It is not too early to start making Christmas gifts! These rustic cup pads are perfect for next winter's share of hot cocoa and tea!
I wanted to make a project entirely out of string, and I thought of baskets and hammocks, and ... cup pads! My string of thought got inspired by the old-fashioned rag rugs that have become so popular lately, and these jute-twine cup pads were born. My idea was to use only string, and I think I succeeded well -- jute twine, yarn, and thread!
I made this by braiding and sowing the braid into a pad. If I should make more cup pads, I would also like to try the weaving method and knitting method used for making rag rugs. If you try this out, please let me know how it turns out!
Step 1: You Will Need...
about 6 m jute twine
some odd pieces of different colors of yarn, about 2 m in total (I used, read, yellow, and pale blue)
needle and thread (any color, twine-color is best)
tape, optional (did not work for me)
Step 2: Braiding
Measure out three lengths of jute twine, each about 2 m long. Tie the ends in a knot together with a short piece of colored yarn.
Start braiding, letting the yarn follow one of the jute strings. This will create an uneven braid with dashes of color in it.
When you have braided a short piece, you can put a heavy object on top of the braid (I used a flower pot) to keep the braid suspended, which makes the braiding easier. (I originally taped the end of the braid to the wall, but this did not work, as the tape just fell off. Next time, I will probably make a little loop at the end before the knot, so I can hook the braid on the door handle or something.)
When the first piece of yarn is used up, put another color yarn in place so the ends of the two colors overlap a little. Do not tie any knots but just continue braiding with the new piece of yarn alongside one of the jute strings.
Finish the braid by cutting off the uneven ends and tying a loose knot. You want to be able to undo this knot when you are making the pad.
Tip 1: The jute strings are very long, so make sure to untangle them as you are braiding, as you will otherwise end up with a very large and unwanted mess of string!
Tip 2: Do not braid too tightly, as that will prevent the braid from being flexible enough to be twisted into a cirkle. Do not braid very loosely either, as the pad will then be to floppy. Moderation is key, but most of all, have fun! You can always make another one....
Step 3: Sowing the Pad
Now, you are ready to sow the pad together!
Start by going back to the beginning of the braid and your tight knot. Cut off the ends of string and start twisting the braid around the knot. The knot will be the center of the pad, and the braid will go around it to look like the shell of a snail. Notice that the braid should be on its flat side when the pad is lying on the table. (See image 2)
Sow the braid around the knot by attaching the thread to the knot and then stitching the edge of the braid and the circumference of the pad together. (See image 3) Make sure to only stitch at the edge of the braid/pad, so the thread will be invisible.
Whenever I reached a place where I had started a new piece of yarn, I wrapped the string once around the braid and cut off the yarn protruding from the braid.
Finish the pad by sowing around the end and attaching it to the pad. I cut off some of the braid to make the color bands fit nicely (the blue band is precisely one round).
Tip 1: Make sure not to "go behind" the previous stitch when making a new one, as that will create tension in the pad.
Tip 2: Regularly lay the pad on the table to check that it is flat.
Step 4: Enjoy!
Enjoy your new cup pad! Sit down with your cup of hot cocoa and surf around on your iPad....
If you liked this instructable, please consider throwing a vote my way in the string contest. Thanks a lot!