Eco-Friendly Towel Bath Rugs DIY

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Be Creative, Recycle and Make a Beautiful Mat! Or, make that plural, as these are fabulous towel bath rugs DIY projects! What is particularly neat, is that you are actually doing something back for Mother Earth with this eco-friendly home-decorating craft. And you’ll end up with a luxurious rug to adorn your bathroom. Such a win/win project.

Towel Bath Rugs DIY

Towel Bath Rugs DIY
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Give old towels a second life by knotting them into super-soft, eco-chic bath rugs.

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Towel Bath Rugs DIY

Eco-Friendly Towel Bath Rugs DIY

How-to Instructions for Handmade Towel Bath Rugs
The step-by-step tutorial:

STEP 1. First, wash and dry the towels you’ll be using for your rug.

STEP 2. Decide how big you want your bath rug or rugs to be by measuring the dimensions on the floor, e.g.. in from of your shower recess, as shown here.

STEP 3. Purchase gridded matting also called ‘Latch rug canvas‘ and cut it to those dimensions. This usually sits under floor rugs to avoid slipping and is also called ‘rug canvas’ or ‘anti-slip mat’.

I received inquiries as to where to find a base for these rugs. Here is one solution: Blank Latch Rug Canvas With Grid. This rug canvas measures 36”x60” is only $7.50. If you prefer, here is a smaller size: 24 ”x 30 ” rug canvas. Or, just check out the first link here, which gives you a whole range of mats and rug – bases.

STEP 4. Cut the towels into strips of approx. 3/4” thick, and then cut the strips into 5-6” long pieces. If you do this, you will need 2-3 old bath towels for a rug sized 18 inches by 2 feet.

STEP 5. Knot each strip along the grid, ensuring they all face the same way.

Tip: for a thick, full mat, knot along every line. For a thinner mat, knot along every other line.

It’s an easy to do project that require little concentration. It may take you a while but it will be worth it once you’re finished with your eco-chic bathroom mat.

Budget: nil, and your old towels have a nice new use.


Video Tutorial on How to Knot Your Own Earth Friendly Bath Rugs

That was the written tutorial. Here’s the video demonstration.

Source video/image:
Her other DIY videos:
Make Your Own Eco-friendly Fire Pit +
DIY Cork Mudroom Mats


Further RUG-MAKING Instructions + Care Tips

Please everyone, visit this page on how to make ** RUGS **. It has loads of further instructions beyond what is in this article/video. It answers all the questions in the ‘000s of emails that I’ve received about these recycled towel bathroom mats. You will find all the answers on how to make rugs like this one featured above. Please read this page with further rug making instructions prior to contacting me about how to make this rug.


Other Earth Friendly Projects
  1. 50+ Recycling Crafts, Projects & Activities


Other area rugs, floor mats & flooring projects
    Check out these rug-making patterns, instructions & tips:
  1. DIY pompom rug pattern– Fabulous DIY kitchen, fireplace, bedroom or bathroom rug. No need to knit, crochet or weave. Just Make pompoms! Adorable. ~ NEW
  2. DIY Cork Floor Mat for the mudroom to put your wet boots on… (as featured in Huffington Post)
  3. How to Weave a (Table) Rug (easy and fast project; can be done w finger knitting or recycled fabric)
  4. Make Your Own Ruffle Rug from Old t-Shirts (variation on the recycled towel mat)
  5. How to Make Rugs from Recycled knitted Cabled Sweaters (easy & superfast DIY project)
  6. Rugs for Kids Bedrooms and Play rooms (travel themed, sporty or romantic … you pick!)
  7. Contemporary ‘grass’ Rugs, to knit or crochet. Soft on feet; see image; made from knitting yarn. Green yarn makes fun faux grass, but in white you could make a more durable version of this towel bath mat.
  8. Contemporary Handmade Crochet Area Rugs – original ideas for other crochet rugs. A look-book.
  9. And More Modern Rugs.


bathroom rugs


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  1. This is a WONDERFUL idea! I’m loving it! I will definitely be saving this for a future project!

