We often talk about upcycling trash and garbage, but one thing we all have in abundance that gets thrown out or donated is old fabric in the form of clothing, bedsheets, and towels. Let’s learn how to make a rag rug. This thick, soft, and puffy woven rug is an excellent way to give these unwanted fabrics new life.
Following on from the braided rag rug, here is another upcycle project that uses old and unwanted bedsheets. When I gave my mother the braided rag rug, she was so taken with it that she immediately went to her storeroom to look for more old bedsheets. This is how I ended up with even more old bedsheets to repurpose.
HOW TO MAKE A RAG RUG
scroll ⬇️ to get the how-to tutorial
Please don’t be discouraged if you see the word “weave” and don’t have a weaving loom. This upcycling project does not require the use of a loom, and the tools required are simple and readily available. Let’s start making a rag rug that is both comfortable and, more importantly, no one will know it is made from your old bedsheets.
This thick, soft woven rug will keep your feet warm and cozy all winter long. It is also extremely absorbent, making it ideal for use as a bath mat in your bathroom.
Woven Rug Supplies And Tools
We’ll need about three old king-size bedsheets, but T-shirts and towels will suffice for a smaller woven rug. It does not matter if they are stained, tattered, blotchy, or have a mismatched color combination. I like how the colors are mixed in this woven rag rug; I didn’t make it on purpose but just gathered color strips randomly.
If the old bedsheets have become dirty after being stored for a while, wash and dry them. By snipping the salvage and tear, strip the bedsheets to make fabric strips. You can make 1″, 2″, or even 12″ wide strips; see the instructions below for more information on the various options and quantities.
Next, you’ll need a sturdy corrugated cardboard scrap from a large carton box in your recycle pile. Cut the corrugated box into a 28″ x 20″ rectangular shape. You can use a larger or smaller one to make a different size of woven rug, and the amount of old bedsheets will vary depending on the size.
You’ll also need a pair of scissors and either a large-eyed tapestry needle or masking tape to help strengthen the tip of the strip for weaving.
This woven rug is simple to make. It only takes a little patience and TLC to make it happen. You can refer to the detailed step-by-step photos below.
After preparing the materials, measure and cut slots in the cardboard’s short edges to grip the fabric strips lengthwise. You can weave all of these long strips with another strip attached to the tapestry needle or make a pointed end with masking tape for ease of weaving. To finish the woven rug, tie the ends and trim the ends. Read on for more information, including step-by-step instructions and photos.
- Start weaving and share your completed handmade on Facebook and/or Instagram. Remember to tag us, @craftpassion, so that we are able to see them.
- Pin it to Pinterest for future To-Do List
- Share with your recycle groups for a craft-along event.
- Browse more craft projects to make, particularly for the upcycling projects.
I hope everyone can do their part in greening the Earth again and reduce the rubbish that loaded the landfill, turning trash into gold.
Happy Repurpose and Upcycle!
How To Make A Rag Rug
We often talk about upcycling trash and garbage, but one thing we all have in abundance that gets thrown out or donated is old fabric in the form of clothing, bedsheets, and towels. This tutorial on how to make a rag rug is an excellent way to give these unwanted fabrics new life.
- Old bedsheets (3 king-size flat sheets, more if you have a fitted sheet)
- Sturdy corrugated cardboard of your preferred size (mine is 28" x 20")
- Tapestry needle or masking tape
HOW TO MAKE A RAG RUG
- Mark the short side of the cardboard 1/2" apart and 2" long. Allow for a 2" wide edge so that the cardboard is not weakened at the edge.
Cut it to make slots for the fabric strips to grip. You should have 12 slots at each short edge of the cardboard.
If you want a larger rug, increase the board size by a multiple of one inch and this will result in an even number of total slots.
- To create the Warp strips, cut the old sheets into 1" or 2" strips by tearing them. Fill each slot with 12 or 6 strips, leaving 6" at each end. You can also use a wider single strip of 12" as a warp strip for each slot.
To make some color patterns for the woven rug, alternate the colors between the slots. You'll be surprised at how well it turns out.
Set aside some fabric strips (weft) for weaving.
- Insert a strip into the eye of a tapestry needle and begin weaving.
If you don't have a tapestry needle, you can cover the end of the weaving strip with masking tape to make it easier to go through the warp strips.
Secure a 24 inches long of tail end in the first slot to prevent it from being accidentally pulled over.
Begin by weaving through the strip at the bottom of the first bunch, then on top for the second bunch, bottom again for the third bunch, and so on...
Continue weaving until you reach the last bunch, then rotate the cardboard and repeat the motion for the next row.
- Because there are 12 strips in a slot, ensure that all of the strips are weaved.
Pull the bunch after each row to ensure the warp strips are puffy and even.
Repeat until you've finished the entire piece.
- Weave the last row as close to the previous row as possible, forming a crisscross with the previous strip. Pull the weaving weft strip and tie it in place with the warp strips.
Repeat on the opposite end of the woven rug.
- Hide the tail of the weaving strip in the warp strips by weaving through the strip.
- Lift all of the strips from the slots to remove the woven rug from the cardboard.
- To neaten up the woven rag rug, trim the end to the length of about 4" or to your preference.
You might want to read the braided rag rug tutorial for the basic stripping preparations and how to join the strips.
Get the full article at https://www.craftpassion.com/recycle-tutorial-woven-rag-rug/
Thursday 14th of March 2019
I love this rug but I am confused about the warp strip .... do I tie it off at the beginning of the warping process? Am I tying off each row of rags where they meet the cardboard? i am just not getting that part. Hopefully this blog isnt too old for responses. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks
Monday 17th of June 2019
I love this rug but found the directions left me with a few questions too. I haven't tried to make one yet but found this video tutorial and thought it might help you. Good luck !! https://www.ehow.com/13664144/weave-rugs-using-fabric-scraps-tutorial
Thursday 11th of May 2017
I would love to see a video of how to make this. I learn better by seeing it being made. That's just me.
Monday 5th of December 2016
Did you notch both ends of cardboard or just one with loose hanging tails? thanks.
Thursday 25th of August 2016
Hey! I wanted to thank you for your tut! I knew I wanted to make a rag rug but not a traditional one and yours was the trick!! I modified the ends by sewing some burlap on in a quilt binding sort of method because I didnt want fringe but I think it will make it sturdier!! I only used 6 strands per section I made mine 30x45 inches.
I think what people in this comments section are missing is the distance between horizontal weaves. Dont put them so close together! Just weave and put them somewhat close together then they will have that "diamond" look. I just measured and mine are an average of 1.5 inches apart using 6 strands. I would adjust to wider if more strands are used. Meh, dont stress, let the rug dictate how far apart they are.
I cannot post a picture here but here's one on my facebook hopefully you can see it and I dont get kicked out of here for thinking im spam...LOL :
Thursday 25th of August 2016
Ohhh and I didnt use cardboard because I didnt have any but I had these things I use for blocking my knitting/crochet so I used them like this.
Tuesday 2nd of February 2016
Hi there, I really could use some help. I've weaved my rug to the end and have no idea how to finish the rug off. I've read through the instructions several times and I also read through 2 pages worth of comments but I'm still not able to figure it out. Could you kindly clarify? Thanks so much!
Tuesday 2nd of February 2016
Hi Heather, After you have weaved your rug till the end, use your weaving strip to "tie" the warp strips, a bunch at a time. Hope this helps.