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 I'm not DIYing something, I can be found taxiing around our 4 crazy kids or working out. Or shoe shopping... because you can never have too many shoes! Happy crafting! ♥

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  1. 151

    I was looking at the rag rug. I noticed that you do not tie the material in, is this correct? if so. is there ever a problem with the strips coming out?

  2. 152

    So cute! I’m gonna try this with some double faced ribbon so I only have to worry about the ends fraying.

  3. 153
    Terry Bosley

    I made this rug for my grand daughter for Christmas, it is adorable but a very time consuming project. Mine was about 20×30 and it took about 6 yds of fabric. So many compliments, thanks for the idea.

  4. 154

    You talked me in to it, so now I’m thinking of a big one for the living room. My 18 month old daughter is in there most of the time, and the hard wood floor pretty much is begging for a rug of some sort.
    I do have a question though, it looks simple enough (which is great) and I’m a stay at home Mom which makes it better with having extra time on my hands. Now when you push and pull the material through the holes it appears flat looking. Completed looks fantastic, so I’m wondering if you pushed more strips in to the same spots over and over again to stop them from looking flat when you first push the strips in? How much did the non-skid mat cost you?

  5. 155

    Ok, you win. I’m going to make one of these babies for my kids. So, does anyone know if little knots would make it uncomfortable for the kiddos?

    1. 155.1

      Doesn’t’ look like there are knots to me

  6. 156

    I am ready to start my rug. How big is the one in the picture? Can’t wait to have one in my rooms colors :-)

  7. 157
    Paula V.

    I have to make one of these. This is such a great idea and would be a great rainy day(s) craft for a teen.

  8. 158

    So, don’t they fall out when you wash it? I tied mine in — didn’t take that much longer and I don’t worry about them coming out anywhere.

  9. 159

    I’m thinking about making this but I was wondering how comfortable is it for your feet to be on? If its not to bad on the feet is there other material that would make it more comfortable or fluffier?

    1. 159.1

      Hi Kara,
      Cotton fabric is usually pretty soft. If you want an even softer feel, you can try a knit or t-shirt material. Hope this helps!

      1. Kara

        Thank you soo much for the quick reply. I’m very excited to start this its a gift for myself. =)

  10. 160

    How much fabric should we buy?

    1. 160.1

      It of course depends on how large your rug is, but I used about 20 yards!! It takes more than you’d think….

  11. 161
    Nancy Bowden

    I bought my rug pad at Dollarama for two dollars. It is 39″ by 47″. Great deal!!!!

  12. 162

    This rug is really cute! I was just wondering how many pieces of fabric you put through each set of holes? And does the white backing show through at all (and if so, how do you make it not do that)? And also what is that white backing called & where do you buy it? haha Sorry for all the questions. Thanks a lot!

    1. 162.1

      I just put one piece of fabric through each hole and skipped every other hole and I can’t see the backing at all. You can buy the backing at stores like Walmart, Kmart, Lowe’s, Big Lots. It is designed to help rugs not skid.

    2. 162.2

      I actually am trying this craft for my future daughter (I’m expecting) She’ll be here in 2 1/2 months! I bought the bottom plastic piece at JoAnn’s for 7.99 a yard. It’s called a rug liner. Just in case anyone was wondering or looking where to buy it.

  13. 163

    I did this. You are not kidding about time consuming. But I LOVE it. I wish I would have found a larger non slip gripper mat though. My rug isn’t very big but I did it using chocolate brown, beige’s, and turquoise. I had just repainted my living room and dining room turquoise. It is in the door way into the kitchen. It is so cute and I have had tons of compliments! What I did a bit different though was folding the fabric strip in half and pushed it through the hole in the mat using the chopstick. I then had pliers there and lightly tugged it through the back to hold it in better. I bought old cheap t shirts from second hand stores and used those. I definitely would recommend using T shirt material over some of the other materials. It seems to grip better and seems more “sturdy”. Thank you for the great idea!

    1. 163.1

      Yea! So glad you made one. :) Time consuming, yes, but fabulous for sure. Thanks for letting us know! :)

    2. 163.2

      You might try sewing slip gripper mats together to get the size you need or you could pull the material strips through the edge of both mats to keep them together if you don’t sew. Just a suggestion

  14. 164

    I sooo love this idea… I was wanting to do something with my 2 year old daughters clothes and I think this is it!! Instead of scrap fabric – I will use her old clothes that meant something to me and match the colors in her room with the rug! What do you think?

