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Braided Doormat




Before you start, practice the braid by making a miniature version of the mat with thinner rope. When you're ready to make the big mat, cover a large work surface with kraft paper. 

Draw a cross on the paper; it should have a 33-inch vertical line and a 12 1/4-inch horizontal line. (This is the dimension of the mat when you get to step 4.) As you weave, use the cross as a guide and tape down loops to retain the mat's shape.

We used 1/2-inch-thick twisted nylon rope. About 165 feet makes a 33-by-20-inch mat.


  1. Step 1


    Starting at one end of rope, form a loose knot as shown; leave a 30-inch tail on right side and slack on left side. Gently pull down on loops.

  2. Step 2


    Flip loops to left as shown. Lift the first loop and cross it over the second.

  3. Step 3


    Using tail end, weave as shown.

  4. Step 4


    Using slack end, weave diagonally toward bottom right. Pull rope through. Continue weaving back to top as shown, adjusting rope to resemble diagram.

  5. Step 5


    Follow path of first round with slack end, staying parallel to previous round. Pull rope through after each pass, weaving until mat is formed.

  6. Step 6


    Finish ends by using a needle to sew through the rope just below any frayed ends and tightly wrap thread around rope a couple of times. Sew through several more times to secure. Cut off end of rope just above thread. Singe frayed ends with a lighter to seal; sew to underside. Apply permanent craft glue to underside between ropes in spots to prevent shifting.

Martha Stewart Living, July 2005



Reviews (21)

  • vajra_par 16 Aug, 2014


  • Kitty Qin 2 Feb, 2014

    I was really confused at first. But then I realized that the diagram in Step 4 was actually the diagram for Step 5 and the diagram in Step 5 was actually the diagram for Step 4.

  • HeavnerVogel1B82H 8 Jan, 2014

    The thing is that it's white here. I don't think it's the perfect color for a doormat. Choose something darker. My two cents.

  • featherinthemeadow 29 Aug, 2011

    I found this site with very simple instructions and very detailed images. It was very useful!! scroll down to the Ocean Plait Mat and follow the instructions.

  • petal492000 27 Aug, 2011

    Great! Thanks Char59... ..this is much better for me to understand..

  • petal492000 27 Aug, 2011

    I would have to say I agree with linandkatesmom on this.It would be easier for me if there was video, to see exactly what the steps are. It's hard for me to understand them from a drawing too.

  • Char59 27 Aug, 2011

    there's a brief video showing how to weave on this site:

    a template is shown on this site:

  • linandkatesmom 27 Aug, 2011

    It would be easier for me if there was video, at least in the beginning to see exactly what the steps are. It's a bit hard to understand them from a drawing.

  • Triciamarie 26 Aug, 2011

    Thanks, Martha, and also many thanks to all the comments and further ideas for using braided rope!

    Kudos to cookiesgalore for the information and name, "ocean-plait mat." I've always used the dogpile search engine and it came up with 3 pages of additional information. Searched dogpile IMAGES for ocean-plait mat. SO MANY USES for such a great looking braid!!
    Thanks everyone!!!

  • katylacyclark 26 Aug, 2011

    I have made two of these. It can get VERY expensive depending on the rope you use. Plus it is challenging
    to keep the braid going in the beginning. I tacked the entire rug together on the back as I did not want it to come apart when it got washed. It is beautiful. Not sure I will make any more.

  • Suziedod 26 Aug, 2011

    Hi KJCM, I went to as you suggested. But, I never could actually find the project. Would you be so kind as to give me a new place to look? I appreciate it.

  • filastrocca 26 Aug, 2011

    I love this mat. I have 45 ft of Martha Stewart's new novellty yarn, "MAMBO". I'm going to try making a smaller version and using it for a trivet (hot pad). It will make a lovely piece in my dining room along with my of Zebra rug and mudcloths and kilims.

  • georginanna 6 Aug, 2009

    i wonder if it could be a rag rug too, good idea martha

  • kjcm 4 Aug, 2009

    Go to and do a search for ocean plait rug, and it gives step by step instructions......

  • Collioure 3 Aug, 2009

    Thanks cookiesgalore! This mat would also look very good in a bathroom.

  • ginaeaker 3 Aug, 2009

    Thank you Cookiesgalore! I am thinking you could use marcrame cord too!

  • cookiesgalore 3 Aug, 2009

    OOPS! as usual, the m.stewart website didn't or won't show my entire comment. So here's what you do: Just google "ocean-plait mat" on the "google images" and this design will come up. Click on the 2nd design, and on the webpage it takes you to, scroll down to the ocean-plait mat and there will be a link for the video. good luck :-)

  • cookiesgalore 3 Aug, 2009

    I FOUND A VIDEO ON IT!! It's called an 'ocean-plait mat' and here's 2 links for it, good luck :-)

  • cookiesgalore 3 Aug, 2009

    I FOUND A VIDEO ON IT!! It's called an 'ocean-plait mat' and here's 2 links for it, good luck :-)

  • Kinderhook 3 Aug, 2009

    Me either! I think a video would have been far more helpful.

  • craftdeeme 3 Aug, 2009

    Help I don't understand how this can work.