30 Oct 2012

DIY Yoga Mat Strap

Erin over at His and Hers is hosting a little contest called Random Acts of Craftiness.  The goal is to create something that is completely and utterly from your very own head.  We are talking about something that's not ripped off of Pinterest, or Googled, or found in a fancy magazine.  Think on my own? Ack!!!  Here's the problem with the crazy internet.....even if you do think of it entirely on your own and you think you are brilliant and are going to make millions of dollars, once you search it out on Pinterest there's a good chance that someone else has already been there, done that and probably DIYed a matching t-shirt.

So, here's my disclaimer.  The 'craft' below was entirely pulled out my very own head.  I have no idea if anyone else has done it in the past.....I resisted the urge to check on Mr. Google.  And one more disclaimer....I bought everything I needed for this project at the Home Depot.  Yoga and Home Depot are apparently a match made in heaven (at least in my head!).

In an attempt to centre myself (which is almost next to impossible), I try and do yoga at least once a week.  Although I am sure the meditative and inner-reflection part of it is very good for me, it's the work out that I am really after.  I get pretty bored of being on that treadmill and bike day after day, so it's nice to break up the week with a couple hours of vinyasa.  It's also an awesome excuse to buy lots of fun Lululemon stuff.  Man, I love that store.  I have a whole drawer in my dresser just dedicated to lulu.  One of my favorite items of late is my new yoga mat.  It's called The Mat, and is the best mat I have ever used.   It's basically slip proof, which is awesome because falling flat on my nose during downward dog really interrupts my chi.  The only problem with my new mat though is that it doesn't fit in my old mat bag.  For a couple of months I have been carrying it around without a bag, which means that it's constantly spewed across the back seat of the car, and that I look like a fool walking into the yoga studio with my mat usually half unrolled and half slung over my shoulder. * disclaimer: Lululemon has no idea who I am, I just really love their stuff!!!

Since I am not particularly fond of looking like a fool, I set out on a mission to MacGyver something to keep my mat rolled up.

While wandering the aisles of the Home Depot one afternoon (Fin likes to just ride around in the car carts, so we often just stroll the aisles), I spotted some hot pink neon cord.  I am sure it's supposed to be used for some sort of construction related task, but I figured it would work for yoga mat wrangling.  Would a man ever wililngly choose hot pink cord anyway? I am guessing that is why the neon yellow was sold out, but there was lots of pink left in the bin.  I also picked up an assortment of bulk washers.  I didn't know what I was going to need, so I just picked a bunch of sizes.  Buying washers bulk is so much more exciting than buying rice or peanuts bulk.  I think the men in the aisle were impressed with my washer picking skills (i.e. pretend to know exactly what a 5/8" washer is used for in real life).

While Fin was napping one day, I set out on a mission to construct the mat strap.  The cord and washer idea seemed brilliant in Home Depot, but once I was sitting on my living room floor, I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to make this thing work.  I became very un-zen about the whole thing (very anti-yoga).  After a bit of stomping around the house and a second cup of coffee, inspiration finally hit.

I cut a piece of cord 86" long.  (I actually just cut a length that looked good, and measured after...for your sake...).  I then hot glued the loose ends together.

I laid the whole big loop out and then brought the bottom middle up to meet the hot glued ends.  Think bunny ears.

The bunny ears were a good start, but I needed the washers to form the little loop where the mat would sit.  I pinched the end of the bunny ears and then inserted the folded end through a stack of washers.

I ended up using 9 washers on each side.  I had intended to use 10, but I must have been too busy stopping my toddler from shoving bulk washers in her mouth to actually count correctly.  

Once the washers were on, I then simply tied a knot in the folded end of each bunny ear.

The last step was to make the hot glued loose ends look presentable.  To do this I used another peice of cord and simply wrapped it around the doubled up strings at the top.  This was a two person job - to ensure the wrapping stays tight (my husband was SUPER excited to wrap neon pink cord....).  

You can see where it's a little bumpy - that's where it's covering the hot glued loose ends.  To finish off the twisting, I hot glued the ends and tried to shove them underneath the wrapped cord as much as possible.

The wrapping hides the ugly loose ends, but it also beefs up the cord a bit so that it doesn't dig into my shoulder while I am carrying my mat.

That's it.  The last step was to insert my mat.

Once the mat is in the little loops, all I have to do is push down on the washers and it tightens up.  

I ended up using only one of the packages of cord that I bought, and only the little washers.  This whole project cost less than $10.  I even had a $10 Home Depot gift card from ebates, so it was FREE! Free stuff is good for my zen and my chi.  

Also linking to: House of Hepworths


  1. What a creative idea! Found you at his and hers blog. Megan

  2. Thats so creative and useful! This challenge was hard for me but you knocked it out of the ballpark.

  3. Very inventive(& it looks good, too!)

  4. Great way to solve your problem and it looks great too! Love the washers.

    1. Thank you. Washers are awesome. So versatile.

  5. Whoa, you showed this challenge whos boss. Nailed it! This is so so cool. Love the neon cord and your simple but elegant (and practical!) design. Have you taken it to yoga class yet?

    1. Thank you! Nailed it...fitting for a hardware store challenge :)
      Yes, I have taken it to yoga class and it works pretty good. I found it was a little long, so I just moved up the knots on the bottom and it fixed the problem. Other than that it works great though.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Pink is my favorite! Your mat strap looks totally snazzy and like something that will definitely make millions. I also love that your project is so practical and something you actually needed. (The exact opposite of mine.) Thanks for linking up!! :)

  7. This turned out SO GOOD. Im seriously impressed and Ive never seen anything like it before. (And some days, I feel like Ive reached the end of the Internet - and Pinterest.) I love the bright color and using the hardware, too. Also seems really practical.

    Awesome job!

    Stopping over from Random Acts of Craftiness.

  8. I love this. I just popped over from Erins blog and Im glad I did. This is a brilliant solution to the unwieldy yoga mat!!

  9. Article is very perfectly published, and it holds beneficial truths. I am happy to see your known way of producing the article. Now you make things easy for me to know and implement. Cheers for sharing with us


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