Make a Rag Rug

Recycle old clothes and other fabrics by making them into a cozy, colorful rag rug.


| January 8, 2010



Rag rug

Rooted deep in handcrafting for family life, rag rugs carry the essence and the history of repurposing as a necessity as well as an art.


SHAMBHALA PUBLICATIONS

The following is an excerpt from Handmade Home: Simple Ways to Repurpose Old Materials into New Family Treasures  by Amanda Blake Soule (Trumpeter, an imprint of Shambhala Publications , 2009). 

Though the popularity of making rag rugs has ebbed and flowed through the centuries, the tradition has stayed alive. Rooted deep in handcrafting for family life, rag rugs carry the essence and the history of repurposing as a necessity as well as an art. Rag rugs can be made in a number of different ways. If you’re lucky, you might have the greatest learning source of all in a living relative who can teach you the skill. My Great Aunt Maddie was a rag rug maker, and with her passing, my family was left with a plethora of rag rugs that she made over the past century. All of them were created from clothing and other household items that she also made.

When I added one of Aunt Maddie’s rugs to my home, I was inspired to create the same myself and carefully studied her rugs to discern the method she used. Making rag rugs has turned into a wonderful way for me to extend the life of some fabrics and clothing my family loves, keep our home cozy and warm, and connect to our past.

PATTERN DETAILS

Level: Intermediate
Time to finish: A Season
Finished size: As desired

USE WHAT YOU HAVE

lis hylton_1
2/26/2010 9:42:58 AM

Hello Penny, Do you by any chance have photos depicting the method you are talking about? I would love to try but have zero experience with crocheting... Thanks! - lis


lis hylton_1
2/26/2010 9:38:08 AM

Hello Penny, Do you by any chance have photos depicting the method you are talking about? I would love to try but have zero experience with crocheting... Thanks! - lis


lis hylton_1
2/26/2010 9:38:05 AM

Hello Penny, Do you by any chance have photos depicting the method you are talking about? I would love to try but have zero experience with crocheting... Thanks! - lis


lis hylton_1
2/26/2010 9:38:02 AM

Hello Penny, Do you by any chance have photos depicting the method you are talking about? I would love to try but have zero experience with crocheting... Thanks! - lis


lis hylton_1
2/26/2010 9:38:00 AM

Hello Penny, Do you by any chance have photos depicting the method you are talking about? I would love to try but have zero experience with crocheting... Thanks! - lis


lis hylton_1
2/26/2010 9:37:57 AM

Hello Penny, Do you by any chance have photos depicting the method you are talking about? I would love to try but have zero experience with crocheting... Thanks! - lis


lis hylton_1
2/26/2010 9:37:50 AM

Hello Penny, Do you by any chance have photos depicting the method you are talking about? I would love to try but have zero experience with crocheting... Thanks! - lis


gaenor howe_2
2/5/2010 3:54:38 PM

You might want to consider the toothbrush method, where the strips are woven right into each other. This way the rug cannot unravel, and there are no dangerous loops to trip over if the sewing comes undone. It's also nice not to have to go back and start at the beginning with sewing, and the strips are attached to each other by looping through a slot at the ends. No sewing at all. You are also craftily reusing a worn out tooth brush.


crystal_11
1/16/2010 6:57:02 PM

I have been wanting to do this for a long time! Initially with some "fat" jeans but I didn't have good instructions (just winged it) and it didn't come out. I've been inspired again by this post and started a Rag Rug-Along on my blog. Maybe by spring we'll all have some great rugs to show off!


karen_67
1/14/2010 9:24:51 PM

I think what Penny is talking about is what I call hand-crocheting. It is just making a long chain, as you would when beginning a crochet project. That initial chain can be done by hand or with a crochet hook, either one. If you don't know how to do that you can probably learn from a beginning crochet site; try googling it. What I don't understand, Penny, is how are you (or the hillbilly!) going "around and around," as you said? What makes the rug hold together? I remember making little dollhouse rugs out of yarn chains, but when I rolled the chain into a rug shape it would not hold together unless I sewed it.


country elf_2
1/14/2010 10:03:47 AM

I have a question about the reprinting of the articles. No matter how I try I can not get a good reprint. Either it is so small I need a magnifying glass or when I try to change the size of the print it cuts off the sentances. I even put the margines all the way out and they were still cut off. I would like to try the method the other lady mentioned with the loops but can not quite envision how she is looping the fabric? Thank you so much for any help


penny_1
1/14/2010 8:32:23 AM

Sorry about the duplicates. Nothing happened when I clicked the submit button. Arghie... I And my computer are old! :) Oh and I learned this method from a self professed hill billy... no insults intended at all.


penny_1
1/14/2010 8:29:52 AM

There is an easier way that I call the "hill billy" way or "boot scrapers". You just cut strips from any old cloth, loop together (like crocheting but by hand), weaving ends together, around and around. No sewing. No hard thinking. No braiding. Denim is great for 'boot scrapers' by your entry doors. Sweats (cut thinner) and Tshirts (cut larger) with multi colors make very pretty room rugs. Anything to help keep rooms and feet warm and to make free is my ultimate ideal! :)


penny_1
1/14/2010 8:29:48 AM

There is an easier way that I call the "hill billy" way or "boot scrapers". You just cut strips from any old cloth, loop together (like crocheting but by hand), weaving ends together, around and around. No sewing. No hard thinking. No braiding. Denim is great for 'boot scrapers' by your entry doors. Sweats (cut thinner) and Tshirts (cut larger) with multi colors make very pretty room rugs. Anything to help keep rooms and feet warm and to make free is my ultimate ideal! :)


penny_1
1/14/2010 8:29:44 AM

There is an easier way that I call the "hill billy" way or "boot scrapers". You just cut strips from any old cloth, loop together (like crocheting but by hand), weaving ends together, around and around. No sewing. No hard thinking. No braiding. Denim is great for 'boot scrapers' by your entry doors. Sweats (cut thinner) and Tshirts (cut larger) with multi colors make very pretty room rugs. Anything to help keep rooms and feet warm and to make free is my ultimate ideal! :)


penny_1
1/14/2010 8:28:24 AM

There is an easier way that I call the "hill billy" way or "boot scrapers". You just cut strips from any old cloth, loop together (like crocheting but by hand), weaving ends together, around and around. No sewing. No hard thinking. No braiding. Denim is great for 'boot scrapers' by your entry doors. Sweats (cut thinner) and Tshirts (cut larger) with multi colors make very pretty room rugs. Anything to help keep rooms and feet warm and to make free is my ultimate ideal! :)






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