How To: Braid Your Own Large Rag Area Rug!

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Introduction: How To: Braid Your Own Large Rag Area Rug!

About: Around here you'll find we love to: refinish old furniture, re-purpose old pieces, build it from scratch and continue bettering our home one step at a time!

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. And I cut and I cut and I cut. In the end this project translated into two things. 1: Rugs are worth every penny we pay for them and then some and 2: I never want to do anything like this again. I foolishly thought this project really wasn’t going to be all that big of a deal and, in the end, it would be worth the $100 or so dollars I saved doing it. Honestly, I’m on the fence on whether or not the 40+ hours I spent on this rug was actually worth it. Do I love the rug? Of course. Do I love that I made it? Of course. But this was A LOT of work!

Step 1: Cut, Braid, Glue and Repeat for 30 Hours...

First I needed to cut the blankets I bought at our thrift store into strips. I started with a big green fuzzy blanket and a canvas drop cloth and then I braided them all together. From there I tackled the other enormous thrift store blanket (this is mid day 2 btw). It was a VERY heavy and VERY dense fabric that almost felt like curtain fabric, but I’m pretty sure it was just a big bedspread, honestly it felt like burlap. It took me four hours to cut it up and another two to braid it all together. By the time day 3 came around my hands were absolutely killing me but I was so close to completion that I just kept on gluing. It was a good thing the storm broke or I wouldn’t have been able to go to town to buy more glue sticks!

I cut the strips between 1-3 inches wide, I wasn't too worried about perfection here but I really tried to keep them all about 2 inches wide. When braiding I ALWAYS had the 3 separate strips at different lengths and then I would take the shorter of the 3 and use that to braid around the other 2. Basically, 2 strips are always stationary and the 3rd shorter one just weaves in and around the other 2. Once the shortest strip ran out I would attach the next strip with a couple of loops using a basic needle and thread and then I would find the next shortest strip and continue braiding until I basically lost my mind ;)

Step 2: A Finished Rug

The glue gun was a good idea and I think it did save me some time HOWEVER, I would never attempt to glue fabric like this to a rug mat again, it just didn’t have anything to really stick to. If I ever did this again I would glue the braids down to a solid piece of fabric (probably drop cloth) cut to size and then just throw the rubber rug mat under it, that would have saved me quite a bit of grief. Right now I will need to flip the rug over and glue it better down to the mat. I would say, in the end, this project was worth it and I do love my rug but it will be a long time before I ever do anything this big again lol!

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    9 Comments

    0
    kathymccown
    kathymccown

    Question 4 years ago on Introduction

    How did you get them to go together, sew the whole thing by hand? I have been working on one, but I have no idea of how to sew the braided long thing into a circle. Sewing by hand is not cutting it, and it is too thick to sew with my machine. Really pretty rug!!

    0
    GrandmasHouseDIY
    GrandmasHouseDIY

    Answer 4 years ago

    Hi there! I actually glued it all together and down to the mat beneath it but, honestly, I would not recommend that for future projects - it was incredibly labor intensive. Traditionally people have always sewed them together but if I did this again I think I would join them with more fabric by looping the fabric through the braids.

    0
    Jai-Jai
    Jai-Jai

    5 years ago

    Wow! What an undertaking. I congratulate you!! Just the thing for long wet days and/or freezing cold winters.

    0
    mole1
    mole1

    5 years ago

    My hands hurt just thinking about what you did! My only advice is to consider getting a large rotary cutter and mat. Thank you for honestly sharing what you learned the hard way. It does look great, though!

    0
    GrandmasHouseDIY
    GrandmasHouseDIY

    Reply 5 years ago

    Thank you! I literally day dreamed about a rotary cutter, I have a decent pair of fabric scissors but by about halfway through I had blisters from them. It was worth it though :)

    0
    Bantiarna
    Bantiarna

    5 years ago

    That's a great looking rug. I think if I was going to attempt something like that I'd do it with a group of friends while stranded for several days. With wine.

    0
    GrandmasHouseDIY
    GrandmasHouseDIY

    Reply 5 years ago

    Now a group of friends and wine would definitely be the best way to tackle something like this! Good idea!!

    0
    Swansong
    Swansong

    5 years ago

    We got hit by that storm system too in ND. I wish I had spent my time making something this pretty! I was out shoveling snow for most of it, lol.

    0
    GrandmasHouseDIY
    GrandmasHouseDIY

    Reply 5 years ago

    Lol oh yeah, I took breaks to run out and shovel several times, that was crazy! We ended up with 16 inches in our front yard :)