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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Free Tshirt Rag Shag Rug

free tshirts in shades of pink and green
There are more that I do not want to get out--
three shades of pink and two shades of green.
Last year, I wanted a rug that was made with a base of burlap. The price of burlap was a stopper for me. I wanted to do this more cheaply--maybe free. I just knew that somewhere in the universe there existed burlap cheaper than I found it at the store, maybe even free.  In the meantime, I was collecting tshirts, all free, all never worn, never washed.
I am positive that I told exbf to be on the lookout for burlap and he assured me he never found those kinds of things. Voila!

free burlap

On Wednesday, the exbf was here, helping me. As I walked to the car, still talking to him, he pulled out this burlap "bag," asking me if I had a use for it. He had found it tossed on the top of the trash at work. I shrieked. As I said, if I recall, I had asked him to be on the lookout for burlap. So, now I have the makings of a rug.
The burlap is the beginning of a bag, it appears, with one long piece folded over and a seam run on each side. Then, the top is just turned under four inches. The whole piece as you see it, seamed and the top folded down is about 18" x 18".  This will be a small rug and a good learners project.
Getting free raw materials is great. Now, to find directions and answers to questions: do I have to pull a thread to get this where the warp and weft are on the square? Or, just cut it? I think it has to be squared.
Oh, snap! There is a punch tool I need. It seems that I heard/seen directions to taper and round a toothbrush handle to use after the head of the toothbrush is cut off. So, I need to fashion the punch from something. As you can see, I have a ways to go in figuring out how to do this. I will look at Walmart for the punch so I will know what I am looking at if I see it in a thrift store or yard sale. (Or, is it a hook I need?) Well, I will get it figured out now that I have materials.
Your turn
Have you ever made a rug like this? It seems easy. Is it?



  1. The only one I have made was from a kit. It was a Christmas latch hook rug/wall hanging thing. It actually turned out really well for someone who doesn't have a crafty bone in her body.

  2. Janet,
    I am very handy with crafts and sewing, so maybe this will work. I am happy you had a good experience. Thanks.

  3. I'm not sure what you need the tool to do but can you use a nail?

    1. SheilaPCT,
      I need the tool to push, I think. I don't know if a nail would work. hmmmm

  4. I'm not sure what you need the tool to do but can you use a nail?

  5. I've seen t-shirt rag rugs where you crochet around the shirt. I'm working on a crochet rug from a fleece blanket and it kills my hands. I have to put it down for weeks at a time. I wish I'd seen the one where you crochet around the material before I'd started this project :/
    I like the colors you picked! Can't wait to see it finished!

    1. Kelly,
      I have no idea what you are talking about. But, I would like to see a link or picture. I do understand about the hurting hands. There will be more pinks than greens. Thanks, I think it will be a cute rug.

      Oh, do you mean using tshirt strips as yarn? I can imagine how fleece would be to work with. That would be so hard.

  6. Linda, pull a thread close to an edge to find the straight of the grain. That's how we learned to cut burlap when I worked at a fabric store.

    After pulling that one thread out, cut the burlap between the threads along the channel you just made. Then,you can then pull the rest of the piece into square following the newly cut edge. Kind of like straightening cotton, but it's a much looser weave.

    I hope that made sense!

    1. Sue,
      That's what I meant. I learned to pull a thread when I was eight-years-old, so it is clear to I wish more people at fabric stores knew how to do these things. I once watched as an employee cut a plaid using the metal channel in the cutting table. I told the woman who was having the fabric cut not to buy the fabric just cut because it was cut wrong. The employee started a word fight with me. long story

    2. Oh, good! It made sense to you then. We used to have lots of customers who thought the store owners should supply our cutting tables with those metal guides. And sometimes it did feel like it would make the cutting so much simpler. But, it wasn't something the owners wanted.

      When the quilters came to buy cottons some actually did want it cut without worrying about grain. We employees were taught to always tear the cottons so they'd be on grain but some ladies didn't like the look of a torn fabric compared to a clean cut one. :-/

      I'm glad I don't have to deal with that dilemma any more. lol I do miss those gorgeous cutting tables though!

    3. Sue,
      Many times and especially when I was making napkins or table cloths, I wanted the fabric torn. Usually, the clerk refused because she was afraid she would ruin the fabric, or had never done before, or she had not been taught to do so. So, I just ripped it myself if I were allowed.

      No one seemed to want to give it good, vigorous rip. Most people were to tentative and the rip never happened. It was actually amusing.

      You know you have a problem when the manager has to be called and she I skeptical.

      I would rather go home, iron the fabric, maybe serge it before I washed it and maybe lose a half inch off each end because of the stress caused by tearing than to have to rip it myself at home and lose two inches off each end counting the clip that was needed, the rip and then the stressed fabric that might need to be cut off, depending on the use of the fabric.

    4. My thoughts exactly, Linda. Buying an extra 10th of a meter isn't going to break the bank. :-)

  7. I am not good at making such things, so I know nothing about it; but I'm excited for you. I hope you show us the finished product.


    1. Janie,
      It will take me longer to collect enough free tshirts in the right colors. But, I will show it. Of course, buying what I needed would get this show on the road much faster. I was just so thrilled to get the burlap that I had to reveal the project.

  8. Ask and you shall recieve...even if it takes forever. Good plan, waiting for free material, I look forward to seeing the end rug.


  9. Barb,
    It is sort of weird he did not mention me asking him to keep a look out for burlap. I will have to ask if he remembers my asking him.

    I am going to put the burlap with the tshirts so I will have the whole project together. You probably know how things get separated.

    It may take awhile as I do not have enough tshirts.

    1. Today,I asked him if he remembered my asking him to keep an eye out for burlap. I think he has selective memory.


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