Making a rag rug for the new year!

I have really enjoyed having a break from work over the Christmas and new year.  I say I have had a break but I have, amongst other things, been working on projects that I hope to translate into workshops in the coming year.  This has been a project too long on the back burner but, finally, I have mastered the art of making a crochet rug:
It really took no time at all after I had prepared the yarn and I didn't really use a pattern and, instead, made it by instinct.  There are many ways to make rag rugs.  The traditional way is using old burlap sacking and poking short lengths of fabric through the sacking with the aid of a bodger.  Some plait lengths of fabric and then stitch together and others crochet with the aid of a large hook.  After lots of searching and reading I decided to go for the crocheted version.

To get going you first need to search your home for textiles to make into yarn.  I  used some old fabric that I had acquired.  Mine was stretchy rather like t-shirt fabric and very easy to work with.

Next you need to lay your fabric out ready for cutting.  I folded mine over to make the length shorter.  You will need a very sharp pair of scissors to get clean cuts:
Starting at the folded end, I cut 1 inch strips as I wanted a chunky effect to my rug.  There is a quick and easy way to get consistent 1 inch strips and that is using a method I call the 'rule of thumb'.  Get a ruler and measure from the tip of your thumb (or thumb nail if they extend beyond your thumb) and make a mark where it ends.  I no longer make a mark because I know that the first crease on my thumb knuckle is exactly 1 inch! 
using the 'rule of thumb' makes it easier to get equal strips
Use your thumb as a ruler by lining up the inch marker on your thumb with the edge of the fabric and then making your cuts snuggly above the tip of your thumb (or nail).   This method will help to speed up the process of making your yarn.

Once you have cut all you strips open out your fabric.  You will have lengths that are cut nearly to the end.  Cut each alternate strip to the end so that you have uninterrupted consistent lengths (as illustrated above).  Wind your lengths into a ball like this.  My kids thought that it was great fun to play football with them, much to my dismay!

Once you have all your yarn prepared you can start making your rug.  I started with a size 10mm hook and made a chain of 11.  I then worked back along this chain in Double Crochet (DC) starting with the 2nd chain from the hook with 3 DC into the last stitch in the chain. Then I continued along the opposite side of the chain with 3 DCs into the last chain.  I continued in 'the round' increasing stitches if it started curling up at the sides and decreasing stitches if it became wavy looking.

If have never crocheted before, making a ragrug is fairly easy to master.  I found this fantastic tutorial that goes into more detail on how to create these wonderful eco rugs for your home.


  1. You've created something gorgeous here but what I love most is that you created "from instinct". True art! Thanks for sharing. Something for my project list for 2012...

  2. Thank you for your kind comment. I love to figure out how to make something by instinct. I am the same when I am cooking, I take the bits I like best and make it into my own.

  3. Funnily enough just a few seconds ago I was telling hubby we need a rug for our toddlers room. I just might attempt this one day. It looks great!

  4. It's really easy to make. The hardest part is finding and making the yarn. Once you have that done the making is easy. Give me a shout if you get stuck, once you get going - will be happy to help you, or anyone else, through the process.

  5. How much fabric did you use for your rug? I'd love to make something like this but I'd like to know what I needed up front instead of having to stop the project or have lots of leftovers.

    1. Hi Aihley. I used the equivalent of a single duvet/quilt cover for this small rug. Look around charity/thrift shops/stores. Look for interesting colours rather than patterns. Leftovers can be used to make placemats for your table. Good luck. It would be great to see what you make - Lisa


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