Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Braided Rug Tutorial: Recycling old towels

I had 3 bath towels that had stains on them, but otherwise were in really good shape so I decided to turn them into my next project.

I folded each towel in half and cut into 1.5 in strips. 

I cut up each towel.   They were all about the same size towel.

I am sure many of you are saying "where is her rotary cutter?"  I don't have one so I did this old school.

Once everything is cut I sewed 3 strips, one of each color together.

Then get those fingers warmed up because there was A LOT of braiding going on.  I folded the raw edges to the inside to minimize freying.

After you braid one set of strips you sew on another.  and another ...and another Until you have a giant long braided rope of towels.

I then twisted the center and wrapped it around as I hand stiched the rows into place.

I stiched it all together on the back with a heavy duty needle and some thread and then your are finished.

Have a great DAY!!

Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special
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The DIY Show Off


  1. This is the best braided rug I've seen! P.S. Check out my "thank you" at:


    1. I agree (with the retired teacher in me unable to resist pointing out that it is fraying, not freying). Thank you for sharing this amazing tutorial.

  2. Your rug is awesome! What better fabric to use in a bathroom than terry-cloth? Perfect! A few question before I actually embark on this project: 1) Was fraying a problem? 2) Have you laundered it yet, and if so, how did it fare through the cleaning and drying process? Thanks!

  3. Great Idea!! I love this!! I believe I'm going to have to try this!!

    Hugs ~~ Suz


  4. This is awesome! I've seen all kinds of rug projects, but I dearly love this one. I'm wondering about the fraying, too ... I have several towels on their last leg, and I'd love to make something cute like this out of them.

  5. That is awesome! Fabulous idea! Great job too! Thanks for linking it up!

  6. That is AWESOME! love the look of the braided rug.

    Come On over and check me out!

  7. Your rug turned out so great!! Very clever.

    I shared it on my TT&J FB page :)


  8. Now that is a great recycling idea! Love it. Thanks for sharing.


  9. Perfect excuse to get some new towels! This would be perfect in the bathroom I am redoing--nothing like adding another homemade element to the room.

  10. Wonderful idea, I just bought new towels and have all the old ones trying to figure out what to do with them!

  11. Totally awesome, saw you on TT&J, Jen always finds the coolest things.

    I have been wanting to make a tshirt rug, but this is PERFECT for the bathroom,,, like seriously awesome.

    Come say hi sometime, and link up girl, I'd love to have you!! Bella Before and After , and if you want to win an Avocado Painting, come enter myGIVEAWAY HERE, I really appreciate the support.

    Bella :)

  12. Brilliant ~ I love it! I want to make one! When you stitched it in the back, did you "hand" stitch it? Or how exactly.....I'm a beginning sewer....
    Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  13. That is really cute. I love the idea of using old towels for a beautiful braided rug in the bathroom. Great tutorial!

    Tracy http://allthumbscrafts.blogspot.com

  14. AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a fabulous idea for a rug! I love it!

    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  15. Too cute! I've been looking for a good tutorial on a braided rug! Thanks for sharing!

    -Brooke @ 20SomethingDesigns.Blogspot.com
    Visting from TT&J

  16. Wow, great idea! I saw your link at Tatertots and Jello. And I have the exact same scissors...and no rotary cutter so I feel your pain on big projects. The finished product looks great!

  17. What a great idea! I love a good upcycled craft! I am visiting from Tatertots and Jello and I am a new follower!
    Have a great weekend!

  18. Awesome idea. I was wondering though is it hard to sew them together on the back? Do you need a heavy duty thread or is regular thread good?

  19. That is a beautiful rug! What a great idea.

  20. Love this idea! I featured you on my blog this morning, feel free to check it out! Happy Spring!


  21. wow this is so amazingly cute! I might even BUY towels to make one! Thanks so much for linking up and sharing!

  22. Could this be any more fantastic?! I don't think so! Great job!!!!

  23. Emily! That is adorbs! I might have to try this one!!

    Love your guts

  24. Hey girls just came across your blog at Lauren's, West Revival Furniture. I love this rug tutorial! Thank you for posting! XOXO

  25. I love this! It’s a very clever project to make.


  26. What a great idea! Looks good too!

  27. This rug ROCKS!!! I love how you can choose your colors! Great Job! I'm so copying this!

  28. Wow, what a great idea!! I was looking for two new rugs for my bathrooms now I think I will just make this!

    I was wondering about the fraying after it was washed was it a problem?

