Make Your Own Woven Rag Rug

Make Your Own Woven Rag Rug abeautifulmess.com I’ve certainly done my fair share of DIY projects through the years, but for all the projects I have completed thus far, I’ve yet to venture into the land of rugs—until today!

I wanted to make a kitchen rug for the studio that was: a) cute, b) woven, and c) relatively easy for a first time rug maker. After a bit of research, I found the perfect woven rug that fits all my needs! If you have a few old bedsheets around, this is the perfect way to use them (and get an adorable rug out of the process).

Make Your Own Woven Rag Rug abeautifulmess.com Supplies:
-3 king size, flat, cotton bedsheets

-piece of cardboard, 23″ x 43″
fabric scissors
masking tape
-marker
ruler (I like to use these clear sewing rulers so you can see underneath to line things up perfectly!)

Make Your Own Woven Rag Rug abeautifulmess.com Step One: Use your ruler and marker to make a mark every 2″ across the longest side of each of your bedsheets. Use fabric scissors to make a 2″ cut at each mark.

Make Your Own Woven Rag Rug abeautifulmess.com Make Your Own Woven Rag Rug abeautifulmess.com Step Two: At each cut, rip the fabric apart, and it should tear evenly all the way across the sheet. Repeat process until each sheet is ripped into even strips. Separate strips by color and pattern.

Make Your Own Woven Rag Rug abeautifulmess.com Step Three: On each of the short ends of your cardboard, start 2″ from each end and mark 2″ long lines every 1/2″. Use scissors to cut 2″ slots at each mark. 

Make Your Own Woven Rag Rug abeautifulmess.com Step Four: Gather three fabric strips of various colors into a group, fold the group in half lengthwise, and place one end into the first slot (it should hang over the edge a few inches). Place the other end into the corresponding spot on the opposite side. If you have a lot of strings hanging off the sides of your strips, try and pull the big clumps of strings off before you place into the cardboard slots. Repeat this process for each strip across the cardboard. It will get pretty full after you have a few groups placed, but just keep going until you are done.

Make Your Own Woven Rag Rug abeautifulmess.com Make Your Own Woven Rag Rug abeautifulmess.com Step Five: Designate one color as your weaving strip, and wrap a piece of masking tape around one end to make it easier to weave through the strips. Starting about 2″ in from the end of your cardboard slots, begin to weave the weaving strip under and over each group until you get to the other side.

Make sure to leave a 6″ tail at your beginning spot (you’ll lengthen this at the end). Because the cardboard is so full, the first row of weaving will be the hardest since it’s difficult to tell one group from another. Just do the best you can, and if you get a few strips into the wrong bunch, it won’t make a difference at the end.

Once you get to the other end with your weaving strip, make a U-turn by going over or under the last bunch (whichever is needed depending on where you end up), and weave your way back to the other side (it should be much easier this time). As you finish each row, straighten out the weaved strip with your fingers and slide it as close to the row before it as you can.

Repeat the weaving process until you are about 2″ from the cardboard slots on the other end of the rug. Make sure to pay attention to the width of your rug as you go, and keep it as even as you can. This type of weaving gives you a lot of control over your width since you can simply tighten or loosen your strip as you make the turn at each end.


When you get to the end of your weaving strip, you’ll want to join a new strip to the existing one so you can keep on weaving. Cut a slot into the end of your weaving strip and the beginning of your new strip. Pull an inch or two of your new strip through the slot on the existing strip.

Pass the tail end of your new strip through the slot on the new strip, and pull tight. Now you have a longer strip! Keep doing that each time you need to extend your weaving strip.

Make Your Own Woven Rag Rug abeautifulmess.com Step Six: To finish the ends, make a U-turn around the last bunch where your weaving ended, and thread your weaving strip down through the first exposed section of your last row of weaving (see above photo).

Pull tight. Again, cross over to the next exposed weaving and thread down through that section and pull tight. Continue until you reach the end, and tie your weaving strip onto one of the strips in the last group of strips. Repeat process on the opposite end (you’ll have to join a strip to lengthen the tail of your beginning weaving strip first).

Make Your Own Woven Rag Rug abeautifulmess.com Step Seven: You’re almost done! Just place a ruler or a piece of cardboard inside of where you want to trim your ends and use fabric scissors to trim the excess pieces. Once the ends are cut, you can remove the cardboard backing. You did it! You just made a rug!

Make Your Own Woven Rag Rug abeautifulmess.comMake Your Own Woven Rag Rug abeautifulmess.com Make Your Own Woven Rag Rug abeautifulmess.com I’m pretty proud of my first attempt at rug making. I think it’s just what our space needed (and the color looks so nice with our DIY concrete countertops), and I can’t wait to hone my skills and find some other ways to create floor decor.

