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How to make a braided rug from fabric scraps and old clothing!

VIDEO // How to make a beautiful braided rug using fabric scraps and/or your old worn out clothing that's too ruined to donate! SO EASY and absolutely gorgeous! // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

A huge amount of fabric scrap waste is one of the unfortunate side affects of making constant samples for our new pattern designs. I hate waste, and I can’t bring myself to throw fabric scraps into the landfill no matter how small they are. So i tend to hoard them and try to find ways that I can turn them into something new and useful.

The same goes for old clothing that is too ruined and worn out to donate. Did you know that if you donate something that isn’t saleable it goes into the landfill? I understand that they have to do that, so I make a point of not donating anything that is damaged and rather finding a way to reuse it myself.

That’s why this rug excites me so much! It includes a few bags of fabric scraps + a ripped/falling apart teatowel + 3 of Chris’ ripped/holey tees = one gorgeous rug!

For this rug I decided to stick to a colour theme of pink, white and grey with the hopes that once i’m finished I can use it in Birdie’s bedroom. I think it will go well with the rest of her room which is currently in the process of transitioning into a big girl room (cry).

VIDEO // How to make a beautiful braided rug using fabric scraps and/or your old worn out clothing that's too ruined to donate! SO EASY and absolutely gorgeous! // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

I love how this project turned out and I feel like it’s a fantastic way to use up your fabric waste!

I created a little Youtube tutorial to show you how I made this rug incase you’d like to make one yourself out of your fabric scraps and ruined clothing! But please don’t feel confined to rugs, you can use this exact same method to make things like coasters, table runners, placemats or even a bath mat!

You can watch the video below, or if you’d like to see it larger and subscribe to my channel so you get future videos, click through to Youtube!

I hope you enjoy this tutorial as much as I enjoyed making it! Yay for using up scraps!!

Happy braiding! xo

VIDEO // How to make a beautiful braided rug using fabric scraps and/or your old worn out clothing that's too ruined to donate! SO EASY and absolutely gorgeous! // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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Shelley Trunnell
4 years ago

Thank you so much for the tutorial. I have a growing bag of scraps and will happily use them to make one of these rugs. You make it look so simple and I love the colors in yours. Have a beautiful day!

Jodie Roundtree
Jodie Roundtree
4 years ago

Hey Megan, that is a lovely rug! I’d give that a try if our old t-shirts weren’t construction orange or black..ha… wait, maybe Halloween!
People might check with their local donation center though, ours takes bags of ruined clothing, bedding, etc and then they sell it to be ground up and repurposed into new fabric and such. You can donate your old rag bag! It’s great.
Love your rug colors. ~J

Bonnie
Bonnie
4 years ago

I have 2 garbage bags of scraps after purging my sewing room. No one wants them, but I bet someone will want the rugs I will make! Thanks for your timely tutorial.

Patricia Griffin
4 years ago

Lovely useful idea. Thank you.

Jenni L
Jenni L
4 years ago

I’ve wanted to make one of these for years. Thank you for the inspiration and tutorial.

Marylou Crawford
Marylou Crawford
4 years ago

Ty for your clear concise directions to make something so beautiful an addition to any room in your home from things I may have tossed, like old sheets.

Mary Ann
Mary Ann
4 years ago

I have a ton of scrap material. Where I live you can recycle fabric as long as it doesn’t have buttons and zippers, but I take those off and use them in my crafts. I just bag the scraps up in a clear blue bag and leave at the curb on recycling day. Love the rug :)

ruddymade
4 years ago

I began to make one of these but the bigger it gets, the more it curves and acts more like a bowl. Do you know what might be causing this? Maybe I braided my strips too tight? Or could it be that I’m using two strips of terry cloth and one strip of woven cotton? Should all three strips be similar fabrics?

EngleDeb
EngleDeb
3 years ago

Wow, outstanding tutorial/video. Very professional. Even my husband watched it with me. I have the same challenge. Really try to minimize what goes into the landfill. Thank you for a great alternative. I am inspired!

Amy
Amy
3 years ago

Thanks for such a helpful tutorial Meg, I’m going to try and make a rainbow one for the kids playroom.?

Roy
Roy
2 years ago

Hi Meg, this is very interesting article and thanks for sharing it with us. Now, I’d really like to make my own braided rugs because I think I can do this on my own. Hope I can make a perfect one like this types of homespice braided rugs.

Angela
Angela
2 years ago

Thank you for this. I previously made a crochet rag rug and it just about crippled my hands. This is a much more gentle process and I’m looking forward to giving it a go.

Sarah Hoops
Sarah Hoops
1 year ago

My top thread keeps breaking! I’ve rethreaded, experimented with thread tension and presser foot tension, changed to upholstery weight thread and back, and I am having a terrible time! I have a 2018 Bernina 530, so that doesn’t seem like it would be the weakest link. Any suggestions?? Did you have any similar issues?

Sarah Hoops
Sarah Hoops
1 year ago

This is the progress so far. (Photo should be attached.)

Anna Kennel
Anna Kennel
9 months ago

Please discuss best way to clean the rug. Can it be inmachine washed?

Naomi
9 months ago
Reply to  Anna Kennel

Hi Anna, that’s a great question! In our experience, the rugs have been super sturdy and have been fine going in the washing machine! Factors that might make it a little more difficult to launder are how secure your stitching is and what kinds of fabric you used in the braids, as well as their size and how they fit in the machine. In general though, just putting it on a gentle cycle with low spin and leaving it air dry in a ventilated space works just fine :) I hope that helps!