Not only visually stunning, this gingham latch hook rug is also very easy to make. With a simple, repeating pattern it’s a great first time hooking project.
These last few months have been a bit crazy. It’s so strange that I haven’t really left the house and, yet, I feel like I’ve hardly gotten anything done. You’d think my house would be spotless but it’s definitely not. You’d think I’d have gotten so many crafts made to post about but I have not. In all honesty, I have no idea where all of this time has gone. And it makes me feel kind of lazy.
I’m trying to remember all of the things I have gotten done. I dug up a massive flower bed and got it planted. Like, it looks sort of tiny from the back porch but when you get over there you realize that it’s a pretty darn big area. It’s big enough it has taken 16 cubic feet of mulch so, yeah, not tiny. My living room, dining room and foyer got a fresh coat of white paint. Or, rather 3 because I was covering up a very dark tan and black (yes, actual black). That took some time… I’ve painted 2 pieces of furniture and I’ll be repainting one of them because it looks like a freaking #2 pencil. My recipe collection has grown by many, many new dishes. I’ve organized EVERY closet or cabinet in the house really well.
Oh, yeah… and I made a gingham latch hook rug I bought the supplies for way back in 2017 but never got around to making. So HUZZAH for that! Want to make one yourself? Because I’ve got the tips, tricks and how to from start to finish to make your own latch hook rug.
Supplies Needed to Make a Latch Hook Rug
If you’ve never hooked a rug before you might want some details on the tools you’ll need to gather. If you have any questions not covered, be sure to ask in the comments!
Latch Hook Tool
A latch hook tool is inexpensive and most commonly found at craft stores. Sometimes you might be able to find them at Walmart. They come with both wooden or plastic handles. And as far as I can tell they’re all pretty much the same. Just grab whatever you can find and it should work just fine. If you’re super new to latch hook you can also often get them in a kit, like this one. A kit with everything you need makes for a great first latch hook project so you don’t have to source materials. You can also work on a smaller project and see if this is a craft you’re interested in pursuing.
A rug canvas is used to latch hook on to make a rug. This is what it looks like folded up. You’ll find them folded like this in store in a variety of sizes. Choose a size that is at least a few inches larger than you’d like your finished rug to be. My finished rug is 18.5″ x 27″ started as 30″ x 36″.
I’ve purchased rug canvases from all over. I despise the ones from Hobby Lobby because they seem to fall part easily and make for wonky rugs that don’t have straight sides. My favorite rug canvas is made by MCG Textiles but they can be difficult to find. No matter which canvas you use, if making our adorable gingham print you’ll want a GRIDDED canvas. Meaning that there are grid lines in blue that divide the canvas into smaller squares.
The rug canvas is made of straight and twisted fibers. You want to hook only on the straight lines, never the ones that are twisted.
Latch Hook Yarn
For a DIY latch hook rug, you can either cut your own yarn to size or you can purchase pre-cut latch hook yarn. Each individual piece of latch hook yarn is typically 2.5 inches long, so cut accordingly. I have cut my own yarn but it’s one of my least favorite things to do EVER. Seriously. EVER. I purchase my pre-cut latch hook yarn from Herrschners. They have a bazillion colors and it’s reasonably priced. And you don’t have to tediously cut a bazillion pieces. You just have to wait for it to arrive in the mail!
Finished Latch Hook rugs used as is are SLIPPERY when on top of any hard flooring. You can use a brushable rug backing that when applied to the finished backside of a latch hook rug makes it non-slip and also helps lock the individual yarn pieces into place. It’s expensive but if you want to keep your rug together longer, it’s a good option.
Typically I just purchase a non-slip rug pad and stitch it into place on the backside and call it good because it’s a LOT cheaper. But it also takes more time to stitch it in that it would be to just brush something on and wait for it to dry.
How to Use a Latch Hook Tool
On a latch hook tool is an actual latch. It should be easily free moving but rest in a downward position with the tool is held upward.
Wrap a piece of pre-cut rug yarn around the metal of the tool near its handle. Grab both ends of the single piece of yarn and try to keep the ends together evenly.
Keeping the yarn in place, slide the tool under a straight (never twisted) line in the rug canvas. Pull the tool toward you so that the latch catches canvas.
Wrap both ends of the piece of yarn around and into the mouth of the tool. Continue pulling the tool toward you. As you draw the tool toward you the latch will flip up and close the yarn into the tool’s eye.
Continue pulling toward you to knot the yarn onto the canvas and remove the tool at the same time. Your knot might be loose and slightly uneven.
Simply grab the 2 ends and pull to tighten the knot, finagling as needed to try and make the ends even at the same time.
If your ends are slightly off, don’t worry about it. Unless your ends are just totally crazy a lot of the time, you won’t notice the occasionally wonky length. And if you do, you can always trim down the long piece if it sticks out once the rug is complete.
Make sure you have at least an inch of unhooked canvas all of the way around the rug. This area will be used to finish the rug.
Figure up how many pieces of pre-cut latch hook yarn you need by counting the number of squares in each section of your gridded canvas and multiply accordingly.