  2. I cannot seem to find gridded mat anywhere. The plastic canvas sold at craft stores does not look near big enough. Any suggestions?

    Rose, fine craft guild’s answer: I have found online suppliers and have added links to them in the article.

  3. sherry, says:

    I love this idea. Would make for a very soft rug. Thanks for sharing the tutorial.

  4. This looks a bit like rug hook canvas. The grid squares look 1/2″ across? Love the way this rug came out, and after it is washed and dried a few times it will shed all those fibers and fluff up in a pretty way. I find this canvas at thrift stores with unfinished kits all the time. Your rug is cute and clever.

  5. This is awesome! What a great way to reuse old towels! Thanks for joining the linky party! :]

  6. Love this idea! I featured it on my blog today, please feel free to pop over and check it out!

  7. This looks awesome! Do you think, that it would look good as a larger rug, say, for the front room? I’ve been dying for this rug:

    But I don’t want to pay the price! So grabbing a bunch of old towels or soft fabric to dye it to something similar like this. I just don’t know if this project would work for a larger rug.

  8. I tried doing this over the summer, but after spend 4 hours and only having about 6 square inches done I put it down and haven’t picked it up since! How long did it take you?

  9. Fine Craft Guild says:

    Sure it would! More work though!

  10. The reason my towels are old towels is because they aren’t as soft as they used to be and kind of scratchy. So if you use scratchy towels won’t you get a scratchy rug?

  11. How fun! I love this idea!! Super creative!

    amber @ barbwired

  12. What a wonderful idea! This would be great for using up scraps too.

    If you can’t find the mat, just ask someone that works there for the anit slip mat for underneath rugs. It’s usually found folded up in a plastic package hanging from a hook. Someone in the craft/fabric dept should be able to help you.

  13. What a great idea. I want to try to make in the near future.

  14. I love this idea and can’t wait to try it! Have you tried washing it? I’m curious how well it will hold up in the washer?

  15. Fine Craft Guild says:

    I’d handwash this baby rather than put it in the washing machine. Simply because the towel strips are unfinished. However, one might try it out with a few towel strips tied together washed with a regular load to see how fussy it gets.

  16. I CANNOT FIND this matting you’re using. I was SO excited about doing this project…until I drove all over town trying to find this stuff. I’ve been to Hancock Fabrics, Joann Fabrics, Hobby Lobby…can’t FIND IT!!!! Please let me know where I can get it.

  17. Love this idea. The anti-slip mat is a great idea, as it keeps the rug from moving. i just found one at the Dollar Store. I’ve also seen them (for more $) at Kohls and Ikea.

  18. Mary Williams ~ 'a lit bit of ' says:

    This is such an awesome idea! I can’t wait to make one! I featured this on my friday favorites!

  19. Ashleigh Yarak says:

    I made one for my kids bathroom, and when I washed it it totally ruined it!!!! So frustrating after all the time I put into making it.

  20. I love the idea and I was actually thinking of making such a bath rug with cotton strips, but I do have some old (scratchy today) towels. I wonder about this though. The edges of the towel strips are unfinished and towel unravels a lot and non stop, what happens with all that mess? How did you deal with it?

  21. Laurie Cole says:

    I love this idea. About how many bath towels does it take to make a rug that might be 3’x4′?

  22. I can’t wait to try this one at my house!!

  23. Ya Ashleigh…that was my first thought…..wash-ability. I just can’t see how it would hold up. It looks fabulous, and think it totally looks like it’s worth the work. But certainly not, if it’s only good until it needs washing.

  24. Great idea…so I am making one from ends of fabric..cotton. Canot find matting anywhere so I am using canvas and sewing it on. Will show it when I am finished.

  25. I got the mat at walmart in the bathroom area..

  26. Karen Duncan says:

    Would a latch hook work with this? Looks like a similar process.