  29. That is awesome!! Did you see my rug earlier this week from old t-shirts???? Thanks for auditioning for OMTWI!!

  30. I wanted to let you know that I made your rug. It turned out very cute. I did a post and linked back to your tutorial. I would love for you to take a look. www.kadie-sevenalive.blogspot.com

  31. I Just LOVE this!! Thank You
    I'm going to make one out of some old jeans I have :D
    It's also been featured as today's Green Craft on The Craft Portal~ hope you like it <3
    Now I'm off to read more of your site!
    ~Kaz x

  32. I may have to try this with some towels I have. What a great idea!

  33. I NEED to do this. Please tell me how I can learn to sew. And fast! (I'm being serious, not sarcastic). Thanks for sharing :-)

  34. I loved your wonderful idea. I have some old toils with some holes and I think that I go recicle them. It's eco friendly and beautiful

  35. Wow that's neat - too bad I suck at sewing. In case you're interested here's a link to a site showing how to make, among other things, a bath/floor mat using old towels.

  36. I love the braided rug! Do you think hot glue would work for binding the 3 strips together? My sewing machine doesn't work, but I really want to do this.

  37. Beautiful rug! You inspired me to try it out... however it looks a little more like a sombrero or a bowl than a rug. I guess I was a little too enthusiastic with the hand stitching. ;D

  38. Oh, so doing this today. You are my new best friend. What AWESOME ideas you have.

  39. beautiful...now this I can do!

  40. Olá!!!

    Visitei por acado seu blog e adorei, esta idéia do tapete feito com toalhas, muito boa mesmo, essa reciclagem foi muito proveitosa, parabéns!!!!


  41. Did you fold the strips in half lenthwise so that both raw edges were inside?

  42. Been wanting to start doing something crafty. Happy stay at home mom but that means no money to buy extras. Loved this braided rug. I have a bin of old towels and no rotary cutter as well :) Perfect! Got started immediately. Thanks for sharing your idea and talent.

  43. Nice. Will make this my next weekend project!

  44. What a great use for old towels. I always end up cutting them up for cleaning rags. This is a much better use!

  45. What is the size of the needle to be used in the sewing machine since the cloth is very thick.

  46. I love this idea. What a great use of toweling scraps too. Got to try this when I have time. Thanks for the ideas.

  47. Thank you for posting this great tutorial! I have been looking for a rug to match my aqua towels with no luck at all. Now I can just make one that will match and probably be cheaper :-)

  48. This is a great article! I found this site Braided Rugs to be good if you are looking for Braided rugs for your home!

  49. Ameya Home USA’s large Wholesale Area Rugs dealer – Visit our New York store for Kids Area Rugs, Contemporary Area Rugs, wool Area Rugs, round area rugs and Bath Mats. All Area Rugs Price comparatively low in market, delivery in 10 days

  50. This is the prettiest braided rug I've ever seen. I see an awful lot of dull-looking rugs, but yours has a beautiful pinwheel/sunburst effect. Now I know the secret to that effect: mix light and dark colors in the same braid. Will definitely try this myself...

  51. Lovely! I have several towels in mind that need to sacrifice themselves to become my next rug! Great idea, thanks for sharing!

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  56. There's a lacing technique for assembling a braided rug that's easier than stitching/sewing it. The lacing is also invisible from both sides, so the rug is reversible. I learned it from my grandmother years ago, but there are tutorials online, just look up How to Lace a Braided Rug. You can also make braided rugs in oval and rectangular shapes.


  58. This stuff is down to earth, hats off buds out there. braided rugs

  59. Oh thank you so much for the tutorial. This rug is so very nice! I love the colours that you chose!

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  85. What a great idea, I know what I'll be doing with all my old towels now!

  86. That is some truly impressive stitch work! We have a couple of aging abyss & habidecor towels & rugs that would be perfect for a project like this, I'm going to have to try it!

  87. i am trying this! (i already cut up my first towel but it took ages!!!!) i'll blog about it when i'm done!


  88. we made these with old rags when I was a kid, but I have some old towels and I am going to try this.,I sew alot so this should be easy.

  89. Growing up I watched my grandmother make many rugs this way, back then ya did what ya had to do! That is how my interest in rugs was born,back in the early 1960's! I didn't know anybody still had the time or went to the effort to make rugs like this. I so wish I would have been able to videotape (it wasn't even possible then) or at least taken some pictures of grams making those rugs! THANKS for bring back some great memories!

  90. Amazing! thanks for sharing idea!

  91. I'm with you all and love this rug! Thanks to the poster who mentioned lacing. I will take it a step further if I make one. Here's more info on that: http://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/team_messageboard_thread.asp?board=0x16551x35957865

  92. What a cool idea. Excited to try it out! Thanks for posting this.

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  95. Thanks for the great tutorial, I just featured your rug on my blog! http://www.colorfulcanary.com/2015/01/diy-from-rags-to-rugs-wordless-wednesday.html

  96. Great idea. Funny how we can't seem to think of these things on our own. "A head and a half is better than one", my Auntie would say. I made one from T-shirts and I didn't have a rotary cutter (in good order) either. Some things are more of a nuisance than they are worth. Mine had a dull blade and it was a fortune for new ones. Good ole scissors! http://spoolteacher.com/2014/03/09/throwing-a-tarn-bowl/ http://spareshelf.com/2014/03/14/busy-as-the-bees/


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