Make a Braided Plastic Bag Rug

Edited by Doug Collins, Eng, Joanie

I would like to thank Mom Eberhard for the awesome video on How to DIY Braided Plastic Bag Rug. I organized it into a wiki for anyone with a hearing impairment, or for those who just prefer to read the steps. Hope you enjoy it. :)


Part One

  1. 1
    Today I'm going to show you how to make a Braided Rug out of plastic grocery bags, here is one design.
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  2. 2
    Here is another one.
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  3. 3
    Here is another one as well, if you have less bags of one color you can just put them in the center and surround with the colors that you have more of.
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  4. 4
    If you have two colors then you can do a two color as well, so that's the goal.
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  5. 5
    You can see that these are very thick, and they're waterproof so they can go outside, and they're pretty heavy.
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  6. 6
    Let's start with how you start making the Rugs. First, get some grocery bags and flatten them down.
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  7. 7
    Cut about 4 or 5 at a time because the actual cutting doesn't have to be actually unique, just you've got to cut the bottoms off.
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  8. 8
    Cut off the top side.
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  9. 9
    Take these back to the grocery store for recycling.
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  10. 10
    Now, you've made a loop.
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  11. 11
    Next thing to do is to know how to braid a four-stranded braid, I used these pieces of T-shirts that I cut into strips so you could learn it.
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  12. 12
    Now you have four strands, "I'll state them in color to be clear".
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  13. 13
    This red strand goes over the black.
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  14. 14
    The green strand goes under the black one.
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  15. 15
    The white strand goes over the black.
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  16. 16
    Ready to start it again. The green strand goes over the red.
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  17. 17
    The white strand goes under the red one.
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  18. 18
    The last Black strand goes over the Red.
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  19. 19
    You do this every time.
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  20. 20
    White strand over the green, the black under the green, and the red over the green.
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  21. 21
    You can tighten it up, you'll see after a while that it gets to its own set width.
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  22. 22
    Again, over, under, over, tighten a bit, and move on.
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  23. 23
    At any point along the way, you can tighten it, widen it, make it narrow, or adjust it as you go along so that it all end up even.
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  24. 24
    "Today I'm going to start a Rug like this except, I was only able to get a couple of the red bags, so my center would be smaller but I'll be using these colors".
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  25. 25
    To start the Rug, get the grocery bags which already cut." By the way, if you live in an apartment and you don't want to be snowed under with bags, cut them, store them, in a simple little box, and you can store hundreds and hundreds of bags in a simple box, which is good because the box can take 160 to 200 bags".
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  26. 26
    Take one of each color and start the Rug.
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  27. 27
    Make several giant loops out of the each bag.
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  28. 28
    Try to make the knot smaller.
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  29. 29
    Take another two bags and insert one around the other and tighten to make your giant loop.
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  30. 30
    Now we have our four colors to start.
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  31. 31
    Now you remember your four stranded braids.
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  32. 32
    The white goes over gray.
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  33. 33
    The brown goes under the gray.
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  34. 34
    This goes over.
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  35. 35
    Give it a little twist.
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  36. 36
    Over, under.
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  37. 37
  38. 38
    As I mentioned earlier to make your own width, this is what it's doing and you'll get to know this width because as you adjust it to the carpet you'll be adjusting to about that natural width.
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  39. 39
    Gray over.
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  40. 40
    White under.
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  41. 41
    Brown over. Always to keep everything as flat as possible.
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  42. 42
    As you can see I've only come to this far and I'm already running out of bags.
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  43. 43
    You can add another loop when you ran out.
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  44. 44
    Tightened the knot well.
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  45. 45
    This is a big bag, after cutting the top and the bottom I cut it in half, this means that you will not end up having all the knots at the same spot, it doesn't matter much but it makes it a little easier.
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  46. 46
    Make the loops for the other bags.
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  47. 47
    The red one.
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  48. 48
    The brown one.
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  49. 49
    The trick is you tug it so that this is your central point because if you make an uneven ring, you'll have this puff here, so the trick is to give it a little tug there to where you want your knot to go.
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  50. 50
    So back to the same work, lay it out like it was before.
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  51. 51
    Now, brown is over.
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  52. 52
    Gray is under.
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  53. 53
    The red one is over.
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  54. 54
    "Now , I am going to make a roundish Rug, and just going to do it this long. You can make as long as you want just consider that if you make it too long you're going to spend all the day doing it".
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  55. 55
    We've got the four strands, over, under, and over then you need to tuck it in the next one.
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  56. 56
    I'm putting it down so you can see it, I still have the three strands.
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  57. 57
    Again, over, under, over, and tuck the last one in. "Remember the width as you go down you need to adjust the width. I usually leave the stand up until I find that loop and get that in there".
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  58. 58
    Now, the red over the brown, and the white goes under the brown.
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  59. 59
    Tuck the brown one in.
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  60. 60
    Pull it to the end.
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  61. 61
    Constantly, you should always be adjusting.
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  62. 62
    When you get to the curve, you may have to put two in the same hole in order to maintain that width as you come around the curve.
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Video: Make a Braided Plastic Bag Rug


Part Two

So, I've added a few stitches to get us down to the very first corner.

