Instructables
Picture of T-shirt Rug
shirtmain2.jpg
About a week ago I moved into a brand spanking new and completely unfinished artist studio. After painting the walls a nice shiny white, I turned my eye towards the floor. At first, I considered leaving it as plywood, but then I realized unfinished plywood floors were going to become very noisy and a nuisance to all those around me. I began to consider what would look good on the floor, absorb the noise and, most importantly, what would be cheap. I resolved upon a rug, but didn't really feel like shelling out for one. Instead, I began to consider cheap ways to make a nice and unique rug. This particular idea just kind of leaped out at me. Everyone was skeptical of my t-shirt rug at first, but I think I am beginning to win the battle of hearts and minds.

Keep in mind, as the t-shirts are layered, this rug results in a somewhat uneven floor surface and is not well-suited for people that are accident prone or generally have trouble walking.
 
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Step 1: The idea

Picture of The idea
The idea is simple. The rug will consist in a whole bunch of colorful t-shirts laid out on the floor in an aesthetically pleasing manner.

(I drew this diagram to sell my very skeptical girlfriend on the idea)

Step 2: Collect T-shirts

Picture of Collect T-shirts
Gather up all of the t-shirts that you will never, ever, wear. Ask your friends to do that same and donate them to you.

If you still don't have enough shirts, you may want to see if the regional Goodwill Store has a "last chance" outlet. The shirts found at the Goodwill "last chance" processing depot will be remarkably cheap and are usually moments short of making their way into a dumpster. You may as well put these shirts to use.

And so you ask, "How many shirts will I need?"

My space was 9 x 12. I used roughly 20 - 30 t-shirts.

Step 3: Start Laying them out

To begin with, arrange 5 or 6 t-shirts in the center of your floor. Keep moving them around until you get an arrangement that you are happy with.
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using this idea but only using tshirts with memories. so not sewing up the neck holes but. they shall be my money stash :D
nikolardo4 years ago
I tried to wipe that hair in the picture off of my computer screen.
LOL. I noticed it too, and being a photographer immediately set to cleaning my screen.... Then I noticed your comment.... Oops.
BrianJewett3 years ago
Slip some batting inside each shirt first and you'll have a quilt.
puddingpuff3 years ago
i think i would just end up using this as a blanket...maybe for summertime. and if you leave the necks open, you get pockets! secret memos, candy bar wrappers, the cheat codes to the game your playing...no one would ever know.
neffk4 years ago
Clever, but it makes your room look permanently messy. Still, most other techniques seem to be a lot more work---this method looks easy.
sandesigns4 years ago
who is ralph wiggum?
randofo (author)  sandesigns4 years ago
He is a character from the Simpsons. He is on the shirt that says "SPECIAL".
ruthy nov4 years ago
What a great way to use old stuff. But - add an old blanket under the shirts, saw them together and it will feel much softer to step on. And for safety - add a velcro strip around the carpet and on the floor to prevent sliding!!!
blueyedaddy4 years ago

Love the rug - but I'm loving the water bottle storage bins along the wall.  I think I'll steal that idea first...

Hey, me too!  I noticed the storage right away (I'm looking at making cardboard box shelves now so anything "storage" catches by eye.).  I just didn't realize they are water bottles.  Are these the kind that brought to one's home and need a cooler?  If not, could you tell me where theycan be purchased?
randofo (author)  blueyedaddy4 years ago
http://www.instructables.com/id/Modular-Water-Jug-Storage-Bins/
AWE-SOME-NESS....Thanks!!
Hmm, I think it makes the room look kind of cluttered. Perhaps if you used just white and black shirts, it would look better.
randofo (author)  FreshPineSent6 years ago
I like cluttered. I was going for a rainbow throwing up on the floor.
ROFLMAO!!  I love how your mind works!  "A rainbow throwing up on the floor" is not something I would have thought of in a million years.  It's VERY descriptive!!!  Do you write books, too?  Just curious. 
Ahaha!
Yeah, thats cool. It just wouldn't really compliment the rest of my furniture.
shooby5 years ago
I'd thought of using t-shirts to make a carpet, but just using the material, so that it's be more like a quilt. This is a really successful design I think. One potential improvement I'd make if I were to do this, would be to create it in smaller units, four parts for example, with button or snap attachments between them. That way individual parts could be cleaned with the laundry, and the rug could be used in a smaller room at some point.
Pinky212 shooby4 years ago
That is a fantastic idea!  It seems like parts of a rug ALWAYS get dirtier than others.
kyler136 years ago
I wonder what would happen if you just use the pins and don't sew it together so that way you could change it any time you like..........I might try this tomorrow or today
pins on the floor doesn't look like like a good idea to me.. pins hate your feet
 Safety pins ftw
I got a sewing needle stuck in the base of my thumb one time... The entire needle was in my hand.
OUCH 8O
JessG5165 years ago
I like it, but I think I'd feel like the room is dirty all the time.
You could do this in your bedroom, and then never pick up! just tell people its part of the rug.
  LOL. If only that would actually work. *sigh*
I feel the same way; I think if it was done in a pattern other than random, I'd really like it! Maybe spiral them out, or arrange the shirts in a color gradient.
randofo (author)  JessG5165 years ago
I need to send mine through the washing machine.
sflinn5 years ago
A question and a comment. First off I love this! I'm thinking about doing this for my son's room. My question is, how well does it hold up? My comment is...I can't believe you used a Ralph Wiggum t-shirt! Blasphemy I say!
No kidding!  I was thinking the same thing.  Awesome Ralph t shirt.  I would have paid good money for that Ralph Wiggum shirt!  Cool design though.  The easiest thing is that you can wash it in a big washing machine.
aiml0u5 years ago
looks good if all the t-shirts are quite new. I hate waste and have to recycle everything. To make a more durable rug that can make use of torn or shirts with marks on (I donate all clothes which are not marked and have use left in them) first cut into long strips and knot into ropes. ( If you know how to crochet/french knit is the best way). To make a round rug simply coil and stitch together. using a thick wool or string adds another interesting texture.
mslaynie5 years ago
Wow! This is really a creative solution to a problem! I bet if someone liked the idea but wanted it to look more rug-like and less t-shirts-on-the-floor-like, you could cut the shirts into large squares/rectangles. Then you could make a floor quilt! This would eliminate the need for sewing the neck holes shut. Still, good job. This is lots of fun!
nafango226 years ago
needs moar red
well, you need spell check.
Hey, I just joined yesterday and found this by typing in "shirt" into the search! I work at an apparel decorating company and I just wanted to say I've ordered a whole bunch of blue and aqua child-sized shirts and I'm going to use this technique to make a tablecloth for conventions and in the store! Thanks for the idea~<3 After the prototype, I'm hoping to be able to talk my boss into letting me make several to interchange for each season-- Like red and green for Christmas, black and orange for Halloween, ect. You have my thanks, friend!
randofo (author)  DigiDiskette5 years ago
Cool! If you make one let me know how it goes. Post pictures!
excellent! how is it holding up for wear?
Soupraok6 years ago
HA HA, it looks like my Bedroom floor! "Mom, thats not dirty laundry, its a t-shirt rug!" HA HA HA
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