DIY: How to Make a Braided Rug

If you’re like me, you hate to waste anything…translation: I might be able to use THIS some day!  Well, today’s the day!  You can easily and fairly quickly make braided rugs for your home using fabric scraps, old clothing, sheets, even rope, jute or sisal. 

You can make either a continuous braided rug—generally round or oval shape

or you can make a square or rectangular one. 

Let’s start with the continuous braided rug first.  Begin by cutting your fabrics into 2-inch wide strips.  Depending on the pattern or look you want, sew the ends together to form long, long strips which you then roll into balls—like yarn. You’ll need 3 balls. 

To start the braid, sew the ends of the 3 balls together (this can all be done by hand—no sewing machine required) in a “T” shape.

Fold the ends over to begin braiding.  At this point, I use a binder clip (a clothespin will do) to attach the braid to a clip board or table if you like.  Continue braiding the 3 balls until you reach the end of the fabric balls.  At this point you can attach more fabric to each ball end or you can sew the three ends together and begin a new braid using different colors. 

When you think you have enough braid or braids to make your rug, you can begin forming it. For a round rug, form a circle with the end of the braid and stitch in place by hand.  (This can be sewed on a sewing machine, but I find that method more cumbersome when the rug gets a little larger.) Continue coiling the braid around the center and stitching in place.  When you come to the end of the braid, if your rug is the size you want, tuck the ends of the braid under the rug and stitch in place. If it’s not large enough yet, simply sew another braid to the end of the first one and continue coiling and sewing.

If you’d like an oval rug, you’ll start with a straight length of braid as the center and coil the remaining braid around that.

For a square or rectangular rug, make a bunch of braids which are similar in length. Lay the braids side-by-side, pin them together and sew them to keep them in place.  To make a tasseled look, leave a uniform length of each fabric free as you start the make the braids. Hand stitch those pieces together at that point and begin to make the braids.  Do not braid the entire length of fabrics–stop braiding leaving the exact same length as you did at the beginning.

Braided rugs are very versatile, and different looks can be achieved using different materials.  This rug utilizes fabric and rope, and uses glue instead of sewing the coils together.

If you find this is a craft you enjoy, you can also buy braiding helpers which fold the fabric as you braid to ensure there are no frayed edges or threads showing on your braids.

American Pride

The Fourth of July is coming up and there are relatively easy and cheap ways to display your American pride!

Tin Can Windsocks

Save some tin cans and spray paint them blue.  Punch 2 holes in the top of the cans and string twine through the holes.  Cut a star shape out of plastic lid (cool whip or butter dish) and use that to stencil the white stars.  Then add tissue paper or construction paper strips in red and white fastened to the inside of the can.

Paper Chain Railing

Cut some red and blue strips out of construction paper to make chains to fasten on a white fence or deck railing.

Doily Banner

For this banner you’ll need doilies from the Dollar Store, spray paint, modpodge and string or twine.  Keep a third of the doilies the original size.  Trim another third of the doilies to be the “middle” size and trim the remaining doilies to the smallest size.  Paint the largest doilies red, leave the middle size white and paint the smallest ones blue.  When they’re dry, cut them in half carefully and modpodge the 3 layers together.  When they’re dry, run the string or twine through the doily holes to string the banner up.  

Clothespin Wreath

Spray paint clothespins red, white and blue and when dry, clamp them onto a wire wreath.  Attach foam stars with glue.  Everything but the spray paint can be obtained from the Dollar Tree.

Painted Lawn Stars

Make a cardboard template and use construction marking paint to make stars on your lawn.  The idea comes from The Concrete Cottage and listed below are answers to frequently asked questions about this project:

Update: This is now my most viewed post and it’s garnered many questions. I’d like to go ahead and answer the three most asked questions here. 
First… This paint is specifically made for using on grass and it will NOT kill the grass. I can personally attest to that fact.
Second… The paint is construction marking paint, it’s intended to be sprayed upside down, and can be found at any home improvement store
Third… It dries very quickly and is permanent. It only comes off as the grass grows out and you mow it off.

Balloon Flag

Easy idea for a decoration and a game!  Pegboard makes this easy to do, but the balloons can be taped to any board or wall you have.  (You may not want to use the balloons for darts later on if you are using the side of your house or garage…lol)

The ideas are endless…so let your inner Patriot out and celebrate what’s GREAT about America!!!

Do it Yourself: Chia Pets

While these technically are not Chia Pets, you get the general look using simple grass seed! They are a little messy to make, so be sure to put down newspaper over your work space!

Let’s get started! You’ll need the following materials:

  • One pair knee-high nylons
  • Soil
  • Grass seed
  • Wide mouth drinking glass
  • Spoon
  • Googly eyes
  • Waterproof glue, such as Gorilla Glue
  • Small plastic or Styrofoam cups, such as Dixie cups
  • Paint pens
  • Felt or foam pieces in various colors
  • Small clay pots
  • Small bowl
Step 1


Stretch one nylon stocking over the mouth of a wide drinking glass to make pouring the grass seed and soil into the nylon easier. Use a spoon to sprinkle a small handful of grass seed into the stocking.

Step 2


Pour in one to two handfuls of soil on top of the grass seed, pushing the soil all the way down to the toe. Take the nylon off of the drinking glass, and knot the nylon close to the soil to keep the soil in place. This is your pet’s head.

Step 3


With the length of leftover nylon hanging downward, glue googly eyes on to the face area and add other facial features if desired. Let the glue dry completely.

Step 4


Fill the bowl with water and invert the pet’s head into it for several minutes. This wets the soil and grass seed and gets the seed growing.

Step 5


Insert a small paper cup into a clay pot and fill the cup with water, Flip the pet’s head right side up and insert the loose end of the nylon into the cup. The nylon will act as a wick to pull water up and keep your grass seed watered.

DIY “chia” pets

Place the little guy where he will get sunlight, and within a week watch for the seed “hair” to sprout!

Source: Garden Therapy: Gardening With Kids