Make Your Own Braided Rug

DIY Braided RugI've wanted to make rugs for as long as I can remember. Even in high school I want to make my own home decor. Rugs are a little intimidating because they need to be super durable. This is one of those projects that took several tries to get right. We were trying to find a method that didn't involve sewing skills or a gigantic weaving loom. I'm so glad we kept going after the first try, because this is one of my favorite home projects we've made in a long time. I am keeping it for my new home. You can make one too in any colors you choose! Here's how…

Braided Rug SuppliesSupplies Needed: A piece of sturdy canvas. This will be the base of your rug. Ours was approximately 2ft x 2.5ft. You can choose any size you like. Plenty of scrap fabric to rip and braid. Choose colors that coordinate and fit your space. Black yarn, a tapestry needle, scissors, fabric glue, tape and Aerosal Polycrylic Protective Finish (choose the water based option) we used this brand

DIY Rug How-To1. Choose your rug size and cut the canvas base piece to size. Set aside. 2. Rip long strips of fabric. Each braid needs to be about 2.5 feet longer than the length of your base piece. I know that seems like a lot, but they will get shorter as you braid and you need extra for fringe. Braid enough ropes to completely cover the mat. This is the most time consuming part. It's a perfect job to multitask during evening TV shows for a few nights. 🙂 4. Tape the ends of each rope for easy access later. 5. When you are done braiding (whew!) glue your braids to the mat. Leave an even amount of braid hanging over the edge of each side. Use as much glue as you need to get a very study rug. 6. Use the black yard and a tapestry needle to stitch along the edges of the rug base, tacking down each braid. 7. Remove the ends of each braid after the yarn line. Trim the edges so that your fringe is even. 8. Go outdoors and use Polycrylic Finish to seal the rug. This will make your rug waterproof and much more durable for your next rainy day. 

DIY Braided Rug on A Beautiful MessDIY Braided Rug on A Beautiful Mess DIY RugI'm so happy with the finished product! It's super durable, more than most store bought rugs I own. I love that it can be customized in any color scheme too. I think a black and white and grey version would be adorable! Be prepared, this one of the more time consuming projects we've done. Kinsey did most of the braids while working at Red Velvet one day (a 7 hour shift) so it will take more than one sitting to accomplish, but the end result is totally worth the effort. 

Make Your Own RugHave a fun + craft weekend! XO. elsie

  • You will need the following things to make braided rug your own

    Long strips of fabric (old sheets and curtains are ideal, and far easier to work with than t-shirt scraps sewn together to make them longer)
    Sewing scissors
    A ruler
    Safety pins
    Sewing needle(s)
    Thread in a color that’s neutral to the fabrics you’re working with

    If you want to buy a handmade braided rug you can follow the link

  • What kind of glue did you use. I’m looking at putting my rug in a bedroom. If you glue the braids onto rug, is it machine washable?

  • 6. Use the black yard and a tapestry needle to stitch along the edges of the rug base, tacking down each braid.

    I believe you meant black yarn here. This looks like a fun project to try. Thank you!

  • This is such a great tutorial! Thanks so much for sharing it. Question—How does it hold up in the wash? Do you have to respray it with the polycrylic finish after washing? Thanks in advance for your reply.

  • Thank you for this easy to do pattern! One question, while braiding, how did you attach new lengths of fabric?

  • THis is great I have been wanting one of these rugs for a while and I have been considering making my own. I will definitely do this. But one question, can you just throw this in the washing machine? How would you wash this baby?

  • thos is such a cute idea! im definatley going to try it?i love everything on your blog! your so creative❤

  • Glue. Why didn’t I think of that?

    I had always wanted to make a rug, too. And I’d seen plenty of tuts on stumbleupon (before Pinterest… hehe.). I tore a sheet up and started braiding. and braiding. and braiding. and I never got around to sewing it in the round. So now I have one super long braid and no rug.

    One day, I tell myself… One day.

