Two Dozen Eco-Friendly Rugs, Mats, and Floor Coverings to Make

Here's how to stencil a rug, so you can turn a thrift store find or old decor piece into something totally cute and new!

Whether it’s a 20″x24″ bath mat for your kid’s bathroom, or a couch-sized pom pom rug for your family room, the power to make your new favorite floor covering is in your hands!

Depending on the size, a DIY floor covering can be anywhere from a total breeze to a bit of a chore to make, but crafting it yourself means that you’re in complete control of the materials and the design. Want an all-wool rug that looks like a scene from Space Invaders? Or a mudroom boot rest that upcycles blue jeans waistbands? DIY allow you to completely personalize your style, your materials, and your size–and it’s super fun!

Read on to check out my favorite free tutorials for eco-friendly rugs, mats, and floor coverings that you can DIY:

Upcycled Rugs

DIY Terrycloth Bath Mat

  • bath mat upcycled from towels. Here’s a great way to upcycle old towels into a fun new bathmat. Look for towels with different colors and patterns to make your applique pop!
  • terrycloth and fabric rugThis traditional rugmaking method now has a twist–literally! Instead of rope, this tutorial calls for strips of upcycled terrycloth wrapped with another scrap fabric of your choosing.
  • rug crochet with T-shirt yarnY’all know I’m usually obsessed with sewing, but here’s one for you crochet artists! T-shirt yarn is my favorite way to upcycle T-shirts whose color is fine but whose graphics I loathe.
  • woven T-shirt yarn rugDon’t crochet, but love the woven look? Weaving on a loom isn’t hard to learn, and this tute even links to instructions to DIY your loom from scratch.
  • braided T-shirt yarn rugThis braided rug doesn’t require a crochet hook or a loom… but yes, you do have to sew it.
  • latch-hooked T-shirt rugLooking for an absolutely EPIC T-shirt rug project? This rug calls for a ton of work–and a TON of T-shirt strips!–but it looks amazing, and feels awesome on your toesies.
crocheted denim rug from Just Stringing Along
crocheted denim rug image via Just Stringing Along
  • crocheted denim rugYou can crochet anything with a big enough hook!
  • no-sew rug from jeans waistbandsJeans waistbands have so much personality, but they’re often the odd ducks that are left out of upcycling projects. I mean, they’re so thick and difficult to sew! This tutorial sidesteps that entire problem by using fabric glue to make an upcycled waistbands rug that’s thick, sturdy, and full of personality.
  • woven denim rugThis rug isn’t quite no-sew, since you’ll want to stitch down all those trippy edges before you put it on your floor, but weaving the denim strips instead of piecing them does make for a LOT less sewing.
  • pockets rugPants pockets make a distinctive rug, and if you want to hide a secret note or a spare key in one of those pockets, I won’t tell!
  • felted sweater rugHere’s a winning combo for those who love crafting with natural materials AND upcycled materials–felt wool sweaters, then make them into a rug!
denim fringe rug from Communing with Fabric
denim fringe rug image via Communing with Fabric
  • denim fringe rugItems made from denim can sometimes look sort of industrial and utilitarian. This rug, however, looks floofy and soft with tons of fluffy fringed edges!
  • denim hex rugIf you DO want to do a lot of sewing, this rug, pieced from hexagons, is the rug for you!
  • round denim rugYes, you can still get creative with the shape of your upcycled denim rug! Here’s a round rug tutorial to get you started.
  • chevron rugChevrons are another fun way to mix up the traditional look of denim.
  • jeans seams rugReady for a challenge? Check out this rug made entirely from the seams of jeans! It does take a lot of work–and a LOT of jeans seams!–to make this rug, so it’s well-suited for small spaces.

Rugs Made from New Materials

faux fur rug via View Along the Way
faux fur rug image via View Along the Way
  • rug from any fabricHere’s a no-sew way to attach a non-slip rug underlay to any fabric. With this method, you can quickly and easily DIY a rug from a tea towel, length of faux fur, wool blanket, or any other fabric that speaks to you. Just keep in mind that most non-upholstery fabrics aren’t made for the wear and tear of foot traffic.
  • painted drop cloth floor coveringI LOVE this floor covering so much! It’s not suitable for high traffic areas, but it is washable. And since you hand paint it, your design is limited only by your creativity!
wrapped rug from The Aqua Umbrella
wrapped rug image via The Aqua Umbrella
  • wrapped rugThis rug uses cotton piping and jellyroll quilt pieces to create a traditional rag rug look in exactly the colorway of your choosing.
  • cotton piping rugHere’s a brand-new-to-me way to use cotton piping. Instead of wrapping fabric around it, as in the previous tutorial, this tutorial tells you to cut it up, fluff up the cut ends, and thereby make it into the softest, fluffiest, thickest rug you can possibly imagine.
pom pom rug from Hungarican Journey
pom pom rug image via Hungarican Journey
  • latch hooked rugThis rug is the best way to show off your creativity, because you can use yarn to practically paint the design of your choosing on a rug canvas.
  • pom pom rugIf you need a super fluffy rug, go one step farther than even latch hook, and DIY your rug out of literal homemade pom poms. This is an especially great rug to make yourself, because most store-bought yarn rugs cheap out on the yarn quality. If you’ve got some stash yarn leftover from other projects, though, you can up the quality of yarn to match exactly what you want to feel underneath your toes.

Rug Makeovers

Here's how to stencil a rug, so you can turn a thrift store find or old decor piece into something totally cute and new!

  • stenciled rug. Sometimes you don’t need to craft an all-new rug–you just need to make a rug that you already own look better! Here’s how to stencil a rug with a short nap.
  • overdyed rugWant to play fast and loose with your rug makeover and you promise yourself that you won’t be too fussy about the results? Give overdyeing a try!

Do you have a fabulous DIY rug that you’re super proud of? Show it off to us in the Comments below!

Written by Julie Finn

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now.

Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life, and my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties.

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