DIY Idea: Scrappy Rag Rug

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I’m back and getting my scrappy crafting love on with a simple, though rather long and monotonous  project. Enter the Scrappy Rag Rug. It is very easy and it did not take me too long. Here was my inspiration idea http://www.craftaholicsanonymous.net/how-to-make-a-rag-rug-by-everyday-art

However, as usual, I put my own twist on the project and I think made it an easier and faster one in the process. Here is my take on the handmade rag rug.

Items Needed & Cost of Project:

2 (1′ x 4′) shelf liners (found at .99 cents store for a dollar each) $2.00

19  blouses and dress shirts (and odd scraps) $ Free (I already had these from a closet purge)

Scissors

Ruler or tape measure

Total Cost of Project: $2.00! Yes!

Time Needed:

I used about 5-6 solid evenings. Working a couple hours at a time. I completed the project within a two week period during the holidays. We would pop on a holiday movie for the family and I would enjoy the movie, keep an eye on the kiddies and craft! Win, win, win!

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Step 1: Start with two of these babies. I have seen different types of these foamy shelf liners things, this is the one I chose.

Step 2: Start cutting a ton of strips out of your project material. I made mine between 8-11 inches long and 1-2 inches wide. I was shooting for 10 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide. Since I was working with scraps, I just tried to get as much out of the pieces as I could.

In my case I used a variety of scraps from other projects, men’s dress shirts (both long and short sleeves) a couple of ladies blouses and a pair of pj pants. This rug is for my little boys room so I went with blue, black, grey, white/cream colors. I made use of as much of the material as possible, even cutting out collars and cuffs for strips when long enough. I also saved all the buttons that came off the items.

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Step 3: I tried to work with 6 fabrics at a time in varying colors, so I could get a good mixture. Keep in mind this is a scrappy, therefore not perfect looking, rug. Make peace with that fact in the beginning. I had no idea how many pieces I would need so I had to wing the color combos and come back over the areas that were a bit too light or dark and add light or dark pieces in order to make it blend together a little better.

Step 4: Since I chose to make my strips of fabric on the thick side, I had to cut a small nick in the foamy backing before stuffing it through the hole. I also tied a regular knot at the base to keep the scrap in place.

The original idea went with 5×1 inch strips. I chose to double the length for a larger, fluffier version and also so I would not have to use so many strips. I also knotted the strips in place instead of just pushing them through the holes. My boys will destroy all my hard work by pulling them out if I didn’t.

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I worked with one foam backing at a time, filling up one piece and then moving to the other and then joined them together at the end. I figured out the approximate amount of strips used… 1800 for the two four foot sections! (15 across the one foot section and 60 along the length of the four foot section or 900 for each 1×4 foot mat) If I were to make another one I would shoot for about 2000 strips  therefore figure out my color variation a bit better.

I went with the snip and rip method to getting my strips made quickly. Make a tiny cut and rip the length of the material and then cut to the desired length. I must say recycling clothes into this project took up a lot of time trying to get as much usable material as possible out of them. But, it was the free version so I can’t complain. It does take a lot of shirts! So start stock piling now!

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Here is a picture of the underside of the matting once it’s filled with the strips.

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Step 5: Join the two mats together. I started by adding a strip through one side of each mat in order to pull the two pieces together. I should have left myself a bit of extra space on the sides without having the holes for the strips to go through as it made the sides a bit on the weak side. So I switched to simply grabbing one side of a strip on one mat and another single strip on the other mat and tying the two ends together. Make sense?

As you can see in the above picture the mats are still separate looking underneath, they are joined on the top sides with the strips tied together.

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The rug is quite large, 2×4 feet measuring the matting. Due to the longer strips of fabric used they extend about 4-5 inches on all sides. Therefore making the rug look more like a 3×5 foot size. It’s also very fluffy and plush. I was worried the knots would be felt at the bottom of the strips, but nope, can’t feel them a bit.

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This rug would be perfect beside a bed, in front of a chair, or in a reading corner. Have you made anything out of scraps lately?

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