How to Make Rag Rugs

by Merissa on November 29, 2013

in Frugal Decor, Frugal Living Tips, Make Your Own

How to Make Rag Rugs - Little House Living


How to Make Rag Rugs

As I've mentioned before, we've been very excited to get moved into our farmhouse since we basically found out we didn't have any other options. But even though that was the case, we are determined to make the best of it that we can.

Previously to moving into our camper, we sold everything. And I do mean EVERYTHING. Everything that we did not use on a daily basis, all furniture, all decor, and anything extra that couldn't fit in the rv (some clothes, books, ect) was sold. I didn't think anything of it because at the time we planned on living in the camper for a few years while we traveled and then moved it onto some land.

Well I guess not everything turns out the way we planned so here we are, 9 months later in our new home without anything much for it and without any money to buy things for it. You might think that this was a depressing scenario for us to face but as I mentioned above, we are bound and determined to make the best of this, no matter what. I've been raised as a hardy South Dakota girl. We make the most with what we have or we simply do without.

One of the things I wanted for my new house was some pretty rugs. I had one large area rug that we had in the camper that I put in the living room but that was it. So one day I wandered into the thrift store and headed over to the bedding department. Although you can generally find fabric at the thrift store, if it's large quantities you are wanting, go for the bedding section. I picked out a king and a full sheet with patterns that I felt went together and paid a whole $1.50 for the both of them. I headed home with my new-to-me sheets and made them into this beautiful rug for our home.

It was incredibly cheap (for a nice rug) and not very hard to put together. It did take some time but it's something you can work on during these cold winter evenings. I plan to make more as I find more sheets so we have pretty rugs all throughout our new house. Here's a tutorial on how to make rag rugs so you can make some too! I suggest doing this to the Pa's Fiddle Band cd for full "homesteading" effect. :)

How to Make Rag Rugs

What You Need:

  • Rags, Old Clothing, Old Sheets, ect
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Machine
  • Thread

How to Make Rag Rugs

I found 2 old sheets at a thrift store in good shape. They were both flat sheets (which I would recommend, you can use the others but they would require more cutting, this was easy!). I felt that both sheets were complimenting colors so they would go well together

How to Make Rag Rugs

Start by cutting a small strip on the end of the sheet (lengthwise, not across). I made mine about 1 1/2 inches wide but yours can vary depending on how tightly braided you want your rug to be. Once you have this little slit made....TEAR! You can rip right down the sheet to make your strips without cutting and they will stay the same width.

How to Make Rag Rugs

Keep tearing strips from the sheets until you have as many as you want. I completely tore up both my sheets into strips because I wanted a fairly big rug for this one.

How to Make Rag Rugs

Then take a pull all the frayed strings off the edges of each piece. Make sure you keep your strips as clean as possible because these will really mess you up while you are braiding.

How to Make Rag Rugs

Take 3 strips and make a knot at the end of them. Then take the end and hook it around something to create some tension on your braid. I used a safety pin and hooked the ends around a cabinet handle.

How to Make Rag Rugs

Then braid! And braid and braid and braid.

How to Make Rag Rugs

It fun to curl up your braids every so once in a while to see how big your rug is getting and decide how many more braids you want to make.

How to Make Rag Rugs

At some point you will need to attach another strip to the end of the strip you are done braiding. This is pretty much the toughest part in the whole rug! Cut a small slit in the end of both the strip that is ending and the strip you want to add.

How to Make Rag Rugs

Pull the strip you want to add through the slit that you made in the strip that you are adding to.

How to Make Rag Rugs

Bring the other end of the new strip up and put it through the slit on the new strip to make a loop.

How to Make Rag Rugs

Pull the piece through the slit until you have a very loose knot. I found that it was better to not tighten it up otherwise it created large lumps in the rug.

How to Make a Rag Rug

Then just keep on braiding until you have a long enough braid to make the size of rug you want.

How to Make a Rag Rug

Time to sew! Set your sewing machine on a loose and large zigzag stitch. Curl the rug around its-self and sew the braids together.

