How To Make a Braided Rug

Making a braided rug is a fun project for a rainy day weekend. If you want to learn how to make this traditional craft you can. All you need is a few materials, some time and these instructions.

Colored fabric remnants of old clothes
Darning needle
Sewing needle
Sturdy string

  1. Prepare the material. Cut old clothing into strips of fabric that measure two inches wide. Try to stick with materials that are similar in fabric thickness such as t-shirts and other thin cottons all together. If you mix fabrics such as thin cotton with a thick woolen, you will end up with uneven and bulky braids. Sew as many strips as you can together so you have three long strips of fabric. These strips should be several feet long and may make a big pile on the floor. Make sure that you keep the three strip piles separated so that your braid won’t get snarled.
  2. Tie the ends of three strips of fabric together into a loop. Once you have the loop, tie it around the chair of a leg or post to anchor the piece. Be sure to find an object that you can easily tie for an anchor while being in a comfortable place for you to sit and braid the rug.
  3. Hold the material taut in your hands and start your braid. Braiding the rug is similar to braiding hair. Hold the three strips apart. Then starting with the right strip, pass that strip over the center strip. Then pass the left strip over the new center strip (what started out on the right). Continue alternating from right to left side as you braid one strip over the other in a three-piece braid. Try to keep the material taught as you construct the braid for a tighter rug later.
  4. Continue to create a braid. Keep braiding until you have a long, consistent braid. If you need to add more strips of fabric, you can just sew them to the ends when you run out. Some people prefer to only work with short strips instead of creating the long ropes in step two while others don’t like to have to stop to add material whenever they run short. This is up to you. Choose what works easiest.
  5. Use the braid to make your rug. Now that you have a very long braid you will coil it into your rug. On a flat surface start with the end of the braid. Wrap a flat circle around the end. Curl two or three circles to start.
  6. Lace the rug. Using the darning needle and heavy string lace back and forth across the circles positioning your needle over one braid then under the next. After lacing the first three circles together, start making the rug larger.
  7. Wrap another circle around the exterior of the previous one then lace that circle. Continue with the routine of wrapping a new circle then lacing that circle to make it secure. Keep circling around and holding the rug tight until it reaches the size you want.
  8. At the end of the braid, taper the fabric to a thin braid. Then trim the edges and sew the end to the previous loop of the rug.

Creating a braided rug at home is simple and fun. Just have some patience and follow these instructions. You’ll have a comfortable rug in no time.


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