  • Amazing work! Love it!

  • I blogged about this project on Tumblr and my completion of this project. Thanks for all the FANTASTIC ideas… that really work!
    xoxo Foxie Moxie Jewels

  • I have had a crack at this and made tablemats for hot pans to rest on. Works so well, just usings scraps! Yay for upcycling!

  • Can you give more detail on the black yarn part (step 6)? I’ve never done this before so I may need a little more detail if you don’t mind. Thanks!! I can’t wait to try this!!

  • If I were to make the braids out of tee shirts, how many medium to large shirts do you think it would take to mate a rug of the same size?

  • I was so happy to see this DIY. I’ve wanted to make a braided rug for as long as I can remember but just never got around to it. I used to make braided rugs out of ribbons for my dollhouse when I was little too. I can’t wait to start this project! Thanks for a great post!

  • I’ve been wanting to do this for a while too! Thanks for the DIY!

  • Awesome idea!!! Thank you for sharing this. Its these somewhat simple projects I never think of doing. Thanks to you guys you make all my DIY dreams come true! Haha.

  • wow I love the ideas that you come up with (i don’t know how you do!) they’re great. And it’s things that anyone could do

  • Such a cool idea! Great job guys. I’ll definitely have to try this!

  • This is SO COOL! I have my doubts that I’d actually be able to pull this off, but I have to try because I simply love it. Such a great DIY!

  • This is amazing–I would love to do one in white… you think it could be washed if I did not put the polcrylic on it?

  • I really love this! I move next week and have a few DIYs planned to spruce the place up over time, and I must admit to finding a lot of inspiring ideas on your site, so thank you for that!

  • Thanks for sharing this! I needed to find a rug for my kitchen in grays and yellows! Now I don’t have to find one!


  • This is amazing, will definitely have to give it a try 🙂

  • Gorgeous!
    What kind of fabric did you use? And do you know about how much you ended up using?

  • Long time reader, first time commenter. Here is my take on a braided rug. I made mine from old t-shirts. I’d love to know what you think!

  • eeeeek! love it, so gonna do this. if i ever find the time.

  • Wow such a beautiful home made rug! The colours work amazing together. I must try! 😀

  • This would be awesome!

    I’m highly curious about the boots. Where did they come from?

  • Yep, definitely giving this a go. Will start small, for the kitchen. I am eyeing my living room floor, also (call me crazy? haha).

  • This is one of my favorite DIY projects I’ve seen on your site. Excited to try it out. Hope my dog doesn’t love it too much 🙂

  • Thanks for sharing, this has gone straight on my to do list!!

  • The best DIY Project ever, for sure, thank you so much for it <3

  • This is so cool! Definitly going to try this!

  • needing one for our kitchen, thanks for sharing!

    lauren gabrielle

  • Absolutely LOVE this!!!!!! Will definitely have to give this a try! Thanks!xoxo

  • This is really great! I love the idea and the colors 🙂


  • So, I love love love this! All time favorite! And by love love love, I mean I really love this! <3 <3 <3
    Ruth Ann

  • Great job!
    xoxo Luisella

  • OMG that’s so amazing, totally making one today for my bathroom 🙂

  • I love the modern look the straight braids have over the traditional oval ones. Thanks!

  • I LOVE this!! Do you know approximately how much scrap fabric you needed because I am totally making one of these!

  • Wow, I’ve been reading this blog for months but this is the most appealing project I have seen so far ! I’m really tempted to try it, especially since I have plenty of scrap fabric due to being a sewer… Love it ! Congrats for not giving up (you’re teaching us a big lesson here…). Bye ! Sab

  • This is soooooo good! I absolutely love your blog! Everytime i watch it, and see all you guys’ beautiful pictures, it makes me realize why i want a good quality camera (saving for it!)… Keeps me going! 🙂 Thanks a lot 🙂

    Love, from Belgium x

  • what a great idea!i have been trying to find a nice rug for my living room for forever,didnt even think i could make one myself!
    thanks for sharing, i may have to try this very soon!

