Monday, May 25, 2015

How to Make A Rag Rug



I love recycling when I can.  I especially love to be able to upcycle discarded or unused items into something that is pretty or useful in my home.  So enter into the world of rag rug making with me!

I love thrift shopping and often find pretty fabrics, sheets, clothing  and such.  Sometimes the fabrics are still in very good condition or even new condition.   The cost of fabric at the fabric store for new fabric is getting out of sight, especially when the purpose is for rug making.  So why not take advantage of re-using and repurposing fabrics, sheets, pillowcases, tablecloths, curtains or old clothing into something practical and useful?

How to Make a Rag Rug

I thought I would welcome you into the world of rag rug making with something very simple.  This rag rug is crocheted using a large hook (I used a size M hook) and strips of fabric that are upcycled from found fabrics.

First, look thru what you have at home in your linen closet.  Look for unused sheets, pillowcases, tablecloths, curtains, or whatever kind of fabrics you can find that you no longer have need of.  If you need more fabrics  go shopping! Yay! I especially l-o-v-e bargain shopping!!!! It's all about the thrill of the hunt, right folks?

So, keep your eyes open for fabrics that you can incorporate into your rugs.  Ashamedly, I have to admit that I have a more than ample supply of fabrics that I can recycle into rugs.  But if you are a rug maker it is nice to find fabrics that coordinate with one another, right?  Yes! But, if you can not find coordinating fabrics I have seen many beautiful rugs that are just all different colors of fabric.  Strip by strip they all incorporate into a nice rug! It all works!

Now you have some fabric.  So start tearing your fabric into strips.  First snip down about two inches long across the  width of the fabric about every two or three inches.  I usually tear the strips about a couple of inches wide. The wider the strips, the larger the hook you will use.  Yes, I tear my fabric strips.  I then pull off  as many of the strings that I can.  I don't stress over what I can not pull off.  As the rug is being made, washed and used everything just works out.  Ok?  So.....don't stress! It will be beautiful!

You can also cut your fabric strips with scissors or a rotary cutter.  Not my way of doing things but if you are that kind of a gal then go that route.  All of that tearing up of the fabric is actually kind of fun and very stress relieving! Do this job outside!  Lots of fiber dust comes off when you are tearing those fabric strips.  For that reason  I recommend that you wear a dust mask.  And especially make sure to wear a dust mask if you have any respiratory issues.  Protect those lungs!

Fabric strips for rag rug making

After I tear my fabric into strips I fold my fabric strips and put them into neat little piles and store them in see thru  zip lock bags.  That way when I am ready to begin my rug making I have already accomplished that part of the process and can go to my stash and grab out the fabrics that I want to use. 

There are several ways to join your fabric strips.  You can hand or machine sew them together.  Or you can use the "fold, snip, and attach" method, as I refer to it!  Do not make this harder than it is.  It is really very, very simple.  Ok?  When you are ready to add a new strip of fabric follow these steps:  Take your time..... and just follow these directions step by step! Don't make it harder than it is!  I apologize that I can't add a photo for this step, but I only have two hands!

First, as you are crocheting along and near the end of your WORKING fabric strip, fold the end of the fabric down about an inch and with a pair of sharp, pointed scissors just take a little snip into that fold (only big enough that when unfolded back out that your next strip of fabric will fit into the hole that you just cut).

Next, choose a fabric strip that you want to connect to your working fabric strip.  We will call this the NEW strip.  Do the same thing.  Fold the end of the fabric strip down about an inch and cut a little snip into the fold of the NEW fabric strip about the same size as the cut that you made into your working strip.  Easy enough, right?

Place your NEW strip that you are adding ON TOP of your WORKING strip aligning the little hole snips in the fabric. 

OK..... now pick up the tail end of your NEW strip and from the bottom or underneath the two strips being held together just insert the tail end  of the NEW strip into the holes cut in the two strips that you are holding together on top of one another.

Pull the tail end that you just fed thru the cut all the way thru until your strips are joined.  Tug gently on the strips and that will join the WORKING strip to the NEW STRIP.  Viola!! You have now added your two strips together without sewing!  

The above rag rug was made in a square(ish) shape.  You can make them round, oval, rectangular and more.  For simplicity we are making this one square(ish). 

This rag rug was made using only a chain stitch (which made the foundation row) and single crochet stitches.  Both of these stitches are very simple.  If you do not know how to do a chain stitch or a single crochet stitch I am going to refer you to the wonderful world of YouTube.  Simply type into the YouTube search bar "crochet chain stitch" and "single crochet stitch" and you will find many tutorials of how to do these simple stitches.

So LET'S MAKE A RAG RUG!

Supplies:

Fabric Strips
A crochet hook that is the appropriate size for your strips
( I used a size M or 9 MM hook)
(The wider your strips are the larger hook you will need)
Yarn rug needle with a big eye

Foundation: Chain 41 stitches

Row 1:  Single crochet into the first chain stitch and into each chain stitch to the end of the row. Chain 1. Turn.

Row 2:  Chain into the first single crochet and into each single crochet to the end of the row. Chain one. Turn.

Repeat Row 2 until you have made the rug as long as you want it to be. 