  27. This looks like Fun! Can’t wait to make one!

  28. Danielle, says:

    I think I used the wrong gridded mat. It’s an antislip but the holes are so small. I already cut several 3/4″x5″ strips and they look short and fat when I tied them in. So frustrated! How big should the holes be?

    I don’t want to give up but I also don’t want to keep going and have it look bad… Suggestions? Please help!

  29. when you cut towels, they fray like crazy. im curious, how long was the rug “shedding” little towel bits?

  30. So cute! but don’t know if I have the patience.

    One place to recycle old towels is your local veterinarian’s office or the local animal shelter.
    While donating towels there I came home with my latest dog!! All in all a great trip

  31. Wow this is great! Thanks for sharing.

  32. can you give us an idea of about how many towels it would take to make this mat? I have two regular sized bath towels in my bathroom color that are getting a little ratty, I’d like to use. Do you think 2 would do it?

  33. Fine Craft Guild says:

    To Mandy: it takes 2 to 3 bath towels to make this bath mat.

  34. Tara Nelson says:

    Im having a VERY hard time finding the mat! Ive driven all over called different yarn shoppes! HELP! Im having a Pinterest party on Saturday and this is the project we were ALL SO looking forward to! :(

  35. Don’t the little terry cloth loopy things come off after you cut the towel? In the video, when she cut her strips, you can see all the little loops all over the counter. Am I going to have to vacuum up towel fuzzies forever after making this?

  36. I’ve been wanting to make a rug for my daughters room, but wouldn’t wanna use towels, is there any other fabric that could be used?

  37. Brittany – try using recycled t-shirts …I found this idea a while back and thought about doing it. I think it would be awesome!

  38. Fine Craft Guild says:

    Yes, you will have to vacuum this for a while. Different quality towels will fuzz less than others. For a new fuzzy-solution, simply make this rug in t-shirt yarn. It will be beautiful and easier to maintain. Actually, t-shirt yarn will make this into a rug suitable for other rooms as well, besides your bathroom, so it’s a great idea overall. Cut up those old t’s.

  39. That looks like Fiberglass mesh used for drywall/tiling not an anti slip rug mat.

  40. Joann’s sells a No Slip Rug Canvas… That should work… Didn’t read all of the other posts but had a heck of a time finding the mat too, so I just thought I’d share. I believe it’s with the latch hook supplies… Wish me luck and I wish you all the same. :-)

  41. I LOVE this, But what about washing it? Especially since it will be used in the bathroom. Is this washable? I would think all of the pieces of towel would come out.

  42. Kathy Roy says:

    Don’t really know if this is what you are looking for. This is my ragrug made 18 years ago. I hang mine on the wall and yes it sheds!!! It wasn’t a planned image just randomly added the 4 different colors and this is what came up when I finished it.. Not a bathmat at all.


  43. Just another idea for all you crafty ladies…You can make flip flops like this too! I usually buy Old Navy flip flops and you just fabric and cut into strips and tie it onto the flip flops! Then leave the strips long or trim them up! They turn out super cute!! My daughter LOVES them! And you can use as many different colors or patterns as you want or do patterns with solid colors!!

    I can’t wait to try this out in a rug!

  44. Deanna, says:

    I love this rug. Now I have to look for a latch hook canvas.

  45. Just tried this idea and depending on what type of towel you use, it sheads all over the place. So much so that I’m not sure there will be much of a rug left when I’m done….

  46. Dane Ruser says:

    I made a rug with leftover yarn. I did patches of different colors and created some pattern withing the patches. The end results looked like a quilt and lasted about 20 years before the backing started to give way.

  47. You spelled ‘floor’ with ‘flour’ for step two.

  48. I have to agree about the shedding. I really love this idea, but the shedding is maddening. Any suggestions?

  49. Also should’ve stuck with one color, and the little bits and strings wouldn’t show up so much…

  50. I can’t wait to give my old towels some new life with this project! I shared it on a round up of ways to get new life out of closet discards.