    1. 164.1

      I think using older clothes would be awesome. I’d probably stick with all the same type of fabric though.

  15. 165

    I love the handmade rag rug that you made. What did you use for the actual bottom of the rug before you started putting the fabric in it? Thank you!

  16. 166

    Cleaning? Worried the rags will split and become stringy…

    1. 166.1

      yes, the fabric does get stringy. I’ve had mine for almost 6 months now, and it is starting to get string, but still very cute. still totally appropriate for a kids room.

  17. 167
    Jan Nowicki

    This would work great with the tool used for latch hook rugs. I think I’m going to go buy one and give it a try. I’m sure it would be easier on the hands!!

  18. 168

    Can you wash the rug ?? thanks

    1. 168.1

      not in a washing machine. I just spot clean mine.

  19. 169

    Where did you purchase the rug mat?

  20. 170
    Sandra Seyfarth Lechner

    Am somewhat new to paper and fabric crafting. I absolutely love your post on the rag rug. Looking forward to sharing ideas.

  21. 171

    Just wondering. After you slip the fabric thought the holes are you knotting it? Your example doesn’t seem to be tied so I was just checking. Thanks,

  22. 172

    Wherr can I get the non slip mat? Is it the samething as the ones you place in your cabinets for dishes?

    1. 172.1

      yep, that’s it’s the same thing. You can purchase bigger ones for placing under rugs from big box stores like Walmart, Kmart, Lowe’s, etc.

      1. Creative Christie

        Love this! I want to try it with Tulle. Do you think it would work?

        1. Kerri

          Please let me know how the tulle came out! That sounds like a great idea!!!

    2. 172.2

      you can buy from Joanne store, they sell by yard

  23. 173

    It is really great rug!!!!love the idea:)

  24. 174
    Anne S from Kingston

    Did you find that the edges of the fabric scraps fray and leave bits of thread in the room?

  25. 175
    Elaine Sullivan

    Thanks for sharing this idea! I’ve seen it in others homes, but never knew how they did it (never asked either) From your illustrations, it looks as though all you do is run the fabric through the holes….Is that it? Or should they be knotted? How do you keep them from slipping out? Thanks! =]

  26. 176

    What will happen when you wash this cute rug, Will it come undone because the strips of fabrics aren’t knotted? I like throw pillows made this same way.

  27. 177

    I love this! So cute! Do you knot the fabric pieces to hold them in place? I have a feeling that my kids would pick and pull at them til there was none left if I didn’t knot them.

  28. 178
    Kim Brewer

    Do you knot the rag rug? It doesn’t look like it…..what keeps them from moving around or coming back out of the canvas? Thanks your rug is simple beautiful and I’m always looking for new projects…this looks like it would keep my fingers busy for awhile!

  29. 179

    So cute! Thanks for the nice idea! I wanna try one day soon but I’m worrying about that if the fabric is separated from the non-skid rug mat when I wash it. Have you ever washed it before? What happened?

  30. 180

    I just finished making one and it turned out great for my granddaughters room. They love it. I cut the backing 30 W and 35 L. I had 12 different colors of fabric and cut 1 1/2 of each yard. Then 1″: strips and then 5 1/2″ pieces. While watching T.V I then pinking sheared each 5 1/2″ piece at each end. It gives it a different design and will help prevent fraying. I roughly figured that I had well over 4500 pieces for this size rug. I am going to make another one in a few weeks, but it will be a little smaller. It took me around 4 weeks to complete as I worked on it every time I sat down. It’s fun and keeps you busy. Enjoy.

  31. 181

    About how many different fabrics did you use to make this? Like different patterns?

    1. 181.1

      All of the 12 fabrics were cotton and all different colors. I did not tie them as I found out if you put each pierce through each hole it gives it a snug fit and the strips won’t come out as easily.

      Once you start on it you won’t be able to put it down as all the colors look so pretty. Good luck and have fun with it.

  32. 182

    Is each fabric strip tied? How big is each strip? Thanks for your help!!

    1. 182.1

      Did you even read her post? The answers to both of your questions are there.

  33. 183
    Stacye H.

