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How to Make a Rag Rug by Everyday Art

Happy Labor Day! For a fun change of pace today, I have the cute girls from Everyday Art here to show us How to Make a Rag Rug tutorial. I love their super easy technique! This is definitely a great craft for fabric scraps. {don’t ya love scrap busters?} enjoy! -Linda

How to Make a Rag Rug Tutorial

rag rug tutorial

Hi, my name is Jaime and my sister-in-law Emily and I are craftaholics. :)

We like to share our creations on our blog, Everyday Art because we think that everyone likes to create a little art everyday.

We’re excited to be here at Craftaholics Anonymous® today sharing one of our recent projects.

Introducing, the Pink-and-Blue Rag Rug:

how to make rag rugs

And I must say, phew!, what a long, loooong time this project took me! Many hours sitting watching shows/listening to audio books while working on this puppy. But, I have to say, even knowing how many hours (days, weeks, months) I’ve put into this, I’m so pleased with how it turned out. I love it. :)

rag rugWe recently moved and I put my two oldest girls in a shared bedroom. One loves blue, the other pink. So what to do but make a pretty blue-and-pink room for them? After completing the blue-and-pink quilts for their bunk beds, painting the walls blue, and hanging pink curtains, I tackled the rag rug as my next project.

As you can see, it turned out cute, coordinating, and much loved by the two girls.

The rug really was simple to make, just time-consuming. Basically, I used strips of fabric (1000s of them) cut about 1 inch x 5 inches. I stuffed these strips into a non-skid rug mat and voila! No need to even bother tying the strips.

You can see the rug mat in this image and about how often I skipped holes. Obviously, I certainly could have made it more full by skipping less holes in the non-skid mat, but there really wasn’t a need to make it any more full. I used leftover fabric from their quilts plus other scraps and purchased fabrics.

The rug has been in the girls’ room for about 2 weeks now and it easily fluffs up with a little shake and appears to be holding up well. With projects like this, the personalizing possibilities are truly endless–any color scheme would be fun.

Ready to make one yourself?

Rag Rug Tutorial

Supplies:

Here’s an image-tutorial on how to make a rag rug:

rag rug tutorial

I hope your rug goes well! I think this was one of my all-time-favorite handmade items.

Thanks Linda for having us. :)

Lots of love from the gals at Everyday Art!

 Follow along on Pinterest for more Crafting Ideas and Inspiration! 

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About Linda@CraftaholicsAnonymous

Hi! I'm Linda, the craft addict behind Craftaholics Anonymous®, a craft blog. Crafting is cheaper than therapy, right? When not crafting, I can be found chasing my 2 small {but very energetic!} boys or playing with my new baby girl. Or shoe shopping... because you can never have too many shoes! Happy crafting! ♥

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Comments

  1. 1
    Jem says:

    Your color and fabric selection was well chosen and highlights your talent as a designer. Not everyone could put the colors and fabrics together so well :)

  2. 2
    Sandra Douma says:

    This is a great way to use scraps of fabric, I’m Brazilian and there this rugs are make a lot , communities with low income get the fabric at the fabric factories, or t-shirt factories for free
    this can be used also as a pillow

  3. 3
    Kristi says:

    Super cute, wish I could piece together some colors to make my own, I am so bad at that. Thanks for the tutorial.

  4. 4
    Mary Eisen says:

    I love the rug idea! I’ll be doing one this fall! I think a hook would make it easier to pull thru too!

    • 4.1
      Tammy says:

      I used a large plastic needle on mine. Just pinch the mat and slide the needle under and back out. So much faster!!!!! I also bought the stronger rug-hook mat.

  5. 5
    April says:

    How do you clean these? Is it easy? Can you toss them in the wash?

