Friday, July 3, 2009

Picked up a new skill

As I was browsing through a forum at Homesteading Today the other day, a thread title caught my eye. It was about "Toothbrush Rugs".

Huh?? Never heard of such a thing, so off to the web I go. Google is my friend. I love Google. Google reminds me of Tony Curtis's character in "Operation Peticoat", you need it, it will find it. It will find things you didn't know about, things you'd probably rather not know about.......rabbit trail, but they're fun.
Anyway, 3 minutes later I'm watching videos and reading up. Cool! I found a site with pictures of a lady named Maymee (I'm a poet and don't know it. I've got feet and they're longfellows.....and my childhood out in Bayne strikes again.) and how she makes hers. Looks like fun, looks useful, I love braided/rag rugs, looks like a good way to spend the hot, hot hours of summer when breathing sucks your will to live. Now is the time for that internal dialog:

"You need to learn a new pastime like you need hole in your head.."
"Sure, but I've always wanted to learn to make braided rugs."
"Again, repeat the last thing I said. You're already running an hours of the day deficeit."
"It's not a pastime, it's a skill! If I can make them, I won't have to buy them and they'll be the style and color I want. It's affordable, I can start by using up all that fabric we've been packing across the country for the last decade or so."
"................dang it."

Ha! I just won, or lost depending on how you look at it. That gets too confusing and my brain starts hurting, so I don't think about it too deeply.
The battle has been fought and I'm off to find an old toothbrush and fabric. Found both, defiled Justin's tools to craft my "needle". The kids told on me when he got home, little tattle tails. :)
So are you wondering what these things are?? Just what the name implies, you fashion a needle of sorts from an old toothbrush and use torn strips of material to make a sort of braided/knotted rug. I've included a link at the bottom to the page with instructions.

Here's my needle. I used a Dremel and a sander, finished off with sand paper. You can whittle it down then finish with sandpaper, but then you don't get to use power tools. ;) It took me about 20 minutes to make this way. I used an old child's toothbrush, but the traditional style would give you a larger/thinner needle. I'll make one of those next. This part was fun all by itself!
Here's the patterned material. I was never going to use this, so into strips it went.

I found a sage green knit fabric, bulkier, but hey I'm experimenting. Remember that nightmare dye job??? Can't find out new things unless you experiment. ;)

Here's what I have so far. This went very quickly! I worked on it during the heat of the day and again in the evening, a little this morning. I will say it took me almost 45 minutes to figure the directions out! I was ready to start talking to the walls (they're very good conversationalists though) and then it clicked. It reminded me of when I was learning to tat, couldn't figure it out, then it just clicked into place. I like the look of it! There's a hint of braided rug, without the worry of the braid sewing coming undone. The underside has a raised pattern, I'll need to get a picture of that later.

And the close up.

If you have some scraps, unused clothes, etc. I would give this a try! There are a couple of other methods out there, but I think this is my favorite.

Info site:

There are also some tutorials on youtube, just run a search for "toothbrush rugs".


Anonymous said...

Hi, Honey. I cannot cannot cannot believe how this looks. Can hardly wait to see it close up. How do you find this stuff. Do you realize how much value this may have when the shit hits the fan? I love it! I am sending you a link to an ecopod site. I think it may be the way to go should I ever get land instead of a house. Take a look and let me know what you think. Debbies husband turned me onto it. He wants any information pricing I can get. I have contacted the company in Canadaf for more info. Love, Mumsy.

Bean Jocky said...

By the way, here is the link: