Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!
Using old tee shirt scraps I used to make a t-shirt quilt, I made a crocheted rag rug. My rug is 40 inches in diameter.
Approximate Time: 10 hours.
By Little Suzy from Millbury, OH
I have made a circle rag rug and a rectangle rag rug this way. They are multi-colors (no patterns) and all from tee-shirts. They are sturdy and wash up easily in the washing machine. I highly recommend the person who wants to start with rag rugs try making one like this...it's easy and looks nice when finished. (10/05/2001)
By Leigh Ann
Look through books, flea markets, etc., to see what type you like, then look for instructions. It's kind of hard to explain how to make them when one is not sure of the type you're wanting to make. Some need special equipment (looms, hooks, needles, etc.).
Also, the best type of fabric to use depends on the type of rug you want to make -- hooked rugs are best made from old woolens, ones woven on looms are great made with cottons, crocheted rugs work nicely when made from old t-shirts or knits, braided rugs made out of wools last forever, and so on. Also, I've found that ones made from cottons or sheets last longest when the strips are sewn together end-to-end rather than pulled through loops/slits or tied -- they seem to hold up through more washings.
I absolutely love rag rugs and have used them for almost 50 years. They are a fantastic way to recycle outgrown, unstylish, stained, or ruined clothing and get something usable. A lot of work goes into them, so make sure you make a style that will work both for you and the fabric you have on hand. (01/02/2007)
I have just joined the site and thought you might like to see a rug made from recycled fleece jackets. They are very cheap to buy in the charity shops, there are some brilliant colors and make a super rug.
I crocheted this small rag rug out of 2 nighties, 2 tee shirts, and a pair of knit shorts. It measures 28 inches in diameter. I love working with old knit clothing because the edges do not fray.
This is an image of a picture I did using the same technique as the rag rug using narrower strips.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
My round rug (3 ft in diameter) is really puffing up in the middle. It seemed to be laying flat while I was working on it. Then the farther I got from the middle it started poofing up, cone shaped. I have read about misting, wetting and putting heavy objects on it. I was wondering if it would be possible to take the center braids loose and re-lace it working from the poofed part backwards into the center. Is that too crazy or would it work?
By Sue S. from Knoxville, TN
Undo your work and add more. You've been tightening the tension inadvertently as you went around...the heavier it got, the harder you tugged sort of thing. It may take a bit more effort, but you'll be happier with the result.
Best of luck.
Good advice. If your rug doesn't have to be round, it makes a nicer effect with the back and forth stitch. You have to get used to counting, counting, and more counting. Each row you increase has to increase the same amount. If your 10th row, for instance, has 100 stitches, your 11th row might need 110. If your 12th row only increases by 10, you are in trouble. I hope that helps. PBP
If you've run out of fabric, then yes, you'll have to start from the center, but yolk need to tighten it, rather than loosen it. If you have more fabric to work with (to achieve the same dimensions), it would be easier to make note of where the buckling starts, & place a marker there (like a safety pin) then from the outside edge, undo it, back to the marker. Then, redo from that point outward, making sure to loosen it. Stop every round, & make sure its laying flat, until you're done.
How do you make a rag rug or a tied rug?
By Penny from Watson, LA
You usually need a loom to make a traditional rag rug. However I have seen a charming rag rug made using crochet. First you make strips out of the rags and attach them end to end. Next you take a large plastic crochet needle and crochet the one long strip. You can make round/oblong rugs by single crocheting in a circle/snail pattern. Or you can make rectangular ones going back and forth.
You can cut rags into long pieces about 2 inches wide & plait them as in hair. Lay them in a circle then sew them together by hand with needle & thread, good luck.
Just took a class. simple single crochet. Old sheet ripped into one inch length. Fold and end over itself by an inch small cut with scissors that way you can add the next strip on like a slip knot do all strips or as you go. Get the biggest crochet needle. It is plastic no number on it but like those giant pencils we had as kids. Start with a slip knot and 4 or 5 single crochet then connect into first just continue around if you want to make oblong, single crochet twice in same stitch. Very easy! Sore forearms once it gets bigger. (picture is the slit to join pieces) Good Luck!
How do I make a rug from material?
By CACAHAKA from Simi Valley, CA
I watched a series of videos on Youtube which explained the process very well.
I have a Word document that shows photographic step by step instructions. If you're interested, click on my contact button here and I can email it to you.
The only requirement for this sit-on-the-couch project, is that you need to know how to crochet, just a single crochet, a chain stitch, and a slip stitch.