    • 5.1
      Everyday Art says:

      You know, I’ve had the same question! Where I did not tie my fabric stips, I think it would not be safe to put it in the washing machine–I’m pretty sure the whole thing would “come out in the wash” (sorry, couldn’t help myself). Where it is up in their room where they don’t where shoes/don’t eat, I’m hoping it will just stay clean. When it looks a little matted or messy, I just give it a shake and it puffs back up to normal. :)

      • Sarah says:

        I had a cheap shaggy rug that I was always afraid to put in the washer so I would just take it outside and wash it with the hose…I know that may be weird to some people but it beats having all of this hard work torn to shreads in the washer. Hope that helps!! :)

      • Katie says:

        One idea I had for washing it, is to stuff it into a pillowcase that zips maybe? And wash on low, and air dry. Im sure that would keep it from falling apart!

  6. 6

    This is so cute! I love it. My daughter would love to have this in her room.

  7. 7
    Maxsmom says:

    I have been saving scraps to make rope wrapped bowls and needed some new ideas. Thank you for sharing your talents with us! KAM

  8. 8
    Heather says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I have looked all over for ideas to make a rug for our living room, and this was it! Looks so super easy and will give warmth to our laminate floor.

  9. 9
    Nina says:

    This is sooooo beautiful! Thank you for sharing. I really have to try this out some day!

  10. 10
    Brandy says:

    where can I find a rug mat? I think I want to make one for a christmas gift. Thanks, Brandy

  11. 11
    Charlie says:

    Had to laugh when I saw your post…I tried the exact same idea a few months ago and wanted to bang my head on a brick wall after the first row! lol Needless to say, I gave up and ended up buying a rug from Ikea. Ha ha. Now that I see yours, though, I wish I would have had more patience. But my pregnant butt can only handle so much sitting on the floor and bending over, right? ;)

    Beautiful job! And your fabric choices are darling together. Can’t wait to go check out the quilts.

    Aloha,
    Charlie

    • 11.1
      Monica says:

      I made one also and held it on my lap and worked on it while watching tv….easy. I also tied each strand into a knot . Try it…don’t give up….you’ll be so proud of yourself!!!!

    • 11.2
      Everyday Art says:

      It was insanely tedious and took soooo much more time than I thought, but as the other reader said, I just did it when mindlessly watching the tv or whatever. I was pretty ready to move onto a new project when I was finished though. :)

  12. 12
    Ros says:

    It’s much easier if you use a prodder or a hook to stuff your strips into the base, rather than trying to do it by hand.

  13. 13
    Monica says:

    I made one of these last year and it turned out really pretty also. I washed it on the gentle cycle and lots of the strips came out…..very disappointing, so I would recommend hand washing it. I fxed mine and hand wash it now and it’s fine. Yours is beautiful…..good job!!!!

  14. 14
    Ann says:

    Saw this on CraftGawker and thought it was the most adorable photo! Thanks for sharing the project.

  15. 15
    Barbara says:

    Your rag rug is just the cutest thing I’ve seen in a long time~ What a beautiful cozy thing it is for your girls! Bravo!

  16. 16
    sylvia says:

    To the person that was looking for the rug base, Hobby Lobby sells them. See: http://shop.hobbylobby.com/products/latch-hook-rug-canvas-654327/ I think that a latch “hook” would make it easier to get the strips through the hole!

  17. 17
    Adrienne says:

    Very cute! As others have said, I think a latch hook or a crochet hook would have helped things move along. Thumbs up!

  18. 18
    Susan says:

    I LOVE this rug… beautiful!
    Susan

  19. 19
    ruby_murrau says:

    Love this, this would look amazing in my baby girls Nursery. Thank you so much for the inspiration, I have to make one of these.

  20. 20
    Rebecca W. says:

    I would love to make this for my nursery! Can you guesstimate about how much fabric I should get to try one like yours? I don’t have scraps so will have to go get some fabric!

    • 20.1
      Everyday Art says:

      Ugh, wish I could say precisly. I used up all my scraps, all my MIL’s scraps (of appropriate color), and still took 5 trips to the fabric store!!! So whatever it was, it was way more than I thought. Maybe 20 yards?! Maybe more? I really don’t know (I don’t sew either), but it really was much more than I thought. What I did was buy a bunch (go ahead and get 3 yards of each fabric I would say) and use all of each fabric dispersed equally throughout the rug (don’t just start at one end and work steady to the other). That way, when you have to go get more fabric, at least each new fabric is equally respresented throughout the rug! :) Hope that helps and sorry I coldn’t be more precise!