How to Make Rag Rugs

I got my rug half way done and my machine broke :( I knew it was on it's last leg for a while so it wasn't too much of a surprise. You can see how pretty this rug will be once I'm done though! I'll make sure to update with a done picture when I get a new machine.

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Do you make your own rugs? Have you ever tried to learn how to make rag rugs before now?

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{ 112 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mary November 29, 2013 at 7:16 am

This is wonderfully helpful! I’ve been thinking of making some rag rugs from old t-shirts or sheets. What about finishing the rug by sewing by hand? That is probably what I’ll end up doing.

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2 Merissa November 29, 2013 at 7:17 am

I think I may end up doing that as well, it should be somewhat easy :)

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3 Debbie December 2, 2013 at 4:32 pm

You can easily sew it together by hand. That’s what my grandma did. She made wool rag braided rugs. She just put the heavy thread between the strips to attach the two outside strips together. She did that once for every braid. She made small rugs and huge ones and you can always add on at any time. Most of her rugs were oval. I’ve been thinking about making some myself. Good luck!

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4 Callie November 29, 2013 at 8:37 am

Could you hand sew this and if so what would be the best way?

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5 Merissa November 29, 2013 at 8:39 am

Yes, you could do some form of the zigzag stitch by hand and it would work just fine.

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6 ShawnMarie December 2, 2013 at 11:02 am

Sure you could, our cabin growing up was full of rag rugs and my grandfather made them, stitched by hand with a sturdy string. almost 70 years later they are still holding up. :-)

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7 vickie November 29, 2013 at 9:26 am

I have always wanted to make one and never knew how. Your tutorial is great and I think I could do it now. Thanks.

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8 Miscelany2 November 29, 2013 at 9:37 am

I can’t visualize the way you’re adding on new strips of fabric. I tried to look on youtube to find someone doing this but I didn’t find this. If you would please make a tutorial and put it on youtube I would be very grateful. Thanks to anyone willing to do this for me, lol!

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9 Linda November 29, 2013 at 11:11 am

can just sew strips together (add another length to each piece ) and continue braiding, then add three more pieces, braid some more.

I recycle plastic store bags, (fold lengthwise, cut off handles, cut off closed bottom edge, then cut strips,each strip is a circle, I loop to make long strip, and roll like a ball of yarn and then begin crocheting, very good by door, can rinse, off, dry off and put back down when needed. I like a rectangle by the door.

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10 Elise {The Frugal Farm Wife} November 29, 2013 at 9:38 am

So cool! Making a braided rag rug is on my bucket list. I’ve made small crocheted rag-rugs, but there’s something just really charming about the braided rugs.

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11 The Smelly Lady November 29, 2013 at 10:22 am

I’ve looked at making rag rugs many times, but I still haven’t made one *sigh*

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12 Life Breath Present November 29, 2013 at 11:40 am

This is a really neat idea! Thanks for he tutorial :)

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13 Marylyn November 29, 2013 at 11:43 am

This brings back fond memories of sitting in my little chair at my Gramma’s house, rolling rags into balls for her. Since I am a senior now, I don’t have many rugs around to keep from tripping, however, I wonder what one could use to keep them from sliding around. Any suggestions? Thx!

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14 Courtenay November 29, 2013 at 4:23 pm

Marylyn, You can buy the gripping shelf paper at Wal-Mart or dollar stores and it works wonderfully for keeping rugs in place. Just cut it a bit smaller than the rug and place between the rug and the floor. They usually have several colors so I use one that blends with the rug. If it’s a rug you don’t plan on washing in a washing machine, you can hot glue the strips directly onto the underside of the rug. Works great!

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15 Samantha November 30, 2013 at 3:21 am

An easy fix would be buying a tube of silicone in the bath isle at Home Depot and squirt zig zag patterns on the bottom, let dry and flip over, instant grip for the floor.

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16 Mandy December 1, 2013 at 8:14 am

What a smart idea! My mom made an outdoor rug in this style, from those plastic shopping bags she always gets at the store. I’ve been wanting to make a rag rug for awhile now, but I wasn’t sure how.

