How to Make a Bohemian Braid Rug

Bohemian braid rugs are from the category of rag rugs known as "toothbrush" rugs. A toothbrush rug is so named because the traditional tool for the creation of the rug was a toothbrush handle with a hole and notch cut into one end. A crochet hook is the common tool of the day, still producing the same results--a stiff, colorful and hard-wearing rug made from strips of fabric and one basic knot.

Rag rugs have a wide and varied history.

Beginning the Rug

Looping diagram

Cut several strips of fabric, at least 1 inch wide in preparation for later use.They can be any length, but the longer the better. Use lightweight cottons, polyesters or wools. Stretchy fabrics can be hard to work with and may warp your rug out of shape.

Knot two strips of fabric together and pin them to a strong, sturdy surface that will not move as you work. The arm of a couch and a mattress are two ideal locations for this purpose.

Lay one of the two strips of fabric that you have knotted together so that it lays flat, and cross the second strip of fabric, the one knotted to the first, over the first, laying it atop the fabric to create a loop. Use your toothbrush tool or crochet hook to then loop the second piece of fabric around the back, and pull it through the first loop you created, securing it snugly. Repeat anywhere from four to six times, depending on personal preference and the thickness of your fabric. Repeat this knot more times for thicker fabrics and fewer for thinner fabrics.

Continuing the Rug

Slide the working ends of the fabric so that they are parallel to the knots you've just formed. Rearrange the fabric that you were working with, not the stationary one you were crossing over, so that the working fabric strip is closest to the knots you have already formed.

Use your tool to pull the working fabric strip through one of the loops created by your beginning knots. Then repeat the knotting procedure outlined previously. Do this in a circle until you run out of fabric or your rug has reached the desired size.

Attaching New Strips of Fabric

Cut a slit in the fabric that you need to attach to. Also cut a small slit through the fabric strip you are attaching. Pull the slitted end of the new strip through the slitted end of the old strip. Pull the opposite, or tail end, of the strip of new fabric through the slit in the new strip. Tug tightly, ensuring that a secure, tiny knot is formed. The knot may seem untidy, but in the process of making the rug, it will disappear and be almost invisible unless someone knows exactly where to look.

Finishing the Rug

Add a final knot, and use a tapestry needle to weave in the tail end of the final strips of fabric. Add a non-slip backing to the rug, if desired. Puff paints can be used to draw non-skid designs on the bottom of the rug. Be sure the paint dries as per the manufacturer's instructions before placing the rug on its surface.