Hi there everyone! In this instructable I'm going to show you how to make a rug, or a sitting mat out of used bicycle inner tubes and plastic sand bags... or similar materials.
This one is the first of few designs/techniques I'was thinking about, but after some prototyping and swiping out some other options I had to reduce the nomber to two or three. In any case, if you'll like this project, make sure to check me up later for upcomiing instructables.
Step 1: Materials
As the title suggests for making this rug you'll need some inner tubes along with plastic bags. I have a bunch of both, since the tubes are generously donated to me by the local bicycle workshop, and we used wood pellets for heating during the winter, whicg came in those fabric-like woven plasic bags. But you can substitute those with similar materials as garden hose and plastic grocery store bags, for example.
I also calculated the optimal usage of the material aiming at producing 30x40cm (-ish) rug, so that little no waste was produced. Although, whereas, the size of bags and inner tubes can vary, you can use my numbers as an approximation.
So for this rug (30x40cm) you'll need 2 iner tubes and 5 plasic bags as mine. The bags with holes, that are not suitable for other usage can be reycled this way.
Washing of the materials before working them is optional (AKA I just didn't bother).
Step 2: Cutting the Bags
We'll start with the bags.
Take one and flatten it on a surface.
Fold the bag 2 or 4 times along the long edge and cut off the bottom section with the seam first.
Then cut three 30-32cm long sections. I'm using a paper roll as a template.
Process all the bags. You'll get 15 pieces.
Step 3: Cutting Inner Tubes
From a couple of 26' wheel inner tubes you'll be able to cut 16 22,5cm long pieces.
I'm using my saber cutter for this. But scissors will do.
Step 4: Essential Cuts
To be used in weaving, the cuts in the tube sections must be made in a certain way.
It can be done by eye, but for more accurate result a template can be made out of a piece of cardboard. It's lenght is 22,5cm (as the lenght of the tube section) and the width is about 1cm narrower than the width of the tube. A series of nothes spaced out by 2,5cm are made on both sides of themplate: one for the hole to be punched; another - for establish the cut.
Using the tmplate all the tube sections are marked as shown on the picture. A pen for marking leather works pretty good on rubber.
Punch holes in marked spots and conect them with the edge of the tube with a cut, as shown. Process 15 sections this way.
Step 5: Rubber Bands
You'll also need a bunch (30) of thin rubber bands. You can cut them from remaining section of the inner tube.
Step 6: Rolling the Rolls
Now, it's time to roll the tubes out of our bag sections.
You can prepare them all beforehand, but I prefered to roll them along the process to make a changa in monotonous process of weaving.
Basically, take the piece and roll it into a reasonably tight roll. Secure the end with rubber bands.
Step 7: Start Weaving
The weaving technique is actually much simpler than it may seam from the first glance. It's something I came up one sleepless night, although, I assume, there's not that much new to it afterall.
Anyway, to proceed take one tube section and pull the bag roll through the first loop, as shown.
Now, missing the second loop, pull the roll through the third one, and further on in the same pattern.
Step 8: Adding a New Row
Now, to add a new new roll, take another tube and, as previously pull the rool through the first loop.
Next - pull the roll through the second (free) loop on the first tube. Then through the third one on the second tube, and so on. I hope pictures make the process clear enough.
Thus, all the next row will be linked to the previous and provide link to the next.
After making a few rows, take the piece and pull it to stretch back and forth few times to set everything on its natural position.
Step 10: Finishing the Weave
To finish the weave simply pull the remaining roll through the free loops.
Step 11: Trimming the Edges
Remove the rubber bands.
Use a ruler and a sharpie to mark a trim line and cut the excess using scissors or a knife.
Step 12: Doing the Fluff
Pull the strands of material from the trimmed ends of plastic bag rolls. Use an awl if needed.
Cut the loose strands off.
Step 13: Fluffing the Fluff
Now fluff the strands with your hand.
As you can see, a bunch of fiber was produced by this process. You can simply throw it away, or save it, as for I already have an idea on using i'll probably cover it in one of my next tutorials.
On this step the rug is finished.
This rug is very soft and might be more suitable for sitting rather than putting your shoes on.
For me it was mostly an experiment, the proof of concept and I'm not claming this rug being superior to other options, but considering it''s recycled nature it's a nice thing to make anyway.
In my next instructable I'm going to show an alternative, probably less tedious, way of making similar type of rug with exactly the same materials, so if you liked this one - stay tooned for more. But this is it for now, thanks for your attention, and have a nice rug.
I'm writing instructables for two years now and realy enjoy doing this. And if you enjoy, what I'm doing, you can help me to evolve. Take a look at my Amazon wish list or send me an Amazon gift card using my email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Any couple of bucks will help.
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