Making a Rag Rug

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.

April 4, 2011 Flag

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.




  1. Cut 1 1/2 inches wide strips from tee shirt scraps. Sew the ends together.
  2. Roll up the strips into balls.
  3. Chain 4. Join with a slip stitch.
  4. Chain one and single crochet 12 stitches in the chain 4 circle.
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  6. When you get to the beginning of the first row, join with a slip stitch and chain one.
  7. Crochet two single crochets in each stitch and join with a slip stitch when you get to the beginning of the second row. You should have 24 stitches.
  8. Join with a slip stitch. Chain 2.
  9. Double crochet in first stitch and 2 DC in the next. Crochet in this pattern all around and join with a slip stitch as before.
  10. Continue increasing at regular intervals for each row. Continue around as big as you want until you are out of strips.
  11. Slip stitch into the first stitch of the last row you did. Cut the strip. Fold it back under a loop and hand sew so you cannot see it.

By Little Suzy from Millbury, OH

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April 5, 20110 found this helpful

Great idea suzy! I bet it's soft also and what a good way to use unwanted t-shirts. Bravo!

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April 6, 20110 found this helpful

Looks awesome, I have been saving shirts up. lol Family calls me a hoarder.

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April 6, 20110 found this helpful

This is great, could even be used as a Christmas Tree skirt!

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December 16, 20140 found this helpful

October 24, 2007 Flag
2 found this helpful

Instructions on how to make a rag rug out of strips of materials as suggested by the ThriftyFun community. Post your own advice here.

Make A Braid

My mother taught me how to make rag rugs when I was a child. You take scraps of material that you want to use and make three separate, very long strips. Each strip would be a piece of material tied together at the end by a knot. The three strip lengths should be equal in length, and the length would be determined by how large you want the rug to be. You could always add at the end if it is too short. You can also add as you go as long as they are equal in length to make it easier. Now that you have the three pieces, you start braiding like you would braid hair. Form braids in a circle and when you are through, you would tack them together with a heavier thread or yarn, etc. You can also use masking tape to hold it until you get it tied. Have fun!

By Agatrel

Crochet Together

I love rag rugs! I learned the simplest crochet chain stitch from a friend, and I crocheted 2 rag rugs out of old tee-shirts. I cut a long strip of cloth out of each tee-shirt to use as yarn, about 1/2 inch wide, and on a spiral from the bottom of the shirt to the top, all in one continuous long "thread". Then I roll that up for a "ball of yarn" to crochet with.

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's easy and looks nice when finished. (10/05/2001)

By Ness

Rag Rug Out Of Sweaters

For rag rugs that absorb water well (best for bathrooms and in front of the kitchen sink), try using stripes of old sweaters. This does need a little prep work with the sewing machine. Cut the strips about 2 in wide and zig-zag around the outside of the strips (this prevents any runs that will develop. Braid the strips together. When you get near the end of the strip (I recommend 2-3 inches from the end), take another strip and encorporate it into the rug. When you reach the desired length (I believe about 5 feet), stay stitch the ends to prevent them from coming apart (this step is not required but if it is your first one, it helps). Begin to turn the one end of the braid to create a spiral. When the spiral is completed, stay stich in frequent intervals. I personly prefer to zig-zag stitch it on the machine, it stays in place and withstands frequent washing.

By the_mouse_2b

Cross stitch On Latch Hook Material

You can use strips of cloth as "thread" and do counted cross stitch on latch hook rug "fabric". Nearly any cross stitch pattern would work, but one with large sections would be best. Perhaps a large heart in the middle of a simple geometric background. Draw it out on graph paper if you'd like to design your own pattern. (07/02/2005)

By Leigh Ann

Grandmother's Crochet Technique

My husband's grandmother used to tear strips of fabric into strips approximately an inch or less wide. Then she would roll the fabric into balls. She would crochet this "yarn" into an oval or circular rug. To add to the rug, she would stitch the new strip on to the just finished strip of cloth and continue crocheting. For the outer border, she would use the "pineapple stitch" to make it pretty. These rugs need to be washed by hand and hung out to dry, for best results. (12/15/2006)

By AnnMel

Use Fabrics With Similar Washing Instructions

The rags needs to belong to the same washing instructions or you might have shrinkage and color transfer problems later. Been there, done that. :(

By cookwie

Sew Strips And Crochet

My mom and I made rugs by sewing strips together and crocheting them.

