Friday, March 25, 2011

No Sew (I Promise) Rug Making Tutorial - Part 1

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A couple of years ago, my friend was making one of these rugs. She was gracious enough to share with me the know-how. She learned it from her aunt, who learned it from an older woman probably over 40 years ago. I have made several of these and have given all but the blue one away. It is a great project to take in the car, to an outing that you have extra time on your hands, etc. Working on a flat surface when the rug gets larger will keep it flat. You can work on your lap if you want, so...

This is an attempt to do a tutorial on how I made my rug. See it here:

For part 2 see

And, if you are really brave, check this out too. here

So, to begin

First, choose some fabric to use. Find colors that you find pleasing, there is something about working with colors that you like that will make your project uniquely yours.  Fabrics that are cotton have worked best for me. Remember that this is a rug, so very light colors will work, but will need laundering more often. Also, look for contrast and colors that work well with one another.

I scour yard sales for older sheets (not those that are worn out - but our grandmothers used old worn out fabrics from shirts, skirts, etc for their rugs- so go for it if you want). I also look for tablecloths that are not too thin, or fabric from someone else's project that they did not finish. I have found holiday prints for little or nothing. Great colors for a rug, black, dark reds, etc. Here are four fabrics for another time, another rug.

You can buy fabrics, but they will make your project expensive and we don't want that.

I usually don't wash my fabric ahead of time, but if you so desire, go on ahead if it makes you feel better.

Here is a fabric that was a tablecloth and I have used it in one of the rugs I made and still have some left over.

Notice that it has many colors, browns, reds, greens -- all make for a great floor covering, unless you want blue or pinks and this would not look so great.

Next, prepare your strips. Cut off the selvage edges, if your fabric has them. Cut a snip in the fabric and tear the fabric. This will make those strips even all the way across. Now, every 2 1/2" to 3" , cut another snip and tear it off. I use my fingers as a handy measure, count the knuckles and tear away. Just be consistant in using either 2 1/2" or 3".

There will be lots and I mean lots of loose threads. for your sake and sanity, pull them away and dispose of them. They just make a mess later.

On each and every end of the strips, fold it down about a half an inch and then fold it in half again and you will have a little corner. Cut if off, not too much, it will make a little hole.

 Now, if you cut too much off, then cut that part off and try again. You can fold these strips into color segments if you want. My daughter always plans her rugs out by laying out the fabric and she plans on which one she will use first, secondly, and so forth. I have a general idea and go with that. Do what suits your personality the best.

Here is an example of how "T" may possibly lay out for a color scheme. (OK, T, I did say possibly...) Colors can be combined to make a two-color stripe. See the light and the dark area, those are two different fabrics on my rug? Used together, they make a unique design of their own.

On my next post, I will take you through starting the actual rug. This explanation take longer than the actual doing.
 I know that there are going to be questions -- so ask away and I will try to answer them, and your question may clear up something for someone else -- so ask anyway.


  1. I would love to make one of these sometime! Great directions!

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