If you love to upcycle and work with materials like denim, then there are quite a few options. One really cool option is the braided rug. I have sold a few of these at craft shows, these are better to sell in person such as at a show as they tend to be quite heavy, and so mailing them might not be the best option.
Either way you can make these any size you want. All you need is a great supply of well worn clean denim jeans.
As you can see from the above picture it can be fun to mix up different shades of denim for a cool effect. Basically all you need to make this denim braided rug are strips of denim, duct tape and upholstery thread and needle.
How to Make: Step 1 - Open up a pair of jeans with a sharp pair of scissors or a rotary cutter at the leg seams. (rotary cutter sold below)
Step 2 - Starting at the bottom hem, measure off approx. 2 inches with a pen. You could create a long cardboard template to make this a bit more exacting, but basically you are going to cut 2 inch strips of denim from the jeans.
Step 3 - Get as many strips of denim from the jeans as you can, then once you have a few strips, divide them equally into three piles.
Step 4 - Sew the ends together so that you have very long strips. Keep doing this and then roll each section into a ball (makes it easier to braid).
Step 5 - Now that you have three balls or sections of long strips of denim, you can get started. Take a strip end from each of your sections and take a piece of duct tape and tape together at the top, then place this end under something heavy so it won't move such as a furniture leg.
Step 6 - Start braiding with the 3 balls of denim strips. To see where you are at, begin to form the rug by making it into a circle with the braided material. If you need to cut more strips then sew equal amounts to each of your three sections or balls of denim.
Keep braiding until you are happy with the size.
Step 7 - This is a rustic raggedy denim rug because the edges of the denim strips are raw and unfinished. To put this rug together, you need to use heavier thread such as upholstery thread and darning style needle.
Step 8 - You simply thread your needle and start in the center by wrapping it into a circle and attaching through the braids and pull tight. Keep doing this until you are at the end and then simply tuck the end in and sew in place.
These denim rugs are surprisingly soft to the feet and would make great rugs for beside the bed or in front of the kitchen sink. If you use it on a hardwood floor, then you should get those anti-slip mats to put underneath it to keep it still.
If you plan on sewing with heavier fabrics such as denim or even leather you can get sewing machines designed to handle that type of fabric as seen in the above picture of a Singer Machine.
But if you are not ready for that investment just yet, at least use the denim sewing needles for your machine. They are a small investment and you won't keep breaking your regular ones like I did before I clued in you could get them especially for denim!
Check Thrift Stores for Old Jeans - If you are looking for a good supply of old denim jeans, ask around your family and friends, but also check the thrift shops as they get many jean donations that are not good enough to resell. For a small donation they will most likely let you have these. Don't forget to save the pockets as there are many other things you can make with used jeans. Upcycling at its finest!
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