By Elizah Leigh on June 07, 2012

Recycling projects both simple and time-consuming can yield amazing recycled rug options you never thought possible.

Living amid the very same surroundings can be a familiar and perfectly welcome experience for some. Surely that is why we’re inclined to refer to our personal dwelling not merely as a house, but a comfy, cozy, home sweet home.

On the other hand, waking up to 4-inch-high avocado-tinged shag carpeting that has repeatedly been trampled upon by three consecutive generations is bound to trigger a wicked case of DIY madness. Just trust your instincts and give that matted, time-battered rug the heave-ho!

Applying a new coat of paint to four walls can cast a surprisingly cheerful disposition upon any room, but there is another easy way to shake up your personal environment — one that requires a lot less of a time commitment from you, as well. Transform the appearance of several rooms in your house just by replacing your old rugs with modernized yet 100% handcrafted versions made with recycled materials that can be obtained at minimal or zero cost. Whether you’re a fan of weaving, stenciling, hammering, knitting or sewing, there is a unique recycled area rug that can quickly come to life courtesy of your creative TLC.

DIY recycled rugs

A colorful starburst of men’s silk ties looks mighty dapper paving the entrance to a room.

While not exactly comfy to stand on, a recycled metal bottle cap rug would certainly speak volumes about your commitment to refreshing beverages and eco-décor.

Create a patchwork-style recycled potholder mat or cozy circular rug using woolen winter scarves unearthed at a thrift store.

Felt scraps or blanket strips can be used to add plush panache to an otherwise cold room.

Stencil a sheet of plywood with a vividly cheerful pattern for an alternative take on a traditional textile-based rug.

Fused plastic bag strips can be bound together into a basket weave-style doormat.

Turn recycled fabric scraps and tufts of yarn into lush-looking, faux-moss floor accents.

The waistbands from multiple pairs of old jeans can be sewn together to create a sturdy, easily washable mat.

Java lovers will develop an instant craving for this fringed burlap coffee sack mat.

Be prepared to carve a fair amount of time from your schedule to duplicate this coiled rope rug accented with colorful yarn twists and pom poms, but some things are clearly well worth the effort.

Woolen sweaters can be recycled into a woven mat that house pets will happily claim.

For a relatively affordable yet dividend-paying décor investment, cover a sheet of reclaimed wood with sealed copper pennies. Your welcome mat will quickly become the talk of the neighborhood.

Puzzle pieces anchored together with glue and a topcoat of durable sealant can become a playful welcome mat for visitors as well as family members.

Here’s an oldie but a goodie: recycled clothing rag rugs made with worn-out cotton T-shirts or flannel button-ups.

Do you appreciate the look of oriental rugs but dread the costly price point? Piece together a visually intriguing patchwork rug made with a mixture of garage sale and thrift store finds.

Those who find weaving extremely cathartic will welcome the opportunity to transform bicycle tire inner tubes, old leather belts and a plethora of measuring tape into distinctively unique, recycled DIY creations.

Any which way you slice ‘em, stack ‘em or glue ‘em, wine cork mats are a brilliantly sustainable underfoot solution.

Stuffed animals — when relieved of their squishy innards — can be sewn into a kaleidoscope of purely inspired, rug-ready fun for the young at heart, no matter their chronological age!

About the author

Elizah Leigh is an eco-inspired wordsmith capable of captivating readers in just the right manner to facilitate subliminal greenlightenment. If it hasn’t yet happened to you, dear reader, don’t worry... it soon will. She believes that walking on the green side of life isn’t so much about random actions like recycling household materials and eschewing bottled water as it really should be about committing to long-term lifestyle changes that naturally become effortless the more frequently they are practiced — and believe it or not, if you’re looking at the world through green-colored glasses, it’s never a chore.

Working as an eco-journalist for a number of online venues, including Ecorazzi, WebEcoist, WebUrbanist and Causecast, this self-confessed eager greenie and knowledge hound has become deeply entrenched in the world of green living and makes a conscious effort at all times to practice exactly what she preaches. Elizah feels that no one is an "expert" in this field as long as they continue to keep an open mind by acquiring new eco-feathers in their cap — something that she aspires to do with each new article that she authors.

Extremely passionate about greening perspectives as well as lifestyles one carefully selected word at a time, this eco-writer feels privileged to add the 1-800-RECYCLING audience to her increasingly expanding network of green-minded readers. When she’s not tweeting her ever-lovin’ greenie heart out or adding new eco-themed articles to her portfolio, she can be found frolicking outside or shooting the breeze with her menagerie of impossibly needy geriatric felines.

As for what Elizah hopes to bring to 1-800-RECYCLING? Believe it or not, she is convinced that we are all capable of carving out individual and collective legacies in which caring enough about what we do while we walk this earth ensures that future generations enjoy the same basic privileges that we currently do. Can collections of carefully crafted environmentally themed words help facilitate this lofty plan for eco-friendly ah-ha! inspiration? Stranger things have been done to honor Mother Nature. For now, that’s her eager greenie goal, and she’s definitely sticking to it.


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