Have to admit, I am ADDICTED to your blog, Merissa! I just love it! Thanks for sharing!

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17 Katy January 3, 2014 at 6:05 pm

How did she sew the plastic braids together?

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18 Linda December 1, 2013 at 9:58 am

there is a rubberized shelving material that is used to put in cupboard on shelves, I have read where people cut these and glue or sew either in corners of rugs, or along edges. I think I read it is available in dollar stores.

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19 cheyl January 4, 2014 at 10:02 am

You can also use them as table coverings wall hangings too.

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20 Leanne Toohey November 29, 2013 at 11:55 am

I make rag rugs but they aren’t braided. They are called “toothbrush rugs”… No sewing required! http://Www.facebook.com/LeannesLovelyRugs. I have a few short tutorials on there. Your photos and tutorials are very good and very clear!

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21 Kathy November 29, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Nice. I wanted one with no sewing required, so I’m crocheting one. I tore long strips like you, except I’m using old curtains I no longer want. I’m just using a single crochet back and forth in a rectangle shape with a big fat hook. Not done yet…

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22 Debbie N November 29, 2013 at 7:09 pm

I would love to see that when you are finished! =)

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23 Ronda November 29, 2013 at 12:19 pm

I have made braided and crochet rag rugs and also woven, I used sheets and even died some I needed bright red of course.. Anyway I trim off the corners of the sheet to make more of an oval shape and cut a continuous oval out of the sheets, the gradual turn in the fabric didn’t seem to make a difference. I prefer that to having to connect strips… Woven rugs are kind of fun and I just made a simple loom, the nice part is you can attach as many together as you want to make large area rugs. I would attach with a simple weave using rag strips and it could be easily pulled apart for washing.

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24 Stacey Cary November 29, 2013 at 12:27 pm

I was wondering about the hand sewn thing too. it seems to me like it would be easier, I made a super cute sunflower rug before, I remember it was little squares of material and I sewed it with a machine, problem is I dont remember how I did it, I want to make some like this. I am gonna totally try this

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25 Dot Richardson November 29, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Good morning you are such an inspiration I have always wanted to make a rag rug but thought I couldn’t do it, but your instructions are so easy I can’t wait to get started.
Thank you again.

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26 Christine November 29, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Beautiful! you can easily make them with a rug loom as well to get a different looking rag rug- it’s 4 pieces of wood screwed together with nails on 2 sides – you can find plans for them on the web easily. They remind me of the loop potholder looms for young kids. Either way is easy and fun to make the rugs. Although I hand finish my braided rugs bc my sewing machine hates bulky stuff.. Thanks for writing such a great on going blog!

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27 janice November 29, 2013 at 7:39 pm

Thank you. Never thought of making rugs with old sheets. I will be doing the finishing g sewing by hand.

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28 laauton November 29, 2013 at 7:58 pm

Your post hits close to home. My husband and I lost our home in March and moved into an RV. We sold everything big and stored the rest so we were a little better off than you. Then at the beginning of the month we moved into a house we can barely afford and for the most part it’s empty. Thanks you the wonderful idea. I’m going to crochet mine though.

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29 Melissa Soucy November 29, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Great Job. Nice looking rug
I love shopping second hand stores.
You can use sheets for so many things around the house even curtains.
Happy Thanksgiving

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30 Jennifer November 29, 2013 at 9:35 pm

You could finish sewing this by hand right? Even though it would take a bit of effort and time…

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31 Merissa November 30, 2013 at 7:29 am

Yes!

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32 Jeni November 30, 2013 at 12:33 am

I absolutely love this! I had been contemplating how hard it could possibly be to do one of these, and now I see, it’s not impossible at all. I may just try it someday! Thanks for the inspiration and break down.

Hope you have a up and running sewing machine asap!! :)

<3 jeni

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33 Vicki F. November 30, 2013 at 12:36 am

An easy way to tear your strips–cut a couple of inches down, every 1 1/2″ or however wide you want your strips, across the top of the sheet. Then you and another person take turns grabbing a strip, so one of you is holding the ends of all the even numbered strips, and the other is holding the ends of all the odd numbered strips. Then walk apart from each other, pulling your half of the strips. You will rip all the strips at one time. Very easy.

