Have Extra Fabric Laying Around? Make a Rag Rug!

We’re in the process of making a long-distance move here at my house, from Northern Idaho to Central Oregon.  With that comes a lot of random pieces of clothing, old towels, or scraps of fabric that we don’t want to throw away, but aren’t in good enough shape to send off to Goodwill.  I was grasping for something to do with these scraps when the idea hit me like a ton of bricks… Make a rag rug!  They’re easy to make, and they’re a good way to use all these random pieces without letting them go to waste.

Colorful Rag Rug

I have so many pieces of scrap fabric from old sewing projects in lots of different colors, on top of old t-shirts that are too warn for other uses.  These end up being perfect for this rug.  All you need are a large assortment of scrap fabrics, which you could separate by color, pattern, or fabric type.  From there you just need a large crochet hook, a ruler, and some scissors.

Lay out your fabric scrap on a flat surface, and about 1 1/2 inches from the edge, cut a long strip all the way parallel, stopping 1 inch before the other edge.  You don’t want to cut the piece completely away, basically.  Measure 1 1/2 inches over from the first cut you made, and at the beginning of where you stopped short of the edge, and cut another strip so that the two strips you’ll end up with are attached at the top.  You’re basically cutting a zig-zag pattern.  Continue alternating down your scrap.

When you’ve cut the whole scrap in your zig-zag pattern, with your stips about 1 1/2 inches apart, roll it into a ball.  It’s a good way to store it when you’re not working on the rug, and they’re easier to work from than a huge pile.

From here you just need to know how to crochet single stitches into a chain.  There are a lot of websites and books out there with great tutorials if you need to re-learn.  You start with your slip-knot and chain 6 times, and then form a circle by starting a slip-stitch into your first chain.  This makes the center of your rug.  Then you make a chain of 2 stitches, and crochet 2 new stitches into the existing stitches that you have.  You’re doubling your stitches, starting from 6 in the center to 12 in the next.  Depending on your material and the stitch size, that may be different.  Keep the stitches loose so that it’s easier to go around on the next circle.

When you’re at the end of one ball and need to start another, you can just tie the two together with a small knot.  When you’re stitching close to a knot, you can leave it on the top for a more imperfect look, or stitch it below so it’s hidden.  To finish off, tie the tail of the remaining piece to the main rug, and cut off the end.  Voila, and now you have a hand-made rug, from scraps that won’t go to waste!

The perfect way to christen a new home with green craft vibes.

[Image Credit: ArtzyFartzy at Flickr]

Written by Lenore MacLeod-Bickley

Lenore is a 25 year old artist in Northern Idaho. She has a husband, two cats, and a whole room devoted to arts and crafts. She's dedicated to using art to tell a story.


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