Fringed Bath Mat: A Fun and Functional Project

fringed bath matI think there must be a giant invisible poodle living in my house.  It is disguised as a teenage girl and she is tiny, with small hands and feet not even 75 pounds and yet, but when she comes out of the bathroom there is a Dracula cloud that follows her.  When the steam disperses, it reveals an unimaginable mess left behind.  I wonder “in horror” how the ceiling, all the walls, toilet paper and every square inch of the bathroom floor could possible get wet?  There's got to be a giant poodle somewhere, just shaking water absolutely everywhere which is my only explanation.

fringed bath mat

The thing that really gets me though, is the wet floor.  Not only can it be dangerous, but who enjoys walking around with wet socks?  No store-bought bath mat is big enough for this mess, so I have decided to make my own.  It is large and easy to dry, but attractive to change what otherwise is a boring looking bathroom.  I live in a rented apartment, so there is not much I can do to change the color of the tiles, but I think this fringed bath mat will make me happy to not have to hide the bathroom when guests come over.  It will also help keep the floor dry and safe for all.

fringed bath mat

This bath mat uses canvas fabric for strength, non-slip and easy drying along with cotton cord threaded through the mat for extra strength and texture.  The mat has an attractive shaggy fringe.  It was a lot of fun to make and is really functional and attractive.  There's also a fair bit of sewing to do, so it is good practice for the beginners.

fringed bath mat

Materials

Fabric recommendations from Fabric.com

↓↓↓See tutorial instructions starting on next page.↓↓↓

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48 Responses to Fringed Bath Mat: A Fun and Functional Project

  1. Debbie Tucker says:

    I must say George does look like he approves of the mat my Maggie would also have to approve it since its her favorite place to lay when Im using the bathroom or taking a shower .I receive the dirtest looks when I use it. She really thinks its hers.lol I do love your mat but it seems like it would be an expensive mat.

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Debbie, I can picture the offended look of your Maggie when you are stepping into her territory. It is very funny to see the expressions of our pouches sometimes makes me wonder what else is there. The mat is actually inexpensive to make. Two large pieces of fabric and a roll of cotton cord and plenty of patience, do research the material and let me know if you find it plausible.

  2. nancy says:

    Can I use a canvas drop cloth?

  3. Alice says:

    What a great idea and george is a sweetie.

  4. mary m young says:

    I would definitely use a denim needle to handle the canvas type material.

  5. Donna Viar says:

    Did you wash the fabric before starting the project? Have you put it through the washer and how did it do?

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      I did not wash the fabric before using it, but I have washed it since the wool has become matted but I still like the look. I prefer natural materials since it dries rather well. I think the next one I will try to your hemp, manila or Coir rope instead to keep with the natural look.

  6. Debbie G says:

    Could you use cotton or wool batting and quilt the sandwiches instead of the cord? I’m thinking the cording lumps would be hard to step on? Maybe it softens with use?
    But thank you for the pattern. I have an odd shaped area in front of the tub and have toyed with the idea of making my own mat, and you have inspired me!

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Debbie, (always so nice to hear from you:) I think that would be a great alternative, let me know how it turns out and if you can load a picture. I think many will benefit from your take on the project. Thank you in advance.

      • Debbie G says:

        Hi Mayra!
        Whooot whoot! Success! I’ll try to share a pic. I used a home dec cotton fabric on the outside, a piece of duck cotton and cotton batting. The other change is that I serged the seams, flipped outside out, and top stitched closed and all around. Then did a whimsical quilting pattern. It looks awesome and was very quick. Thanks again, for the inspiration.

  7. Sharon says:

    Hi. I love the bath mat! There’s a weaving technique that I think would be easy and make your sides nicely finished. Using the cord from a roll, and without cutting it, begin by sewing your first line of stitching and butting the cord right up to it, between the layers. (leave a small end peeking out) Stitch the next row (I like the previous suggestion of a zipper foot) and wrap the cord around, leaving a small loop. Butt the cord up to the stitching, again between layers, and stitch close to the cord. Continue this all the way up the rug and finish with a small tail peeking out at the end (you can cut this off after securing the loops).

  8. Lynnette Fishburn says:

    Great project. Will probably give it a go. I like everything but the fringe because caring for fringe is a headache. I would probably bind the ends with canvas.

  9. Donna Young says:

    or teach your girl to clean up after her self and turn on the exhaust fan! Just saying, that was what I did when my two were teenagers!