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34 Susan November 30, 2013 at 3:30 am

I got 2 sheets torn into strips yesterday, I’m going to start braiding today!
My sewing machine will not sew bulky items either. Since I will be hand sewing, what kind of thread would be best. I had thought about using embroidery floss ( I have TONS stashed away. What do you feel would be best?
Thanks for the tutorial, this gives me something to do while my husband watches endless football games

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35 Merissa November 30, 2013 at 7:13 am

Embroidery floss would probably work well, otherwise I would say anything somewhat thicker since it’s going to be seeing a lot of wear and traffic.

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36 Nancy December 1, 2013 at 5:17 pm

I would suggest you use either buttonhole twist or upholstery thread to sew it together.

Also to make the rug non skid is decide which side is going to the underside. Lay a bead of hot glue and let it harden and dry. You do not need to cover the entire thing just a section here and there.

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37 Gina November 30, 2013 at 4:45 am

This is awesome! I remember watching my great grandmother do this many many years ago. I still have some of her rugs! She was old order mennonite and passed down many great things(quilting, canning, cooking, etc) to her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren before she went home to be with the Lord! So thankful that you posted this. I think I’m going to try my hand at it. Thanks again!

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38 Tejas Prairie Hen November 30, 2013 at 9:50 am

In August I picked up a 1970′s craft book for $1 at the thrift store that showed how to do this and even gave measurements for how many yards of fabric are required to produce different sizes. You can use this same method for placemats, chair pads, and even pet beds. You can also make large storage baskets. When I finish all my Christmas projects, I hope to start on rag rugs in January. I will make a pet bed for my oldest son and I like the idea of having storage baskets that are a bit different from the usual.
I don’t personally know anyone who does this, so it is great to find others here who don’t think I’m a bit odd! Thanks for this homey idea.

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39 Mary November 30, 2013 at 10:02 am

I have been collecting jeans. How hard do you think it would be to braid a denim rug? I guess I would make the strips thinner than usual.

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40 Merissa November 30, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Yes I’m sure you could, and yes, I would make the strips thinner since the fabric is so much thicker. It should make a nice heavy duty rug!

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41 Joni November 30, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Thank you for a wonderful tutorial. I am very interested in using up my
large collection of decorator fabrics!

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42 Crystal Eutsler December 1, 2013 at 5:46 am

I have made several rugs, you can crochet the rog, this makes a very stretch rug. You can braid the way you have. Lovely use of old fabric either way, but I perfuer the tooth brush style rug. If you work very very tightly, it makes a very very heavy rug that washes and wears longer and looks nice for a long time. I also like to cut my fabric not tear, it keeps the fabric from fraying and you don’t have to deal witht the strings. There is alos another method that makes a thicker rug, it involves wrapping your favric around cotton rope like material, but you can also wrap it around fabric you have bundled into rope. There are lots of great options for rag rugs. I love this post. I really think this is a wonderful use of otherwise discarded material. Thanks for your wonderful post and the great reminders of money saving ideas.

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43 lawandaamanda December 1, 2013 at 8:19 am

some tips when sewing on the machine..make sure you so counter clockwise or your rug will get to big for the arm and try sewing with a strong fishing line it will last a long time in heavy foot traffic

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44 Pam Edge December 1, 2013 at 9:07 am

I am making a fishing theme shower curtain for my grandsons bath and want to make a matching rag rug. How much material should I buy to make a 3 x 5 rug? Can’t wait to try your method, your tutorial makes it look easy, thanks.

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45 Lori December 1, 2013 at 10:02 am

I wanted a rag rug for my new sewing room but I thought it would be a hassle to braid. So I joined the strips and made it into a large ball, then I crocheted it using single crochet and made it into a rectangle. It is so pretty and it was very easy too. But after seeing yours, now I want to try braiding one. Very pretty!

