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

DIY Rag Rug

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


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.

DIY Rag Rug tutorial. These are easy to make and add awesome texture to a room!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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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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  1. 51

    Hey I soooooo love this, do you think it would look nice / work with ribbons instead of scrap fabrics???

    1. 51.1

      I would hesitate not tying it. What about when you wash it. Wouldn’t it come apart if you didn’t tie it. It looks lovely!

  2. 52
    Amanda Jane

    If you don’t tie the fabric on, what is the best way to wash it? Maybe tying them would be worth the effort since I have boys that are pretty hard on things. Then I could just throw it in the washer. Any suggestions?

    1. 52.1

      I would like to know about washing the rug and how it holds up .. Does it fray and leave tons of strings ?

      1. Well, yes, it does fray and it does leave strings, but I don’t find it annoyingly so…. I’ve had it made for well over a month now and it is looking more worn (not as fresh as at first), but still very cute with some fraying and strings laying about, but really it hasn’t bothered me. I think after a few years it’ll look worse for the wear, so I can’t imagine it being worth it to spend a lot of time and effort making a huge one, but a small one like this is still completely worth it for me. :)

        1. Courtney

          I used to work with a lot of raw edged fabric to purposely get the frayed edge. I’ve found if you pre wash the strips, the fray will almost “set” and stops a lot of the stringy unraveling look. I’m tempted to give this rug a try, and possibly run the rows through a sewing machine? might keep it softer and fluffier than if it were tied off…. since the knots would be lumpy.

  3. 53
    Lori W

    I love that Rag Rug and have looking for a way to make that ever since I saw it a few weeks ago at Target! Thank you for publishing a how-to. I will pick up my cotton fabric
    Tonight to start on it!! Maybe it will be done before Christmas

    One question. How would you was that?

  4. 54

    Love your rug! It’s beautiful! Question: I do not know a lot about fabric prices and do not have any fabric saved up. would you say it would be cheaper to make my own rug or just buy one?

    1. 54.1

      I haven’t looked around much at buying, but I did see one on etsy once that was well over $100 for a little door-sized rug, so yes, it would be much cheaper to make it yourself, but it would of course take lots more time, and sometimes time is money…. :)

      1. Caroline

        I just bought 3 yesterday at Ross! Bought two 2×3 for $6.99 and a 3×5 for $12.99. Different color schemes to choose from, but this would be AWESOME for a custom color scheme :)

  5. 55

    So do you knot the fabric after inserting it (next to the last picture)?

  6. 56

    How much fabric should I use to cut the strips? i don’t want to purchase too little and then run out!!

  7. 57
    Kerrina Lee

    I love the rag rug, I am soooo making one! I just had a thought, you could use a crochet hook to pull the fabric strips through the grid. It may make the the project a little faster. I will try it and let you know how I go. Happy crafting everyone :)

  8. 58

    This rug is just adorable, cute way to use scraps of fabric or favorite clothes, that don’t fit anymore ;) love!

    1. 58.1

      Thanks for stopping by, Beckie! :) PS not sure if I ever told you, but you totally rocked the Haven advertising class! <3

  9. 59

    Wow, this is a great idea to use the non skid rug thing to put the fabric strips on. I wonder how it would hold up in the wash? Great colours, Love it. Thanks for sharing.

  10. 60

    You could use a latch hook tool to speed the process of attaching the fabric. Maybe even fold the fabric in half and latch it on like regular latch hooking, so it’s tied on securely enough to wash. Cool idea!

    1. 60.1

      wouldn’t the fabric be a little too thick for the small head of a latch hook?? sounds like a good idea though.

  11. 61

    Hi I was wondering if you can tell me where to but a non-skid rug mat?

    1. 61.1

      I bought mine at Big Lots, but I know I’ve seen them in stores like Walmart, Kmart, etc.

  12. 62

    Where did you get the peice you put the fabric strips in?

  13. 63

    Hey ladies! I think that the rug would hold up much better when washed if you used that stuff that they used to make hooked rugs with… very durable and same idea with the holes in it.It kind of looks likd giant aida cloth with bigger holes… You could also find one of the tools that they used to use at a thrift store etc it looks like a big crochet hook with a little lock on it… wrap the fabric around and poke it through and tie those suckers up!!

  14. 64
    Kathy Burchert

    Rsg rug looks great!!

  15. 65

    does the rug fray and is it machine washable?

    1. 65.1

      Not machine washable and it does fray a bit, but not a ton.