  • This amazing, I’ve been wanting a new rug for ages to replace the boring one that came with my flat and i’ve got plenty spare fabric. Will definitely need to give this a go!!

  • What a great idea, thanks for sharing, I really have to try this out too! 🙂

  • Wow! this looks gorgeous! This sounds like absolutely fun (and work). You’re blog is so inspiring! 🙂 I’m trying to get the cut of a easy dress on a foil, but it’s not so easy when the dress is finished 😀
    I’m excited to see the next diys.
    Bisous, Luu

  • That is the cutest braided rug I have seen! Thanks for your crafty inspiration!

  • Congratulations!
    Your new rug is great!

  • Fantastic project!

    *looks around* Am I the only one who is dying to know about *those* boots?

  • This is a pretty and practical project 🙂 Is this washing machine friendly, or would it be if you didn’t use the Polycrylic finish?
    Emma, looking at your diy vase “fail,” I’m wondering if you used an actual glass-cutting kit or not? I bought the Ephrem’s Bottle Cutting kit a couple years back and have never had a problem cutting glass with it…even when the edges aren’t totally perfect, they are not too hard to sand down. I think it’s worth the $40 investment 🙂

  • OMG this is awesome! I can use some old tees, etc. that I have lying around at home to cut into strips and braid. THANKS FOR SHARING! =)


  • Your rug is adorable! I’ve always wanted to try making one of these. I love that you can customize it with different color combinations and patterned fabrics. This is definitely going on my list of things to make. Thanks for the instructions!

  • One of the best DIY’s, seriously. Amazing!

  • Wow, it’s beautiful. I guess I can do this with my old clothes too… when I want to recycle them as mop…

  • I LOVE this! Thanks so much for sharing it!


  • This will be perfect for my dorm room! Love it. xo

  • Love this! It turned out so good and I love the colors you choose. I think I will need to try this. Especially since it can be totally customizes to whatever you like.

  • This project looks a little intimidating but really doable! Thanks for sharing! The results are really fantastic!

  • My Great Grandmother used to make these along time ago.

    She was Native American and had lots of great ideas!!

  • Really a fantastic DIY! I think I will make one for our nursery in pink and red and orange!

  • SO Simple! Who knew! Im moving into a charming little house soon and I think this will find its way there!

  • I love it! My great grandma used to make braided circular rugs and she sewed the braided strips together with a thick yarn. She passed away but her rugs live on in our family. We’ve even machine washed them and they’ve held up fabulously. Thanks for this DIY, it reminds me so much of her! 🙂

  • This is defiantly one of my fave things you’ve made! so lovely and homely looking! really beautiful <3

  • What a fantastic idea! Great job! 😉
    Have a beautiful day you two!*

  • Great idea 🙂 this will be great for making my uni room nice and homely 🙂

    Jo. x

  • That is such a great idea. These rugs always remind me of the rugs my grandma had in her house when I was little. Good times.


  • Love this! I do crochet and plan on crocheting a rug for my girls new room using fabric scraps. 🙂

  • Brilliant. I, too, am obsessed with making rugs. I recently knitted a bathrug out of tshirts on gigantic needles. It turned out rather ugly, but that’s because I didn’t plan the colors properly.
    Now that I’ve started dyeing fabric, I think it’ll be a cinch to turn dirty old t’s into fantabulous rugs!

  • Thanks for the tutorial – I totally needed this. All my apartment needs now is a rug!

  • IT LOOKS ORIGINAL, great idea to do that !

    bye, m.c. modadicoppia

    visit our fashion blog,

    NEW POST :

  • o my goodness I love these braided “rag” rugs. Great DIY!


  • Seriously stunning, and looks pretty simple.
    Question though…how did you get long enough bits of scrap fabric? They need to be pretty long? Or did you sew bits together?

