Thick and Warm Crazy Rug

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Introduction: Thick and Warm Crazy Rug

This is a super easy rug to make and it is a lot of fun!  You will need about 5 yards of T-shirt material or something similar that coils up easily when stretched. You will also need a square (or any shape) of fabric for the base. The one I made is about 15" x 20" and it is super plush.

Step 1: Base of Rug

Cut out a piece of fabric that measures 15" x 20" after you fold and hem in the sides.

Step 2: Cut Strips of Fabric

Next cut long strips one inch wide of the T-shirt fabric.

Step 3: Sew Rug

Take the long pieces of material and stretch them out so that they coil, then cut them into about 4 inch lengths. Line them up on the base and start sewing them right down the center, sewing each row close to the previous row. Each row should be separated by about an inch or inch and a half.

Step 4: Great Time Saver!

Here is a great time saver! Line up a couple thin strips of tape (sticky side up) and place the fabric coils across them. Take the taped row and sew it down  the center on to the base. Once you sew it down simply remove the tape.

Step 5: That's All There Is to It

Keep sewing until you fill the base.

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    44 Discussions

    I wonder if old terry towels would be a good fabric to use in place of the t-shirt material.

    You can bet this will be my very next project! I just loved it!

    Awesome!! :)

    i like the color! can you wash the rug? i've been thinking of making something like this. i don't have a sewing machine, would it work by hand?

    Why couldn't you use a mesh backing and pull them thru and tie off in knots. I'm thinking about the non slip rubber backing you use under rugs to keep them in place.

    Beginner here. I don't quite understand what is going on in this step. Can someone explain? Maybe the photo is just confusing me.

    2 replies

    As a note, you won't be sewing on top of the tape strips, just down the middle. :-)

    This step shows how to hold together many of the 4 inch strips at once using the tape. This way, you can place the whole strip of taped together pieces onto the base fabric and sew them down. Its just a speedier way of sewing it.

    Regular t shirts (fruit of the loom, jerzees, Just my size, Hefty t's etc) will curl if cut in either direction. If you cut them from the bottom hem of the shirt toward the shoulders/neckline, the shirt will curl with the right side out. If you cut them parallel to the bottom hemline, they will curl with the wrong side out. For most shirts, the way it is curling doesn't matter for the finished product, but if you have spray dyed your shirts, or the color isn't the same on the outside and inside of the shirt, it could make a difference to you. Double knit shirts, 'better quality' t's and some 'polo' type shirts will not curl.
    To answer the question above about age of shirt and the curling effect. I've used shirts that were 20 years old or more, and thin from use, they still curl up nicely, and haven't uncurled over time, if anything, they curl more.

    I followed these instructions on which way to cut, but my strips won't curl when I stretch them. I tried every tension from 'gentle' to 'crank that baby'. Any suggestions would be appreciated. This is a great idea and other than this problem, I'm ready to make a rug! Thanks.

    3 replies

    Are you using tee shirt 'jersey knit'. That is the fabric has a definate front and back. The front will look like the knit side and the back will look like the purl side. If you are using a 'double knit', one that looks the same on both sides, this may be why it isn't curling. Hope this is helpful, and not too late.

    That didn't work either! I'm wondering if my t-shirts are just plain past their pull dates, which makes me wonder if the curl will eventually go away after use and washing (for those who have actually managed to achieve curl).
    Thanks for your suggestion.

    Wow , for time saving , I used an old pillow case for the backing. Love it will post pictures later, thanks.

    I really like the look of this rug and I have some t-knit fabric that never got made into whatever it was supposed to originally be. Any idea of how much fabric, or how many thrifted T-shirts you would need to make a 15 x 20" rug?

    2 replies

    it appears no one replied to your Q of how many thrifted t-shirts would be needed to get 5 yds of fabric - did you figure it out yourself or are you still waiting? i'd like to know too, though it won't help me at this moment because i'm on my way to the thrift store now for a sale!

    I have not heard any answers to this but, my deduction would be that you would probably need 10 to 12 large T-shirts to get enough - possibly more if you are avoiding printed areas. Good luck!

    To be sure that your strips curl properly, its important to remember that you need to cut the strips ACROSS the grain of the knit not along the length of it. If you are using recycled T-shirts, cut the strips across from side to side. Easiest way to check is to pull on the knit to see which way it stretches most. If it stretches most across, cut the strips in the same direction.