T-Shirt Rug (No Sew!)

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Introduction: T-Shirt Rug (No Sew!)

About: What you WILL find in my Instructables: food, crafts, crochet, foraging, and much more. What you WON'T find in my Instructables: heavy machinery, tech-related projects (I'm just not very good with computers :(…

I'll be the first one to admit that I, 38ren, am a hoarder. The Konmari method has never worked for me lol. My room is littered with dozens upon dozens of shirts I should've gotten rid of years ago. Free T-shirts from random events, shirts I no longer wear, shirts I've outgrown...they go unworn and only take up unnecessary space.

Problem is, I'm sentimental and can't let go of some of them. As a solution, I'm decluttering my room by making a T-shirt rug for my dorm room (just in time for my first semester of college in a couple of months!).

It's functional, great for the environment (go recycling!), and best of all I know that those sentimental shirts are still with me in a different form.

Step 1: Materials

Here is what you'll need to make this project:

  • T-shirts- the amount will depend on how big you want your rug
  • Sharp scissors
  • a size Q-16mm crochet hook (about $3 at your local crafts store, less with a coupon!)

If you don't have a hook of that size, hand crochet will work, but your stitches will be a little looser. Here is a tutorial.

Notes:

My rug was about 3ft x 1ft and it took about 11 T-shirts. If you were to make yours smaller it would take less.

Step 2: Make T-shirt Yarn

Here is how I make T-shirt yarn:

Steps:

  1. Lay your shirt on a flat surface
  2. Cut according to the yellow lines as shown in the first picture (leave the sleeve hems out!)
  3. Lay our the torso piece and fold the bottom half up, leaving about 3 fingers in length (see 4th picture)
  4. Cut 1-inch strips across the torso fabric, making sure to leave the top portion intact (see notes on pictures)
  5. Unfold the t-shirt so you can see the separate strips. It's helpful to lay it out on your arm to see what you're working with.
  6. Refer to the picture and starting at the first strip, cut diagonally to the second strip. Repeat this until you get to the other side, where you'll make another diagonal cut to make one continuous stream of yarn.
  7. As you pull your yarn, the material will scrunch up which is what we want. Wrap your yarn into a ball.

Notes:

Each T-shirt= 1 ball of yarn. Depending on the size of your shirt, you'll have more or less yarn. I chose to use my entire shirt (sleeves and chest portion), but it is much easier to just use the torso, it's up to you.

This is a very forgiving project as it is going to be a rag rug. I wouldn't worry too much about cutting your yarn perfectly and when in doubt, use common sense to cut the t-shirt into a long yarn like strip.

Step 3: Using the Whole Shirt (Optional)

If you wish to use the chest and sleeve fabric, here is how you can make yarn from those portions of the shirt.

Steps:

  1. Fold the fabric like you did with the torso (follow the picture)
  2. Cut inch wide strips
  3. unfold and cut alternating diagonals to make a continuous piece of yarn.

Join your separate strips with a magic knot!

  1. lay the end of one strip parallel to the start of the next
  2. Follow the picture and make pretzel knots on both ends of the strips
  3. Tighten both knots (don't be afraid to get it real tight!) and pull the knots towards each other, give it a tight pull.
  4. Snip off the ends as close to the knot as you can, don't worry, it won't come out. (If it does you might've tied something wrong, and that's ok, just go back and start over)

Step 4: Let's Begin!

Once you have multiple balls of yarn, we can get started on the actual rug. We will be using crochet to make this rug, using a hook or hand crochet.

The only stitch we will be using in this project is the single crochet. If you are new to crochet, I will link tutorials to help you out.

Notes:

I use single crochet in this rug because I like the way it looks, but it does take more time. You can choose to use double or treble crochet too.

Step 5: Foundation Chain

  1. Create a slip knot and loop it on your hook. Pull the working yarn to secure the knot on the hook.
  2. Yarn over and pull through to make your first chain.
  3. Chain as many stitches as you want, depending on how long you want your rug to be.

Notes:

Absolute beginners can follow this video tutorial by Bella Coco on making a slip knot and a chain stitch!

Step 6: Crocheting Rows

Once you've finished your foundation chain, it's time to crochet your first row.

  1. Go back into the top loop of the first chain next to your hook. The chain your hook is currently in never counts!
  2. Single crochet all the way across your foundation chain making sure to stick your hook through the 'V' chain.
  3. Chain 1 to turn and then flip your work over to start the next row
  4. Single crochet all the way across
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you have the width of rug you like!

Notes:

Absolute beginners can follow this video tutorial on how to single crochet!

Step 7: Changing Colors/ Yarn

When you've reached the end of your yarn ball, simply join the end of your current yarn with the starting piece of your next yarn with a magic knot and keep on crocheting.

Step 8: Tip!

If your rug is as long as mine was it might get hard to find the space to keep crocheting. I found it helpful to roll or fold the end that I had already finished, to get it out of the way.

Step 9: Tying Off

  1. Once you have the width you want for your rug, remove your hook and pull a long loop.
  2. Snip it and pull out your working yarn.
  3. Pull the end attached to your rug tight
  4. Tie a knot!

Congrats! Your rug is ready for use.

Step 10: Additional Tip!

This project makes a rug that ends up being quite heavy so it shouldn't move around too much, but if you'd like to make sure your rug is non-slip, I'd suggest getting a grippy shelf liner like this one from Walmart and attaching it to the bottom of your rug with hot glue.

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