Rug made out of Rags

Rug made out of Rags

Scraps, rags, whatever you have got left around, this project shows you how to recycle these fabric leftovers to create beautiful rugs.

What you need

Strips of fabric (scrap, rags, etc)
Needle and thread
Straight pins


Using scraps I had on hand I cut them into strips and started playing with techniques and going through the process of figuring it out. I didn’t want just long strips sewn together (like you see a lot of times in mass produced, store bought braided rugs). My first attempt, as I figured out what worked best ended up being a coaster. I started with sewing the ends together then braided the strips into each other as I moved outward in a circle.

I started a collection of scraps from other sewing projects and discarded clothes and rag cut into strips to be used in rugs, organizing them by color.

It’s given me a great outlet to use scraps of fabric, lace, & ribbon as well as recycle old and otherwise discarded rags (old, worn, torn clothes, towels, etc).

Rug Making

Braided Rugs

At the last camp I worked at I had a lot of quiet evenings in the middle of nowhere. It gave me a lot of time to work on my own projects and rug making was a nice one for that.

They have also proven to make some great gifts. It’s kind of cool to see the rugs being used and decorating the homes of friends and family that have them. I have a stack right now waiting to find homes.


  1. Darcy Seals says

    I use a crochet stitch and needle. That way they survive the wash. Braiding into each row sounds like a great idea. Will try on the next rug.

  2. We made these when I was in grade school in the late 60’s. Basically you simply braid strips of material together and then sew the strips in a circle (or oblong) They are beautiful and sturdy! I gave it only a 3 star, simply because the directions were not clear for someone who had never done this before.

  3. I think this is a great idea, however, can you be more clear about the “how to” of the whole thing?….Like, how wide should the strips be and that kind of stuff. But hey, thanks for the wonderful idea !

  4. What a great idea!

  5. any commenter (OR GROOVYGERT!!!!) who understands how to do this, plz specify in ur comment. thnx sooo much! i kno others wil apprecciate it too!

  6. Cowbird51 says

    No real instructions that I see.

  7. more instructions please!

  8. this is cool!!!it helped me to choose our project

  9. Super idea! I too was hoping for more instructions on how the braids were intertwined. I did find some help on Ehow about denim braided rugs and they actually have videos to show how it’s done. However, they show the hand sewing method instead of just joining each row without sewing.

  10. More instructions needed. Great idea!

  11. i dont think there are any pieces protruding and i think the pieces are braided together and as you go in a circle or the next strip or next color you weave the new one into the old so it stays…dunno though but thats wat it looks like

  12. Maisie_57 says

    Could you please write up step by step instructions?
    Some more experienced crafts people get it, but beginners such as myself don’t.
    It’s a fantastic idea but I would be more confident doing this project with more instructions.
    Thank you!


  14. I love rag rugs and made them in the 70s. People bought them for many reasons from boot pads to bath tub step upon when getting out of the tub.
    I used any material I could, but usually divided the material to similar types. Like all nylon went together and cotton or wool depending on thickness.

  15. I gave ti only 3 stars even though I haven’t tried it yet because you don’t really explain how to do it. More instructions please.

  16. Laura Ingalls Wilder’s sister mary made one of these even though she was blind!
    if she could do it, so can you!

  17. So how is this achieved? are you braiding it together in a circle or sewing the braid in a circle. I don’t get it

  18. I think this is a great idea! The instructions are good, pretty self explanatory. just braid fabric & sew it together in a circle form!

  19. says

    The instructions (lack of) are very unclear. I would really like to make this, but don’t know how the pieces sticking out were done. Can she post the full instructions?

  20. The instructions are not clear. I don’t know how she achieved the scraps that are protruding from the rug. I was really excited when I saw that there were instructions on this, but then disappointed that they are not clear.

  21. wow- nice idea, but if you are a beginner at crafting (like me!) step by step instructions are needed.

  22. craft_girl says

    Please!!!!!!!! groovygert!!!! i reeely wanna try this……..more instructions plz. :((((( i REALLY want 2 make one!

  23. Way too little instructions. I am not sure what to do and I would really love to try this! Can you give more info please?

  24. how exactly do you braid the strips???im very confused. nice idea, but very confusing directions!

  25. Looks nice but where are the instructions?

  26. Very cool idea for scraps. My Mom made these rugs and she told me as a child her girlfriend’s Mother made a braid rug out of discarded red velvet curtains from a theater that she bought at a thrift store. A red velvet braid rug would feel good to roll around on too. Thanks for this idea with the colors organization. Clever indeed.

What do you think of this project? Let us know!