Many, many years ago, I went on a rag rug kick and starting cutting all the fabric I could find into strips—nothing was safe. This lead me to cutting up a bag full of secondhand denim jeans. But after I had created hundreds of yards of 1″ wide denim strips, the obsession fizzled out. (The fact that I realized crocheting denim was much different than crocheting a lighter cotton helped the joy fade.)
So, for all these years I’ve had stacks of rolls of 1″ wide denim strips I had no idea what to do with. I was not about to patchwork these narrow strips. So finally, the idea to weave them hit me, when I was doing a recent studio organizing.
It’s all pretty simple and the technique is fairly obvious (who didn’t learn to weave paper like this in kindergarten?) And the possibilities to tweak everything to your tastes are endless. So here is a bit of inspiration for your DIY.
I made two. The first was to help me put a dent in those strips I talked about. I cut a scrap of fabric my desired size (mine was around 18″ x 24″.) Then I pinned and basted the strips (about 1/4″ from the edge), one after the other, lengthwise. Then the basket weaving began, the first row: under, over, under, over. The next row: over, under, over, under. And repeat. Just be sure that you are butting the strips up to one another as close and tight as possible. Then baste the strips down and trim excess (or leave it! I kind of like the look of the various strip lengths on the edge in the above photo.) Finally add a backing fabric and attach a binding in whatever method and style you prefer.
The other was made the same way except I cut new strips of denim at 3″ wide, then folded and ironed each side (lengthwise) back 3/4″. This got rid of the raw edges and therefore any fraying and gave an overall cleaner, neater look.
This style object can be used as:
a trivet or hot pad (just sandwich a couple layers of cotton batting in there)
a table runner or mat
a wall hanging
pet dish mat
Though I will admit, it might not be too practical for those that are bound to get super dirty since you can pretty much only spot clean it.
Can you think of any other clever uses?
I’m working on another design using up more of the denim strips I have and will hopefully be able to share that with you next week.