I make cotton rag rugs. I get material for these anywhere it is cheap: yard sales, salvation army, linen closet, ads in the paper(you wouldn't believe the things that people give away for free), etc. sheets make excellent material for rugs. They are sturdier than regular material. They're cheap at yard sales and the salval and you can always ask around if anybody has any they want to get rid of. Plus, they have nice length. I mix different patterns and colors together when I sew my strips. Again I make them into balls. You can sew tubes with these or tuck in the salvage edges as you crochet or not worry about the edges, thus giving it the raggedy, frayed edge-look, rag rug. Once you have collected an array of colors, you can make them in shades/patterns of blue or green. I have done varieties of colors and patterns and I have also done specialty rugs to match the shower curtain and window curtain that I made for my bathroom in blues and yellows.
you can do a trial project to see if it's for you by making a hot pad trivet. rip your material in 2 1/2 inch to 3 inch wide strips. snip the length end of your material every 2 1/2 -3 inches and start tearing. and you're basically ready to go. connect your strips, make your ball, and start crocheting. you can go back and forth, flipping your rug, or you can crochet solely on the top side, hooking into the outer edge of the stitch in the row below.
here is a site that shows you how to connect your strips without sewing them together. so you could rip your strips, connect them and ball them up all from the couch if you'd like.
i have a large wooden hook(R to Q size) that i use to crochet around a chain of my choice. if i want it round, i make a chain of 5-6 stitches, hook it at the one end like the center of a granny square, and go from there. i do a single crochet stitch, putting in a slip stitch around the "corners" where you can visibly see the stiches from the row before do not line up with the row you are working on.
i can send pictures of some of my rugs if you'd like. feel free to contact me through the group or at my personal email address email@example.com.
I am looking for instructions to crochet an oblong rag rug.
I don't know whether oblong means rectangular or oval, but here are instructions for making an oval crochet rag rug.
Decide on the width and length, and just crochet a beginning row, turn and crochet back and forth. You can change fabrics to create stripes, or just crochet until you run out of one fabric, then add another color. I like to use knits from old t-shirts and use a half double stitch.
Does anyone know approximately how many tee shirts of varying sizes it would take to make a 6X9 foot recycled rug, the kind that's looped through a grid backing? I'll cut the strips 1X 4 inches, as suggested.
I just need to know if I've set my size sights too big. Would 100 tee shirts make this size?
By Patti S
Unfortunately I'm horrible in math. That being said, what I would do is prepare four or five tees and begin. After I had those tees used. I would be able to see how much of an area they covered and that would give me an approximate idea of how many I would need to finish the project.
Share on ThriftyFunCheck out these photos. Click at right to share your own photo in this guide.
I like to crochet rag rugs out of fabric scraps. However, you always have to deal with the edges fraying. I got an idea. My husband had about 11 old colored cotton tee shirts. I cut them up in 1 1/2 inch strips going around and around (the fewer strips you've got, the less sewing them together you have to do). Then I crocheted them into a round rug. I think it turned out beautiful. I use it on the side of the bed. It matches everything.
By Donna from Millbury, OH
These are rag rugs that I make and sell. They are around my house on all of the floors. We enjoy using them!
By Susie from Enumclaw, WA
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
I would like a simple example of how to lace a rag rug. Thanks.
Darla, I make rag rugs all the time, but don't know if I can explain this in an e-mail. Here goes, I'll try. These are called "toothbrush rugs" and maybe you can find some more info on the Internet. Your tool is the handle of a toothbrush. Cut off the brush part. Sand down one end to a dull point. Drill a hole in the other end. Now you have a big plastic "needle".
Tear your fabrics (cottons and cotton blends) into strips about 1-1/2 inches wide. To attach your strips together: cut a slit about 1/2 inch long in the ends, pull the end of piece A through the hole in piece B, then put A's tail through the slit you cut. Tug gently to snug them up. Start with putting 2 strips together. Fold it in half so you have one strip for your "base" to work on and thread your tool through the end of the other.
The general idea here is to make blanket stitches onto your base thread (and later on, also the row below). Add more strips as necessary as you work. At first, like many needlework projects, it is very awkward. You're only working on one strip of fabric and it curls and is unruly. But persist. When you get it as long as you want, put a few blanket stitches in the end to turn.
You can make these square, oval or circular. I like the ovals best. Work down the other side, and now you'll see that you put your needle into both the base strip and the row below. You judge as you go how many stitches you need to keep it flat. The biggest problem seems to be getting too many stitches in there and it makes the rug ruffly, so be careful and lay it on the floor often to be sure it will lay flat for you.
These are very heavy nice rugs and wash well in the washing machine. Hang them over the banister to dry. They last for years. I hope I didn't make a mess of these instructions. It's easier to learn something if you see it done, that's for sure. If you have questions, post them and I'll try to clarify.