Introduction: DIY Upcycled T-Shirt Rug – Plush Zebra Bath Mat Custom Design

About: Crafting with a healthy dose of trash hoarding disorder. Love to make things from old, used and unwanted stuff. We crafters euphemistically call this upcycling.

Do you have some old T-shirts lying around? Did you know that you can make a soft and plushy rug with a custom design with old T-shirts? If you like keeping your hands busy but you don’t know how to knit this might just be the project for you. You only need a few other supplies, your imagination and some time.


  • Non-slip mat (from the Dollar Tree)
  • 6 to 8 men's t-shirts (with no side seams)
  • Scissors
  • Permanent markers
  • Piece of scrap fabric
  • Fabri-Tac glue
  • Needle and Thread
  • Design idea

Step 1: Draw Design

Use the sharpie to sketch out your custom design.

Step 2: Make T-shirt Yarn

To make t-shirt yarn cut the t-shirts about 1/2 inch wide in the horizontal direction. Once all the t-shirt is cut into a 1/2 inch strip, pull the strips of t-shirt tightly to stretch the strips and coil them into a yarn shape.

Step 3: Cut and Tie T-shirt Yarn

Cut the yarn in 3-inch lengths and tie on the horizontal or vertical direction (but not both) matching the design colors with the yarn color.

Step 4: Continue Attaching Yarn

Continue attaching yarn in rows until the whole mat is covered.

Step 5: Trim Yarns

Use scissors to trim the yarns to a consistent length.

Step 6: Add Backing

Glue fabric to back of the rug and sew the edges to complete.

Step 7: Enjoy Your New Plush Rug

Watch the full tutorial in the attached video.

Happy Upcycling!

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