    • 20.2
      Stacey says:

      Yes I would also like to know how much fabric!!

  21. 21
    Amy Hale says:

    Adorable idea! I never would have thought of making a rug out of my scraps! I am thinking a crochet hook might make the job go a little faster…

  22. 22
    Jan says:

    Love it! I made one of these many, many years ago and used it beside my bed. But this was in the days long before the invention of the non-skid mat that you used and I used a woven rug backing. Unfortunately, I didn’t get all the edges bound properly and one corner eventually started pulling apart. I think that was about the time my son was born and restitching a rug was the last thing on my list of things to do.
    I used the same fabric throughout, it was a dark green floral print upholstery fabric, so there were plenty of splashes of color.
    I tore my strips about 1 1/2″ wide, then cut them into 7″ lengths. I did tie mine on the top. My “shag” was about 3″ long.

    As to some of the comments… I used a crochet hook to pull the fabric through after my fingers got tired. I would pull a bunch through… maybe a row of six or eight and then go back and tie them and then pull some more through.
    It did get tedious, but I had it on my lap while I watched TV so I eventually finished it.
    I didn’t put this in the wash because of all the threads that would have continued to unravel and our old house had enough trouble with roots in the lines, I didn’t want to have to call a plumber because of it.
    I never spilled anything on it, so I shook it out instead of vacuuming or sweeping and every so often I hung it over the fence to freshen it up.
    I would love to make another one, and this time I would use t-shirts. There would be no unraveling and it could be easily washed and dried.

  23. 23
    Kim says:

    Hi. First time commenter here. I’m not a sewing person, so I don’t have lots of scraps.
    How many yards of fabric would you say I would need to get to make a rug of this size?
    Love this project! Thanks in advance for your advice.

    • 23.1
      Everyday Art says:

      Ugh, wish I could say precisly. I used up all my scraps, all my MIL’s scraps (of appropriate color), and still took 5 trips to the fabric store!!! So whatever it was, it was way more than I thought. Maybe 20 yards?! I really don’t know (I don’t sew either). What I did was buy a bunch (go ahead and get 3 yards of each fabric I would say) and use all of each fabric dispersed equally throughout the rug (don’t just start at one end and work steady to the other). That way, when you have to go get more fabric, at least each new fabric is equally respresented throughout the rug! :) Hope that helps and sorry I coldn’t be mroe precise.

  24. 24
    Erin says:

    How does it handle being washed? I’d love to make these for my living room/kitchen but know I’ll have to throw them in the washer about once a week! Thanks for a great idea!!!

  25. 25
    Erin says:

    How does it handle being washed? I’d love to make these for my living room/kitchen but know I’ll have to throw them in the washer about once a week! Thanks for a great idea!!!

    • 25.1
      Everyday Art says:

      Honestly, where I didn’t tie mine, I’m certain it’d get destroyed in one wash. However, if it was tied, I think it’d be fine. Especially if you used a non-fraying material. Something more like jersey knit or something….

  26. 26
    Melin says:

    Ladies love the rug, I used to make these years ago and in order to latch the fabric around the webbing all you need to do is: make the stripes 6″ long, fold it in half, with a crochet hook slip the looped section under the web backing and with the crochet hook pull the two ends of the fabric throgh the loop end. it locks the fabric in and then the rug can be washed and they last for years. Hope that was helpful :)

    • 26.1
      Nonniemom says:

      Now THAT’s genius! Thank you for saving me hours of extra work tying off the ends so I can throw it in the washer when needed. So glad I scrolled down to your comment! :)

  27. 27
    Ckitson says:

    Love it and want to make on immediatly! I will have to tie my strips though, as the second one of my kids realizes you can pull out a strip, there will be no end of heartache ahead! Sort of like giving a little one bubble wrap and telling them they can’t POP!

    • 27.1
      Everyday Art says:

      I will say, there were a few days there where I thought my 2-year-old was going to tear it apart, but she only did a few strips here and there and eventually she’s given up on it… :) Thank goodness!

