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How to: Make a DIY Upcycled Rag Rug

by on Feb 13, 2013

Hi Curbliers! Today, I’m excited to share an easy tutorial on how to make a inexpensive rag rug. This handmade, vintage project can bring some warmth to any room, and will last for a very long time. Plus, they’re machine washable, which only adds to their softness. 

"Things for making a Rag Rug" Materials and Tools:
  • Old bed sheets (twin size or larger)
  • Scissors
  • Tape Measure
  • Craft Needle (used for sewing through heavy fabrics)
  • Invisible Thread
  • Safety Pin
  • Straight Pins
Half folded red, gray and floral white fabrics.Due to my frugal nature, I like buy my sheets on sale or from a thrift store. I chose three different colors of sheets for this rug, but you could stick with one or two, or choose as many as you’d like.
Tip: Always wash the sheets before making the rag rug. The sheets should either be 100% cotton or a poly-cotton blend (and the thread count doesn’t matter) 
Tape measure across a blue shirt with orange scissors. Step one: Measure and cut a small slit every 3″ on each sheet.
"Rug is on the table." Next, tear strips from one end of the sheet to the other.  
A braided pink material near a white pillow. Step two: Safety pin three strips to a pillow, couch cushion or your husband’s pant leg, and begin braiding the strips together.
DIY tips for upcycled rag rug. Make sure the end of the strips fall at various lengths. I did this by starting out the first braid with three different strip lengths. When the strip is getting close to the end, cut a one inch opening in the bottom of the strip. Add a new strip by slipping it through the opening and folding down the edge. Continue braiding while tucking the edge underneath.  
Rag rug making with old clothes. After you have braided together all of the strips, make a knot in the beginning and the end.  
" DIY - a red colored up-cycled rag mug " Step Three: Start by pinning from the center of the rug outwards. I decided to stray from the norm and turn this rug into an apple.
Colorful rug is placed on the wooden floor. Continue pinning until the size of the rug has been achieved. (I roll my braids into a ball to stay organized.)  
Person sewing gray color rag rug with needle and tread.
Step Four: Hand stitch together each braid with invisible thread and the crafting needle. Stitch back and forth from parallel braids, every inch or so, working from the center outwards.  
Colorful rug is placed on the wooden floor.
That’s all there is to it. Enjoy your vintage one-of-a-kind rag rug for years to come. 

White cat lounging on a red, white, and grey round rug.

Tips for making upcycled rug.Rebekah Greiman is the creator of Potholes and Pantyhose, a web blog dedicated to original DIY projects. Rebekah’s detailed tutorials are written to educate and entertain, while highlighting crafts, home decor, recipes, remodeling and more. See them all at Potholes and Pantyhose.

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