Homespun for the win: Craft a striking rag rug from a curtain panel

The tradition of rag rugs originated in Europe, when resourceful and thrifty women first crafted them using fabric remnants from discarded, worn-out clothes or from the mending process. The concept is simple: You braid fabric strips and stitch them together to form a coil to create an oval rag rug. Our curtain panel rag rug DIY is a modern, easier take on the traditional art form, but no less appealing.
Since there are countless patterned curtain panel choices available in stores, you should hand pick one with your preferred colors in the print. That way you can craft your rag rug to harmonize with your room’s décor or wall color. The unique textural quality that rag rugs have lends a coziness that pairs perfectly with a comfy chair, a good book, and a cup of tea. No matter where you choose to place your rag rug, it will add a lovely homespun air to your space.
- 1 standard curtain panel, 45-by-63 inches
- Scissors
- Roll of masking tape
- Hot glue gun
- Glue sticks
- Pins
DIY Everywhere
1. Make a 1-inch cut about 1 inch from one of the side edges of the curtain panel with the scissors.
2. Rip this strip all the way down the side of the panel with your hands until it separates from the panel. If the strip you're tearing becomes uneven, you can use the scissors to cut parts as you go.
3. Repeat steps 1-2 until you’ve made ripped strips from the entire panel.
4. Cut the strips, staggering them in length.
5. Take three ripped strips, and place them on top of each other on your work surface. Orient them vertically.
6. Take a piece of tape, and tape the top section of the strips onto the work surface.
7. Braid the three strips until you get to their lower ends. When you run out of fabric for the braid, loop the strip.
8. Cut the bottom of the strip on the right so about 2 inches remain at its bottom.
9. Take the bottom of the braided strip you just trimmed, and fold about ½ inch of it under itself, then make a ¼-inch cut into the fold with the scissors. This makes a small slit at the end of the strip.
10. Take an end of the strip you just cut away from the braided one, fold one of its ends under about ½ inch, and make a ¼-inch cut into that fold.
11. Take the separated strip that you just made the hole in, and put it through the slit you made at the end of the strip from the braided pieces.
12. Take the uncut end of the strip you cut away, and bring it through the slit you cut on its other end.
13. Pull the very bottom part of the newly attached strip, so it tightens the connections between the strips.
14. Repeat steps 7-12, but cut and weave the strips through the other two strips that make up the taped-down braid.
15. Braid the remainder of the taped-down strip ends until you reach the point where you made the slits in them.
16. Gather the next three strips, and repeat steps 5-14 until you've used up all of your strips.
17. When you’re done braiding, start to coil your rug and pin it in place. Take one braided piece of strips, and apply a 1-inch line of glue to one of its ends.
18. Fold the portion of the strip with glue on it inward, so it’s affixed to the inch of strip next to it.
19. Keep repeating step 17 until this strip is arranged in affixed concentric circles. If needed while the glue is drying, use pins to keep the coiled form together.
20. Repeat this process, and glue the rows of braids together until they’re all connected into a large coil.
21. Allow the glue to dry.
22. Place your round rag rug beside your bed, in the hallway, or in front of your kitchen sink to add a homey feel and a pleasing design element to your space.