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DIY Rug: How to make a DIY rug (large scale) with cotton piping

Make a large scale (5x8) DIY rug with cotton piping and a few other supplies.
Keyword: diy apron, diy rug, home decor, rug
Yield: 1 rug


  • Multi-use netting
  • Cotton piping
  • Small rubber bands
  • Scissors


  • Determine what length you’d like your rug to be. In my case, I wanted a 5x8 rug for underneath the couch.
    My roll of netting is smaller than that, so I did some quick math to determine how many pieces I would need to cut to make a 5X8 rug (3 pieces that are 8 feet long, since the netting is 2 feet wide), and I would have an extra foot leftover from the width, that I could cut off of the mesh before getting started, etc.
    Once you have that figured out, roll out the length of the netting you need and cut the pieces with a pair of scissors.
  • Next, start cutting pieces of cotton piping that are 3-4 inches long (each). *The shorter the pieces used, the less height or thickness your rug will have when finished. *You want them all to be roughly the same length, so that the rug looks relatively even when its completed, while also having a little bit of variation, so you can more of a textured feel that looks handmade (and not manufactured).
    Note: Depending on the size of your rug, you’re going to need a lot more cotton piping than you might expect. To give you a better idea of what I’m talking about…we used more than 200 yards of cotton piping for an 5x8 rug. That’s a lot of cotton!
    But cotton piping is pretty affordable, so it’s still relatively budget-friendly, when you consider the cost of a thick handmade rug like this one would cost thousands of dollars to purchase in store. The cost of materials for a 5x8 rug totaled about $300.
  • Next, weave the cut cotton pieces in between the netting grid, as shown in the photo. Then, pull the pieces upward and tie them together with a rubber band (again, as shown in the photo). Once secured with a rubber band, fluff out the piping pieces so they have more of a fuzzy pom-pom shape.
  • Repeat steps 2 and 3 above until you’ve completely covered the netting pieces.
  • Then it’s time to assemble the pieces into one single unit. This may not apply if you’re making a small rug or a runner.
    The process is the pretty much the same as step #3, but this time, you’ll be weaving pieces though the ends of each separate piece of mesh to bring them together as one. Securing them together in the 'pom-pom form' (for lack of a better term) with rubber bands, and fluffing them out once secure.
  • Repeat this process along the edge of all pieces that need to be joined together until completed.
  • Lastly, trim any edge or interior pieces that feel like they need it, with a pair of sharp sicissors.
    I like to trim the outer edges all the way around to make them even to one another and then occasionally, there will be an interior pieces that needs a trim because it's way longer than the others.


Update: Note about Cotton Piping Sizes

You can use any size piping to create a rug like the ones you see in this post, but one thing to note in that the smaller the piping, the more it will take to complete your rug.
So for example, if you use a cotton piping that is 1/6 inch thick, you may need to double that piping up in the netting to get a thick, cushy look like mine. But if you use piping that is a 1/2 inch or thicker, you will not need to do that.
My favorite cotton piping sizes for the rugs I've made with this technique are 1/2 inch and 11/16 inch. I also like 1 inch thick piping, but not quite as much as the other two.
This is just what I like though. You may find a groove with a different size that you like better, so it doesn't hurt to buy a very small amount (like a couple of feet) of a few different sizes to test them out first before buying lots of yardage. You can find cotton piping by the yard at craft supply stores like JoAnn's, usually with the upholstery supplies.
And then when you've decided which size you like best, you can shop around to see what's cheapest (online on Amazon or somewhere similar or in-store at a craft supply store).


Update: Note About Using Rubber Bands to Secure the Piping
It is true that over time (years) rubber bands may deteriorate or break. This was not an issue for me personally, but there are many comments asking questions about this particular thing. So, if you would prefer not to use rubber bands, there is another option.
You can use string to wrap around the cording instead of rubber bands, if you prefer. If possible, a thin string with a little bit of elastic would be ideal, if possible, like these (just stay away from the clear option as I’m not sure that’s strong enough.
Pull each one tight and double knot it then cut off the excess. NOTE: This will be more time consuming than the rubber band method. And for me, the rubber bands have held up quite well. But I wanted to share this option for anyone that would prefer to use something else.