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Chelsea's DIY Holiday Series: Jean Rug

Watch above as Chelsea from Pittsburgh's CW Green Team demonstrates how to create a one-of-a-kind rug using jeans from Good Will. The gift made here is ideal for a kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom setting, but these materials and steps can be used to make a number of gifts including place mats, coasters, or pot holders.

Don't worry, it's not as difficult as it looks. The basic idea is to produce an extra long braid out of denim material, then glue it onto a piece of base fabric.

Here is a list of materials you will need:

  • Scissors
  • A glue gun & glue sticks
  • An Iron & Towel to cover your work surface
  • A measuring tool, like a yard stick or ruler
  • A base piece of fabric  (You can find scraps for this at your local craft supply store)
  • Jeans (plus size jeans provide you with the most amount of fabric!)
  • Scraps of t-shirts from your t-shirt pillow to add some color!

Chelsea's project was a 15" x 21" mat, so she needed to produce 34 ft. of braid to complete the project.

Step One: Ready the Base

In order to prevent fraying of the base fabric, use an iron to fold down the edges and a hot glue gun to secure them in the center of the mat.

Step Two: Cut the Braid Material

Before cutting the material, it's easiest to first remove an entire pant leg from the pair of jeans. Then, like tracing a spiral stair case, cut the jeans in a long strip by cutting continuously around the pant leg. Once you've completed one pant leg, cut the long strip you have created into three or four more strips of manageable lengths (this helps avoid tangles in the braiding process). Repeat this step with other pant legs. Here, Chelsea used three pairs of jean that were different shades to bring more color to the project.

Step Three: The Braid

Now it's time to begin the braid. Start by taking three strips, tie them in a knot, and begin braiding. Once you reach an end of a strip, pair another strip with it 3-4 inches before its end to weave it into the braid and continue seamlessly. You can use this method to also incorporate strips of fabric left over from your t-shirt pillow project. Once your braid has reached the appropriate length, tie the end into a knot and cut the extra material.

Step Four: Glue the Braid to the Base

Now that the braid and base are ready, you are going to cover every inch of the base with the braid by first applying glue and then securing the braid. You have some liberty here to go horizontally or vertically side-to-side or even spiral from the middle and use your own design. If you are going side-to-side, once you reach the edge, just fold the fabric to create a loop and continue. Once the entire base is covered, make sure the braid finishes with a knot and is glued down.

And that's it! Now, thanks to your hard work and supplies from Good Will, you've completed a one-of-a-kind rug create for a holiday gift for someone special.

Looking for a gift for that crafty friend of yours? Get him or her a $25 gift card to Good Will and receive a $5 gift card, free!

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