Updated on 1/20/16. Originally published on 08/18/15.
Yoga: the practice of synchronizing mind and body in pursuit of liberation. It requires strength. It requires flexibility. It requires…patience. Don’t have any? No problem! Yoga isn’t for everyone.
Yoga mat recycling programs aren’t available, so it’s best not to toss your mat once you’re done with it. Truthfully, you wouldn’t want to throw it out anyway. That yoga mat you just purchased can be repurposed by just about anyone looking to get a little creative. So get down from that handstand and grab a pair of shears. Here are some creative ways to repurpose your old yoga mat.
Reuse your yoga mat by cutting it into any shape you like and tacking it to the wall. Pin your pictures, invitations, mementos, reminders and grocery lists to the squishy surface. Some may find that yoga mats work better than cork boards for keeping everything in place.
2. Mouse Pad
Give your wrists a break by cutting your old yoga mat into a rectangle. Round off the corners to add a bit of detail and then place it on your computer desk. If you want to add some flair, you can use a stencil and some spray paint to customize your mouse pad so it matches your office decor (and your personality).
3. Lid Grips
Imagine this: You just spread a huge spoonful of organic, freshly roasted peanut butter from Whole Foods on a beautiful slice of brioche, but you can’t get the jam jar open! Tragedy? Not a chance! Simply reuse a yoga mat piece by cutting it into a circle slightly larger than your lid, and use it to grip the lid open. No muscles necessary! You can even use spray paint to add a fun message. See the full tutorial at Namastilo.
4. Drawer Liners
Keep the insides of your drawers clean – especially the ones in the kitchen – by replacing any currently peeling paper with your old yoga mat. Simply measure the inside of your drawers, cut your mat to size and reuse yoga mat cuttings inside the drawers. This works great for repurposing your yoga mat as shelf liners too.
5. Cute Clutch
Why buy a new purse when you can create one by reusing yoga mat clippings you already have at home? DoYouYoga shows you how. “Simply cut and fold a huge rectangle from the mat, stitch up the sides, attach the snap buttons, and you’ll have an eye-catching carry-around clutch.”
6. Wall Art
Let your artistic juices flow when you reuse yoga mat squares as beautiful wall hangings. Professional paintings made from repurposed yoga mats sell for $75, but you can make your own like Michelle from TinyArtRoom. Choose the colors that go with your space, and you can even customize it with your family’s name if you desire. Even if you’re not very artistic, you can use a stencil to create a beautiful piece of art.
7. Rock Mat
Have you seen those beautiful stone mats? You can make your own when you reuse yoga mats as the base. Use a strong adhesive to glue each stone to the mat, and that’s it! If you want your mat to be sturdier, you can use chicken wire or a fine metal mesh to reinforce the bottom. See the full tutorial at One Pretty Thing.
8. Pet Placemats
Does Sparky love to toss his food all over the floor? Pet placemats – just like human placemats – keep pets’ food bowls in place and the surrounding floor area clean. Use stencils and scissors to cut cute shapes into the placemats to match your pet’s personality.
9. Conscious Laptop Case
Every day, the world loses a little bit more of its precious raw material. Instead of buying a new laptop case, make one from the existing elements you have at home – like your yoga mat. Simply measure the sides of your laptop and add about one-and-a-half inches to each side. Cut two identical rectangles of that size from your old mat and glue three of the corners together. Tuck your laptop inside and keep it safe on the go!
10. Soda Koozie
There’s nothing worse than holding a yoga pose for hours on end, except, perhaps, a warm soda. Keep your soda cool and distinguish it from the other wounded soldiers at the party by crafting a koozie out of your old yoga mat. Brit + Co makes it easy with these simple instructions.
“Cut a piece of yoga mat about 10 inches wide by 4 inches high. Measure against your can and trim as needed (the variance depends on the thickness of your yoga mat). Glue the two ends together. Let dry. Cut a small strip to attach to the bottom (so the can doesn’t fall out), glue, and voila!”
11. Napkin Rings
Dress up your dinner table with some festive napkin rings when you reuse yoga mat pieces. Cut sections of your clean yoga mat into rectangles measuring seven-and-a-quarter inches long and two inches wide. You can make these sizes larger or smaller depending on the style you want, so don’t hesitate to play around with it. Fold the rectangle so it makes a circle and then secure with decorative brads. The full tutorial is available at Namastilo.
12. Litter Box Mat
Kitty litter boxes are a necessity, but it’s frustrating when the cat litter scatters all over the room. A simple solution is to put a large mat under the litter box, and the mat will contain litter that’s out of the box and also litter that sticks to your kitty’s paws. Pet stores and specialty pet companies sell these mats for $30 or more. A more affordable option: place your old yoga mat under the litter box and call it a day.
13. Strappy Sandals
You can really make your own footwear? Absolutely! The strappy sandals featured on Barefoot Planet are perfect to throw in your bag because they aren’t bulky. However, they’re functional enough that you can wear them anywhere. If you have your yoga mat and some heavy-duty bootlaces (or three-eighths-inch elastic straps), you have everything you need to make these yourself.
14. Craft Box
You need additional storage solutions, but you don’t have the budget to buy all new baskets and bins. The solution: your old yoga mat. Using your mat and some basic office supplies you already have around the house, you can create storage containers that are customizable to fit your space. If you were to buy custom storage, you could easily spend thousands of dollars. With this technique from Violet LeBeaux, you can make your own for pennies.
15. Coffee Cup Sleeve
Keep your hands comfortable even when your coffee is hot. It’s easy to repurpose your yoga mat by cutting it to size and then folding it so it forms a circle that will fit your coffee cup. Feel free to make your sleeve as thin, fat or decorative as you like.
16. Laminate Floor Padding
The padding that’s installed underneath laminate flooring is essential, and it’s also pricey. You can expect to pay $25 for a roll. If you have a big space to do, that’s not a bad price. However, it’s steep if you’re looking to lay laminate in a small area (and then you have to store the leftover padding). Sohl Design offered a great solution – reuse yoga mat materials instead. One mat is about one-third of the price (or free if you already have one), you can cut it to size, and you can discard the extra without feeling like you’re being wasteful.
17. Door Mat
Welcome your guest with a customized doormat courtesy of your old yoga mat. Cut the mat to the size you want so it fits your unique space. Using alphabet stickers or chipboard letters, create a saying that matches your decor. Using spray paint, spray in spurts over the letters to create a cloud effect like the one on Namastilo. Let it dry, and your doormat is ready to use.
18. Car Seat Protector
When you have leather seats, it’s tempting to cringe when you put your kid’s car seat in your vehicle. Car seats are important – you know that – but it’s so easy for those seats to leave indentations in your leather. Protect your seats and stop the cringing when reusing yoga mat sections as car seat protectors. Fold the mat section in half and place it on top of your leather seats, then set the child’s car seat on top. A Bird and a Bean shows you how you can cut it to size for extra protection.
Whether you’ve given up on yoga forever or you love it so much that it’s time to upgrade to a new mat, you can get creative and repurpose your old mat. These projects are fun ways to involve your kids in some crafting time, or you could even make a girls night out of it. Enjoy your new creations. Namaste!