Repurpose A Garden Hose Into A Functional Outdoor Feature With An Easy DIY

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You might think you know the mistakes to avoid when watering your garden, but we bet you don't know this one: not repurposing that spent or disused garden hose into a 1970s-inspired round outdoor rug instead of adding it to the nearest landfill. Take the fittings off the hose and coil it tightly around itself, connecting the layers with zip ties as you go. Voilà! You have a cute, durable, waterproof runner to adorn your balcony, patio, or outdoor kid's play area. Make it as large or small as you wish using more or less hose. And, if you used a hose in good condition, you can even snip the zip ties and turn your rug back into a hose when you no longer need it.

Spending an hour or so on this super simple DIY is worth doing for more than the green goddess (or god) points. Hoses are designed to last; a standard-quality garden hose remains useable for five to 10 years. You'll get a long life from your rug, especially if you use a new hose. This rug also has far more uses than just upping the aesthetic of an outdoor living room. Stand on it to water the garden to avoid standing in the runoff; it's especially useful if you container garden. Kneel on your new gardener's pad as you weed or plant out seedlings. 

Hunt down the right hose

Getting the best rug for your outdoor space is undeniably challenging; there are so many options out there. Bypass the online research and endless visits to big box retailers by DIYing your own at home. If you don't have a hose you wish to upcycle, you'll need to go shopping — though this is an easier feat than pursuing potential outdoor rugs, we promise. There are a few things to consider when buying your garden hose, including color, material, and the width of the resulting rug. That's because the length of the garden hose and the diameter of the tubing determine the final size of your rug. For example, 170 feet of hose with a half-inch-diameter tube will produce a circular rug that's three feet wide.

If you're working with old hose, this doesn't really matter. You have the length you have. But you'll need to get out that calculator if you're buying a new hose. Lowe's sells a 50-foot deep blue vinyl hose by Flexon for $24.98. We love this vibrant orange Yamatic garden hose — 100 feet for $62.99 from Walmart. It's heavy-duty, so it should hold up well to foot traffic. Get 100 feet of lime green Legacy Flexzilla irrigation hose for $99.99 from ACE Hardware. Other materials you'll need include zip ties (a 100-piece-pack of transparent plastic 6-inch ties costs just $6.99 on Amazon), sharp scissors (for cutting the end of said ties), and gloves to protect your hands while working.

Get coiling

Are you familiar with the best way to coil your garden hose? If yes, you're ready to tackle this DIY project. Lay the hose on the ground and bend it back onto itself about five to eight inches down. Thread a zip tie through the middle of this doubled-over section and pull it tight. Continue to spiral the hose around itself, adding zip ties every so often to keep it from unraveling. Repeat until the rug reaches your desired size. Snip the long ends of the zip ties and tuck the joins inside the folds of the rug.

To make a multi-colored outdoor rug, à la a classic mid-century rag rug, spiral a section of your rug in one color of hose. Start a new hue at the spot where the other ended and use one or two zip ties to secure the join to the rest of the rug. That's it! All that's left is to place the rug where you need it and enjoy. Keep your new outdoor mat clean by (perhaps ironically) hosing it down with fresh water occasionally. To remove stubborn stains or caked-on dirt, immerse the mat in a large tub of water or a kid's wading pool. Scrub it gently with a soft-bristled brush and a touch of dish soap. Hang it in the shade — UV rays damage plastic — and let it dry naturally before laying it on the ground again.