Rag Rugs - Preparing Your Fabric

If you know me or have been reading my blog for long, you probably noticed that I really like the idea of re-purposing used materials. From glass bottles to plastic bags, there are so many ways to use old things in new ways.

This week, I tried a project that I have wanted to make for many years, but never got around to, making a rag rug. I'm sure you have seen one of these before. They really can be quite beautiful. The idea is to use scraps of old fabric to create a rug. Usually they are multi-colored, but I have seen solid colored ones as well.

The process is not difficult, but takes a little time, so I am going to break it into two posts, preparing your fabric, and constructing the rug.

Let's start with fabric preparation.


  • Fabric - the bigger the rug, the more fabric you will need
  • Cutting tools


Just about any kind of fabric will work for this project. You can use clean remnants from sewing projects, outgrown clothes, worn out sheets, or even old fleece blankets. The trick is to make sure all your fabrics are a similar weight and colors you like.

There are a couple different ways to make the fabric strips. I'm going to keep this part simple and share the no sewing method.

Begin by cutting your fabric into equal width strips. The quickest way to do this is with a rotary cutter, but you could use scissors. Strip widths between 3/4 inch - 1 1/2 inches work best. Rule of thumb, if you are using heavier weight fabrics cut narrower strips. If you are using very light weight fabrics use wider strips.

Next you are going to cut slits on the end of each strip. You do this by folding in the end of a strip about an inch.

Then, cut a half inch slit at the center of the fold. Do this on both ends of every strip of fabric.

Now you can join two strips of fabric together.

Pull one strip (red) a little ways through the slot of the other (blue).

Pull the other end of the red strip through the slot on the red strip.

Gently pull the end red strip until it is all the way through the slot and the short end of the blue strip slips through the slot, too.

Finally, pull both strips of fabric so the join tightens.

Repeat until all of your strips are joined together or join them a few at a time as you are making your rug.You can roll your connected strips into a ball so it is easier to work with later.

Next time, we'll learn how to crochet your fabric strips into a lovely hexagon rag rug. Stay tuned...

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The Chilly Dog: Rag Rugs - Preparing Your Fabric
Rag Rugs - Preparing Your Fabric
The Chilly Dog
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