Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Scrap Rug Tutorial

I had a huge stock pile (or so I thought) of random scraps in my collection that I wasn't sure how to dispose of. I've been seeing a lot of cool scrap rugs lately and I found out that my grandmother and greatgrandmother used to make these all the time. Needless to say, I was inspired to make my own basic braided rug because my kitchen needs one anyway :)

To start, you will need to cut A LOT of scraps. I used 2 inch wide pieces but you could change the width depending on how big you want the braid to be. Then I sewed the scraps end to end. You can iron the seams open or not depending on your preference. I did both and decided that it doesn't make a difference when looking at the finished rug.

Helpful hint: DO NOT be overly ambitious and try to braid strands that are too long like this picture. I found out that if you do, as you braid they become a tangled mass of frayed thread and fabric. Do yourself a favor, keep the strands relatively short, take your time and sew additions to the braid periodically.

Once you have your strands, start braiding!

Once you have a nice long braid, you can begin the rug. Machine stitch the end of your braid to keep all of the strands in place and use strong, matching thread to begin winding the braid reinforcing with hidden stitches as you go along. I took stitches every inch or so. Helpful hint: keep the braid flat and don't pull the stitches too tight or the rug will start to bow a little and won't lay flat.

Keep winding and braiding and sewing! While I am sewing I use a big binder clip to keep the ends from unraveling. I cannot emphasize enough that this project takes A LOT of scraps. For example, the rug in this picture (which is not finished yet) has a diameter of 12 1/2 inches. Each strand of the braid so far is approx 8 yds so 8 x 3 is 24 yards of scraps and I am not nearly finished. In fact, I am almost out of scraps and need to sew like mad to produce some more :)

Anyway, once you get your rug to the desired size you can reinforce the braids by stitching all the way around the bottom side as well. I use invisible, heavy or carpet thread to get the job done and a curved, heavy duty needle doesn't hurt either especially if using heavier thread.

You could also make the braids into baskets, trivets, seat covers and placemats so have fun and put your scraps to good use!


  1. Oh! Your rug is BEAUTIFUL! I love all the bright cheery colors, I hope that when you get it finished, you will share with us the finished product! Very creative ideas, baskets, trivets, seat covers, placemats, those are things I would not have thought of!

  2. Thank you! I will definitely post the rug when it's finished although that might take a while because my scrap collection needs to be replenished :)

  3. 1. Come raid my scraps.

    2. I can't wait to make one...I want to start right now!