I think next time I’ll make one with a color scheme that has this type of feel to it and if you’re looking for a larger scale with a similar feel, this is a great option as well. Have you made your own rug yet? xo. Laura

P.S. Check out more cute home decor and kitchen items on our wishlist and shopping pages!

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Woven Rag Rug

How to make a woven rag rug from torn fabric pieces.

Keyword DIY
Author Laura Gummerman

Ingredients

  • 3 kind size flat, bed sheets cotton
  • 23"x43" piece cardboard
  • fabric scissors
  • masking tape
  • marker
  • ruler

Instructions

  1. Use your ruler and marker to make a mark every 2″ across the longest side of each of your bedsheets. Use fabric scissors to make a 2″ cut at each mark.

  2. At each cut, rip the fabric apart, and it should tear evenly all the way across the sheet. Repeat process until each sheet is ripped into even strips. Separate strips by color and pattern.

  3. On each of the short ends of your cardboard, start 2″ from each end and mark 2″ long lines every 1/2″. Use scissors to cut 2″ slots at each mark. 

  4. Gather three fabric strips of various colors into a group, fold the group in half lengthwise, and place one end into the first slot (it should hang over the edge a few inches). Place the other end into the corresponding spot on the opposite side. If you have a lot of strings hanging off the sides of your strips, try and pull the big clumps of strings off before you place into the cardboard slots. Repeat this process for each strip across the cardboard. It will get pretty full after you have a few groups placed, but just keep going until you are done.

  5. Designate one color as your weaving strip, and wrap a piece of masking tape around one end to make it easier to weave through the strips. Starting about 2″ in from the end of your cardboard slots, begin to weave the weaving strip under and over each group until you get to the other side. Make sure to leave a 6″ tail at your beginning spot (you’ll lengthen this at the end). Because the cardboard is so full, the first row of weaving will be the hardest since it’s difficult to tell one group from another. Just do the best you can, and if you get a few strips into the wrong bunch, it won’t make a difference at the end.

  6. Once you get to the other end with your weaving strip, make a U-turn by going over or under the last bunch (whichever is needed depending on where you end up), and weave your way back to the other side (it should be much easier this time). As you finish each row, straighten out the weaved strip with your fingers and slide it as close to the row before it as you can. Repeat the weaving process until you are about 2″ from the cardboard slots on the other end of the rug. Make sure to pay attention to the width of your rug as you go, and keep it as even as you can. This type of weaving gives you a lot of control over your width since you can simply tighten or loosen your strip as you make the turn at each end.

  7. When you get to the end of your weaving strip, you’ll want to join a new strip to the existing one so you can keep on weaving. Cut a slot into the end of your weaving strip and the beginning of your new strip. Pull an inch or two of your new strip through the slot on the existing strip. Pass the tail end of your new strip through the slot on the new strip, and pull tight. Now you have a longer strip! Keep doing that each time you need to extend your weaving strip.

  8. To finish the ends, make a U-turn around the last bunch where your weaving ended, and thread your weaving strip down through the first exposed section of your last row of weaving (see above photo). Pull tight. Again, cross over to the next exposed weaving and thread down through that section and pull tight. Continue until you reach the end, and tie your weaving strip onto one of the strips in the last group of strips. Repeat process on the opposite end (you’ll have to join a strip to lengthen the tail of your beginning weaving strip first).

  9. Place a ruler or a piece of cardboard inside of where you want to trim your ends and use fabric scissors to trim the excess pieces. Once the ends are cut, you can remove the cardboard backing.

Credits// Author: Laura Gummerman, Photography: Laura Gummerman and Sarah Rhodes. 

  • My wife used to make rug. Unable to do so now, I am reluctant to throw away the rolls of material.

    Is their a volunteer club or organization in the Boston area that I can give them away?

    John

  • How many strips do you need for the weaving strips? Is that total in the 3 king flat sheets? Thanks.

  • I did this. Had a couple problems… The slits in the cardboard didn’t hold the ends and I ended up using a bulletin board with tacks to hold the waft. Also found that tying the end of the weaving makes an unpleasant lump and doesn’t keep the weave from slipping off the waft on the other side over time — had to sew it in place.

  • Love your rug. I just bought a weaving loom for the kids and I to be creative with this summer. I might have to try to make a rug w some thrift shop sheets.

    • Love, love, love this!! Have made a couple already and given as gifts from weddings to birthdays! Just getting the sheets from second hand stores so it’s not expensive and working on them at night while watching movies with the kids. Thank you so much!!

