Top 5 Uses for Your Scraps of Old Fabric



If a new wool rug is beyond your purchasing power, turn your old fabric scraps into a pretty braided rug.
If a new wool rug is beyond your purchasing power, turn your old fabric scraps into a pretty braided rug.
iStockphoto/George Clerk

Cleaning rags are certainly useful, but a more fun approach to recycling your fabric scraps is braiding them into a soft rug. Braided rugs have a unique texture, and as with the cleaning rag project, you can choose to use fabrics that are thick or lightweight, which will modify the rug's softness to your preference.

To make this rug you will need to know how to do a simple braid with three pieces of fabric. Start out by taking three long pieces of fabric and braiding them together. If you run out of fabric, you can always make multiple braids and sew the ends together. Using more than one type of fabric gives your rug a splash of color and that trendy shabby chic look.

When you are finished with the braid, you can begin forming it into a coil and sewing it together. The longer the center piece is, the more oblong-shaped your rug will be when it is complete. For example, if you want a rug measuring 6 ft by 9 ft (1.8 m by 2.7 m), the center coil should be about 3 ft (91 cm) long [source: Rug]. If you don't want an oval or round rug, you can make a rectangle or square shape by placing two braided strips side by side and sewing them together. Keep adding a strip until you reach the desired width for your rug.

Braiding is not the only way to make a rug from scraps. Rugs are also crocheted, sewn, hooked and more. For a crocheted rug, you need scissors, a large piece of fabric, a ruler and a size 11.5 crochet hook. Cut your fabric into strips measuring 1.5 inches (3.78 cm) wide. As you cut the first strip, stop 1 inch (2.52 cm) before you reach the bottom edge. For the next strip, begin cutting at the bottom of the fabric, and leave the 1-inch margin at the top. Continue alternating your 1-inch (2.52 cm) margin as you cut more strips. When you are finished, the fabric should be in one long strip, which you can crochet into a rug [source: San Pedro].

A rug is a fun accessory for your home, but sometimes you just want to show off all of your talents. Check out the next page to learn how to make a tote.