Handmade Braided Rugs: Put Together a No-Sew Braided Rug

Follow these tips for your handmade braided rug, and use Grandma's four-strand braid and interlocking method to cut down on the amount of sewing necessary to finish your oval braided rug.

| July/August 1986


By using Grandma's four-strand braid and interlocking method, your handmade, braided rug can require very little sewing!


Here's an attractive, old-fashioned floor cover that barely requires sewing! Handmade braided rugs, braided the way your grandmother did it, can save you money and make your house cozy.

The familiar braided wool rug has certainly stood the test of time, but my grandmother taught me — years ago — how to put together a handmade braided rug, one that eliminates the whole process of sewing the rug together, and gives the rug maker greater control over his or her colors.

Best of all, since my grandmother's rugs are made from inexpensive cotton, synthetic or blended fabric scraps, they don't cost much to make, and they're washable!

To begin, gather a pile of fabric scraps. Cut these scraps and rags — on either the lengthwise or crosswise grain — into the longest strips possible. These bands should be 2 inches wide and (ideally) 3 to 5-feet long (tear the strips — when you can — to save time, and sew short pieces together to get the right lengths).

Next, fold each strip's raw edges into the center, and then refold along the middle of the strips to hide those turned-under edges. If you do have a sewing machine, stitch the folds closed as you go to make a permanent crease. If you don't own a machine, just baste or iron the folds in place.

Sort the strips — by color — into bags or boxes. You don't have to fuss too much over the design, but even a hit-or-miss pattern will look sharper if a particular color (usually a dark one) is saved for the outer border.

11/9/2017 8:49:15 AM

A picture of the how to would be much easier for the person who would like to do it. I would like to make one.

9/13/2017 7:45:05 PM

Is there by any chance a video that shows this technique? I got lost at the turn with the extra braid to keep the rug from puckering. I have big plans for the rugs I want to make, so I'm very motivated!!

10/22/2015 1:44:15 PM

I'm not getting this either. I always loved my grandmothers braided rugs and would like to do same, but the wording in this is not helping me. Is there some other pictures available or a video/U-Tube instructions available?

2/17/2015 9:23:18 PM

I'm sorry, I don't understand your directions. I'm a visual learner. Do you have more pictures or a video? I enjoyed watching my Grandma Love sew her braids together with old panty hose. This piqued my interest when you said no sew :-) Thank you

11/12/2014 11:45:32 AM

I do not see illustrations B and C unless you mean the three pics at the beginning?? Looking forward to trying this method out. Thx

7/12/2014 4:37:32 PM

I used the above instructions. I used double knit as I was trying to use up my stash, I did have to sew all edges of the strip before I started braiding. Even with the little extra work, my rug turned out beautiful. A little difficult to get started but caught on after the first circular round. This is the only way I will make my braided rugs from now on. Thank you for the instructions. I have osteoarthritis in my thumbs so it is very difficult to hand sew, this was such an accomplishment!

6/19/2014 6:09:50 AM

Shag Rugs are Handwoven Rugs made from differents kinds of yarns. Dense and plush, all shag rugs are prepared using wool or polyester depending on the designs. Shag area rugs make a fun addition to any fashionable space by incorporating texture to the room.

1/26/2014 2:53:37 PM

Thank you! I've been looking for THIS formula forever, but all I could find was sewn ones and tufted ones. Yay, finally the REAL braided rug! I can't wait to start.

1/23/2014 6:47:10 AM

I recently mentioned to my husband that I wanted to learn how to make braided rugs. Guess I'll start with this one. So excited to try this, thanks MEN. We just love your magazine.

1/22/2014 10:27:15 AM

Instructions are incorrect according to illustration "b". It should be use strip number "1" to sew to adjacent loop on original braid.

1/22/2014 9:08:22 AM

I was doing fine reading these instructions, until Illustration B. Lost me! Perhaps it will make more sense once I try making one.

lynnette wegrzyn
11/13/2012 3:43:15 PM

The instructions are very clear to me, and am looking forward to making one of these rugs. I will start, as you mentioned, with a small rug. I would like to hear/read comments by others. Where do I go for that?

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