  16. 66

    I’ve made several rugs similar to this one and found that using Rug Latch Matt which is stiffer makes the project so much easier. Just a tip. Your rug is darling.

    1. 66.1

      I also made rugs out of old towels ….for bath matts. They turned out so cute and were so inexpensive.

      1. Deb

        Do you cut up towels? I ask because towel fabric frays so bad. Love the idea, I have lots of well worn towels for a project.

      2. pat

        Love this idea. For fray I would cut strips with pinking shears. not towels..fleece would work nice.

  17. 67

    I just had a question. I have been wanting to make one of these rugs for a long time and i thank you for showing me how to, but i was wondering what did u use as the ties (u know it says fabric but will any normal fabric work)????

    1. 67.1

      I think any fabric will do. I’ve seen it done with old jersey knit shirts even! I used quilting fabric.

  18. 68

    Can you give a rough idea of how many yards of fabric to buy to make a 2×4 rug? I stumbled on this on pinterest and MUST try it for my little girls room. I am just getting into crafts so unfortunately no scrap fabric lying around… yet :) Appreciate the help!

    1. 68.1

      I wish I could be more precise–I went back and forth to the fabric store soooo many times I can’t even keep track. Probably 20 yards???

    2. 68.2
      Jenny C.

      I’ve got a bunch of old sheets that I bet would be perfect for this project… a great way to up-cycle and save money on buying fabric!

      1. super idea! I actually wished I had sheets to use when I was making it. :)

  19. 69

    Love the rug! How do you keep the pieces from coming off when you clean the rug?

    1. 69.1

      Honestly, I plan on spot cleaning it. I don’t think it’s survive the wash. :)

  20. 70

    Jeans work really well. Great in front of the kitchen sink.

  21. 71

    I didn’t read the entire comment section to see if someone already addressed it but I have a few ideas for how to prevent fraying (besides the tying idea):
    *If you can, cut fabric strips on the bias
    *or cut strips with pinking shears
    *or Use a fabric that doesn’t fray easily like jersey knits, sweat shirt material, felt, etc.

    I’ve been toying with this idea for a bath mat. It sounds nice to step on to after a shower.

  22. 72

    I made one with strips from thrift shop polyester. It doesn’t have strings like from cotton strips. I tied each strip once so I could wash it. Amazing how colorful and cute a rug an be made from ugly clothes!

  23. 74

    I love the colors you chose! It is a beautiful rug.

  24. 75

    What type of fabric is best for non-fraying and washing? How did yours hold up?

    1. 75.1

      Mine is holding up just fine, but I don’t plan on putting it through the wash–I’m sure it’d be destroyed. :)

  25. 77

    I know someone that makes these and sells them for good money and they use Jersey material it does not fray also if you tie the pieces after they are pulled though the holes will keep them in place if you ever do need to wash the rug. Oh yeah and buying old t-shirts at thrift stores and cutting them into strips works like a charm for these kind of rugs too. You could even look for white t-shirts and dye them the color of your choice. Happy Crafting♥

  26. 78
    Sarah V

    I was thinking about making a bigger one for my room but I have 2 dogs and would need to vacuum it pretty regularly. Do you think it would hold up being vacuumed?

    1. 78.1

      I think if you used a different material (not the quilting fabric), you’d be successful. Perhaps jersey knits or polyester?

  27. 79

    Are the different colors put in randomly? Or do u need a pattern? like 3 red, 3 blue, 3 white, etc…??

    1. 79.1

      Totally random. Sometimes (like with the dark pink) I would just put in a few pieces–maybe 3–, while other fabric sections have perhaps 30 in an area. Just whatever was looking good. I also did not start on one end, but used one fabric up throughout the whole rug before moving onto a different fabric in order to make sure it was spread evenly.

      1. melissa

        ohhhhh that makes more sense to me now!! I can’t wait to make this!!

  28. 80

    What about putting the liquild rug coating that makes it nonskid it would maybe glue all fabric togather so it would not come apart when cleaning. Hobby Lobby did carry it at one time.

  29. 81

    Do you know if this rug will wash well, or how you can best wash it?

    1. 81.1

      With using the quilting fabric (which frays) and not tying it, I plan on only spot cleaning it. I’ve had it for a few months now and haven’t needed to yet though–even with kids. since it is up in their room and we don’t wear shoes in the house, it has stayed clean (knock on wood).

