Make Your Own Braided {No Sew} Rag Rug
Sounds simple enough, right? 
A braided rag rug? 

Well, actually it IS…once you figure out this is what you want to make! It took me about 3 hours tonight to finally figure out that THIS is what I was looking for!

Isn’t it lovely? 

My rag rug odyssey began with this simple DIY Eco-Friendly Bath Mat I ran across at

I was immediately taken with the idea because all of my bathroom rugs are in various stages of disrepair right now and desperately need to be replaced. 

However, I really don’t want to go out and buy all new ones because…….
#1 —- I’m really NOT a fan of those synthetic shag-like bath rugs that are pretty much 90% of what is offered out there at bathroom decor retailers.  You know what I’m talking about…..
….they look like this:
(just not my cup of “bath mat tea”.)
#2  —-   Our son just got married (which necessitated a rather expensive trip to CA), and Christmas is just around the corner, so I am trying to conserve monetary resources. (ie. I don’t want to spend much $$!!!)

and #3 —-  I’m sort of on a reduce, reuse, recycle kick right now.  That’s why this initial project for the Eco-Friendly Bath Mat (and I would add “wallet-friendly”) appealed to me so much, because I have PLENTY of old towels readily available as material!
But despite my “issues” (which are many…but that’s another post, for another type of blog…lol), I have not been able to locate the Gridded Matting you need ANYWHERE! 

So tonight I starting poking around the net to find a variation on this that I could make work, and after MUCH research….finally
hit the jack pot!

*ding ding ding ding ding*

I’m reminded of that line from the 1997 movie “Fools Rush In”, with Matthew Perry, when he says to Salma Hayek, “You are everything I never knew I always wanted!”  haha! That was it! I fell in love with a rug! ;-)

So, enough babbling on about how I got to this place (finally!) and let’s see how this puppy is put together!
Fortunately, this Braided Rag Rug tutorial at The Moda Bake Shop (still not quite sure what this has to do with BAKED GOODS…but whatever) is EXCELLENT and most likely the best you’re going to find. Trust me on this, I have looked!!  There are lots of DIY posts about rag rugs out there…but most of them just left me confused. The lovely photos help tremendously, and the directions are the most concise I found.

I realize putting “No Sew” in the title of this post might be a TEENY bit misleading…because you do need to use a needle and thread at the end as you coil the braid…but there’s no need to haul out the sewing machine…so technically…in my book of rationale….it’s No Sew. :-)

I just love the look of this rug!  Can’t wait to get started!!!!!

UPDATE: 11/26/2011I took 4 of my husband’s old shirts that were in the “rag bag” headed to GoodWill and cut them up into strips. (Time consuming…but kind of fun!)  I have started my rug…it is approximately 8 inches in diameter right now (when coiled up). I’m not following any sort of “pattern”, but doing one shirt at a time. So it will definitely be interesting to see how it turns out. :-)   Will post pictures soon!


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  1. Anonymous says

    Love this idea… currently remodeling my 4 sons rooms (2 rooms)done with the 3 youngest boys room, working on the oldest boy's room (16)… I'm thinking this type of rug would be great on their new hardwood floor… especially out of their old clothes…kinda makes me want to cry a little… could be menopause though… ;p


  2. Jill Nystul says

    Melissa….thanks for commenting and reminding me I need to finish this! It's a really fun thing to do…and there's just something really cool out of making it out of old clothes. Kinda makes me wanna cry too. lol.

  3. Suzanne says

    Hi Jill I just came across your site through pinterest and am really enjoying the info- the grid you were looking for is probably available at a craft supply store it is used for rug hooking.Love the look of ragrugs and have crocheted many over the years.

  4. Sherri says

    What memories rag rugs bring back!! My Mom and Grandmother working on these!

    Please post pictures when you are through! I would love to see!! I am going to start one right away but would love to see finished rugs!

  5. Rose Myrtle says

    Jillee, did you make yours out of bath towels, like you said? I was just wondering because they didn’t look like towels. If you didn’t, could you please tell me what you made them out of and how much did you need? I love your rug, it looks totally awesome!!! Can’t wait to try this!

  6. Jo says

    Jillee, you said towels at first, which got my attention b/c I have lots of old towels I save for that occasional water mishap in the basement. But then you used shirts. Towels would be thicker (and possibly cozier on bare feet), but I am picturing a big mess of towel bits as I cut the towels in strips, and I’m wondering if cut up towels would continuously shed in the washer and dryer. If anyone has tried this with towels, I’d love to hear the results. Thanks for your great do-able project.

    • Landon says

      My sister-in-law & brother have one by the side of the bed in their bedroom that she bought from an estate sale. It’s made like the white hooked rug in the first picture & it is made out of mens dress socks in different neutral shades from whites, creams, tans, and browns. It is beautiful & SO soft under foot. What’s really cool is all the different patterns to the socks. You have to look really close to see that it’s thin dress socks in smooth, ribbed & textured solids, along with some stripes & argyles.

  7. Colleen Schaffhauser says

    My great aunt used to make these rugs in size huge. She would go to the second hand stores and buy worn womens wool coats. Every daughter got one in the family or a handmade quilt. The rugs ran about 8×10 and were sturdy and beautiful. Wish I would have received one however, I did get a quilt passed down from my mother. These were made inj the 1920′s through the 1960′s so the fabric was always quality.

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  9. Katie says

    I really want to try this, I can not crochet like I use to due to arthritis. I hope my hands can still braid, we will see. If I can do this I will post pics.. Have a great August and try to stay cool. Thanks for sharing Katie ~♥~

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