It follows the same principle that we all used in making those funny cotton loop potholders–under, over, under, over. See? You’ve already got 3/4ths of the technique.
No-Sew Homemade Rag Rug (Or trivet, potholder, centerpiece, place mat, what-have-you.)
1. Cut strips of fabric 1-3 inches wide and remove seams. I like three foot strips, but the length only matters for how often you want to be taking the time to join new strips.
2. Tie two strips in a simple loose knot. You’ll be trying to shove fabric through this later, so too tight and you might get aggravated. Also, notice that the pieces in the picture are UNEVEN. At the end of every strand, you’ll have to join a new one, and it looks better if that’s staggered.
5. When you get a braid about 1/2 the length of the rug you want, it’s time to turn. I went under, over, under with that gray strip and then turned it to the right so I could tuck it in the edge of the original braid.
Depending on your material, your rug may not want to lie flat if you turn it too quickly, so you may not get to tuck EVERY strand into the original braid. Sometimes you might have to skip tucking a couple so you can turn the corner smoothly.
6. Work your way back down to the starting knot following the exact same pattern as you used to make the original braid, just tucking the end through each time. (If you want the stripes, tuck it in it’s OWN color as you come around and down.)
7. Once you get back down to the original knot, and work your way around the curve, skipping and tucking as necessary to lay flat, it’s time to add a strip! To maintain the stripes, I joined one of each color together and stuck it through the starting knot in a way that kept the pattern. Then I continued braiding the same way I had been all along, but now it was under, over, under, over, under–>TUCK!
Intermission: WHEW, this is way harder to explain than it is to do! For another explanation, in fact the only other explanation I’ve seen on the whole internet, click here.
Let’s also pause to learn how to join (slip-knot) strips to each other:
Cut a hole in the ends of both strips you want to join. Shove the new on through the old one. Then push the tail end of the new strip through it’s own hole and tug until snug.
Back to our regularly scheduled tutorial…
8. Braid all of the way down to the end and back up the other side to the original knot. Add another strip where ever you can sneak it in to make eight strips.
10. Once the rug is the width you want it across
the middle, it’s time to work yourself back down to 8 strips, then 6, 4, 2, and finally none in a way that doesn’t throw off your overall shape. When I decreased in the picture, I went under, over, under, over, under–>TUCK–>TUCK AGAIN under two more blues horizontally—>snip off the excess. Continue until you run out of strands.