How to make a rag rug

Looking to upcycle old clothes or fabric scraps into something useful? Making a rag rug is a fun and easy way to give new life to those materials. 

Creating a rag rug can be as simple as braiding strips of fabric and sewing them together. You can also make a more intricate rug by weaving or crocheting them into beautiful patterns.

Whether you’re just starting out or looking to try a new technique, there are many methods you can explore.

One popular method is to braid strips of old t-shirts or fabric, then sew them into a large circle or a rectangular runner. This technique is simple and helps you create a sturdy and durable rug. 

If you’re into weaving, you can use a loom to make a woven rag rug. Just cut the fabric into strips, and weave them tightly to form your desired shape.

For those who enjoy crocheting, grab a large crochet hook and try making a crochet doily rug with scrap material. This approach allows you to create intricate designs and patterns. 

If you’re into recycling and sustainability, making rag rugs from old clothes and linens is a great way to reduce waste while creating something unique and practical for your home.

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my disclosure here.

What Is A Rag Rug?

A rag rug is a type of floor covering made from fabric scraps or old clothing. It’s an eco-friendly way to repurpose materials you might otherwise throw away.

These rugs can be braidedwoven, or crocheted.

You can use a variety of fabrics like:

  • Old T-shirts
  • Bedsheets
  • Denim
  • Towels

One of the fun aspects of making a rag rug is the endless possibilities for color and texture combinations. Each rug is unique, reflecting your personality and style.

Rag rugs are not just practical but also add a cozy and rustic touch to any room. They can be used as:

  • Entrance mats
  • Bathroom rugs
  • Kitchen mats

Creating a rag rug is also a great craft project that you can enjoy solo or with friends and family. It’s a fun way to spend your time and make something useful at the same time.

Materials Needed To Make A Rag Rug

Creating a rag rug requires a few basic supplies, such as fabric and tools, to help you get started. Different types of fabric affect the rug’s look and feel, while the right tools make the process easier.

Fabric Types

Cotton T-Shirts: Old cotton t-shirts are perfect for making rag rugs because they are soft and easy to cut. Plus, you can recycle your old clothes.

Bedsheets: If you have old bed sheets lying around, they can also be transformed into beautiful rag rugs. They typically provide a larger amount of material.

Fabric Scraps: Any leftover fabric scraps from other projects can be used. Mixing different textures and colors can result in a unique and visually appealing rug.


Scissors: Sharp fabric scissors are essential for cutting your fabric into strips. This ensures clean edges and makes the weaving process smoother.

Needles: A large needle or crochet hook is useful if you decide to crochet a rag rug.

Tweezers: Tweezers can help pull fabric through tight spots, especially when using mats with small holes. They make the weaving process less frustrating.

Pins: When braiding or prepping strips of fabric, pins can hold everything in place. This keeps your work tidy and helps in managing longer strips.

Mat: A non-slip mat or latch hook canvas provides a base for weaving or tying your fabric strips. This is particularly useful for making rugs with more intricate designs.

Preparation Process For Making A Rag Rug

Before starting to make a rag rug, you need to select the right fabric, cut it properly, and prepare the fabric strips.

These steps ensure that your rug looks great and lasts long.

Fabric Selection

Choose fabrics that are durable and easy to work with.

Old t-shirts, bedsheets, and cotton fabrics are fantastic choices.

Avoid fabrics that fray too easily or are too thick, as they can be difficult to weave and work with.

Opt for:

  • Cotton: Soft, easy to handle, and forgiving.
  • Jersey: Stretchy, doesn’t fray, and comes in vibrant colors.
  • Denim: Thick and sturdy but may require more effort to weave.

Stay away from slippery or sheer fabrics, as they may not hold together well in your rug.

Cutting Technique

Cutting the fabric correctly is crucial for even and strong strips. Using sharp scissors or a rotary cutter, cut the fabric into long strips of about 1-1.5 inches wide.

This width ensures that the strips are easy to work with and not too bulky.


  1. Lay the fabric flat.
  2. Use a measuring tape and mark the widths.
  3. Cut along the marks without stretching the fabric.
  4. If using a rotary cutter, ensure you have a cutting mat under the fabric.

Neat, even strips will make the weaving or braiding process smoother and the final rug more professional-looking.

Fabric Strips Preparation

Before you start weaving or braiding, prepare the fabric strips by pulling them taut if they are stretchy, like jersey. This helps to even out the edges and make them easier to handle. 

Then, tie the ends of strips together or sew them to make longer continuous strips for larger rugs.


  • Braiding: Pin the strips together at one end and braid tightly.
  • Weaving: Secure one end of the strips and weave over and under your base.

Properly prepared fabric strips make the crafting process faster and more organized.

Make sure the connections between strips are strong to avoid any breaks during weaving or braiding.

Rag Rug Making Techniques

When making a rag rug, there are several techniques to choose from.

Each method offers a unique look and different challenges, so you can find one that suits your style and skill level.

Weaving Method

The weaving method involves using a loom. Start by cutting strips of fabric and weaving them over and under warp threads. 

You can create patterns by varying the colors and types of fabric. This technique often results in a sturdy and durable rug. 

You’ll need a basic loom, which can be bought or made at home.

Crocheting Method

To make a crocheted rag rug, use a large crochet hook and strips of fabric. 

This method creates a thick, cushy rug that’s great for high-traffic areas. Start with a simple chain stitch and then work in rounds or rows. It’s easy to adjust the size and shape of the rug.

Braiding Method

The braiding method is one of the easiest ways to make a rag rug. Cut fabric into long strips and start braiding. 

Once you have a long braid, coil it to form the rug, sewing in place as you go. This technique works well for different shapes like oval, circular, or rectangular rugs.

Hooking Method

In the hooking method, you pull fabric strips through a backing material with a hook. 

Use a pattern to guide your work or create a freeform design. This technique gives you a lot of control over the detail and texture of the rug.

A hooking frame or hoop is useful but optional.

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s tackle some common questions about making a rag rug. You’ll find tips on materials, fabric amounts, base types, and cutting techniques.

What materials work best for creating a rag rug?

Old clothes, like t-shirts and jeans, work great for rag rugs. You can also use fabric scraps from other projects. 

Softer fabrics are easier to work with, while stiffer materials can make your rug more durable.

How much fabric is typically required to make a rag rug of standard size?

To make a standard 23×36 inch rag rug, you’ll need about ten yards of fabric. This might vary a bit based on the thickness of your fabric and your weaving technique.

What type of base is most effective when making a rag rug?

A latch hook canvas is a popular base for rag rugs. It has a grid that makes it easy to pull fabric strips through. 

Some people also use old bedsheets as a base, especially for braided rag rugs.

What’s the best way to cut old clothes or fabric into strips for rag rugs?

Cutting fabric into strips can be simple. For t-shirts, cut off the seams. Then, slice the fabric into strips about one inch wide. For jeans, use the legs to get long strips. Sharp scissors or a rotary cutter will make the job easier.

Use this step by step guide for how to make a rag rug.

Similar Posts