Making a Rag Rug

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April 4, 2011

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. Round t-shirt rag rug.


Approximate Time: 10 hours.



Craft Project: T-Shirt Rag Rug - tools
  1. Cut 1 1/2 inches wide strips from tee shirt scraps. Sew the ends together.
  2. Roll up the strips into balls.
  3. Craft Project: T-Shirt Rag Rug - cut up tshirts

  4. Chain 4. Join with a slip stitch.
  5. Chain one and single crochet 12 stitches in the chain 4 circle.
  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. Craft Project: T-Shirt Rag Rug in process.

  11. Continue increasing at regular intervals for each row. Continue around as big as you want until you are out of strips.
  12. 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.


January 28, 2009

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


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 104 Posts
April 22, 2009

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.


February 25, 2009

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



Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

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?


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


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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.

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.

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.

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.







November 30, 20160 found this helpful

I found that if I made two stitches into every other hole it seemed to work.

January 2, 20180 found this helpful

Thank you. I will try that.

January 2, 20180 found this helpful

Yes, I just read that was how to fix the problem, and it worked. A big thank you to all who take time to post answers to problems others are having.

July 19, 20180 found this helpful

I need answers as well

September 7, 20180 found this helpful

Me three

October 10, 20190 found this helpful

How do I keep my round rug from looking like sombrero it says 60 inch rug

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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


January 28, 20130 found this helpful

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.


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January 28, 20130 found this helpful

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

November 24, 20130 found this helpful

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.

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February 2, 2010

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

By Penny from Watson, LA


February 3, 20100 found this helpful

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.


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February 3, 20100 found this helpful

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.

February 8, 20100 found this helpful

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!

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July 14, 2009

How do I make a rug from material?

By CA from Simi Valley, CA


July 15, 20090 found this helpful

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


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 846 Posts
July 16, 20090 found this helpful

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.

July 16, 20090 found this helpful

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

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April 7, 2009

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

By Dee Hafemann


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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.


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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?


By Patti S


February 13, 20120 found this helpful

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.

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Check out these photos.

Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 104 Posts
September 5, 2007

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.


December 10, 2009

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.


May 20, 2018

According to many crafters, when you are cutting the fabric for your rag rug project, cut it lengthwise. Although cutting on the bias may reduce fraying it can cause the fabric to stretch more. This page contains some tips for cutting material for a rag rug.

Rag rug closeup.


ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

July 14, 2009

I would like a simple example of how to lace a rag rug. Thanks, Darla

Crafts RugsJuly 14, 2011
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