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!