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46 Raylene Goetzinger December 1, 2013 at 2:36 pm

I would like to add something that I haven’t seen mentioned here. Whether you braid these, or crochet them, rag rugs will last for many many years. And you can also use Ailene’s Ok to wash it glue to attach a non slip backing, also I have used it by just putting a couple of dots here and there to keep the rug in shape as I am sewing it together. These are wonderful rugs for years of wear.

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47 Yvonne December 1, 2013 at 5:13 pm

Thank you for sharing this, I have been wanting to make my owe rugs. But all the kits cost to much. I need rugs for my place, the whole downstairs of my place is tile floor. Been looking at area rugs but they cost to much. Now when I go to the thrift store will make a trip to where they have the bedding. :)

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48 Renee December 1, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Great instructions! I’ve been saving old blue jeans to make a rug. How do you think that will be to work with?

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49 Merissa December 1, 2013 at 7:44 pm

I would make them into thinner strips since the fabric is thicker but it should work!

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50 Jessica Marsico December 2, 2013 at 7:16 am

I’ve found that denim cut into larger strips works really well as doorway rugs; much easier to beat out the dirt!

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51 Rubysue December 1, 2013 at 8:09 pm

Thanks for the info…I know what making a lovely home on a zero budget is like. I can’t wait to get started!

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52 Jessica Marsico December 2, 2013 at 7:13 am

Hello! I love the way you extend your strips; I’d been sort of folding the ends within one another or knotting, and yes… lumps!
I have no sewing machine. I never learned how to use one. My Nana taught me to sew and now, as an adult I recognize why she would only hand-stitch; she was a seamstress in NYC factories in the ’30s as a fresh-faced Italian immigrant. Those were not good memories for her.
Anyhow, I always forget how much time would be saved had I a machine. My rugs take SO LONG to sew by hand and it makes my wrists ache.
Perhaps it’s time for the machine after all, give it a new meaning to the women in my family who come after me.

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53 Arthur Stacey December 2, 2013 at 7:18 am

Yes I’ve made my own braded rugs . both round & oval. The oly diferance I can see in your way & mine is I single strand braded alot like making a crochet chain then sew it like you with a loos zigzag stitch on both sides.

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54 Donna Kemper December 2, 2013 at 9:10 am

My new winter project…I was wondering what would fill my long winter days. I’ve always wanted to do some of these for my wood floors. I’ll probably use hand stitching to sew it together. Thanks so much for these directions…wish I could send you a hug.

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55 flick December 2, 2013 at 9:49 am

have made a very bright rag rug for my little boy as he loves orange. i used the hessian sack and latch hook method. i think you would enjoy it and it requires no sewing!! i love this article though as it has shown me another less ‘fluffy’ more grown-up outcome for a more neat rag rug. thanks x

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56 Thaleia (@Something2Offer) December 2, 2013 at 9:59 am

My mom has those metal tools to slide the fabric through to help roll them to make rug making easier. I do not think we have ever made one, lol. My daughter might be interested in this.

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57 Rosalee December 2, 2013 at 10:47 am

Thank you so much for posting this! My mom-in-law used to weave rugs and she sold her loom but still had crates (like 15-20 of them) of pendleton wool selvages. I was trying to find a “home” for them (so they would be used – not discarded), but now I think I will try and make a rug with them!

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58 melissa December 2, 2013 at 1:36 pm

that technique for attaching a new strip is BRILLIANT! I always sewed mine together which was a huge pain in the ass

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59 Alice December 2, 2013 at 4:04 pm

My grandmother used to make rag rugs. Now that I have these instructions I will make them. And, give them as gifts/

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60 grace December 8, 2013 at 5:50 pm

next question…..how do you wash them….thanks

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61 Merissa December 8, 2013 at 7:29 pm

Cold water, gentle cycle, hang dry :)

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62 Beth December 9, 2013 at 7:31 pm

Thank you! When cleaning out my late mother-in-law’s house, I found some metal braiding tools that had belonged to her mother. Now I have a fairly good idea of how to put everything together.

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63 Carla December 13, 2013 at 7:55 am

Thank you for the tutorial! I found some sheets at the thrift store for $2 for both the fitted and the flat sheet. We are going to try this as a homeschool project.

