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! 

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. 601

    Do you notice it fraying at all? Like the strips?

  2. 602

    how much fabric do you need of each color to make a normal size rug beside the bed or kitchen sink? and do you like just heavy duty cotton or knits?

    1. 602.1

      Cotton or Knits work fine. I think it was about 3-4 yards total of fabric.

  3. 603

    Do you knot the strips once they’re on the backing?

  4. 604
    T. Hill

    I’m inspired by this…..going to give it a try :)

  5. 605

    Can you machine wash this item?

    1. 605.1

      yes, in a laundry bag

  6. 606

    I’m making this for grandsons should I tie the strips?

    1. 606.1

      no, it would be rough on the feet.

  7. 607

    How well does it wash in a washer?

  8. 608

    Now I know what I am going to use those colorful sheets I have been collecting from garage sales!! Thank you!

  9. 609

    How do you clean it?

    1. 609.1

      Wash in a laundry bag on a gently cycle and lay flat to dry.

  10. 610

    Did you place a few of one fabric then change to a new one? Did you use every square or skip a few as you went. It’s hard to tell from the picture of the back of the rug. Love this though. Can’t wait to try it!

  11. 611

    It looks like you were in every hole of padding?
    Did you skip someinbetween?
    What about knotting it? Should the length of strips be an ice longer?

  12. 612

    You don’t say if it’s knotted or how many strips per hole. For the poor person who is not crafty it would help. Thanks

    1. 612.1

      They are not knotted.

  13. 613

    I love the blue and pink colours. My mother in law used to make rag rugs, she made the strips 1 cm X 15 cm and knotted them.I have one for 20 years now, it is a bit worn out and i should make a new one. I think it’s faster not knotting them, maybe I find the courage.

  14. 614
    Edna Ann Fairbrother

    Love this rug. Are the pieces of material tied to grid? If not how are they secured?

    1. 614.1

      They are just looped through the little holes, not tied.

  15. 615

    What if you took a large-eye upholstery needle or a big plastic needle and threaded a long strip of one inch wide fabric thru. Then pull through the first loop, trim piece to correct length, then go on to next loop, do the same, etc. this would keep you from having so many little pieces to cut.

    1. 615.1

      Good idea! Thanks for sharing.

  16. 616

    I replied to an older comment….meant to post a new one. I found non skid rug mat 39 X 47 a couple days ago for around $3 at Dollarama, a Canadian $ store. I haven’t started yet but I’m going to recycle some old holey Tshirts.

  17. 617
    Jackie Pacheco

    Do you put the print face up or face down?

  18. 618
    Jackie Pacheco

    Do you start the very end or skip a few rows when you start?

  19. 619

    is it washable?

    1. 619.1

      in a laundry bag on gentle cycle, lay flat to dry. or hand wash

      1. Jackie Pacheco

        Linda, where so you start from and also is the print on the inside or outside? I have all my material but I need these questions answered before I start

  20. 620

    What if you almost did it like a cross stitch on the back side and that way the pieces of fabric would be a little more secure and wouldn’t have to worry about knots. Also did you have any method to skipping holes?

  21. 621

    Is there a certain fabric you recommend to prevent fraying?

  22. 622

    I would like to make a large rug, my question would it be ok to cut out an oblong shape.

  23. 623
    Diane Breaux

    For making the size posted using 1,000 pieces, what size should the mat be?

  24. 624

    This mat looks very nice I have just brought all the material & matting & am just about to start making it thank so much for sharing this looking forward to the finishing project will take a pic & send it on thank so much here I go

  25. 625

    Hi can anyone tell me how long it has taken them to make this .Also how far apart do you leave between the lines for each colour each colour thank so much cheers Judy

  26. 626

    What Size rug is that?

  27. 627

    Will the strips of fabric come out ever? I’m having a hard time invisioning them staying in place.
    I’m wanting to make 2 rugs for a friend, but want to make sure the strips are secure enough to last years.


    1. 627.1

      A few strips will come out, but most stay put. The holes in the rubber mat are small and they hold them pretty well.

  28. 628

    So cute! I am sharing this on Pinterest.

  29. 629

    It’s so pretty, you did a wonderful job. I was wondering what the finished size of the rug you made.

  30. 630

    Hi! I am in my 60’s originally from the North East of England, I remember both my grandmothers making these.

    In those days they were not hobby crafters and wouldn’t have known what one of these was. They made these mats and many other things which we refer to as crafts as way of life.Nothing was wasted! Egg shells, onion skins, bones, tea leaves, to mention a few. Old clothing, was collected to make these mats. There was no colourful sheets in those days. Sheets were darned and patched, when they became too bad to do this, underwear and handkerchiefs were made with the remnants. New sacks from the farms and mines were acquired to use as the backing for the mats and stitched together to make larger mats. They were referred to as ‘hooky’ or ‘prody’ mats. A piece of wooden window frame was used as a measure for the fabric, once it was cut into strips. The strip was wound around the length of window frame, then easily cut with a razor blade or scissors in the groove where the glass window would have been fitted, resulting in all the pieces being all the the same size. Due to the density of the sack, a hook was used, which also pulled the fabric through the loop, securing the fabric. Despite these mats had a hard life, with the wear and tear from farmers or coal miners, also the beatings on the washing line to get grime and dust from them, they lasted many years. Just as well, as clothing was kept for years, unlike today in this throw away world.