    I have made many rag rugs from old blue jeans, but I use rug canvas because it is machine washable. All you will need to do is make sure and bind the edges of the canvas so it will not ravel in the washing machine. You can buy iron on binding for this but I prefer to cut strips of muslin and fold over about 1/2″ around the edges of the rug canvas and then just do a whip stitch. I also knot my pieces because I like the convenience of being able to throw it in the washer and dryer. With denim the more you wash/dry it the more it frays, the better it looks. I tear my strips 1″ x 9″. I am starting a rag rug for my kitchen made from different scraps of quilting fabric. It will be 5′ x 7′ and will be a chevron design. I saw one on Anthropologie for over $900 for a 4′ x 6′ . I think I can do it for a whole lot less money than that. Guess I will have to take it to the washeteria when it needs to be cleaned. Keep in mind if you want to clean it in the washer and dryer you have to use rug canvas (the rug grippers are hand wash only) and the strips have to be knotted.

  34. 184
    Amanda Ferrera

    I was curious what types of fabric you used? I was concerned that using quilting squares and cutting them they might unravel. Do,you just buy different patterns by the yard? It is adorable. I can’t wait to make them for my babies. It is great because you can really customize them to the bedding without matching everything!

  35. 185

    This looks so pretty ! I can not wait to purchase the materials to make one my self !!! Kathleen
    Thank You for posting this !

  36. 186

    I just love this rug I want to try to make one

  37. 187

    I made mine with denim…using about 20 pair of old jeans. I used a latch hook and tied them. Washes perfectly! But don’t be fooled….it took three if us a combined 20 hours of cutting and tieing!

  38. 188

    Did you use a latch hook for this? I can’t imaging having the .. small motor skills… to poke the fabric through each hole.

  39. 189

    I have yards and yards of salvages that my friends have saved for me and that I have saved. I have been crocheting a rug but have lost interest. THIS IS WONDERFUL! I use to hook rugs in my younger days and this would be great. I may have to double some of my pieces because they may be too skimpy. Wish me luck!

  40. 190

    do you tie the strip into a knot?? or just pull it through and leave it.. I can’t tell by looking at the pictures

  41. 191

    I’m really excited to start one for our living room. I was thinking of doing it cream white with thick red stripes down it. I’m the crafty one in our house, my wife dosen’t do the crafts.

  42. 192

    Do you think that fleece fabric would work?
    Do u think if I did fleece fabric I could wash it?

    1. 192.1

      I was wondering if fleece fabric would work?

    2. 192.2

      I am making one in fleece right now and it is coming out great! Taking a LOT of time and more fleece than I expected. do not be afraid of skipping holes. In the beginning it looks like you will see the backing if you skip holes but once you get a bigger section done it will fill in nicely. Great project for kids too. I brought mine to my friends house and we along with her 11 yr old daughter worked on it for about 2 hours straight. I am going to give it to her when it’s done :) By the way I feel like if necessary it could be washed on gentle or at least soaked in the tub and air dried and I didn’t tie it.

      1. Janet

        I am also doing one with fleece, and I’m very excited about how well it’s coming together. I used a rotary cutter and cutting mat to cut into 1 by 5 strips and it went very quickly. I can’t wait to get home and start working on it again.

  43. 193

    hey where can i get the material that you are using for the bottom of the rug..???

  44. 194

    Does the rug slide very easy, like does it grip the floor pretty good, we have hard word floors, I’m worried it would slide everywhere? I still want to do this, very cute!

    1. 194.1

      Nevermind just read a comment! Thanks though (=

  45. 195

    A LOT!!! I kept having to go back to the store and buy more (and I started with a pretty big stack of left over fabric from previous projects)… I looked for clearance material, used 40% off coupons, etc. I used many different fabrics (probably 20 different prints) but just kept the same color scheme. I’m finishing my rug after almost 4 months. I’m a little OCD so mine is very full (and quite large). I used at least 30 yards of material. I actually used a latch hook rug I purchased through Amazon for the backing and it worked perfectly. They sell them in a variety of sizes. To help “push” the material through I used a bent open paper clip. This was a time consuming project but it came out AWESOME!!

  46. 196

    How washable is it? I want to create one for the front door.

  47. 197

    Such a great idea. I’m moving to a new apartment and think I’ll try to make one for the living room in front of my love seat using used t-shirts or redused fabrics of various colors. Also I would like to make one for the bathroom using old towels. I saw this on another site and thought that would be great when getting out of the tub! It would be nice and cozy and would also help in drying.
    I’ll let you know how they turned out.

  48. 198

    I’m planning on making this for my daughter but larger. I was wondering how did you alternate the colors? :)

  49. 199

    How did it look after it was washed did it ravel or fall apart

  50. 200

    I do have a question on the fabric you used to put through the holes. And how did you figure out the pattern on which holes to skip? As for the fabric, will some fabrics not work for this?