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64 Donna Barnes December 16, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Thank you so much for sharing.on how to make rag rugs,explaining step by step. I’ve always loved these rugs.

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65 Karen Havran December 23, 2013 at 7:19 pm

Love your website! I have always wanted to make a rug so when I found your site I started right away with old sheets I have saved from when my kids were small. I have finished the braiding, now have to sew it together. I am wondering how difficult it will be to keep it flat and even while sewing the braids together? My granddaughter (4) wants me to make one for her room. Thanks for the great tutorial and inspiration.

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66 Karen Havran December 27, 2013 at 7:34 am

Please give me some advice on sewing the braids together by machine. Mine keeps breaking the top thread and /or skipping stitches. I changed the tension, thread and needle to no avail. Help!

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67 Merissa December 27, 2013 at 7:46 am

Have you tried using a thicker thread?

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68 Karen Havran December 27, 2013 at 4:40 pm

No, but I will and let you know. Thanks.
Too many sickies in the house right now for me to work on it. )-:

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69 Patty Muich January 3, 2014 at 11:13 am

I am so happy I found you on facebook! Even though I am disabled with a grown family I sure enjoy your blog. I can’t do this but you help me picture it. You do lovely work honey!!
Love,
Pattty

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70 Kelly January 3, 2014 at 11:14 am

This is great thanks! Mother earth living also has a very similar how to up, but no sewing, joining together in a way someone’s hat authors grandmother showed her. Worth checking out if you don’t have a sewing machine! These directions here are better for making the strips and joining them together though. Thanks again, love your site!

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71 Lisa West January 3, 2014 at 11:32 am

I think these are cute. Another version is to crochet the strips. Connect the strips the same way and use a large number crochet needle. Sew the end to secure. Old sheets are great for these rugs and they wash wonderful!

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72 Janet January 3, 2014 at 12:04 pm

I have made a few rugs..braided ones and used a zigzag stitch on my machine.. It is hard on your machine and mine also skipped stitches, I tried everything to correct the problem …I found if I used a size 16 needle it did help.

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73 Dianna January 3, 2014 at 12:39 pm

My grandmother made these all the time, she used everything. She made the plastic ones out of bags and cloth ones, but she crocheted hers instead of braiding. I tried it one time, but could not get it to look like hers. She finally started making them out of yarn and those things lasted longer than anything I ever had, with repeated washings. Sure wish I could do it like she did, but this braiding would be the next best thing. Thanks for the instructions!

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74 Betty January 3, 2014 at 12:50 pm

Great information!

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75 Kathy N January 3, 2014 at 12:51 pm

Have made them cover chair pad, round rugs for table they fun to make. Any size saw them all bye hand.

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76 Harvy January 3, 2014 at 3:39 pm

I have made crocheted rugs using the same strip and connecting method. Only difference is the rug is put together and no need of machine stitching at the end. When you finish the size you want, just tuck in the end of your strip and you have it.

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77 Melanie Robbins January 3, 2014 at 8:37 pm

I remember my grandmother making these. She didn’t sew them with her machine. I think that she was braiding and weaving one of the strands through the braid of the previous round. I remember her braiding and she was using a big crochet hook as she was going….but this was more years than I care to remember in the past. I suspect if you were to think about it, you would be able to figure out how it could be done!

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78 Rebecca January 4, 2014 at 5:58 am

Another method, is to make the strips and using a very large crochet hook, loosely crochet all those strips up! I use a single stitch. These are gorgeous also!

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79 Quackgrass Sally January 4, 2014 at 10:07 am

My great grandmother made some of these braided rugs out of plastic garbage sacks too…for outdoors. I have one she made 27 years ago and its still by my back door. I saved all my fathers shirts and am making a memory rug! Thanks for re-awakening a craft i did years ago.

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80 Clarissa January 12, 2014 at 7:47 am

Sally, do you know how your grandmother attached the braids of the plastic garbage sack rug? Is it sewn or glued?

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81 Victoria January 4, 2014 at 10:45 am

We are in the same boat, except i have only made 2mths in our rv. I had already bought my rug making supplies before reading your article. Great article!! I will also be moving into a home with practically nothing. Looking forward to another new adventure.

