How to Make Your Own Entrance Mat with Recycled Materials

What You'll Need
Old clothes
Safety pin
Washing machine

An entrance mat serves both a decorative and practical purpose but there's no reason that it can't also be sustainable. There are many different materials that you can recycle into a homemade rug or mat for any room of the house such as old clothes or linens and even plastic bags. These step-by-step instructions will teach you how to make a stylish and sustainable entrance mat that you can adapt them for use anywhere in the home.

Step 1 – Gather Materials

Decide what materials you want to use for your rug. Old clothes such as t-shirts are an excellent choice and offer a variety of colors but if you have a specific theme in mind, you may need to consider asking friends to check for any suitable old clothes that they'd like to donate so you have enough material. Old linen such as curtains and sheets are another useful source of materials. Sort the fabrics out by texture and thickness so that your rug won't be patchy and uneven. Old jeans are perfect for an entrance rug because the fabric is incredibly hard wearing.

Step 2 – Wash Material

Once you have chosen your materials, you need to wash and dry them on a hot setting to get rid of any shrinkage or running dye. You don't want the colors to seep out of your rug into the carpet or flooring underneath.

Step 3 – Prepare Fabric

Cut your chosen fabric into strips with a width of between one and two inches. If using jeans, don't use the sections with seams and hems and remove any pockets. These extra thick areas of material would make the rug uneven. Next, you need to sew the strips together end-to-end to create long lengths of fabric. You will need a supply of fabric strips that is dividable by three for the braiding process. Be careful not to make the strips too long or you will find them hard to work with when braiding.

Step 4 – Braiding

Use a safety pin or a few stitches to hold three of the material strips together at one end then weigh them down with something heavy so that they stay in place while you braid. Begin braiding the material together tightly but not so tight that it begins to pucker unattractively. When you get to the end of the material, attach new strips with a couple of small stitches and carry on with the process. As you braid, shape the rug into the design you prefer and sew it together with strong thread and tight stitches. The material needs to be quite tightly braided and sewn, otherwise it will begin to unravel if high volumes of people pass over the entrance mat. Braided rugs can be circular, rectangular or even semi-circular depending on your personal preference.

Step 5 – Finishing Up

When your rug reaches the desired size, sew the ends of the fabric strips together and secure them tightly so that they won't come loose. If you have a tile or wooden floor, you may want to apply a non-slip backing to the rug so that it stays in place and doesn't become a safety hazard.