July 2, 2012, 4:52 p.m. - DIY,War Against Junk

Sarees Make Useful Home Accessories

Sarees are known to be some of the most gorgeous dresses in the world. However, the best thing from a creative person’s point of view is that a sari is plain, simple and most importantly, an untailored length of fabric. This opens up a whole lot of options for recycling and creative craft making. Unfortunately, most of the women usually cut up old sarees into little bits and use them as dusters and kitchen napkins. Also, if you are averse to exchanging old sarees for steel utensils, here are some more creative ideas.


What you need

1 saree


Long needle (the ones used to make garlands)

Strong thread (preferably twine)


The basic framework

Choose old sarees which do not contain elaborate zari, embroidery, kundans or other embellishments. Cotton sarees are best for the purpose because they are light, easily washable and sturdier than chiffons and silks. Bright colors are preferable.


Fold the saree into three equal lengthwise portions. Cut along the fold to get three long widths. Hold the three strips together and tie them up tightly at one end with a twine thread. Have one of your friends or family member hold the end tightly. You should now begin weaving the three strips in a plait pattern, similar to how you plait your hair. Go on till the strips end. At the end, tie up the three ends tightly so that the plait does not loosen.


Once the plaiting is done, place the head of the plait at on your work platform and begin rotating the plait around it. The woven pattern should face upwards. Keep your needle ready. Every new round of the plait should be stitched to the previous round. Stitch all along the round. This ensures that the rounds do not come off or get dislodged. Continue rotating and stitching till the end of the plait. Stitch the end and attach it to the previous round at the point where it ends.


Your oval shaped mat is done. Before putting it to use, place it under a heavy object for a few hours so that it gets pressed and flattened. Mats which are very thick do not look neat.


You can now use the mat anywhere at home.


Be careful about:

  • The three strips should be of exactly of same width so that the plait comes out uniformly.

  • Ensure that the plait does not become loose at any point in the entire length. Tie the beginning and end tightly

  • Do not let the plait twist. Try to keep it as straight as possible.

  • Stitching is very important. Make sure that the rounds are well attached to one another.


Creative tips

  • If you have two old sarees of contrasting colors, use them together in the mat to make it more colorful

  • Use a thin dupatta and follow the same process. The mat comes out thinner, flatter and smaller and is perfect for use as table mats

  • Make three mats of varying diameters using three different colored sarees. Attach them in the ascending order of their diameters using a string of colorful beads. Stitch a loop made up of three strands of wool at the top of the smallest loop to use as a hanger. You have a beautiful and unique wall piece ready. You can embellish with whatever materials you want

  • Instead of twisting the plait into a mat, use it as a handle for your cloth handbags or jholas

  • If you have an old silk, crepe or chiffon saree which you do not want to use, plait it and use it as a border for your table cloth

  • Bring cheer to pillow covers and curtails by bordering with colorful saree plaits


As you can see, the list is endless…

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