  • I went to a used clothing store (sal) and got sheets for around $3.00 each

  • Oh wow! I love it! Sheets make such great decorating fabric. Another use for sheets, I’m’ going to be on the lookout for the right color/pattern. Thanks!

  • Very excited to try this! Can you please explain what you mean by leaving a 6″ tail at your beginning spot?

  • I’m definitely going to do this! Thank you for such a wonderful idea

  • It will be the dimension of your cardboard backing 🙂

    Laura

  • Yep! Just buy the fabric you want, the sheets are from Target 🙂

    Laura

  • Hi Xene!
    I would wash this in a tub with some detergent just to be safe and lay flat to dry outside, since it has so many ripped edges, I would be worried the washer would fray all of those and it would start to look messy…

    Laura 🙂

  • Love this! Adds a cozy presence to the kitchen. Thanks for sharing!

    Coordinately Yours,

    Julie

  • I really love this style of mat, si glad you did this now I can make myself another one

  • I like how thick and comfy it looks! I’ve been needing a new bath matt, maybe I’ll make one of these. 🙂

  • What are the finished dimensions of the rug? Trying to figure out if I’d need to size up or down for my space. Thanks!

  • Ooh love this!!
    I have 2 duvet covers that got ruined by my hammie (long story), this way i could still use my covers for something usefull.

  • Would it work just the same by using a few yards of fabric? I am having a hard time finding cheap enough sheets in interesting colors/patterns to rip them apart and make a rug out of. If not, where did you find sheets in these cool patterns? Thanks!

  • This is probably a stupid question, but since it’s made of sheets, does this mean it can be chucked in the wash when it’s dirty? I’m thinking ‘yes’ to washer, ‘lay flat to dry’ or can it handle the dryer?

  • Great DIY Laura,was wondering where the bed linen is from, I’ve been looking for these colours for ages,
    meabh

  • I think this is a great idea, but I’m also pretty confused by some of the instructions. I guess maybe it’s one of those things where it will make more sense if you try it…

  • Lovely! I did a rug time ago using plastic shoppers…
    Kiss from Italy,
    V

  • After all that work, I’d have a hard time walking on it! Ha! That is an industrious undertaking–kudos to you!
    Mary Wilding

  • I’ve searched through countless posts trying to find such an inclusive tutorial; thank you so much!

  • These rugs are so much fun! I love that you can DIY them and it isn’t a total pain, because lets be honest here…some DIY projects I get all excited about and then I take one look at the instructions, and I’m like…yeah! NO! The style is fantastic and I love, love, love the colors you used. Sometimes these type of rugs can look a little…Hmmm, silly? Not this one! You killed it! This is surely my inspiration to making one of these! Thanks for the post and the fantastic break down on how to do it!

    That Comfort Girl

  • I would spot clean it and wash by hand, hope you get to make one!

    Laura 🙂

  • Hi Melanie!
    No, you’ll want to pull out the cardboard after you trim your excess on the last step 🙂

    Laura

  • You’ll want to gather three of your strips together and fold them at the middle point so your long group of three strips becomes a group of six strips that is half as long. Once you do that, you’ll put one end into the first slot on the right side and then the other side into the first slot on the left side. Hope that helps!

    Laura 🙂

  • Hi Marie!
    A king size sheet is about 108 inches long, so whatever sheet you have that is about that big would work 🙂

    Laura

  • This is adorable- I had no idea you could even do this as a DIY. Love it! Xo, S

  • http://www.clixsense.com/?6349991 you start earning here is a member of

  • What a cute rug! I’m definitely gonna do this for my kitchen that desperately needs something in there.

    xoxo
    Taylor

  • Laura,
    thanks for sharing. I think I may actually attempt to make this rug in the near future!
    As far as keeping it clean, how would you recommend washing it? if recommended at all. Being that its made out of bed sheets I would want to add it to the gently cycle option in the washing machine but I would be afraid it would come apart! haha! I guess that all depends on my weaving skills.

  • Ooh, that’s quicker than I expected. Thanks for the response! 🙂

  • what a great idea! when I finally manage to have my own home I’d reaaaally love to try it! xxx

  • in love with your yellow kitchen!

    Fie xx

    http://coffeeandconfetti.me/

  • ma quanto tempo ci vuole per fare questo tappeto?? è molto carino, ne potrei fare uno su misura per la mia cucina!

  • What a great idea!!! I love woven rugs!
    Anisa – The Macadames. xx
    www.creamstop.com

  • I have made several toothbrush rugs. They use up fabric stash like crazy.! I made one that’s about 4’x5′ that took about 25 yards a fabric. It still looks great after 10 years.

