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Making a Rag Rug

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.

Supplies:

Instructions:

  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.
  5. When you get to the beginning of the first row, join with a slip stitch and chain one.
  6. 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.
  7. Join with a slip stitch. Chain 2.
  8. 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.
  9. Continue increasing at regular intervals for each row. Continue around as big as you want until you are out of strips.
  10. 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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14 More Solutions

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October 24, 2007

Instructions on how to make a rag rug out of strips of materials as suggested by the ThriftyFun community. 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.

Photo of round rag rugs.

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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.

Rag Rug From Recycled Fleece Clothing

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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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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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Questions

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September 17, 2008

I have just taught myself the basics of making a rag rug using a knotted method, rather than crochet (because I'm not really sure how to do that) but for all the fabulous instructions I've found, there is nothing that tells me how to make it lay flat, without making the outer stitches huge. How do I make it flat and keep the stitch continuity?

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This was the link I used and the basics were really easy to understand (except for that whole laying flat thing).

Claudia from Morrisville, PA

Answers

September 17, 20080 found this helpful

I had the same issue on mine I made from old flannel plaid sheets i used. It turned out wonderful but wants to rise up in the center much like a bowl with sides. I laid a heavy item on it for days and it helped some by still not completely flat. I hope someone post the fix it answer on your request.

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September 17, 20080 found this helpful

You might try steam ironing it. Mist lightly with water, then
place a towel underneath and iron it directly on the floor.

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By Judy Bond-Tucker (Guest Post)
September 17, 20080 found this helpful

If you are trying to make a round rug you have to increase the amount of stitches at the ends. When you go around the end of the rug put two stitches in every other stitch until you get back to the long sides. It is much easier to do a square or an oblong rug rather than a round or an oval rug.
Good luck.

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By suzin (Guest Post)
September 17, 20080 found this helpful

I have made quite a few crochet rugs from rags and the way I done it is lay the rug down quite often to see if it is staying flat. When ever it looks like it is going to start turning up I crochet a extra crochet stitch in the same hole. That will make the curved areas lay flat. Probably several extra stitches in every round. A time or two when I had a bowl I would wet the rug and lay it down, patting it down till it lays flat, and then let it dry that way.

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September 17, 20080 found this helpful

I've done the same technique, when making grass, fiber, rag or coiled fabric baskets. What I did was just add another stitch every 4 or 5 stitches all around the whole thing whenever I wanted to increase OR, do the regular stitch for 3 or 4 rows, then do 2 stitches in a hole every other stitch for one round, then go back again to one stitch per hole for 3 or 4 rounds (It's kind of like crocheting a hat with a flat brim or a flat doily). You'll need to mark where each new round starts with a bright piece of yarn or a safety pin. This way you'll know when to start or stop increasing... You said "I've found, there is nothing that tells me how to make it lay flat without making the outer stitches huge. How do I make it flat and keep the stitch continuity?" My answer would be to do 2 or 3 regular stitches instead of one huge one. (It looks like the blue rug in the picture is a bit "floppy" around the edges)

Getting your rug to lay flat is the problem with nearly ALL rag rugs. I had the very same problem with the first one I made & also with crocheted rugs or even crotched blankets that I've crocheted in the round. It's really all about getting the right amount of tension & fabric around each successive round. When it comes right down to it, you either end up with to little on the edges & end up with a bow shaped rug, or to much fabric or yarn on the edges & end up with a rippled effect.

As you are making your rug, you have to be VERY careful & check out the lay of the rug EACH time you go around. Just lay it on a flat floor & see how it's going. You may have to add more fabric (or more crochet stitches if you're crocheting it) or less.

As far as fixing one that's all ready completed, the only thing you can do is either dampen it then set something heavy on it until it's dry. You'll need to put a large garbage bag that's been cut open (to increase the size) or some kind of plastic tarp on the floor, then above the rug to prevent damage to your floor. Set something heavy on it until it's totally dry. You may be able to get by with just spraying a bit of water on it, but I think you'll have to completely wet it, then leave it to dry as you would when setting your hair.

If it was made of wool, you could block it with pins & then steam it with an iron. These may force it down. But, this technique won't work if your fabric is polyester or not a "natural" fiber. When it comes right down to it, if your finished rug is not laying flat you'll probably have to rip some of it out & start over again. Before you do something that drastic, why don't you take a look at some of the sites below & see what info you can get out of them. I believe the top URL is what you are looking for, but also, click on the second URL, then look to the left on that URL & you'll see a whole list of rug info you can click on. Also, click on the "Amish Knot" on that same site.

HERE ARE SOME RAG RUG DIRECTIONS:

TOOTHBRUSH RAG RUGS:
www.bellaonline.com/.../art29829.asp

FLAT WRAP:
www.netw.com/.../flatwrap.htm

BRAIDING & SEWING RAG RUGS:
www.craftown.com/.../rugs.htm

LINKS FOR HOW TO MAKE COILED FABRIC BASKETS:
www.bellaonline.com/.../art54060.asp

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January 20, 2013

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

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February 2, 2010

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

By Penny from Watson, LA

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July 14, 2009

How do I make a rug from material?

By CA from Simi Valley, CA

Answers

July 15, 20090 found this helpful

I watched a series of videos on Youtube which explained the process very well.

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July 16, 20090 found this helpful

vintagechica.typepad.com/.../rag_rug_tutoria.html

www.ehow.com/how_2054122_make-rag-rug.html

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.

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April 7, 2009

I am looking for instructions to crochet an oblong rag rug.

By Dee Hafemann

Answers

Anonymous
April 7, 20090 found this helpful

I don't know whether oblong means rectangular or oval, but here are instructions for making an oval crochet rag rug.
crochet.about.com/.../aa092599.htm

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April 12, 20090 found this helpful

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.

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January 9, 2012

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?

Thanks!

By Patti S

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Photos

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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.

Finished project.

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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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