What better way to reuse and recycle a variety of used fabric than to make a rag rug? This is a guide about making rag rugs.
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. Animals particularly like the cozy feel and I suppose they could be made with the name of the dog/cat.
For a large rug, hessian needs to be fixed on to a stretcher and needs to be quite taut. Cut fleece garments or throws into long half inch strips and work with holding the strip under the hessian and poking a hook.
I used a large crochet hook, through the hessian and picking up a loop through the hole. I continued with loops close to each other following the design drawn on the hessian with marker pen, leaving a border for folding under.
I used double sided carpet tape to fold the edges over but copydex is good. I then covered the back and glued the edges of a square of hessian tucking in a hem for neatness.
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
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
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
Instructions on how to make a rag rug out of strips of materials as suggested by the ThriftyFun community. Post your own advice here.
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 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.
Approximate Time: 5 hours (estimate)
If you increased correctly your rug will lay flat.
My rug was about 9 rows. You can make it using double crochets or single crochets.
By Little Suzy from Millbury, OH
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.
This is an image of a picture I did using the same technique as the rag rug using narrower strips.
I stapled a piece of hessian on to an old picture frame and used a book of discarded discontinued curtain samples from the local store (I found cutting the material on the cross made the strips easier to work with).
I placed the finished picture onto stiff board and stretched, tucked, and glued the border round the back.
I have yet to frame it, but intend to place it on with carpet double sided tape to a piece of the heavy board which came with the book of samples leaving a border for framing
I think I will use skirting board, which is very cheap from the wood store, and cut and staple it to the back for the frame. Or I could use driftwood as I live 20 yards from the North Sea and have a plentiful supply.
The beauty of curtain samples is that they come in batches of matching hues and complementary colours. I might add some shells and sea glass into the picture and perhaps continue embellishing some on the frame.
Editor's Note: Here is Isobel's original post:
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!
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.