  51. For something different, cut up strips of Polar fleece. It doesn’\t fay, shed or unravel. It also washes up well. To keep the polar from pilling after years of washing, just hang it over the shower rod to dry after your washing machine spinner is done with it. It lasts for years, looks great and doesn’t have the issues that expensive terry toweling material does. I have one in each of my daughters’ rooms and they took them witht hem to college when they moved out, they loved them so much. 3’x5′, I used 1/2″ mesh and a rug hook I had from 20 years ago.

  52. Maybe cutting the towels with a pinking shears would eliminate the fuzzies and make the rug washable. Just a thought

  53. I love this rugs. I am homemade leader. I want to teach ladies to how make old towel rugs. I want to ask you questions about washing. I dont want be stuck if ladies ask me this questions. How can we wash the rug? I know that washing machine can ruin the rug.

  54. I believe the messiness issue can be cleared up by using cotton like old t-shirts and as far as washing I don’t know about you but after spending so much time making this I would not ever put it in a washer. Shake outside instead of vacuuming and hand wash and line dry for best results and longevity. Best of luck

  55. This is sooo awesome! I too have to make this!!

  56. Anna Taylor says:

    This is sooo cute but since i dont have old towels im gonna try it with old T’s….

  57. If your local fabric store doesn’t carry the gridded mat, ask for Latch rug canvas. Also saw it on Amazon. Inexpensive and I’m having so much fun making my mat.

  58. If your all worried about the towels shedding all over the place…I think it would work great to use flannel

  59. Carol Mierley says:

    I am now working on the mat. It is so messy and a lot of work. I just read you shouldn’t machine wash it. I was thinking of making a few for christmas gifts, but after working on this one, that won’t be happening. They are not going to hand wash them and would throw them in the washer and dryer. All my hard work would be ruined. So I guess I will keep it for myself.

  60. Carol, READ the extra care instructions, as everything is set out there: I have responded to pretty much each issue ever mentioned about these rugs. How much they will shed is a function of the quality of the towels and where you make your cuts.

    Using textile-based yarn, such as recycled sheets, flannel, t-shirts, etc. might be the best route to take.

    As well, hang out your rug to dry after each use. Etc. It is all spelled out.

    :: Rose, happily creating a home

  61. I did this as a front door mat, but with old blue jeans (more durable) I used a non-slip rug mat that is found in the rug area (it sticks to the floor better plus you don’t have to tie the fabric) it will also help if you use wider dimensions mine was 1″x3″. Also know it is extremely time consuming, I thought that since I’ve done the yarn pillows sets fairly fast it would be a quick project(100% wrong)! It was fun & turned out cute though. Hope my advice helps, have fun crafting!

  62. Brittany, I think an old blue jeans for this is a FANTASTIC IDEA. Do you have a beautiful photo we could feature?

  63. How do you wash it?

    Rose: responded by email. The answer is in this paragraph in the article:
    “If you are serious about making this rug, READ THE FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS AND CARE TIPS FOR THESE RECYCLED TOWEL BATHROOM RUGS.” Click the link :

  64. So excited to try this! I need a special size rug for my rv bathroom & this will work wonderfully!!

  65. Hi I found this and said wow gotta make this , so I found the matting at michaels and started cutting my towels and what a mess there is white stuff fr the towels everywhere very frustrating I think I’m going to have to do it outside or find old tshirts and try to make the rug out if that

  66. Hi Angela, yes I know of it. Some towels are more fussy than others. It matters that you cut ‘in between’ the loops, if that’s possible. Personally, I prefer tshirt rugs as they are more washable also. Good luck!

  67. I made several rugs similar to this but used strips from old t-shirts and used a hook instead of the tie method. Much faster. I have a bunch of white t-shirts that I plan to dye in various shades of blue and make another rug sometime this summer. They’re great -No loose threads and no fuzz. Also easy to fluff up. Just take them outside and give them a shake. Washable too.

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