Crafty by Nature

Crafty by Nature

How to Make a Recycled Twine Welcome Mat

comments (11) March 31st, 2009     

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CalPatch cal patch, contributor
Love it! 14 users recommend
I love knowing that this mat is purely upcycled.
This twine really wants to be made into something useful.
Make a slip knot with two plies of twine. I staggered my short lengths so the joins would be stronger.
I love knowing that this mat is purely upcycled.

I love knowing that this mat is purely upcycled.

Photo: Cal Patch

"Use what you have" is a mantra that has stuck with me ever since I first read it on a crafty blog a few years ago. I, like many makers, have a tendency to gather and hoard materials, to the point where I doubt I could possibly use them all up in my lifetime. Buying new supplies (without a current project in mind) is a habit I'm trying to break, but many of the items I collect with intent to use are things other people would throw away: jars, boxes, cans, Popsicle sticks, and scraps of fabric and yarn left over from other projects. I've been living on a farm, where there is a constant supply of baling twine from the bales of hay we feed the animals. Twine has many uses around the farm, but it piles up faster than we can use it. I got to thinking: What could I make out of it? It's rough stuff, but I can find beauty in most things, so I came up with this welcome mat that's not too precious to wipe your muddy boots on. See if a farmer near you will give you an armload of twine. Or just look around your house or garage to a ball of string, some old clothesline, defunct extension cords, or another twine substitute that you could use to make your own, and give a cast-off object a second life.

This twine really wants to be made into something useful.

You'll need twine or something stringlike (see above suggestions and keep an open mind as you trawl your home for strands unused) and a jumbo crochet hook. That's about it.

Note: I used the twine two-ply, to make the mat beefy. Try a swatch with your material and hook to see how many plies make a good fabric.

To begin, if using more than one ply, stagger the lengths so your joins won't happen at the same place (this only applies if you have many short pieces). Make a slip knot, and crochet a chain that is slightly longer than the shorter dimension you want your mat to be. I made mine about 16 inches because I wanted the mat to be 14 inches, and the foundation chain will shrink once you've worked back into it.

Make a slip knot with two plies of twine. I staggered my short lengths so the joins would be stronger.

Begin chaining loosely...

...until the chain is long enough for the side of the mat.

Turn, then working in the back loops only, single-crochet back down the length of the chain.

If you are using recycled baling twine or something else that's cut in short lengths, join on a new piece. Here's my easy method of joining: Just overlap the two ends for about 4 inches and keep on hooking. You'll have ends sticking out here and there, but that's part of the charm!

To join, just overlap the new end over the old by a few inches...

...and continue to crochet.

For the second and all remaining rows, chain one, turn, and working in back loops only, single-crochet across. This makes for a riblike stitch, with good traction for dirty feet.

Here's how the mat will look as it starts to take shape.

When you think it's wide enough, or you run out of material, call it a day and you're done.

posted in: houseware, other fiber, twine

Comments (11)

Carolima124 writes: How do you clean the baling twine before using it?

Posted: 12:39 pm on January 22nd
Tess1960 writes: wonderful idea and a great way to teach little hands to crochet.

Posted: 6:45 pm on June 29th
lbuser writes: Well, this looks like an "S" hook. I found one at JoAnne's. It works great for stiff stuff like twine.
Posted: 4:37 pm on June 29th
decoDiva writes: ...and what size crochet hook might that be???
Posted: 4:12 pm on June 29th
Runa writes: I have 5 goats who eat through about 25 bales of hay per year. I've been saving the baling twine in the barn for years, and occasionally use a piece or two for various random things that require a piece of string.

Thanks for giving me a project idea for making it into something rather interesting. :)
Posted: 3:54 pm on June 29th
canadaroxieg9 writes: we have tons of binder twine what a great idea!!Will definitely make one of these! Thank you for the great simple idea fun fun
Posted: 8:25 am on August 14th
vanj2558 writes: AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted: 4:15 pm on September 9th
Posted: 6:11 pm on August 24th
LunarFaith writes: lovely household object
much thanks for sharing!
Posted: 2:02 am on June 5th
Jewelsjems writes: I've been wanting to do something like this. We have a lot of bailing twine at the 4-H and thought it was a shame it was just being thrown out.
Posted: 12:09 pm on April 15th
croqzine writes: Nice! Great idea for using what you have!
Posted: 3:52 pm on March 31st
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