  28. 28
    Rebecca says:

    I can see in the picture that you put different little groups of strips of the same color together at a time. About how many do you have have in each little color group? Did you place them in a single row at a time or side by side in a double row before you moved on to the next color?

    • 28.1
      Everyday Art says:

      It really varied–the dark pinks and blues I wanted to only be splashes of color, so I would just put 3-5 strips at a time, but for many of the others, I would go ahead and do large sections of perhaps 20 down a row and then 3-4 rows wide–so quite a lot. Sometimes I even took some out and moved them around if I didn’t like it. One thing I did thank I was so thankful I had the forsight to do was cut up all of one type of fabric that I had and use it all at once, placing it throughout the rug. That way I wouldn’t run out and have that fabric only present in the left-side of the rug or whatever. So it wasn’t like I started at one end and went clear to the other; I spread it out and filled in the holes as I had to go gather more fabric. :)

      • Nonniemom says:

        Thank you for this extra tip. Very smart of you to do it that way! I will do the same thing.

  29. 29
    Leslie Jones says:

    LOVE this rug! Your girls have great taste in color choice!

    I do think I would do one thing differently, and that is to use a latch hook for rug making. Trying to thread each one would drive me absolutely batty (not a far drive)!

    Thanks for posting this!

  30. 30
    Emily Berg says:

    I was just wondering if you would list the supplies needed and where you can get them. Also how long the strips should be cut in order to get the same look as your rug. How many colors/patters would you reccomend using? I love the rug and would love to make two for my babies :)

  31. 31
    Ali V says:

    You almost need a hook like those latch hooks. This is awesome but does def. look time consuming. Labor of love, right? :)

  32. 32
    Donna says:

    I made a purse using the same tech. only using off white muslin fabric and burlap. It turned our so cute!!!

  33. 33
    Jessica J says:

    I absolutely love this! The colors are perfect, and it looks so soft. Can you tell me how big it is? Also do you have any idea how many strips of fabric you used? You have inspiried me, I am definitely going to make one of these. Why did you shoose not to tie the strips in a know?
    Thanks

    • 33.1
      Everyday Art says:

      I made my rug about 2 1/2 feet by 3 1/2 feet. Seems to be the perfect size for what I was working on. And honestly, I couldn’t really begin to give you an estimate of how many stips I used–1000s probably. It was much more than I expected–I had to take 4 trips back to the fabric store to buy more! Because of this, what I did was I did not start at one end and work steady towards the other end. Once I had cut one fabric into strips, I spread it equally throughout the whole rug so that I wouldn’t run out and have it only present on one side of the rug! And as far as tying goes, I think I didn’t tie it just out of lazyness. I was also worried it would make it feel nubby rather than soft? But I have no idea if that is true or not. Tying it would make it MUCH stronger and I would recommend it for a large rug otherwise you’d always be fixing it. With my smaller rug, I fix a few strips every week. No big deal as I sit there and help my girls get dressed or whatever.

  34. 34
    Sue says:

    What about using a latch hook? These rugs a fantastic!

  35. 35
    Christina says:

    Ok, loving this and yes time consuming but simple. Thanks. I did my first real diy with my girls dresser since they share a bdrm and it turned out fantastic. Gng to do this too. They will love it.

  36. 36
    Bonnie says:

    Could you push the strips through with maybe a crochet hook or knitting needle? Sort of like you would if you were making a wreath? f

  37. 37
    Lynn says:

    Quick question, is there a store you recommend for the backing? Advice on what to get/use?

    Thanks and cute idea!
    Lynn

    • 37.1
      Everyday Art says:

      I think I bought mine at Big Lots a few years ago? I had it under a rug, but didn’t need it once we moved. I know I’ve seen them at Walmart/Target/etc.

  38. 38
    Stacye Hixson says:

    I made one of these with upcycled denim jeans. I tied my strips in knots. The are approx. 1″ x 8″. However, the 1st one I made I did not bind the edges of the rug canvas and when I was machine washed the rug canvas began to unravel. I am in the process of making another rug right now and I thought about binding the edges using the iron on rug canvas binding tape, but I was afraid it would not hold up to multiple washings (I have dogs in my house so washing is a must). So this time I torn muslin in 1″ strips, turned the canvas under a couple of rows and used a tapestry needle to whip stitch the canvas so that it would not ravel. That way everything used to make the rug is washable.