  • I used to make spiral braided rugs years ago. I love this rectangular version. Thus would be a great use for all my scrap fabric!

  • I’m so glad you shared this! I have always wanted to make my own!

    XO Krystin

  • I’m going to make this but with a slip proof/drawer liner base so it won’t slip on the floor

  • Love this, as always, you have another fantastic idea! Have a wonderful weekend!

  • Super cute! I love all the turquoise fabric… Lovely!

  • that is amazing!!!!
    i love it so much
    my kitchen carpet already looks like crap…
    gonna try to create this one

  • Kate- We have not cleaned our rug yet but we plan to try vacuuming first. Since the spray makes the rug waterproof we don’t plan to put it in the washing machine, but we may try hand washing and laying it out in the sun to dry. If we find any good tips we’ll add them to this article after we’ve cleaned it the first few times. 🙂

  • Jessica- You could try doubled sided carpet tape or a non-slip rug pad.

  • Oooooh I ADORE the colours you have chosen – this is such a simple, effective idea, really cool

  • How cute! Thanks for sharing! Question- does it matter what kind of fabric you use? I’m wondering if cotton is best, or if stretch is ok?

    Thanks! xo

  • Definitely would be time consuming, but braiding is easy and fun! I’ll definitely be making this for my dorm! (I leave for college next month!) Perfect <3
    xo Heather

  • it turned out great! like all of your projects! love the waterproofing idea!

  • I love this so much! <3 It’s so cute and would go so well in any home! It’s something you would treasure!

    I think this is a definate project for a rainy October, bookmarking for later!!

  • I remember I used to make little oven mitts that looked like that when I was a kid. Great idea and I love the colors!

  • What would you recamend doing for a rug that won’t slip and slide around? We have wooden floors.

    My email is wrong in my comment above. Sorry ^^

  • What would you recamend doing for a rug that won’t slip and slide around. We have wooden floors

  • I really like your blog, definitely a new follower!!

  • Wow. Beautifully done guys.

  • I think this is my favorite DIY I have ever seen featured on your blog, and that’s saying a lot because there are SO MANY good ones! I am putting this on my list to try to make so I can do it for Christmas presents this year! I love that you can customize it with different colors for different people, amazing work & thanks so much for sharing!
    xo Hannah

  • My grandmother used to make these out of old clothes, everything from t-shirts, shirts, jeans, and dresses. She didn’t use canvas or waterproof them though. She just washed them when they got dirty and threw them out when they got too dirty or worn out. I helped her make them sometimes but I’d forgotten the process. Thanks for this DIY, I may try my hand at it again.

  • Looks beautiful!! But I wonder, have you any experiences with getting that rug clean?

  • okAY thIS maY be my faVORITE DIY yoU’VE doNE so faR. LoVeLoVe it.

  • This is perfect! I’ve been looking for a good braided rug tutorial and you’ve made it.

    I am endeavoring to do a craft every two months. This is going to be on that list.

    Thank you so much for this tutorial. It’s a beautiful rug.

  • Oh man! I’ve been looking for a good DIY rug idea to make! I will spend many, many, many a night creating braids for multiple giant rugs!

  • My cat sleeps on our store bought braided rug, so this would be a cute little durable rug for him to sleep on. I really love that it can be customized color wise to match the decor in any house.

  • Awesome! I’m moving house in less than 3 weeks (!!) so I might give this a go when I move in 🙂

  • It’s SO COOL! I’m moving back to school soon and I need a new rug for my dorm (mines so gross after three years it’s insane!) I’m so doing this! (haha I say that to everything you do here, my to do list is getting looong)

    Xoxo Sarah

  • So gorgeous! I love that this is a no sew project. Great color choices Elsie!

  • gorgoeous idea!!!
    i need to try this!!! it´s perfect and looks so good!
    thanks for sharing that tutorial!
    have a great great weekend!

    liebgruss from germany

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