this step you will need a piece of fabric as big as your rug. The piece of fabric will be glued and sewed onto the bottom of the rug to hide the sewing and binding – giving the rug a cleaner look.
- Cut the fabric around the rug leaving a border. Glue it down and let it dry. Do not glue right up at the edges of the rug, focus mainly on the center. You may want to set some heavy books on top while drying to ensure the rug sticks to the fabric.
- To sew the fabric to the rug fold the border inwards underneath the rug. Insert the needle through the fold, through and out the edge of the rug. Don’t forget to knot the sew at the end!