  39. 39
    bridy says:

    beautiful!! love love love.. but one question? you dont tie a knot? just thread it through and let the rubber matting hold it ?

    • 39.1
      Everyday Art says:

      Nope, didn’t tie it!!! They do come a little loose from time to time, but no biggy. I just even it out–a few strips a week. If you make a bigger rug, then I’d probably tie them just because you’d always be fixing it. I was worried it make the rug feel hard or bumpy rather than soft??? don’t know….

  40. 40
    kelly says:

    Do you fill each and every hole? Gorgeous! Love it!

  41. 41
    Rachel says:

    Hi! This is so pretty!! I would like to know what type of fabric you used! I love crafty things…just hope I have the patience:) thank you!!

  42. 42
    Rachel says:

    Hello! Beautiful! Can you tell me what type of fabric was used? Thank you:)

  43. 43
    Miranda says:

    Seems easy enough !?! I want to try this but, it doesn’t look like you knotted the fabric. I have a child who’s purpose in life is to undo anything I put together. Did you have any problems with the fabric being pulled out or coming out? It’s beautiful! You made it seem easy, now others can’t help but want to give it a try!!

    • 43.1
      Everyday Art says:

      Yes, my 2-year-old does sometimes pull out the fabric! If you do have a kid that you think would pull at it, then I would definetly tie them. I thought she’d leave it alone, and she is starting to, but for a few days there, I’d find a few strips stuffed back under the rug that she’d pulled out. Little scally-wag. :)

  44. 44
    Miranda says:

    Did you have to knot the fabric? Seems like it could be pulled out easily. I have a little one who makes a game of undoing most of the crafts I make. How do you think it will do in the washer/dryer ? You made it look so easy and beautiful, now others can’t help but want to give it a try!!

    • 44.1
      Angela says:

      I was wondering the same.

    • 44.2
      Everyday Art says:

      Yes, my 2-year-old does sometimes pull out the fabric! If you do have a kid that you think would pull at it, then I would definetly tie them. I thought she’d leave it alone, and she is starting to, but for a few days there, I’d find a few strips stuffed back under the rug that she’d pulled out. Little scally-wag. :) Also, I don’t think there’s any chance of it making it through the wash, so I would tie it for sure if you think you want to put it in the washing machine.

  45. 45
    T. says:

    can you toss this into the washing machine? will the strips pull out?

  46. 46
    dee blount says:

    this might be made easier with a tool made for hooking rugs..Find them in yarn departments of craft stores. I really want to try one and use alot of scraps up. Have grandaughter that loves pink.

  47. 47
    chrisele says:

    I started experimenting with one and used spandex, fabric, and t-shirts. Im afraid that the fabric is going to fray. When I cut the fabric it has strays on the edges. Any suggestions or does this seem not to be an issue? Any thoughts would help and ease my frustration. Thanks

    • 47.1
      katie says:

      Use a jersey knit material (such as t-shirt material), and it will not fray. You can use old t-shirts and dye them. Also, Target sometimes sells jersey knit sheet sets, which can work. I saw a similar post on pinterest months ago and am planning to make a large circular rug in the next year or so, so I did a lot of searching for non-fraying fabric.

  48. 48
    Wendi says:

    How do you keep the fabric strips from fraying?

  49. 49
    Sue says:

    I really love this rug. I’m trying my hand at making one, and this gives me the motivation to carry on. Very well done. It’s a wonderful example of the craft.

  50. 50
    Angela says:

    What about notting the strips around the mat??? Or would it mess up the appearance??

Trackbacks

  1. [...] bags to be used instead of wrapping paper maybe?” – Ellen W. 12. “What about a rag rug? You could use it for years since it’s holiday themed.” – Stephanie P. 13. [...]

  2. [...] Jaime and Emily again over from Everyday Art. A few months ago we shared our rag rug with you fellow Craftaholics and today we have another fun project to share with [...]