Last week I mentioned on the Facebook page that I was working on a no-sew braided rug. Well, I finished it, so today I’d love to show you how you can take some rope and turn it into a pretty DIY rug/floor mat.
I was inspired to make this rug after I saw this post by the super talented Cami @ Tidbits. I took the general idea (using rope to make a rug) and changed it up a little. Instead of using straight pieces of rope like Cami did, I braided the rope first to create a no-sew braided rug.
While this rug does take a bit of time to make, the process is not overly complicated. 90% of the work is just braiding rope then gluing it to a mat. It’s honestly mindless work, which makes it a good DIY project to do while binge-watching Netflix.
In terms of cost, I had a lot of scrap sisal rope sitting around the house so I only had to buy one small packet of rope and the liquid nails to make my rug. If you have to buy all of the supplies, the rug will cost about 35USD/45AUD to make. As a DIY project, it’s not the cheapest of the cheap, but it’s not a bad price considering the thickness and quality you end up with (much better than cheap rugs from IKEA).
I kept my rug pretty small, but you can use the method below to make a rug in any size you like, whether that’s a small mat, a longer hallway runner, or a big rug for your living room.
DIY no-sew braided rope rug
- You’re going to need a lot of rope. The exact amount depends on a number of variables including the rug’s size and the width of the rope. To give you an idea, I used about 50 metres (164 feet) of rope for a 71 x 40cm (27.5″ x 16″) mat. I had a look online for cheap sources of sisal rope and found the following:
- Heavy duty liquid nails.
- To make sure your rug can withstand constant use/the elements, you’ll want to use a very strong adhesive to attach the rope to the mat. Look for liquid nails that says “indoor/outdoor use” or “extra strength”.
- I used Selley’s Heavy Duty Liquid Nails. I don’t think this brand is available in the US, but this liquid nails seems like it’s the same thing.
- Caulking gun.
- You can get these from any hardware store. Amazon also sell them.
- Jute twine.
- A cheap outdoor mat.
- This will form the base of your rope rug. You can find cheap rubber mats at most hardware stores and stores like Kmart (Aus)/Walmart (US).
- Look for a mat that’s a bit rigid, as this will make gluing things easier.
Preparing the braided rope
To begin, cut all of your rope pieces to size. The exact length depends on the size you want your finished braided rug to be. A good rule of thumb is to cut your rope about 1 1/4-1/3 times the length you want your rug to be, as some of the length will be ‘lost’ when you braid the rope.
If you’re not entirely sure how long you need your rope to be, you can cut three test pieces of rope and braid them to see if they’ll be long enough. That way, if they’re too short, you’re only losing three pieces/a few minutes of your time.
Next, gather three pieces of rope. Using a small piece of jute twine, tie the pieces of rope together a little bit down from the top, as below. Don’t worry about how it looks as you’ll remove it in the final step anyway.
Braid the rope as you would if you were braiding hair.
When you’ve got about 10cm/4″ of rope remaining at the bottom, use jute twine to tie the braid off, as you did at the top.
Repeat with the rest of your rope until you have the desired number of braids.
Gluing the braids to the rug
Now for the fun and slightly smelly part: Adding the braids to the rug.
Using your caulking gun, run a thick line of liquid nails along the bottom edge of the rug. Don’t be afraid to use a lot of liquid nails, as this will help everything stick nicely.
Next, press one of your braids on top of the liquid nails.
I found that the liquid nails took a while to dry so, to keep the rope from moving, I used clothes pegs to peg the first line of rope to the mat. You can also use a heavy book and rest it on top of the braid.
Once your first braid is attached to your mat, continue adding braids to your mat. I found that I could glue about three braids at a time before I would need to peg them and allow them to dry before continuing.
Once you’ve added all of your braided rope to your rug, you’ll have something that looks like this:
Tidying up the rug
The final step is to tidy up the rug. This involves making the frayed edges even and tidying up the jute twine that was used in the first step to tie the braids.
Grab a pair of scissors and cut off all of the small bits of jute twine you tied earlier.
Then cut a long piece of jute twine. Use a knot to tie it to the first braid.
This part is kind of hard to explain. Basically, you want to tie one braid together, then loop the jute twine under and over the next braid, tying it off with a knot as you go. You can use the underside of your mat as a guide to make sure you’re going straight. Repeat on the other side of the rug.
Then you’ll have a nice, neat line of twine.
And then your DIY rope rug is all finished!
I’ll update this post in a few months with some pictures of the rope rug being used once we’ve moved in to our new place and I actually have somewhere to put it. At the moment, I’m leaning towards either using it as a welcome mat for our front door or putting it on the floor in front of the kitchen sink so my feet stay toasty warm while doing the dishes (ew, dishes).