By bobbiejean

Free Online Instructions

I found complete free instructions for toothbrush rugs, plus traditional hooked rugs and many many other homemade rugs on the website for Rugmakers Homestead. This is a wonderful site, with a "tour" of all the kinds of rugs thrifty women have made for centuries. If you need instructions, this is the place to go!

By Mary

Yarn Lovers Room Pattern

Go to the website called yarnloversroom ( I got my pattern from there and it's brilliant. I've used it so many times. It is so quick and easy.

By Cett

Advice About Techniques, Fabric and More

First thing you must do is decide what type of rag rugs you want to make. There are ones that are woven on traditional looms, ones woven on a basic flat homemade loom, hooked rag rugs, braided rugs, crocheted rugs (in several different stitches and shapes), ones made on a rug canvas (kind of like a needlepoint backing), old spool-like looms that make circular yo-yo circles that are stitched together (NOT like the yo-yo quilts), and some that are pieces stitched to a cloth backing. I'm sure there are others that I've not mentioned here.

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)

By Susanmajp

December 28, 20080 found this helpful

This site link below has instructions for creating the toothbrush rugs and has a couple of pictures that help out - along with a picture of the toothbrush needle beside a toothbrush for a reference point. ... cle/0,2045,DIY_15079_2502122,00.html

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January 22, 20090 found this helpful

Am looking to make a rag rug the easiest way. I like the braided way but how wide do I cut the material to do this. I know it's 3 very p long strips and you tied them together by a knot. But how wide is the I strip. Pleases if anyone knows?

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February 8, 20090 found this helpful

I found some youtube videos and an explanation that show you how to make a toothbrush rug:

It looks really easy!

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April 3, 20100 found this helpful

January 28, 2009 Flag

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.

By Isobel

September 25, 20150 found this helpful

Go to for the basic instructions and directions. It isn't fleece, but you can use your imagination to figure all.

Good luck!

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September 25, 20150 found this helpful

I looked up "hessian" in Wikipedia and discovered it's the same thing as burlap. Then I searched a while and found a very good video showing how to make a rag rug using hessian or burlap, though no frame is used. Finally, a liquid latex rug backing can be used to make the back stronger and slip-proof. This is available in stores like Michaels, AC Moore, etc. or online through Amazon and other websites. The url for the video is below.

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January 24, 20160 found this helpful

Beautiful! I would also like the directions. I am currently working on a locker hook rug, but its not as pretty.

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January 24, 20160 found this helpful

September 5, 2007 Flag

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

Finished project.

September 23, 20070 found this helpful

to straightace;

I might suggest that you try cutting your sweaters into squares and crocheting them together to make one of a kind afghans.

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February 28, 20150 found this helpful

I am really impressed! Your rug is just beautiful. Wouldn't it be great to make one for a wall hanging?

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February 28, 20150 found this helpful

This is for little Suzy. I tried to e-mail you to get the instructions and I got my letter back and said that was not a correct e-mail address. I would like the instructions at dbrt73 AT

Thank you and I will try to make one as pretty as yours.

jlockwood3 AT This is your e-mail right? They said it was not a legal one.


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December 10, 2009 Flag
7 found this helpful

These are rag rugs that I make and sell. They are around my house on all of the floors. We enjoy using them!

Circular rag rug.

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April 22, 2009 Flag

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.

Finished rug.

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February 25, 2009 Flag

This is an image of a picture I did using the same technique as the rag rug using narrower strips.

art piece using hooked rug technique

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January 20, 2013 Flag
0 found this helpful

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.

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February 2, 2010 Flag
0 found this helpful

How do you make a rag rug or a tied rug?

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