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82 Michaela Pochily January 4, 2014 at 12:02 pm

Thanks for the tutorial. I have thought about doing this for some time. Would it work using old t-shirts?

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83 Merissa January 4, 2014 at 12:29 pm

Yes it would :)

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84 Alice Lawrence January 4, 2014 at 1:35 pm

I want to make heart shaled one for placemats and chair pads. I bet you could just hot glue them together.

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85 Katherine Nobles January 5, 2014 at 6:38 am

The frayed edges may have contributed to the sewing machine death. My grandma made these all the time, and she used a half circle upholstery needle and thick string to sew them together. But there are these cool metal tips you can get now that fold the strips so the strings are all on the inside. Unless you want that “shabby chic” look. http://halcyonyarn.com/rugbraiding.html

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86 Merissa January 5, 2014 at 8:57 am

Unfortunately I think my sewing machine was doomed before I started this project, lol. I picked it up used and it was already on it’s last leg and that was 5 years ago! :)

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87 kristen January 5, 2014 at 1:07 pm

I have made a few of these rugs– using sheets, curtains and tshirts. The quickest, easiest way is to just crochet them in a circle or oval– don’t make strips that need to be sewn together. (I just used my fingers for the wider strips of fabric and pulled loops through each other without a crochet hook. For the strips I cut from tshirts, I used a big, plastic crochet hook.)

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88 Norma Mullan January 5, 2014 at 1:15 pm

I would think that if you are making a good size one that it would get too bulkie for the machine. No?

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89 Merissa January 5, 2014 at 1:18 pm

You can hand sew when you get the point of where it’s too big for the machine.

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90 Jeannette January 8, 2014 at 11:42 pm

I made a rag rug once. I was very inexperienced. It turned out to be a really big crooked rectangle. And it was heavy, very heavy! Anyway, several years later we visited Alaska and we were towing my car behind our motorhome so we needed something to protect the windshield on the car. This rug just happened to fit the windshield so we ran a few ropes through it and tied it around the car, protecting the windshield. It worked! We towed this car for over 8000 miles and the windshield survived the whole trip. So did the rag rug! My motto, if it’s too danged ugly to use in the house, find another use for it. The dogs loved it when we got home.

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91 Merissa January 9, 2014 at 6:42 am

Haha, there are uses for everything!

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92 Clarissa January 12, 2014 at 7:10 am

I was inspired by your rag rug article and started making my own from some old flannel sheets I had that were starting to get a little too worn for bed use. It is turning out really neat looking. I am sewing it by hand since the flannel is a bit thicker and I am afraid my sewing machine might not be up for something that thick. I got the kids involved by having them hold onto the end while I braid. They are excited because they are helping to make a pretty rug for our living room. Thanks so much for all your great ideas.

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93 Ashley green January 15, 2014 at 8:00 pm

This post is a lifesaver for me!! We have recently moved into a home with nothing but hardwood floors throughout and I have been very stressed about how I would afford rugs for all our rooms!! My living room is a large rectangle shape so I will be trying my hand at making a rectangle one!! Maybe keep the ends a little loose to fray? That’s my goal anyway :)))

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94 Kate January 31, 2014 at 2:30 pm

I started this project, and I’ve got an oval rug about halfway sewn together. But it’s turning up on the ends, like a bowl! It won’t lay flat. Any suggestions?

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95 angel April 30, 2014 at 8:19 pm

Push it though the sewing machine instead of pulling. Handing stitching mine worked best. I redid mine twice because it kept coning up like a bowl. Hand stitching on a fat surface worked best.

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96 Suzanne Day February 6, 2014 at 3:36 am

I really like the natural colours used in your rag rug. It would work well with any decor! I like to make my rugs with fine fabrics in many different colours, but your photos provided me with some new inspiration using more natural fabrics.

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97 Teresa February 7, 2014 at 5:25 am

Thank you for the website, I am enjoying it. Please show a picture of your rug when done. I have crocheted old worn out socks into a rug for a bath mat. YoU can use about anything for a rug but I do love the braided rugs, just never took the time to make one.

