Old-Fashioned Braided Rug Style Placemats

On the prairie, no scrap of fabric could go to waste, and you had to do what you could to make your home feel cozy. When reading the Little House on the Prairie books as a child, I loved to learn how the Ingalls girls used what they had to make lovely decorations, like braiding rags into rugs. Their creativity has inspired this fun and easy DIY project. All you need to know is how to cut, braid, and stitch. You don't even need to do any of these particularly well to get a great result.
Basic sewing skills are enough for this DIY
This country-style placemat was created using a braided-rug technique. You can make it as big or as small as needed for the space you have to fill.
Create strips from old T-shirts.
Create strips from your old T-Shirts or scrap fabrics that you have around the house. There are some types of fabrics that seem easier to use than others.
Can you have too many strips?
Use strips in coordinating colors or in mis-matching colors depending on the look you want to achieve. The more colors you use, the scrapper your finished product will appear.
Braid the strips of fabric.
Braid the strips of fabric in a traditional braid. When you run out of one strip just work another strip into the rotation allowing the braid to hold it in place. See post for details.
Braid monster!
Your braid can be as long as you need it to be, depending on how large you want your finished rug to be.
Start your rug with the finished braid.
Once you get your long braid rop finished you can begin the center of your rug. Fold it in and use a quick stich to secure it. This will become the middle of the rug, which can be as small or as large as you want.
Gorgeous finished braided rug placemat
The finished braided rug is made in a smaller, placemat size for flexibility in how it's used. You can make it larger as a rug or table centerpiece. Or keep it smaller as in this example to use a placemat or over an end table.
Little House on the Prairie
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  1 question
  • Julie Julie on Aug 15, 2017
    I have done this with old towels.. But its very hard to sew together. Do you think fabric glue would work instead of sewing?

Join the conversation
2 of 19 comments