7 Ways to Make a Rag Rug from old Clothes

I’ve been clearing out our wardrobes, and have accumulated rather a large pile of old t-shirts and holey leggings that are fit for the scrap heap.

Rather than throw out old textiles, I’m always looking to interesting ways to upcyle them into something useful – It’s time to make a rag rug!

7 ways to make a Rag Rug - mypoppet.com.au

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There are so many different ways to make rag rugs and I’m always experimenting with new ideas and techniques.

In the past I’ve braided, sewn and crocheted scrap fabric together to make rugs and mats in assorted shapes and sizes, and am always looking for how to make rag rugs with different tools and techniques.

Old clothing that is too worn out to donate is the perfect material for making rag rugs. Once you cut it up into strips, you don’t notice any holes or staining in the fabric. I’ve made a video showing you the best way to cut up t-shirts to make rag rugs.

Most recently I’ve started on a brand new rug project, my largest and most ambitious to-date. It’s a no-sew braided rug from a mix of t-shirt and woven fabrics. Going well so far but it’s early days yet.

No sew braided rag rug - mypoppet.com.au

The upcycled rag rug tutorials on My Poppet are some of the most popular posts, so I thought I’d round them all up here, plus include a few new rag rug making techniques from around the web that I’m keen to try.

If you are looking for DIY rag rug making ideas, look no further. Here are 7 ways to make a rag rug that can be used with both jersey or woven fabric.

If you don’t have a sewing machine, there are plenty of easy rag rug making techniques that don’t require sewing. Weaving, braiding, knotting and crochet are some of the ways to make a no sew rag rug.

Once you get the bug, you’ll be making a rag rug for every room in your home!

7 Ways to Make Rag Rugs

1. Crochet a Rag Rug from Old T-shirts

How to make a rag rug from old t-shirts crochet - mypoppet.com.au

An easy rag rug DIY project that works up very quickly. You’ll only need one or two old t-shirts, some scissors to cut up your yarn with, and a large crochet hook. Only basic crochet skills are required to make this handy mat.

Ideal as a bathmat or doormat that can go in the washing machine when it gets a bit dirty.


2. Make a Woven Rag Rug

Woven Rag rug

Image credit – A Piece of Rainbow

Woven rugs require a loom, but A Piece of Rainbow has shown how to make a simple rug loom, with instructions for making this colourful rag rug. The size of the rug is limited only by the size of the loom.

Get the Woven Rag Rug instructions here on A Piece of Rainbow

3. Make a Braided T-shirt Rug – Sewing Required

How to make a braided t-shirt rag rug - mypoppet.com.au

One of my first rag rug projects and still the most popular tutorial for how to make a rug out of old clothes. This is a modern take on the traditional braided rag rug. T-shirt fabric strips are braided then sewn together on a sewing machine. It can be a bit tricky to sew very large rugs are they get a bit unwieldy as the rug grows, but it’s worth the effort.

No sewing machine? You can also hand stitch the braids together if you have lots of time on your hands.


4. Crochet a Coiled Scrap Fabric Rag Rug

Crochet Rag Rug - mypoppet.com.au

Adapted from a basket making technique, this coiled and crocheted circular rug is perfect for using up woven fabric scraps. I’ve made this one from old sheets, assorted fabric scraps, and some strong twine.

You’ll need some basic crochet skills for this DIY rug project, but once you get the hang of how to crochet around the fabric scraps, you will find this fabric scrap rug progresses very quickly.


5. Weave a No-Sew Braided Rag Rug

No-Sew Braided rug - mypoppet.com.au

Currently a work in progress, this NO-SEW braided rug is destined for my lounge room floor. It’s the first time I’ve tried this technique, which is hard to find tutorials for. I sort of worked it out on my own with help from this tutorial.

You can find a video here that explains how to braid and weave the strands together. Once I’m confident with the technique I’ll write a full post with my tips and tricks.

