How To Make A Rainbow Rag Rug Reusing Your Old Clothes

January blues… and greens… and yellows

It has been a few weeks since my last post because, well, LIFE, my friends. Yet in spite of slacking on my New Year’s Resolution about blogging, I can completely tick another off the list. That’s right, I have finally finished making my rainbow rag rug!

Rainbow rag rug

Since moving back home after university, I have been making a conscious effort to declutter my life, one tank top at a time. Charity shops are a great place to start because anything they don’t sell can be cashed in for rags. However, if you as sentimental as I am  then this is easier said than done.

I had an idea. Why not make my own rags and create a rug? Full of old clothes and memories? I have always loved the rag rug my Granny made for me, and my meetings with my dissertation supervisor were rendered slightly less traumatic by the multicoloured magic carpet in the middle of her office.

If you want to see how I made mine, then read on!

Rainbow rag rug

To make a (rainbow) rag rug, you will need:

  • Rug canvas – I used the Zweigart Quality Rug Canvas but any will do as long as the squares are big enough to thread through your rags
  • Fabric/dressmaking scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Old clothes and fabric – roughly 30-40 T-shirt-sized garments for a 60 x 100cm rug. Soft fabrics give your rug a lovely texture, but I used a complete mix based on what clothes I had
  • TIME & PATIENCE – oodles of it

Stage 1: Collecting and cutting

First of all, gather together all of the garments you want to use and consider how you might like to arrange them on your rug. I had a lot of brightly coloured clothes so it made sense for me to make a rainbow pattern. Using a tie dye kit, I coloured some of my plain white clothes in the shades that I felt were missing.

When you are happy with your materials, it’s time to get out your fabric scissors and start chopping. Ideally you want to cut your clothes into rectangles of about 1 x 4 inches, but I would say that anywhere between 3-5 inches is fine. In total you will have to cut approx. 2500 rags, so this is not for the faint-hearted!

coloured rags

Stage 2: Preparing your canvas

Using a tape measure, mark out the size of rug you want (e.g. 60 x 100cm), leave a few squares of margin along each edge of the rectangle and cut it out. That way, you can fold under the excess, align it with the other squares and thread through to make four clean edges.

If your canvas starts to fray at any point, you could use glue (or clear nail varnish as I did!) to fix it in place.

Stage 3: Tying the rags

The process is really quite simple… loop the rag through a square and tie a knot!

I worked along the shorter side of my canvas, which had 80 squares. I knotted on the bottom edge of every other square, doubling up at the end to avoid any gaps along the edge of the rug, using a total of 41 rags per row.

tying the rags

For the fringing effect along the top and bottom shorter edges, you could make and tie tassels on the edge of the square between each rag, but I just cut my rags from an old tasselled scarf!

As you can see from the underside of my rug, I only knotted along every other row. If you have the time and enough rags then by all means use every row, but my rug is full with no gaps so there was no need.

Rag rug underside

I staggered each fabric to avoid harsh lines and colour blocks. For example, one row might be alternating between sky blue and turquoise, then the next would be turquoise and teal, then teal and green and so on. In this case, you will need 21+20 rags for each row.

And there you have it! If you have any questions then don’t hesitate to comment below.

N.B.: I realise that this post is a bit different in content to my previous month’s blogging challenge, but for now I just fancy sharing whatever I feel like. If this interests you then great!


Mary x









Living on future glories

Reflections and Resolutions

Hello and welcome to the year Two Thousand and Eighteen!

I hate to sound cliché, but along with most other people on this planet my 2017 was defined by joyous highs, difficult lows and those bits of bobbing along in between.

My 2017

Without being mistaken for bragging – I am simply proud, happy and appreciative of the opportunities I have had this year – I would like to mention a few highlights:

  • Writing and submitting my dissertation
  • Graduating from Durham University with First Class Honours
  • Various travels visiting friends, with friends or solo including trips to London, Dublin, Tignes, Sicily and several countries across Asia.
  • Working back at La Tete Et Tout (where I was the Saturday girl when I was 18)
  • Glamping in Yorkshire for my then sister-in-law-to-be’s Hen party
  • Being a bridesmaid at my brother and now sister-in-law’s wedding
  • Persevering to get the money I was owed from a dishonest former employer
  • Seeing family at a big reunion in Surrey

Safe to say that 2017 is definitely a year to remember! Nevertheless, I can’t live on past glories forever and it’s time to embark on different journeys and face new challenges for an even better 2018. It’s hard to say right now where those might lead me; I have many ideas and potential projects but very little is set in stone. What I can do, however, is plan some of the smaller things I would like to accomplish over the next 12 months.

I love a good tick list, so I thought I would share with you some of my resolutions which can be easily completed as well as some goals I would like to work towards.

Resolutions and goals for 2018

  1. Continue blogging  (sorry folks, you’ll have to put up with me a little while longer!)
  2. Learn to play chess
  3. Relearn to do the Rubix cube (I did learn once but I’ve forgotten again)
  4. Read 50 books I have’t yet read, i.e. roughly one book per week
  5. Drink more water (and consequently less tea)
  6. Go to a concert or a show at least once every season
  7. Exercise in my post-lunch energy slump
  8. Switch off all screens at least half an hour before bed (and maybe read instead!)
  9. Take-up playing the piano again
  10. Continue making kindness an active choice (see previous blogs for reference)
  11. Watch 50 films I haven’t yet seen
  12. Finish making my recycled rag rug (it seemed like a good idea at the time!)

Now for the hard part… sticking to them!

Happy New Year!


Mary x