    I still make these mats but use hessian sacking as the backing from the hardware shop, as hessian sacks are hard to find.

  31. 631
    Cathy Wagner

    i love the rug, but won’t it ravel when washed. I’m thinking of making one for my infant grandaughter’s nursery and feel it will need washed frequently. Thanks for your time.

    1. 631.1

      The mesh does a pretty good job of keeping the fabric in place, but some strands will shed. To wash, use a laundry bag and lay flat to dry.

  32. 632

    I L?VE this carpet and am trying it when I get settled into my new house and have my crafting room! Thanks so much for sharing!

  33. 633

    It turned out awesome! I’m making one as well. I’ve cut 1 inch by 4 inch strips to make it a little less shaggy. I’m curious how you plan on washing it. Also, do you know of any way to secure the strips from the back of the rug?

    1. 633.1

      Hi Sara, To wash, put it in a laundry bag and then lay flat to dry. As far as securing, you could try adhering a second layer of the plastic mesh to the bottom of the rug to sandwich the looped part of the fabric.

      1. Cherie Felty

        Hello, love this! I was wondering do you skip rows or every row?

  34. 634

    Hi, I want to try with some sack cloth as this would be cheaper to get here in Kenya. Maybe space out more since ginias are tightly meshed. Thanks, for the inspiration. Esther, Kenya

  35. 635

    Hi, what kind of fabric did you use, and where can you buy it in bulk? Thanks

    1. 635.1

      Cotton. You can find cotton fabric at most craft stores :)

  36. 636
    Stacey K

    What is the pattern to what holes are skipped/ used, etc? It is hard to make out in the picture. Thanks!

  37. 637

    How can you wash the rug if the strips aren’t tied.

    1. 637.1

      Hand wash or use a laundry bag and then lay flat to dry.

  38. 638
    Glenda Masti

    Have you tried to wash them.

  39. 639

    Just getting back into crafting when I came across your rug craft idea. It’s great! Just what I was looking for. So simple, no sewing! Have you used other shapes for your rugs? I’d like to tackle making two rugs for my nieces’ bedrooms for Xmas presents. Thank you for sharing your creativity with us. I’m always looking for easy, creative, one-of-a-kind projects that are inexpensive. You hit the nail on the head! Thanks again, can’t wait to get started!

  40. 640
    Sandra Dennison

    Where do I purchase the non-skid mat?

    1. 640.1

      Home goods store {Walmart, Target, etc} or on Amazon.

  41. 641

    I’m going to try to make a rag rug. Wish me luck

  42. 642

    I am planning to make a rag rug for my new grandson. The colors will be mostly white with red, in the shape of a baseball. How can the rug be washed? Also, where ca, I purchase the.backing with the holes? Thank you again for all of your help!

    1. 642.1

      At a home goods store like Walmart, Target, etc or online on Amazon. Wash in a laundry bag and lay flat to dry.

  43. 643
    Karla C

    Are there certain fabrics to stay away from, due to fraying?

    Cute idea. I’m looking to make a 10 x 12 ft rug. Wish me luck!

    1. 643.1

      Use knit fabric and it won’t fray :) Good luck!

      1. Emmy

        Is t-shirt material a knit fabric? I could ask Google but I would rather talk to you. :) I’m working on a small version of the rug with old tie-dye shirt scraps, and I think I’m going to try using burlap for the backing, though I might have to add non-skid to it. I hope my 350 strips have not been cut in vain!

        1. Hi Emmy, Yes, t-shirt material is jersey or knit fabric :)

  44. 644

    I have been collecting old & worn out jeans for such a project but wondering if the denim is too stiff or if I can find a base with larger holes?

    1. 644.1

      You could try washing the jeans/denim with lots of fabric softener before starting to help soften the fabric. Or you could cut the strips slightly thinner to help fit through the holes. :)

  45. 645

    How do you clean rug and what was best fabric

    1. 645.1

      Use cotton or knit fabric for best results. Hand wash or put in laundry bag then lay flat to dry.

  46. 646

    Love it!! I have lots of scraps.

  47. 647

    Yes I’m gonna make this! I love it!

  48. 648

    Wow! That’s a great idea! I’m going to make one for my granddaughter! The really cool thing about this is you can make it for any room in your house… with any type of fabric! After I make one for my granddaughter, I’m going to make one for my bathroom! Thanks for sharing your wonderful creation ladies!!

  49. 649

    Thanks for the inspiration Emily! I just finished one for my granddaughter and it turned out great!

  50. 650

    Thanks Emily! I just finished one for my granddaughter and it turned out great!