How to Sew a DIY braided rag rug… total 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’re 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 have been stashing.


I did some research about how other people have made braided rugs and decided to use a technique similar to this one (which is round and sewn) except I wanted a rectangular rag rug.


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 using the round rug joining technique technique.


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. 🙂

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  1. Rhonda Sue says:

    I like the new rug and that is a new to me rug making method too. Now I am wondering if my Necchi will sew through that too. Thank you for sharing and hosting.

  2. Love the new rug! This is something I have always wanted to do. I have a friend who crochets the fabric strips. I just don’t want to tear all those strips! Not sure I would be brave enough to sew through all those layers with my machine.

  3. Heather Valentine says:

    This turned out great! I’m totally with you and thinking spring. Might need to give this a go for my backdoor. I’ll put the girls on the braiding part. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Beautiful rug, I don’t have 20 yards of fabric to tear up for this project so it’s a good excuse to go fabric shopping LOLL Thanks for sharing. My sewing machine is a Zoje very heavy duty sewing machine that will sew through 8 layers of faux leather so this should be a piece of cake for it.

  5. That is amazing! I love the rug.

    Even though it’s not spring yet here in the Rocky Mountains, my kids track in all their winter fun. They track in snow and dirt–The mess can get annoying. Thanks for sharing your beautiful rug and how you made it.

  6. Jane Victoria Armstrong says:

    Looks wonderful! You are indeed a fabric hoarder. I wonder when I’ll have 20 spare yards of fabric in my stash… In the meantime I’ll send this to some of my parents’ age friends who are worried that their stash exceeds their life expectancy. Happy sewing! – Jane

  7. I started a rag rug AGES ago, but gave up as I baulked at sewing it all together by hand. You’ve solved my problem. Thank you! I’m fairly confident my machine can handle sewing through all those layers. Your rug looks fabulous!!!

  8. Only the first 5 images of the ‘what I did this week’ are showing up for me. I do like your rug very much! and sewing it down seems a lot better than zigzagging it together.

    1. I just learned that linky tools (the company that does my linky parties) suffered a hard drive failure. I won’t mind if everyone re-loads their pictures again. Sorry!

  9. I just learned that linky tools (the company that does my linky parties) suffered a hard drive failure. I won’t mind if everyone re-loads their pictures again. Sorry!

  10. Nik Comma says:

    Gorgeous! Love this version. I saw something like this in a store except it was done on a loom to weave the braids together. I like yours better!

  11. I LOVE your braided rug! I need to check the two links you provided to see how you combined their braid-making techniques, but my question to you: Is your big braided rug washable, like at the laundrymat? I realize you couldn’t put something that large into a home washing machine. Thank you! Julie

    1. Hi Julie – actually I did wash this rug 3 or 4 times before it started coming apart and we had to throw it away. It was great for a few years!


  12. Just wondering in what way the rug came apart after a few washing. I hope the time and fabric I put into one of these beautiful rugs would last longer than a few washing and a few years. Would folding the raw edges inside make it hold up any longer? Love your rug!

  13. Diann Kittok says:

    I love to hear how others accomplish a feat that I LOVE!! Sew it to another rug! Genius!!!!

  14. Debra Sluis says:

    OH boy! LOVE this idea! I also, need a new rug- I do have a nice braided rug from India, made with old Saris.. which is now so raggedy I thought oh I just have to toss this thing.. and now, I can make one! Thanks for this idea!

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