While I was spring cleaning, I separated out a significant amount of fabric that was suitable for rag rugs. I have been meaning to make these darn things for, oh… too long. I knew this would be a tedious project, but like my DIY bathmats I know that this type of project is really satisfying in the end because it gives a second life to textiles that are still perfectly good for use. Why fill a landfill when I can actually use this stuff??
I’ll tell you this… making rag rugs is the *perfect* project for keeping your hands busy while you catch up on your DVR and Netflix queue. I found a couple sources that were super helpful! The first is a general tutorial on making a crochet style rag rug, which is what I chose to make. You can see her photos and videos (awesome sauce!) on Sugar Bee Crafts. The only instruction that wasn’t clear was in joining the strips by looping them together so that you don’t have to sew them. After some additional digging, I found another tutorial that helped me figure this out on Bella Online. But you know me! Quality photographs speak a million words when it comes to online sewing and crafting tutorials, so here is my explanation in photographs that I felt was lacking across all the sites I looked at.
First, you need to spend some time ripping up your fabric into strips… I just eye balled it so that fabric was at least 1.5″ but tried not to go over 2.5″. Don’t worry about your strips being perfectly sized. Some of mine are wider or narrower or wide at one end and narrow at the other. The length of my strips was entirely dependent on the left over fabric pieces I was working with. Some were short, some were quite long. I made a executive decision every time if I felt it was worth it to use that strip or put the strip into the stuffing pile. (Oh, yes… I have a project for the fabric stuffing, too!)
Then, each strip needs a little slit cut into each end. Get cozy… the tedium has only just begun! I like to fold over the end a bit and snip it with the tip of my fabric shears.
Now it’s time to start joining strips so that you can form a fabric ball (it makes life so much easier!). Lay your first strip down on your work surface.
Take your second strip and pull it through the first strip so that both ends’ slits are visible… as shown in the following photo.
Pull the end of your second strip through the loop of the strip it belongs to.
Pull the second strip until it forms a sort of knot, adjoining it to the first strip.
Voila! Time to repeat and enjoy the new season of Game of Thrones.
I decided to make one gigantic ball of fabric strips and figured that as I crochet, once I got my rag rug to the size I want, that I can unjoin or simply trim off the strip and end my rag rug however I choose. I did not plan out any special color scheme… I figured, my rag rugs are true rag rugs and are totally random in nature. Sometimes I enjoy the freedom in the randomness and it takes the pressure off of feeling like everything has to be “perfect.” As you all know, my personal Zen and the Art of Sewing involves accepting that nothing is ever perfect… ever. EVER.
To do the crochet, I found the most absurdly sized crochet hook I could get my hands on with a trusty JoAnn Fabrics coupon. Then, I just followed the video tutorials on Sugar Bee Crafts since I hadn’t crocheted anything since I was a kid.
More DVR and more Netflix… And a couple re-starts. I found that I was crocheting too tightly, which made it difficult to form the flat rug as well as to navigate through the fabric with the crochet hook. Thankfully, this is a SUPER forgiving project and I just tugged on the loose end to unwind everything I had just crocheted. I’m still working on it, but I’m enjoying this quite a bit!
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