Monday, April 20, 2020

A Simple Rag Rug Tutorial

Greetings dear friends & readers

This lock down is teaching us all to use up what we have on hand  . . . after all,  we have little other choice

Last week after I washed my kitchen floor I noticed how tatty the rag rug was that sits directly below my sink.
In fact it was getting to the stage where - every time you walked over it - another piece of red fabric came off !!

I like a small mat beside my sink but as you can appreciate, it gets grubby - so is frequently in the wash.
I decided to make myself a new one using an old method that I used to teach many years ago

Work out what size you would like your rag rug to be & then gather together your supplies dear readers . . . 

- A selection of fabrics - any scraps will do - in fact you can use old clothing, t-shirts, upholstery or curtaining fabrics for these rag mats
- A piece of calico or hessian  - I used calico as I knew this rug would be in the wash a great deal
- Pencil & ruler, sewing machine & thread, scissors etc
- A piece of wadding the size of your mat
- One Ginger Cat - this is entirely optional although in my case .... it was not optional at all !! 😐
(here on in the ginger cat shall be referred to as "my assistant")

I worked out I wanted my mat to be 25 inches long x 18 inches wide (64 cms x 46 cms)
Cut your piece of calico to the size you wish your rag rug to be.
Draw lines along the width of it approx 1.5 inches (4 cms) apart
Your assistant can help with this (!!)

Draw right to the end of your calico piece

The most tedious part is cutting your pieces of chosen fabric.
I cut mine approximately 5.5 inches x 1.5 inches (14 cms x 4 cms)
If you are slick with a rotary cutter you will be fast at this - I am rather slow.
Toss all your cut pieces into a container & mix them up as you go.
Cut more than you think you will need !
Do not be exact with each piece as some variation doesn't matter

Begin sewing them on your lines starting at one end
I kept my basket of pieces right next to my machine & picked out one each at a time
Try Not to sew two pieces the same side by side if you can

This pic shows how I just move them all to one side to begin my next row - it's not difficult

Three quarters of the way through  -  taking a breather 

The finished rag rug top - you can now snip off any longer lengths if you notice any (I did have some)

Cut a piece of calico the same measurement as your top
Your assistant can help with this task

Then cut a piece of wadding the same size as this - get your assistant to lay on the wadding to stop it moving 
around as you cut 😉

Pin back your fabric strips roughly with pins - this will save the pieces getting caught in your seam as you sew - pin all the way around your mat

Then make a sandwich with the two calico pieces facing, & the wadding on the bottom, & pin really well right around

Sew around 3 sides - the 2 long sides & then 1 shorter end & then turn your rug through.
I use a long needle to pull my corners out neatly - then I iron right around the whole mat & iron the open end together before sewing it closed.
Take your rug outside & give it a really really good hard shake
Stand back as lots of threads will fly off it.

Lay your rug in your chosen place & then get your assistant to test it for "comfort & snugability"  💕

Stand back & pat your back & tell yourself how absolutely clever you really are !!!

Give your assistant the rest of the day off as she will be fairly exhausted after helping you so much today.  😉

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial dear friends,
Thanks so much for stopping by here today
Do let me know if any of you make yourself a rag rug - I can lend you the assistant for no cost whatsoever! 
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x


  1. How fabulously clever you are, dear Julie! Love your rag rug. I wonder if I fashioned one, would it look as fabulous as yours?? I suppose one ginger feline makes all the difference.

  2. I think your most excellent assistant has it
    all well and truly 'covered' Julie..! :).
    I think she is so talented, not only helping
    with your sowing, but, keeping down the pests
    in and around your home..! Bless!x

    AND..I think the rug looks lovely! You've 'both'
    done a wonderful job..Excellent! Twelve out of
    ten..! :o).
    I think your assistant should have extra (((Hugs))).
    Best get on..another lemon tea is called for, just
    coming up to seven o'clock, suns out in all it's
    glory..gonna be a nice warm day..!
    Take care Every~buddy, Stay Safe, and Stay Happy..!x
    😼 🐾🐾 😼 🐾🐾 😼 🐾🐾 😼 🐾🐾 😼 🐾🐾 😼

  3. Your assistant should be our salesperson too - I am sure she could get you lots of orders!

  4. your so clever Julie, and you had a great helper😃

  5. Good job Julie. I bet your assistant needed a mega sleep after helping you out.

  6. That's great! What kinda pay scale is your assistant on? And is the Government topping it up at this stage? Good help is hard to find these days as she seems to be struggling with the social distancing rules there a bit!!!

  7. Such a pretty rug you and your assistant have made, so glad it passed the comfy test. So kind of you to give your assistant the rest of the day off after all that hard work lol!


  8. I have 3 favorite picks in this post. The colorful new rug, the adorable and helpful assistant, and
    that pin cushion! Thanks for a good idea for a scrap rug. I have never seen one like this and I appreciate
    the lesson how to make one.

    1. Thanks so much Lynn - yes I am sure I can think of a good helpful "assistant" at your home should you decide to make a rag rug yourself.

  9. Lovely post Julie and such a great rug xx

  10. LOL Thank you for that tutorial. I'm sure it would not have been half so good without the assistant.
    They do like to get involved don't they?

  11. Wonderful rug and tutorial, thank you Julie. Your assistant had me giggling, she is so involved every step of the way, and deserved the afternoon off. 😁😁.

  12. That's awesome you took the time to photograph your steps for making this mat and so nice of Pippi to 'help'

  13. Very clever little fluffy rug....and a most helpful fluffy assistant! :-)

  14. Your rug turned out so pretty. Bet it feels good to stand on, especially in your bare feet. :) Thank you but I won't need to borrow your assistant. I have my "Dumperoo" who stays on top of everything in the sewing room. You make such pretty things.

  15. Thanks so much for sharing.....looks great Julie x

  16. You are absolutely very clever! Thanks for the idea.

  17. Now I know what to make for my own assistant (and his brother) to lie on and enjoy -- and how to use up my oodles of scraps. He's a pesky guy who loves to get his paws on my fabrics and attempts to help me sew. Not being as patient as you are, sometimes I close my sewing room door to have a bit of alone time!!

    1. Thanks for your lovely comment Lin. Yes the rugs are simple & fun to make. I am sure your furry friends would enjoy it if you made them one. I totally understand why your close your sewing room door Lin. xx

  18. I love your assistant and your rag rug! This was an inspiring tutorial, you had me smiling!!!!

    1. Thank You So much Joyce. Your comment made me so happy as that is exactly what I hoped with my tutorial - to make folk smile a bit!

  19. love your rag rug.Unfortunately I have a husband who doesn't pick his feet up! So I haven't got any rugs at all. That is one big beautiful cat you have. Absolutely gorgeous. You are lucky to be her servant. haha.

  20. Haha! Great post Julie. Your rug looks great. You are so lucky having your own personal assistant. Our dogs Molly and Rex have never assisted me when I'm sewing! xx


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