Today we will be reusing some old t-shirts and turning them into a rug, using a basic friendship bracelet technique. An easy project if you already know this technique, but don’t panic if you dont... it’s nothing but basic knots.
Now, this is a lengthy one; it took me a few months to complete, but it is quite rewarding once you finish it. I like to call it a work of love.... and patience, lots of patience.
I enjoyed making this rug while sitting outside sipping on coffee and enjoying the warmer weather.
T-shirts. I used a total of eight large t-shirts; quantity depends on how large you make your rug. (You get bonus points for re-purposing old ones)
- Clothes pins & cork board (optional & not pictured)
Gather your t-shirts and cut them into two inch strips with your scissors. I picked four coordinating colors, but I love the idea of gathering plain white ones and dying them with your favorite shade of fabric dye.
Decide on the size of your rug, and cut your hemp twine accordingly. I used 60 pieces of hemp twine measuring 38 inches long. My final rug measurements were 38 x 33 inches.
Align & secure your pieces of hemp twine. I used some clothes pins and a cork board to get me started. These are not necessary, but definitely helpful to keep the twine aligned when getting started.
Grab a t-shirt strip and cut a small hole in it. I suggest you leave about 4 inches of extra material so it is easy to finish the edges of the rug. I didn’t leave enough spare material and had to do some hand-stitching when finishing the edges.
Grab your t-shirt strip, place underneath hemp twine. Pull the t-shirt strip through the hole you just cut so it is secured all around the hemp twine.
Now lets learn the basic knot we will be using for this rug.
Grab the t-shirt strip and make a D shape with it. Make sure the strip comes over the hemp string, bring it underneath it; pull it through the D shape you just made and pull tight. That is the basic friendship bracelet technique we will be using for the whole project.
Make two of these knots, and move on to the next hemp string as shown below.
Repeat with every hemp string until you have joined all of them together. That was 60 hemp strings for me. Phew!!
Remember: Two knots per hemp string before you move on to the next one.
Repeat steps 4 through 8 for every row of knots.
** If your t-shirt strip runs out in the middle of your row of knots, then here’s how to join two strips together so you can keep those knots going: Make two holes at the end of each strip (close to the edges) Pull the new strip through the whole of the old strip, pull the opposite end of the new strip through it’s own hole and pull tight. **
With step 9, you repeat, repeat, repeat until you finish your rug.
Time to finish those edges. If you left enough spare material at each end, then you can tie them to each other and you are set!
If you didn’t, (like me) then tuck them to the backside of the rug and do some basic hand-stitching to secure them. I left the hemp strings unfinished.
That’s it, guys! A very lengthy project, I know. It will definitely take a while to finish, but the finished product is quite unique! Not to mention the fact you can customize the colors and size to go with your home’s decor. i am using mine as a bath rug, it feels great on bare feet!
This would also be a perfect summer project for a very determined + patient kid, don’t you think?
I hope you are able to make your own rug, or maybe use this technique for some cute pot-holders or even some place mats? The possibilities are endless!!