DIY Inspiration: Turn Bath Towels into a Braided Rug

Learn to braid towels into a bathroom rug DIY  upcycle project free tutorialSo, you love your bath towels… but they’re looking a little worn, a little shabby, ready to be replaced? But the color is perfect and you’d really rather not get rid of them… Here’s an idea to give them more life by turning them into a wonderfully thick and absorbent braided bathroom rug!

It’s really an easy project that only requires a few supplies. If you have a sewing machine, great! But if not, you can hand sew when necessary.completed round rug created using our free tutorial diy upcycle braided rug instructions

Gather these Supplies:
• 6 bath towels
• Marker
• Ruler
• Sharp fabric scissors
• Clothes pin or lg. safety pin
• Yarn darner needle
• Nylon thread or fishing line
• Sewing machine (optional)
• Sewing or quilting pins

sew together three strips to start your diy upcycle braided rug created out of towelsInstructions:
1) Select 6 large bath towels of one color or a variety of colors. Cut off the hem edge of each towel. Using a ruler and a marker, mark the towels into three inch strips and cut along your marked lines. Count your strips and divide them into three equal piles.

2) Take the first section of each pile. Sew the three layers together at one end.fold in one strip edges to the middle to begin your braided diy upcycle towel bath rug

3) Lay this seam of three strips out in front of you in a “T” shape. One at a time, fold the edges of the strip into the middle and then fold it in again. Place a pin to hold the fold in place as you go for the length of the strip. Repeat for the other two strips.

4) Starting at the seam that joins your three strips, braid the three strips together, removing the pins as you go. fold strips to begin braiding processTry not to braid too tightly as it will be difficult to sew or lace the braids together. Reversely, if you braid is too loosely, your rug will lose its shape and not hold together well. When you reach the end, clip or pin together.

braid to end of first section of diy upcycle towel braided rug free tutorial5) When the first section of braid is completed, sew a second section of towel to each of the three ends either by hand or sewing machine. Sew each piece with the raw edges of the seam facing up so it will be hidden in the double fold. Continue to sew on strips, fold in and braid until you have used up all of your towel strips. Secure the end of your braid by sewing the three ends together with needle and a section of towel at a time

6) Once you’ve completed your braid, it is time to lace or sew your rug together into a round or oval rug. For a round rug, measure approximately 3 inches from the beginning of your braid (for oval, measure 9 to 10 inches) and fold this length sideways so that the measured sections lays parallel to the longer section of braid.

begin to turn your braided towels into a rug by hand sewing the braid together upcycle diy7) Cut a length of thread/fishing line approximately 3 ft long and thread the yarn needle. Tie the thread ends together so the thread is doubled and the needle can’t fall off. At the spot where the first bend occurs in the braid, thread the needle through a bit of the braid and back though the thread loop to secure it to the braid as shown in photo at left. This is the same method you will use every time to finish a length of thread. This is also the only time you will actually go through the fabric of the braid, the rest of the time we will use the gaps in the braid.

sew the braids together through the gap between strands of towel8) With the knot in place, take the needle and slide it through a gap in the braid on the opposite side of two braid sections that are parallel. Pull the thread through and continue with the technique alternating sides as you travel down the length of braid, curving around the oval shape. When you have about 6 or 8 inches of thread left, end it with a knot through the fabric and start your next thread in the same way you started the first one. You will do this all the way till you run out of braid.

9) When you reach the end of your braid, sew the end of the braid tightly, hiding it under the edge of the rug.

Click here to download a 2 page printable tutorial for this project from our website.

Enjoy your new Braided Bath Mat! Consider creating a smaller version to use as a hotplate!


3 Responses to DIY Inspiration: Turn Bath Towels into a Braided Rug

  1. debra newman says:

    great idea

  2. Gerri says:

    Mine is actually a question if anyone knows. Can you wash them in the washing machine?

    • Good question Gerri, The towels themselves are obviously machine washable. The nylon thread or fishing line should be able to go through the washer but I wouldn’t put it in the dryer as it might melt or stretch. You could always use a heavy thread instead of fishing line which would withstand the temp of the dryer. Also note that the cut edges will shed a little so you might have a bit of towel lint the first time you wash it. Post a photo of your finished rug if you can! We’d love to see it!

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