Make a Rag Rug

Do you want to make a rag rug like the ones Grandma use to make? 

This is a great way to recycle old worn out sheets or clothing.


Age: Adult

Difficulty: Easy

Time Scale: 4 out of 5 more or less (depending on size)


  • Size 10 Crochet Hook
  • Size 6.50 Crochet hook for working in loose ends
  • Approximately 8-10 queen sized bedsheets 
  • Scissors

Rug-how-not-toHow NOT to make a rag rug!

I tried crocheting a rug many years ago. It's very easy in theory, but I had issues. Certain people I know, may say my issues have nothing to do with trying to make a rug. In this case, my issues really were with the stupid rug!

This was one of the things that caused a 20 year crochet hiatus! It did not end up flat. It ended up having ruffles in it. Obviously, I was adding too many stitches, as I worked my way around.

There is an easier way to make this, but it requires sewing, so it is more time consuming. The material strips are braided, wound around and sewn in place. I actually prefer this method.

There is also a woven mat but it needs a loom. That is next on the to do list.

The toothbrush rug, is one I'm not so sure about. I haven't tried one yet. There is all that tying!

After much contemplation, I decided to once again, try to crochet a rag rug. If nothing else, I would like to prove, it is possible even for a crochet beginner. The determination factor just needed to kick in. Try, try again.

How to Make a Rag Rug

To make a rag rug, you will need to rip a lot of strips of material. Old sheets are the most cost affective material to use, especially if you have saved them up, like I did.  A large rug is going to take a lot of sheets. Can you say "I slit a sheet, a sheet I slit, Oh what a slit the sheet was it" really fast 5 times?

This is Ripping it up when you are in your 50's....

Ripping-material-into-stripsSitting in the chair, ripping strips of material. Yawn.

Ripping it up, when you are in your 20's.....


Oh, how things have changed. I can still rip and tear, it's just different now. 

Start with a recycled sheet. The bigger the better.

Use scissors to cut a small slit in the sheet, about 2-21/2 inches from the edge. Now, rip. If it rips all wonky, rip the other direction. If it seems to rip straight, you are all set. Make another slit and rip again. Make each strip the same width. 

Yes, ripping can make a frayed edge and it's dusty, but it is so much easier and faster than cutting. Trying to cut each strip would take a month of Sundays!

I took the sheets outside to rip the strips, so the house didn't get so dusty. It was going to be quick! No shoes, on the snowy deck...BRRRRR!

bare-feet-in-the-snowBare Feet in the Cold! Yes..... This is How Canadians Build up their Immune System.

Join the strips together by slitting near the ends and looping the material through.  Pull to tighten. 

Start rolling and tying the strips as you go. You will get a REALLY big ball. It actually needs to be even BIGGER than this. If I would have done all the rolling ahead of time, it probably would have been twice this size. 

You may want to alternate between only ripping SOME material,  then tying, rolling and crocheting, so one of these procedures won't get too monotonous. I prefer to rip only one sheet at a time, hook together, roll and crochet, until I run out and then I rip more strips.


For a large Oval rag rug; Chain until you have a length of chain about 2 feet long.

Single crochet in each chain.

Chain 1.

Single chain around the top.

Go around and around.

Tie a piece of material to mark the centre on each end of the oval.

Check as you go to make sure this is lying flat. After going around a few times, you may notice the hook will not be lined up with the spot where you put another single crochet in. This indicates that it is time to add in an extra stitch. I found it necessary to chain 1 by the 5th row, at the top centre then continue with the single crochet to the centre of the opposite side and add one here.

Do this for each round until about the 9th row.


Now add 1 chain stitch, 3 stitches over from the top centre.

Single crochet 6. Add 1 more chain. Continue single crochet to other end of oval and do the same. Do this same thing on every round.

Put the rug on the floor and check to see if it is lying flat. If it is curling up, you may be crocheting too tight or not adding enough extra stitches. An alternative is to add an extra single crochet on each side of the curve, instead of a chain. If it is ruffling, there were too many extra stitches or not enough.

This is on the fly and not very specific but, it's a way to make a rag rug that seems to work, even for a crochet beginner. Just make sure to mark your center point, add stitches evenly on each side and check frequently to make sure the rug is lying flat. If you are trying to add a stitch that is a stretch (not in line with the previous row) the rug will start curling. 

If you want to practice, try using a small crochet hook and embroidery thread to make a teeny tiny rug. This will help you learn how to intuitively know where the extra stitches need added. Since it is on such a small scale, it's good practice, doesn't take long and isn't a big deal to rip out. I've actually ripped out numerous crochet projects in the name of practice. (Some on a really large scale.) 


Keep going around and around, until you make a rag rug the size you want. 

Tie off. 

Use a smaller crochet hook to crochet in any ends that are sticking out.

Woo, hoo! After more than a 20 year hiatus from crocheting, I actually did it! 

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