Braided Rag Rug

Mia's braided rag rug is easy to make and is a great way of turning trash into treasure. These step by step rag rug instructions are easy to follow and there are lots of photo's.

You can use any fabric to make a rag rug, old jeans, curtains or sheets are ideal. It's a good idea to wash the fabric before you start to check for color fastness. This is especially necessary if you want to mix very dark colors with very light ones. We have used old off-cuts of upholstery fabric for our braided rag rug in this project.

You are not limited to just using fabrics either.

These rag rug instructions would work just as well with old plastic carrier bags or disposable table cloths.

Braided rag rugs are a fantastic way to make use of old rags that you would just throw away.

Instead we will show you how to turn them into something beautiful and practical.

Sometimes it really is possible to turn trash into treasure.

If you have never braided before try our how to do braids Instructions. These are easy to follow with clear diagrams and helpful tips. The link will open in a new window so you don't lose this page.

Materials and Equipment

  • Rags
  • Backing fabric (optional)
  • Sewing machine (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Safety pins
  • Sewing needle
  • Strong thread
  • Tape
  • Bobby Pins

Mia's Top Tip

Use strips of fabric approx 6cm (21/2") wide by 150cm (60") long.

Cut 10 strips of each colors and then put them into separate piles.

To make the rolls easier to manage use only half of the strips to start with as explained in the instructions below.

This will make a small rug of approx 60cm (24") diameter, depending on the thickness of your rags.

If you want to make a bigger rug you can easily use more fabric strips until the rug is the required size.

I'll show you how to do this in the instructions on the next page.

You will need a hook or nail to hang your rags whilst braiding, a sturdy cup hook or picture nail is ideal.

If you don't have a hook or nail available you could tie a piece of string to a door handle and pin the fabric to that.

Braided Rag Rug Tutorial Page 1




Cut out your strips of fabric. Separate into 3 piles for each color.



Take one pile of fabric and sew the strips together.

Place the fabric right sides together before sewing.

Repeat for the other colors until you have 3 strips of fabric approx 750cm (300").



Once you have sewn all the strips together roll them up and pin them to secure.

This makes the braiding easier and stops the fabric from getting tangled.



Turn in the raw edges of each strip and hold in place with a piece of tape.

You can sew the raw edges in place if you want to.



Pin all three strips together using a large safety pin.

Undo a short length from your roll of fabric about 30cm (12") or so, then pin the roll of fabric up again.


Hang your safety pin from a hook or nail.

Allow the rolled fabric to hang down from your work.

The weight of these will help to stop them from tangling and make it easier to work.

Start braiding your fabric, keeping the raw ends to the back as you work.

Once you have braided down to the rolls of fabric tape your working ends together so they don't come unraveled.

Unpin the fabric at the hook and re-pin it just above your working area.

Unpin the rolls of fabric and unwind another 30cm (12") then pin the rolls again.



Continue braiding in this way until you have used up all the fabric on the rolls.

Secure the ends with tape and remove from the hook.


What would you like to do now?

Return to top of our Braided Rag Rug page where you can choose one of Mia’s craft ideas from the navigation bar on the left.

Go to trash to treasure to find more recycling craft ideas.

Visit Mia’s Craft Ideas home page to find out more about our website and Mia’s free craft ideas.

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