  • Oh thats so NEAT…. LOVE LOVE the yellow

    Check me out, Newbie

    www.flygurllovespink.blogspot.com

  • This is so cool and the colours look so great against your yellow cupboards! I think I missed a step though – does this rug have that cardboard in it permanently? xx

  • Love the result and the colors match the kitchen perfectly! A wonderful handmade touch in the house 🙂 Definitely goes on my to-do list, though it does look pretty time consuming.

  • I’m going to have to give this DIY a try this weekend!

    http://fashionably-lateblog.blogspot.com/

  • I’ve always loved the look of these rugs! I definitely want to give making my own a try now! Great post!

    Charlie x
    http://impulsory.net

  • Excelente idea, muy ingeniosa y creativa, me gustó mucho como quedó, saludos

  • Great DIY, the GIF was especially helpful.
    xox Logan

    http://ourzeal.blogspot.com
    ps. giveaway on my blog right now

  • I love this, and especially the colors that you chose. Yellow & grey is one of my favorite color combinations. Great tutorial.

  • I LOVE this idea! You did such a great job with this piece. So cool!

  • That rug came out awesome! I’ve been wanting to make one of these for a while one and haven’t gotten around to it. Thanks for the tutorial!

  • Very cute! I may have to make one for our kitchen, but it would more likely become a dog napping mat. They just love curling up at our feet when we wash dishes.

  • oo this rug also looks so soft and textured to stop on…haha

    everydayingrace.blogspot.ca

  • Hi!!
    It’s reeeallllyy amazing! And I wanted to do it, but, I am from Switzerland, french part (3 languages in our little country 😉 and we don’t use the same measures here, it’s in centimetre, not inches.
    I looked on internet what “king size bed sheet” mean, and didn’t find the size.
    Could you please tell me ? 🙂

    Thank’s a lot.

    I am a faithful reader since two years now, yes, even in switzerland we love you guys!
    Keep going on to make us dream!!!
    We don’t have such blogs around here!

    xoxo

    Marie

    • Marie, we use “king size” here in the UK. The duvet covers measure 230×220 cms, so anything around that will do for you. xx

      • 5 stars
        This is a long shot as I can see this blog is older, but I like the way you explain the steps. If I am wanting to make a larger rug, would the king size sheets still work? And would I use bigger cardboard? Looking to make about a 4×6 foot rug. Thanks

  • This is amazing! Great job I love this style of rug.

    www.dancingthroughsunday.typepad.com

  • Love it! And these photos are very lovely.

    xo, rn
    www.rachelnicoleblog.com

  • Love this and definitely want to make it! However, I am completely confused by step 4. I don’t understand what goes where, what gets folded, etc! ???

  • Awesome, your rug looks great! Thanks for sharing!

    Laura 🙂

  • Hmm, well I kept coming back to it over the course of two days, but probably 6 hours total I would guess 🙂

    Laura

  • looooove rag rugs. this looks like a super fun diy, maybe one i’ll actually get around to doing! (and not just pinning)

  • It looks great! That grey pops against the yellow.
    I totally went off the deep end and made a giant papa rug for my first attempt. Fortunately it turned out really well. I used a double weave (my name, not official term) technique so it ended up really dense and tightly woven. If you’re interested, you can check it out here:
    http://shaktidove.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-rug-is-finished.html

    🙂

  • Love the fact you can go wild with different sort of patterns!

    http://sincerelylara.com

  • Ohhh lordy I’m in love! Great fabric choices! *Runs to Joann’s to buy fabric for this*

    Thanks for sharing, Laura!
    xo Julie

  • well that sounds like an awesome project! Thanks for the detailed instructions!!

  • this post made me think of that paragraph in Sylvia Plath’s “The Bell Jar” where Esther thinks about a rug just like this (it’s even lying on the kitchen floor…coincidence !? 😉 )

    anyway, I love the idea!! the rug looks superpretty 🙂

    sophie xx

  • What a neat DIY! I love this idea, and seems like something I can actually do 🙂

  • Ok I’m so totally going to have to train this with some of my old bed sheets

  • Awww, love the idea!!! I can’t wait to try it, not sure i completly understand the process, but i’m gonna try as soon a sí find the wright fabric 😀

  • Ahhh this is so cute! I still want to make that latch hook rug you guys showed a while back..adding this to my very extensive DIY list.

  • Good job Laura! Love this 🙂

    Lulu xx

    www.luluslittlewonderland.blogspot.com

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