Bind off   (YouTube videos will show you how)  OR you can first single crochet around the entire rug for as many rounds as you would like in order to give your rug a more finished look)  To accomplish neat corners simply single crochet three stitches into your corner stitches to allow for a smooth transition in the corners.  Then bind off if you choose to crochet around the entire rug.
With a large eye yarn needle, weave in any ends.


TUTORIAL:  HOW TO MAKE A RAG RUG



Handmade Rag Rug

That's it!!
Crocheted Rag Rug
I hope that this tutorial on how to make a rag rug is helpful for you to be able to make your own rag rugs!

Are you excited and ready to make a rug?  I hope you will come back to tell me all about it and to  show me your creations!!

Happy rag rug making!

36 comments:

  1. This is a lovely and thrifty project and one I REALLY want to do someday!!! It just seems so pioneer and I love making something useful from scraps! Thank you for sharing the tutorial. Also, I received your email on the link up. I think something is wrong with the the Linky Company as I noticed I can't access anyones else's link up today which uses the same company either. I just sent them an email and apologize for the inconvenience. Have a lovely week and hopefully it will be up soon :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jes. Rug making is kind of addictive for me! LOL! I have huge stacks of fabric that will be rugs one day. What in the world will I do with all of them? LOL! They are great because you can just throw them in the washer and dryer and they last and last!

      Delete
  2. Oh, how gorgeous this rag rug is! Truly impressive! And you know what is even more appealing? The fact that it didn't cost a pretty penny to make...aren't handmade items so lovely...? Thank you for your wonderful tutorial...I will have to refer to it someme when I get the itch to attempt some rug making!!
    Hugs and much love!
    Kelly-Anne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Kelly-Anne! Yes, I love handmade items and just love the whole concept of re-using something that you no longer have need of into something that you can use all over again! Thank you so much for coming by. I hope you will return and show me if you ever decide to make a rug!

      Delete
  3. Very nice! I have been wanting to make one of these for a long time. Thanks for the tutorial!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello my dear friend! So good to see you here! You are welcome for the tutorial. Let me know if you make your own......I know you have lots of stashed fabrics!

      Delete
  4. Love the rug!!
    This is one of the items on my to do list :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sandra! Yes, I had always wanted to make them too and now it has become addictive! Have fun!

      Delete
  5. It is really pretty! I save my sheets to make wreaths and wings, and I also tear. I don't know how to crochet, so I will have to use You Tube. xoxo Su

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Su! Thanks! I am glad that you like it! You will be able to find lots of videos on YouTube and it is quite easy to do both of the stitches.

      Delete
  6. Your rug is really lovely! Thank you for sharing your method. Love the orange fabric.
    Have a wonderful weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  7. This post would be a perfect addition to the new Our Simple Homestead Hop if you would like to share it with us!
    http://oursimplelife-sc.com/our-simple-homestead-hop-1/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would love to join in with your blog hop! Thank you for the invitation!

      Delete
  8. Oh, what a lovely rug, my dear! I have always wanted to make one of these, but have never taken the leap to try :) Thanks for sharing with Roses of Inspiration. Hugs to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Stephanie. It is easy and fun too....quite addictive!

      Delete
  9. I bought a kit to make a type of rag rug but still haven't given it a try, I surely need to give it a try, love the colors you have in this one and like how you finished it off!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! I am glad that you like it and hope that you do give it a try! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog!

      Delete
  10. I am definitely ready to make something like this. It looks great. My friend and I are going to teach our daughters to crochet so maybe they could try this too. Thanks for sharing at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Terri!! I would love to see your rug too if you do make one! I think it is wonderful to pass down to our children these type of skills!
      Blessings to you as well!

      Delete
  11. Good morning! Just a note to let you know that this post has been FEATURED this week at the Art of Home-Making Mondays! Thank you for joining us!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jes! Oh my goodness! I am honored! Thank you!

      Delete
  12. thank you. i am so un-crafty but this actually looks like something i could do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You absolutely CAN! I hope you will and then show me!!

      Delete
  13. Hi sweet lady! I just wanted to pop in and let you know that this lovely post was featured today at Roses of Inspiration :) Thanks for sharing! Enjoy your week and happy June!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy June Stephanie!! Oh my goodness.....I am thrilled! Thank you so much for featuring the rag rug!! You have a great week too!

      Delete
  14. Your rag rug looks adorable! I've made many things but not a rag rug. I've always wanted to make one. I've pinned it to refer to later. Visiting from the Art of Homemaking. Blessings, Diane

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great Diane! Thank you for the pin! I hope you will make one or two or more! That may happen! I would love to see your rug if you do make one! I am about to start a new one myself! Blessings!

      Delete
  15. This is a goal I have for using up my growing fabric stash. Thanks for sharing this. I'm pinning it for a project for this winter.

    ReplyDelete
  16. We have tons of old t-shirts around here, and I've begun making balls of t-shirt "yarn" to crochet rag rugs. Of course, I've only actually started one such rug. . . but one day I will finish it!

    Yours is really beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jody! I really need to ball up some t-shirt yarn too.

      Delete
  17. Just wanted to stop by and let you know this was my featured post today at the Simple Homestead Hop.
    Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Sandra thank you so much! I am excited and honored!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks for your comment on my blog! Loving this tutorial :) cheers, Liz

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you like it Liz! Thanks for visiting! Come back when you can! I know you must be very busy there on your farm!

      Delete