Saturday, March 24, 2012

Fluffy Denim Rag Rug {Tutorial}

  I had said I was going to try to make one rag rug a month this year- well this one is February's. This rug though simple in concept took me quite a bit longer than I had thought it would. I also ended up with less time to work on it than I thought I would.

   Oh well, I am pleased with the end result and even though it took time- that is something that I as a stay at home mom am blessed to have. Other than time it simply took old jeans (and I did use a few scraps from old slacks as well) and thread and a bunch of sewing machine needles as unfortunately this rug caused me to break quite a few.

If you would like to make a rug like this one.....

Here is how you do it:
Get a base cloth. I sewed together some jeans legs to do this but you could also just use a solid piece of sturdy cloth. My base piece was about 2 feet by 3 feet. This will not show so it does not need to look nice.

 Cut lots and lots of little squares of denim or whatever fabric you are making your rug from (I have made one similar to this one before using double knit squares and that worked well). You could cut perfect squares all exactly the same size but you don't have too. My kids and I cut these squares (I always enjoy having the kids help with projects if possible and they like it too) and they range from squares that are 2 inches on each side to ones as big as 3 X 3. Also any that were perfectly square where pretty few and far between. I'm am just saying that you can be a perfectionist if you want to but you certainly don't have to be.

  Also you could have all your squares be exactly the same color or you can have a rainbow if you want. What I did with this rug was I used all different colors of blue denim, some slack fabric in various shades of brown, a few white denim squares and some blue and white striped denim. I just put them on randomly.
To start putting your squares on the base fabric you simply fold a square in half so that it creates a triangle and lay it on the edge of the fabric as shown above and then sew down the middle of it.
As you are sewing them on you layer the triangles on top of each other as shown above.

 After you get one strip down then you turn your rug around and head back the other way with another strip. You want to lay your strips close together so that they cause each other to stick up. Just continue to sew them on back and forth until you come to the end of your rug.
 If you have any questions just let me know.

I hope you enjoy the process if you try this rug!

I am linking this to the Hometead Barn Hop at Homestead Revival
and
Make Something Monday at Sarahndipities.

33 comments:

Jackie said...

Abbi, you are just so clever. I have loved all of your denim projects. I would never have thought of making a rug out of denim or of using squares and folding them into triangles. Have you washed it to see how it frays? I imagine that would make it look pretty cool, too. The T-shirt rug I made definitely would not be good for heavy traffic or shoes, but this denim rug would.

Abbi said...

Jackie,
Thank you! I have not washed it but I think it will wash well. I agree that the fraying might look nice. I do think it will work pretty well for heavy traffic but currently it is living in the boys' room as they liked it and it goes well with the style we have in there.

I am thinking I will have to try one of your style of t-shirt rugs this year. It looks sturdier than some of the other rugs that I have made out of t-shirts. It is also very cute!

Serendipitychild said...

This is a great idea, a lovely alternative to a traditional rag rug. Very eco friendly too, recycling old jeans, I like it.

Heart Vintage Design said...

Great job. Did you put any binding around the edges?

Abbi said...

Heart Vintage Design, Thanks for stopping by. I did not put any binding on it and it is working well. I think binding would be a fine touch too however.

richcon said...

Hi there, just wondering, besides using a needle for denim, is there anything else i should use for this rag rug? I started it and am finding that when layering my triangles, its quite thick.
thanks

Abbi said...

richcon- I did not use anything special with making this rug but I will admit that it does give your machine a work out. I did also break quite a few needles (as I just used regular ones). I did try not to go over more than 5 layers of cloth at a time if possible.

richcon said...

Thank you Abbi for responding. I'm still struggling, but will perserve through it. I'm just finding it tough to sew the rows close enough together because of the bulkiness of the row beside it. But i will continue, have till Christmas to finish it. :-)
thanks your rug is beautiful

Abbi said...

Thanks for the update Richcon. I hope it works out for you!

Anonymous said...

I'm definitely going to try this! This will be a great way to clean out my stock of denim scraps.

Anonymous said...

I found using a size 16 denim needle works best. I have a Janome Memory Craft so it is a pretty tough machine, but it is definately a work out. Im on my 3rd row and haven't broken a needle so hopefully it will keep on

Catriona said...

