How to Sew a DIY Braided Rag Rug: Fabric Stash Buster!

Have you ever tried sewing a rag rug? It’s not too hard, and it’s easy on the budget. You just need some fabric in your stash that you don’t mind ripping up. If you want a new rug made from fabric, check out these instructions for making your own!

This week I got fed up with all the dirt that’s been coming in our back door. I’m happy that the kids are playing outside a lot more lately, but they (and the dogs) bring a lot of dirt in every time they walk through the door.


I was about ready to break down and buy another rug, but then I realized I could simply make a big rag rug with the room full of fabric I had been stashing.DSC_0178.JPG

The base of my rug is a 60” wide piece of upholstery fabric that I had in my fabric stash, but never really liked.


I ripped up lots of fabric for this. I estimate about 20 yards. I know, that’s a lot. But I needed to do some stash busting anyway to make room for the new collections, right?


The one thing that most rug tutorials don’t tell you is how wide to cut your strips for braiding, so I’ll tell you how I cut them: my hand’s width. Yes, that’s how I measured while watching TV and braiding, braiding, braiding. Each of my braids used 6 strips. I started with three and then attached 3 more by weaving them in.


I sewed them all to my base fabric with long stitches on my Juki. Can you believe it sewed through all those layers with no problem at all? Like butter! You can read my review of my new Juki 2010Q here. If you don’t think your machine could handle this, you could use glue like Pamela or zig-zag stitch without the base like Vanessa. Of course I used a heavy needle – 16/100.


It got big and really heavy by the end… but it’s a 5′ rug!

A rag rug is a great way to recycle fabric scraps and upcycle materials too. I used yards of fabric from my stash, but you can also tear or cut up unwanted clothing, old sheets, or other pieces of fabric you have laying around the house. The best part of this project is that it was really easy! If you make a rug out of any kind of fabric I would love to see it. Post a picture to Instagram and tag me @sewcanshe!

Happy Sewing!

Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