  30. 82

    Great idea! Where do I buy the plastic rug… thingy lol

    1. 82.1

      Walmart, Big Lots, Kmart, that sort of store. :)

  31. 83

    was wondering what you do when it needs to be washed???? especially if you dont tie the pieces??
    i love it

  32. 84

    I have a rug like this, except it’s done it black & white. Stripes, checks, solids & some prints. My daughter made it about 15 years ago & it’s still beautiful. She did tie the fabrics, however, and I have washed it several times. It has lost only some of the crispness in the fabric, but is still dynamite as a decorator peice. I recommend tieing it.

    1. 84.1
      kathy morris

      how did you wash it??

  33. 85

    Wondering where your daughters bedding is from?

  34. 86
    Allie Longstaff

    I want to make things…easy things that look great and hard to do!!

  35. 87

    these are really easy to do. When my husband came home with 3 of these a few years back I took a look at them once I realized what they were. He just put them on the floor before I had a chance to look at them). They are just strips of material put threw a latch hook material and use the latch hook tool. Once you pull the strip thew tie it off so it stays secure on the hook rug backing. When you wash I just washed mine in cold and let it air dry outside on the nice hot days and when I could not have them out side I put them in the dryer for about 5 minutes on low heat just enough to get the dampness out and then laid them across my washing machine or dryer. I was just thinking the other day about needing to get some done for the kitchen and laundry room. And I am also going to cut squares of the hook rug or non skid matting about 5 x 5 and make them into coasters to use in the living room for our glasses. And some larger sizes and different shapes for trivets for the table.

  36. 88

    I came across your rug on pinterest and it piqued my attention. It’s really cute! I am wondering, after seeing your very cool picture tute if there’s a way to make the “threading” of the scraps into the mat faster. I’m thinking that instead of cutting the strips to the length you plan on having them on the mat, you leave them in long strips and thread large-holed needles, one with each color fabric. Then you use the needle to thread the non-skid mat and cut with scissor after you pull it through. I’ve never done this, though, do you think it would work?

    1. 88.1

      Hey–I like that idea!! If I would have thought of it, I would have given it a try for sure. The rug really did take forever, so anything to shorten the time would be a welcome relief. :) My only hesitation is that the non-skid rug mat is pretty grippy and it might get difficult to pull long pieces of fabric through.

  37. 89
    Gail dee

    Found you on Pinterest. This is a great project. I am an FCS instructor and always have my students asking what to do with their fabric scraps. This would be a great way to keep kids busy that finish their projects early, and perhaps hold a school wide raffle for the finished project.
    Thanks so much for the Saturday morning inspiration!

  38. 90

    What size fabric strips did you use? I want to make one for my infant sons room.

  39. 91
    kathy morris

    I love the rag rug idea!

  40. 92

    Very awesome rug!! Is it washable??

    1. 92.1

      I wouldn’t wash it! I think it’d fray and come apart to easily. I just spot clean it.

  41. 93
    Julie Darger

    Your strips of fabric will not shed threads if you tear the fabric rather than cut it. The latch hook tool mentioned in previous posts forms a “knot” as you pull the fabric strip through the hole/ If using the latch hook canvas rather than the base you used, the rug is washable. To make it nonskid, use latex, like the kind to caulk tile in the bathroom, and spread it around on back of rug. Let dry, flip right side up and walk away.

  42. 94

    about how many yards of fabric did you use?

  43. 95

    I love this! I am now attempting to make a large area rug for my living room in yellow, grey and white. My children will probably be grown and out of the house by the time its finished. Haha! 3 rows have taken me forever so far, but I am SO excited for the final outcome! Rugs like this are hundreds in the store! Thanks for the great idea!

  44. 96

    Don’t the fabric scraps fray? Sorry for the question if its a no brainer. Don’t know a lot about fabric except that it does fray rather easily when you don’t want it to. Want to make this for my daughter.


    1. 96.1

      Yes, it does fray, but really not too much so. I think the rug won’t last more than a few years, but so far it is holding up well. I noticed it immediatly looking more worn once I started using it, but at 3 months it looks about the same as it did after just one week. I just pick it up and shake it when it needs fluffing.

  45. 97

    Where can I buy the strips?

    1. 97.1

      I cut them myself using fabric from a fabric store.

  46. Pingback: Craftaholics Anonymous® | 27 Projects for Christmas Fabric Scraps

  47. 98

    This is cool !! I am going to attempt !! Thanks

  48. 99

    I love this rug! Sounds like a great project for little fingers (until they get bored with the novelty anyway).
    I would love to have you link up with my Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week!

    I hope to see you there!
    The Chicken Chick