My Crafting Adventures: Rag Rug

So here’s what happened. Like 3 years ago I was fucking around on Etsy (a favorite past time). I could literally spend a million dollars on that site. And I saw a rug. The most beautiful rug in the world. It looked like shaggy, soft grass. I immediately needed to own it.

 

But it was expensive. So I started looking at other rugs in this similar style. They were all somewhere between $200 and $900. I clearly was not buying a rug.

 

I started thinking on it and I realized I could totally figure out how to make one of these rugs. I was clever and crafty. I read a few tutorials and went out and bought all the supplies I would need to make this rug. In the end it only cost me about $5 as I already had all the other supplies just lying around.

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You guys know you like seeing my gross old sheets.

I had some old white jersey sheets that I decided to save to use for the project. And the only other thing I needed was the latch hook backing, which I went out and bought that weekend.

 

And then I basically stuck it all in the no man’s land of my craft table and kind of sort of forgot about it.

 

Until Christmas eve when I finished my last project and wasn’t sure what I wanted to work on next. And then I remembered that I promised my brother a rug. And then I remembered the shag rug of my dreams.

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I promised him a rug like this one I also made. I totally love it. It’s a great pattern from Cocoknits.

And then I tore my craft supplies apart trying to find the materials I had set aside to make those two rugs. I’ve moved twice since then and been homeless for a while and I wasn’t even sure if I still had all that stuff. But I totally did.

 

So I gathered my materials and spent all day on Christmas working on my project. First I pulled all the seams out of the sheets and cut them into strips. By hand. It was tedious as fuck.

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So. Many. Strips.

Then I wanted to dye the sheets. I really wanted them to be a warm, yellow color. Like the color of turmeric (one of my favorite spices). I Googled dyes the color of turmeric and saw that I could dye my sheets with turmeric. Which would give them the color of turmeric.

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I love turmeric.

Also, can I just mention again how clever I am?

 

I had a bunch of old turmeric that had expired that I was going to toss. I combined it with some paprika and saffron to give it some depth of color.

In this process I also managed to dye my fingers a glorious shade of yellow. It was pretty noticeable at work on Friday.

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These are my actual man hands. Can you even tell they are yellow?

I treated the scraps with a vinegar bath first to help the dye set. And then I boiled the spices with some water to dissolve it properly. I only had to soak them in the dye for an hour and the color was perfect. So I washed and dried the sheets and started hand tying them to the rug backing.

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Dye bath in my kitchen sink.

I’ve been pretty obsessed with this rug for a few days. It’s all I’ve been able to think about which is a sure sign that I am probably completely insane. But I finished it tonight and it is basically my favorite thing ever right now. So I had to share it will all of you lovely readers.

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First three scraps, tied on.

It is so cuddly soft and cheerful. I put it beside my side of the bed so it will be the first thing I see in the morning. I feels great on my toes.

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Progress is slow.

Also, because I am weird as fuck, I really like digging my fingers into the fibers and feeling all the knots tied to the matting. It’s like picking at a scalp or something.

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The sweet color of success.

Then I went online and found some other hand made rugs. That I now need to own. Which means I will probably be doing another similar post about rugs again soon. Sorry.

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Texture and color up close. Like a mysterious forest.

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33 thoughts on “My Crafting Adventures: Rag Rug

  1. Rug looks awesome. As far as your hands being yellow….I am Asian and your hands are definitely not yellow, I would know I am kinda an expert on that.

  2. You know you can crochet rag rugs with nothing but old cotton clothing, a pair of scissors, and an old toothbrush? Though a crochet hook works better.

    You cut the strips and then cut a short slit parallel to the length of the strip in each end, and then line up the slits and pull the loose end around and through to tie them together, as you go along. With this technology we will still be able to crochet rag rugs after the end of industrial civilization. Otherwise a sewing machine works.

    • I have heard of this method! Do you make them? I don’t even know how to crochet. But I guess I have to learn now because I saw the most fucking adorable crocheted rug and it must be mine.

      • I have, at times. Crocheting is simple as pie. With rag rugs, the trick is cutting the strips of appropriate width depending on the thickness of the fabric, and you might want to plan the colors. 

        My mother made a huge one out of wool back in the 1970’s, when we lived in New England and it was possible to get used wool clothing for a song, possibly because moths had been at it.

      • That sounds incredible! I have taught myself all kinds of crafting techniques so I am sure I can learn to crochet. I just have been putting it off.

    • Thank you! It was very satisfying because you see progress so quickly unlike with some of my other crafts. You should give it a try. I think I am going to just get obsessed with rugs for a while.

  3. What a gorgeous color! I’d have to fight off the cat and dog if I made a rug like this. Just started on a locker hooked rug with T-shirt type fabric. Hopefully I’ll actually get to use it before it’s taken over…

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