I also discovered a really good book on Amazon that has some very interesting No-sew braided rug project ideas and instructions. See below.

6. Sew a Fabric Twine Spiral Mat

7 Rag rug making ideas - mypoppet.com.au

A fun and colourful mat made from scrap fabric twine. Sewn together with a zig zag stitch on the sewing machine, it’s a quick and easy way to recycle very thin fabric scraps. Make one large circle or join together smaller circles like I’ve done here.


7. Stitch a Toothbrush Rag Rug

Toothbrush rag rug - mypoppet.com.au

Also known as a Swedish Braid or Amish Knot Rug, this rag rug is stitched together with a little peg that can be made from wood or an old toothbrush – hence the name.

This rag rug looks very colourful made from a bright array of old t-shirts. I’m keen to try this technique. You can purchase the pattern and instructions here.

Some handy instructions for making your own rag rug ‘needle’ from an old toothbrush here.

You can also purchase wooden Toothbrush rug making tools here. I’m going to experiment with making my own toothbrush rug making needle from various recycled materials, and see what works for me. Will report back.

Wooden rag rug needle

Are you inspired to clear out that pile of old and worn out t-shirts taking up space in your wardrobe? While you’re at it, go through your linen press and pull out all those old threadbare sheets sitting in the back of the cupboard.

Now you’ve got 7 great project ideas for making practical and attractive rag rugs for your home.

Have fun Upcycling!

How to make a rag rug 7 ways - mypoppet.com.au



7 ways to make a Rag Rug - mypoppet.com.au


  • Your latest scrap fabric rug does look ambitious. Good luck on the rest of it. It’s going to be gorgeous!

    I like the crocheted rug from tee shirt scraps the best. It looks, I don’t know, somehow more home-y to me, but they’re all fabulous!

  • Fiona says:

    So inspired! Thank you. I have been making giant rag balls from t-shirts in preparation for the next project…….time to jump to it!

  • Kathleen says:

    Wow, thanks for putting this all in one place! I’ve always admired the rugs and bowls that are stitch together by machine but I’m hesitant to do that because I think it must put a lot of stress on the sewing machine and I don’t want to incur a costly repair. But the other options might be do-able.

  • Lauren says:

    Did you ever finish the no sew rug? I have a ton of old leggings with little holes in them that I’ve been saving for a project but haven’t seen a tutorial that really seems complete enough to follow (and I don’t have a sewing machine). Would love to see one when you’re finished (or finished enough to write the tutorial)!

    • I actually pulled it apart for materials to finish another rug. It was a bit longer than planned so will start a new smaller one once I finish all my ‘almost done’ projects. I will definitely make a tutorial for the next one I work on.

  • Clara Jenkins says:

    The idea is really great. I have a lot of old cloth which is I can’t use that anymore with this idea I am going to make a Rag Rug by using those clothes. Thank you for the idea, I am going to try this. Thanks a lot this is one of the useful posts.

  • Debbie Marino says:

    THANK YOU!!! Must admit I ‘found’ you by just ‘surfing Pinterest’. I am so glad I did. I find myself with a LOT of scrap fabric, sheets, etc. Perfect for ‘Rag Rugs’!! Have no idea HOW to make them … So Just Thanking YOU for Posting about how to DO THIS! Wish ME LUCK. I do Crochet but have NEVER tackled anything this big. Debbie

  • Jas says:

    Thank you so much for sharing these ideas, I’m now working on a braided no-sew rug, thanks to the tutorials in the links you provided. It’s so easy and satisfying! I agree that the process is very enjoyable, it will take some time to get big, but it’s fun while it’s happening!

  • Laura Vandewiele says:

    These are really pretty. I am looking for a project that uses t-shirt yarn to make a rag rug Christmas tree skirt. Do you have any suggestions on how to do that?

  • Erica says:

    These rag rugs are darling!

  • Emma says:

    I like them all but really like the braided no sew as it looks plaid. I hoe to try this. Thx

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