Hi Abbi. Thank you for sharing this tutorial. This is my 1st denim upcycle project, it was so easy and fun to make. I made a small square, 50cm x 50cm,to keep my feet warm while at the kitchen sink.
I have a Janome Memory Craft so used size 16 needle, as advised, and found this worked really well for me.
Next project is a quilt or cushion covers/wraps for my deck seating. Charity shops, here I come...

Abbi said...

Catriona,
I am so glad your were able to make one and it went well! Thanks for letting me know.

Christina said...

Hi, I was wondering if you know how many squares or pairs of jeans (ballpark) you used in your denim rag rug. I'd like to try but don't want to start if I don't have the amount I need. Thanks so much. Great rug!

MomtoElderMunson said...

Love it! Thanks for sharing!

Abbi said...

Christina,
I figured out that I used approximately 1,100 squares. That is quite a lot but each pair of jeans yields a bunch.

Anonymous said...

AWESOME tutorial! Your pictures and easy to read (and understand ) description were so amazing that I'm whipping one up now! I was wondering approximately how many squares did this take? Thanks so much!

Abbi said...

Thanks so much. I think there are a little over 1,000 squares in it.

Anonymous said...

This is wonderful! I see in your comments you tried the rug with double knit. By any chance did you mean single knit, as in t shirt material?
Im going to try it...with a bath towel as a backer. Perhaps make it less slippery with dots of clear silicone caulk on the towel after its all done. Wondering what your suggestions might be. Thanks!

Abbi said...

Thanks! It was double knit - not single knit that I used there but I made another rug with t-shirt material with little strips sewed on. That worked good too. It was much easier to sew than the denim one. The caulking is a great idea. I hope it works for you!

Kim Martinson said...

Hi Abbi, I made this according to your tutorial. It was how I rediscovered my sewing machine after 10+ years. I love it!

Abbi said...

Kim, That is so cool! Thanks so much for coming back to let me know that you made it. I hope you have lots of fun with your sewing machine making even more projects.

Joni Sorsen said...

Nice! I have a whole bag of old jeans just waiting for a project.

Kathy Ruchardson - katskorner0@gmail.com said...

When sewing the triangles - when you get to second row, are the triangles placed in the opposite direction than the first row (alternating rows?)

Abbi said...

Yes I did have the triangles in placed in opposite directions on every other row. Thanks for the question. I hope your rug making goes well!

Anonymous said...

Abbi,
I saw a rug like this made up in a shop at Holmes County, Ohio. It was made from double knit fabric and it looked great. Do you have any idea how much fabric I would need to purchase for a rug the same size as your denim one? I can adjust from there.

Thanks.

Abbi said...

I don't know what to tell you as far as yardage since I used old jeans and they were in all different sizes and I don't even know how many pairs I used. Sorry!

Patty Dearden Brownlee said...

Fantastic Idea, I am teaching sewing to young mothers and this is a brilliant project Thanks

Unknown said...

I want to make a very large rug. Any suggestions on what to use for my base of the rug?

Abbi said...

You can use any large sturdy fabric. Or sew several denim legs together to get to the size that you want.

Anonymous said...

My mother's friend made a version of this rug years ago, with double knit. She had sewn the squares into triangles and a row by themselves before sewing them onto the backing fabric.

Sue said...

I was gifted a huge box of denim squares cut by hand, probably by an older lady who planned to make a quilt one day. They were roughy 4"' some definilty had been cut from tracing a template on the back. But some were very uneven, not cut on the grain, etc. Much of the denim was new fabric, and had poly in it. I just didn't see how I could ever make a quilt from it, and so it was packed away in the closet for several years. They last week I saw you tutorial on Facebook. Instantly I loved the idea and dug out those stored squares. I made the mistake of cutting them into 2" squares by hand, and my thumb is paying the price! But after a week of work (a few rows each evening after work), I have a rug that looks very similar to yours! It's awesome, but only used a small amount of the denim I have!!! Hoping to get two or three more made for upcoming church bazaar. I so love that those squares, painstakingly cut by hand by some unknown to me woman, are finally being used. Thanks so much for a great tutorial. Oh, and denim needles are the only way to go!!

Abbi said...

Sue, That is so neat that you were able to start using up that box of squares. I am glad it went well for you!

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