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98 Kai February 22, 2014 at 4:26 pm

Hi! Great tutorial! I’m so glad I found a simple one to work by!

One question: What if I wanted to make a rectangular rug? What changes will I have to make?

Thanks,
Kai

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99 Rebecca February 23, 2014 at 12:53 pm

I have a small problem since I found your site yesterday. My house is a MESS, it is covered in random scraps of fabric, I have baked/cooked from scratch and my only desire is to make a rag rug! I really need to finish up my cloth pads (I found your pattern on pinterest), before I start another project! I am loving EVERYTHING!!! Thank you for creating a site that is so encouraging!
P.S. For my cloth pads, I used old receiving blankets and an old crib matress cover. We have little to no extra this month, so I had to find a way not to have to buy disposable pads, and still not spend any $$.

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100 Linda March 2, 2014 at 2:14 pm

I don’t understand how you would sew the strips together by hand.

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101 Kate Moss March 16, 2014 at 9:41 am

you can sew by hand or by machine. currently on the market there are many beautiful sewing machine as sewing by hand. I think it would be a fun choice for you.

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102 Linda April 28, 2014 at 12:51 pm

I can’t get my rug to lay flat. Have sewed and ripped it out three times. Any suggestions. Sewing by hand and material is braided tee shirts.

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103 Merissa April 28, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Make sure not to make the rounds too tight. Even if it does cone up a little it should flatten out over time with use on the floor.

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104 angel April 30, 2014 at 8:13 pm

Tip!!! When sewing it together on the sewing machines, push it through the sewing machine, don’t pull it through or it will cone up more.

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105 ginger April 30, 2014 at 9:01 pm

my grandmother used to get the bargin bins at garage sales and thrift stores we then took all buttons zippers and snaps off and put in gallon jugs then we sat and tore them all into strips. when she made her rugs she had a nail on a board that she would hook one end to and braid away she used to sew them together by hand and she quilted by hand too i now know how much time and effort went into her crafts

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106 Esme May 19, 2014 at 5:25 am

Hello! What a lovely idea – will put in my project to-do list.

I was just wondering if you have ever crocheted a rectangular rug or know of any website tutorials for one? Have been looking at area rugs but crocheting is so much more beautiful. Any ideas/suggestions would be much appreciated.

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107 Lynda August 7, 2014 at 3:12 pm

I use a bias maker (attach to ironing board and press with a flat board, no need to iron), fold in half, and roll into a ball. that way there are no threads escaping from the raw edges because they are nicely tucked away.

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108 Helen Thomas October 9, 2014 at 2:42 pm

I made a rag rug with a piece of hessian and strips of fabric – looked great when I finished but took months and was so much work I got tennis elbow! Then I re read the Little House books and read the bit about braided rugs so I looked up how to make them. That’s how I found your website. I’m making one of these now and it’s so quick and easy! Plus it doesn’t take anywhere near as much fabric. Thank you so much!

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109 Merissa October 9, 2014 at 6:53 pm

Welcome Helen, I’m glad you found your way here!

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110 Ed October 15, 2014 at 8:37 pm

I’m finding this a year from when it started. I wanted to put my 2cents in. My grand mother live in an old house and was the wife to a 24/7 farmer. This farmhouse did not have in door pluming and “coaloil” stoves. She cooked with a wood stove (made wonderful bread). But to the point, she made quilts, sewed her own cloths, and made braided rag rugs. She did buy some fabric for the quilts but the rugs always came from old cloths and any fabric that she kept. All this is bringing me to this. On Sunday morning after she dressed and on the way to the kitchen she turned the rigs over to the good side. This was the side without the stiching. The last thing she did that night was to turn the rugs back to the everyday side keeping the good side clean for next Sunday. Just small things I am remembering now that I am her age. Thank you for sharing your store.

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111 Shelly October 18, 2014 at 3:24 pm

Hi there, I love your rug! I’m very curious how big it turned out to be? Thank you so much!

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112 julie November 22, 2014 at 8:52 am

I started one lol

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