Always purchase at extra package of each color of pre-cut yarn. It’s better to have a little too much than not enough.
Gingham Latch Hook Rug How To
To make a gingham print rug like mine you’ll need 3 colors of rug yarn. You’ll need a lighter and darker shade of the same color plus white. I used light pink, darker pink and white but I did consider gray, black and white and kind of wish I went that way :)
The design is a repeating pattern that is super easy to follow. No matter the size of your own gingham latch hook rug you make, you’ll just continue repeating the pattern. You’ll need more yarn of the lighter color because you have twice as many of the lighter shaded squares in the design.
Print a Quick Reference Gingham Chart
While I was working up this rug I Googled “gingham print” and looked at photographs to make sure I got the right colors in the right place for a pretty checked design. That’s totally one easy way to keep up with what goes where, but I’ve also made an easy to print chart if you’d prefer.
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How to Finish a Latch Hook Rug
Thread a yarn needle with yarn matching your project colors. In my experience, it doesn’t have to match perfectly… it will hardly be visible so don’t sweat if the yarn you have doesn’t perfectly match your pre-cut rug yarn.
Fold over the rug canvas right at the edge of the hooking. Rug canvas is sort of dry and brittle feeling as you bend it, but it won’t break. Get the fold as close to where the yarn begins.
Holding the fold in place, if needed, begin stitching down the empty canvas to the backside of the rug. Your stitches don’t need to be fancy, they just need to keep the fold in place.
When you get to the corner trim away the excess so that each flap makes a triangular shape. You want for the corners to look similar to how they do on a wrapped present. My word… I really hope that makes sense to you. It makes perfect sense to me :) Above is the first flap trimmed at an angle.
Working around the rug, to get around the corner fold the next flap over as close to the hooked yarn as possible. Trim this piece on an angle and fold it over the first. Hold the pieces together and use your threaded needle to stitch the pieces together, holding flat. Again, don’t worry about pretty, worry more about getting the corners as flat as possible (so you don’t have bumps under the rug on the corners).
Continue working this way all around the rug until all sides are secure.
If you’d like, you can finish by whip stitching around the entire edge of the rug to hide away any canvas that is visible. Normally you can’t really see it but if you can, this is an option to hide any imperfections.
Making Your Latch Hook Rug Non-Slip
When it comes to making your rugs non-slip on hard surfaces you have 2 good and fairly easy options. The first is to take a non-slip rug pad and just toss it under the rug. I don’t know if this doesn’t work well for me because I have pets, or what, but I actually need to stitch the pad to the rug for this to actually stay together.
The rug pads are made from a weird foam that can break easily. So take care to gently stitch it onto the backside of your rug using your yarn and needle. It doesn’t have to be pretty, just make sure to keep it flat. Any bulges on the backside will make the rug puff up in those areas when laying on the floor.
You can actually finish out the rug with the whip stitch around to hide the canvas (the previous, optional step) at the same time you’re sewing on the pad. Using a rug pad is cheap and easy but a bit time consuming to attach it really neatly to the backside of the rug.
The third option is the most expensive but also the quickest. Brush the Non-Skid Backing onto the backside of the brush using something with a fairly stiff bristle to work it into the weave. Apply thinly but as evenly as possible and allow to dry fully between coats. This contains ammonia and should be used in areas with good ventilation.
Aftercare… Cleaning a Latch Hook Rug
Accidents happen and sometimes you’ll need to clean them off of your handmade rug. It’s always best to hand clean a latch hook rug so that it will last for a long time. You can remove debris like pet hair with a wide toothed comb (like for your hair). Or you can run your vacuum over the rug with the beater bar turned off. On my vacuum it’s called “hard floor mode” or some such thing. I tend to just take my rug outside and shake the dickens out of it.
Spot cleaning is the best option but if you need a better clean than that fill up the bath tub with a few inches of luke warm water and a very small amount of soap. Add the rug and swish around until it gets a bit soapy and then drain the tub. Fill the tub with clean water to cover the rug and swish around. Drain the water and start again until you’ve removed all of the soap.
If you have a washing machine WITHOUT an agitator, like a front-load machine, you should be able to machine wash. If you really, want to machine wash, I’d really suggest using the Non-Skid Backing on your rug first to help it hold together.
Once clean, allow your rug to air dry (do NOT put into the dryer).
And that, Folks, is how you make a latch hook rug and care for it!
How to Use a Latch Hook Tool
- On a latch hook tool is an actual latch. It should be easily free moving but rest in a downward position with the tool is held upward.
- The rug canvas is made of straight and twisted fibers. You want to hook only on the straight lines, never the ones that are twisted.
- Wrap a piece of pre-cut rug yarn around the metal of the tool near its handle.
- Slide the tool under a straight (never twisted) line in the rug canvas.
- Wrap both ends of the piece of yarn around and into the mouth of the tool. Continue pulling the tool toward you.
- Continue pulling toward you to knot the yarn onto the canvas and remove the tool at the same time.
- Simply grab the 2 ends and pull to tighten the knot, finagling as needed to try and make the ends even at the same time.Continue adding one piece or rug yarn per space on the canvas following your pattern or design.