Steps

  1. 1
    Now if you remember I just folded over and that left me with two loops here. When you come around corner you have to make sure to grab those loops or the rug is going to unravel.
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  • 2
    So, keep going, we've got the four strands, white is Over the red.
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  • 3
    The gray is under the red, and the brown is over the red, and the red goes through the loop and pull the red. If the loop gets too tight loosen it up or use a pencil to hook it up through.
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  • 4
    If the strand is big you can fix it by just twisting it. And now it is about the same size as the other ones.
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  • 5
    Now, put the white bag through the knot and pull. Always do the shifting and make sure to keep everything well tighten.
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  • 6
    Again, we've got the four strands, gray, brown, red, and white, the gray over the brown, the red under the gray and the white is over the gray, and finally to put the gray through the loop and pull it well.
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  • 7
    Nice width as it comes around with a curve. To make this curve to come around, you must put the bag through in the same hole.
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  • 8
    So, after repeating the pattern, over, under, and over put the last strand through the same hole.
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  • 9
    Again, the gray is over the red, the white is under the red.
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  • 10
    The brown goes over the red.
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  • 11
    You need to find the loop which is gray and white.
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  • 12
    Put the red strand through that loop.
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  • 13
    Use a gray bag to extend the gray strand. The color variation is as to the bags.
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  • 14
    This looks way too long.
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  • 15
    Go back in and pull that and tighten it up, that looks better, you can adjust as you go along at any time would be perfect.
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  • 16
    As you are coming around the curve, you need to put the bag in the same hole, as the Rug gets bigger you don't have to put it in the same hole as many times, in fact, you'll find yourself only doubling up on a hole when you're on the corner curves.
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  • 17
    That looks about the width that I want.
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  • 18
    Adding bags, that's the only thing you will seem to be doing because the Rug will take 160 to 200 bags. If the bag is damaged you can just easily replace it. So, don't feel guilty when you go to the grocery and get back with a lot of bags or when your friends come and visit you and bring you bags because you will be recycling all these bags.
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  • 19
    Again back to the same pattern, brown is over the white.
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  • 20
    The red is under the white.
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  • 21
    The gray is over the white and white bag goes through the knot.
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  • 22
    Flatten the Rug.
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  • 23
    It looks very nice. Go in the same pattern and keep going, you don't have to double on the straight, and make sure that both sides are even.
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  • 24
    If it gets a little puffy when you put it through, you just need to twist it a little.
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  • 25
    That's the basics of how you start it and how you come around the first curve.
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  • 26
    I have a Rug already started and I'd like to finish it off, so I will show you how to finish a Rug.
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  • 27
    We're back to the four bags.
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  • 28
    The second bag goes over the first bag.
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  • 29
    The third bag goes under the second.
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  • 30
    Then tie a knot using the third and the fourth bags together.
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  • 31
    Put the end through the Rug and if it gets tight use a pencil.
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  • 32
    In the end, you will have a little bit of a hangs out, it won't pull out because we've been working them through all along.
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  • 33
    keep putting this bag through the Rug in this direction to the end.
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  • 34
    Same thing you need to do to this bag till it ends.
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  • 35
    When done with two bags, tie a knot using the other two bags together
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  • 36
    Finish each bag through the Rug to the end.
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  • 37
    Hopefully, you understand that it's a little tricky learning with the width of four bags and trying to keep tagging it
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  • 38
    When you're done you'll have a Rug the will last years and it costs you nothing and didn't have to purchase and you're doing the environment good by using plastic bags. Hope you've enjoyed this. Thanks.
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  • Video: Make a Braided Plastic Bag Rug Part Two

    Questions and Answers

    Why does this get so confusing when tucking in the colors?

    OK so I am braiding the bags as shown, but then when she starts tucking in the bags it really gets confusing. I'm sorry but it just gets confusing when she starts tucking the bags

    VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

    If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.

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    Categories : Repurposing Crafts

    Recent edits by: Eng, Doug Collins

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