  10. Sherry says:

    Love this! I can never find a bath mat that I like so this would give a lot more options with all the great canvas fabrics out there! One question on the long sides – did you find that the fabric grays at all with just running 1/4” seam and trimming? Wondered about binding the edges for a more finished look/durability?

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Yes, it does, but that is what I was looking for. I think if you can handle all the layers why not make it more elegant and durable? Love to see a picture when you are done.

  11. Barbara Cohen says:

    Love it but how do you clean it?

  12. sunnysewsit says:

    Also wonder if just laying the cord down and stitching on both sides with a zipper foot – then you don’t have to thread it through channels. Just a thought. But I love this mat and will try making one! Great idea – thanks.

  13. LizC says:

    The easiest way I have found to thread cord thru something long is to use a cut straightened coat hanger. I make a small loop on one end. Use tape on the ends to avoid snagging fabric. You can also use sand paper to smooth ends. It’s is like a giant sewing needle. I have used mine for years.

  14. Patti says:

    I love this idea. I think a drop cloth and some paint would turn this project into a nice play room rug.thank you for sharing.

  15. Kathy in W TN says:

    Thanks for this great idea! You could try laying the cording between the rows as you stitch. You’d just have to be careful to keep the layers aligned. I’d probably not cut the 50″ – just use width of fabric. Cut it evenly when you’ve stitched all the rows.

    Question: Did you wash your canvases before cutting? And do the raw edges on the long sides fray?

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      HI Kathy, I think your suggestion is brilliant. If you have one of those fancy machines with the cording foot it will be easy to keep straight. They do because I cut the fabric, they would not if you use the selvage as you suggested. I did not wash the canvas before using it. When I finally did, the fabric shrunk a bit and gave the mat even more texture.

  16. Karla says:

    Great idea!

  17. Thank you for your incredibly detailed instructions! I share a Jack and Jill bath with my 12 yo granddaughter and am tempted to try this darling mat. If I do, I’ll share a picture.

  18. Pingback: National Sewing Month 2016 Day 14: Fringed Bath Mat Tutorial

  19. Linda Southworth says:

    Mayra, I love this rug! The cording really makes this look so good AND functional. I am thinking of trying this cutting it larger than needed maybe 3 inches more on each side. When the cord feed is finished sew all 4 sides closed then cut the three layers of canvas( your 3 inches on the outer edges) into 1/2 inch strips and wash like you would a rag quilt. Do you think this would look ok? I realize its canvas so maybe the fraying would not be the same.

  20. Janet says:

    What a great way to redecorate a bathroom any time I want to, thanks for the tutorial, time to make a few rugs =)

  21. Mary Lyle says:

    To thread the cord tape it onto the end of a piece of down or chop stick. It slides through really easily

  22. liz n. says:

    Made something similar with canvas and poly-cotton blend batting, using upholstery thread to quilt the sandwich, and bound with coordinating canvas. No fringe, though, as the dear husband always trips over fringed rugs. Absorbs water but dries quickly, doesn’t slide around, and is completely machine washable!

  23. Samone says:

    This is fantastic! I am wanting cotton rugs. They are typically expensive. This is excellent. Very creative!!! Thank you for posting!

  24. Adelheid says:

    Instead of feeding the cord with the needle, would it be possible to use a binding/beading foot?

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      I all depends how think is your cord, and if it fits in your binding/beading foot, this will be a very good alternative. Let me know how you go!

  25. Annie says:

    Great idea! One question: how you do clean it? It is machine washable, dryable? Thanks for this wonderful project!

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Annie, yes, absolutely it is machine washable and dryable. Probably best to use cold water. Best of luck with it and kind regards.

  26. Leslie Entsminger says:

    This is genius!!

  27. Crystalized Designs says:

    Great post, thank you for the tutorial!

  28. Barbara Showerman says:

    A really GREAT blog! Thanks for the wonderful rug making tips…

  29. Natalie says:

    This is a great idea! I, too, have a teenager (only mine is a boy) who leaves the bathroom looking like a water park! This is definitely going to be next weekend’s project.

  30. Carolyn Bradley says:

    This is beautiful, and very functional. With the cording I wonder if you could use a zipper foot and sew it in as you go?

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Yes absolutely, I tried this and found it nearly impossible to make a straight line, I suggest you draw the lines first then sew. Happy Sewing!

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