Upcycled Linens Crochet Rag Rug Tutorial

May 17, 2013Allison Murray

I’m not sure if it is like this everywhere but I have found that I am able to find sheets at thrift stores for cheap. Like $1 for a set of twin sized sheets or $1 for a queen or king size single sheet. There is no way that I could ever purchase that much fabric from a craft store for $1, ever.

I’ll often snap up sheets that have a pretty print with plans to sew from them. But sometimes when you get them home you find little holes and stains that come with normal use and wear and you don’t exactly want to be making throw pillows out of them after all.

BUT, you can always use them to crochet rag rugs. If you utilize re-purposed sheets these suckers are cheap, cheap! Plus they work up quickly. This rag you see here took me about 4 hours start to finish. Oh, and this is a pretty big sucker at 32 inches by 24 inches.

For this project you will need:

Here is the base fabric that I am using for my rug. I purchased these from a thrift store that binds everything up together and if you open the packaging they won’t sell it to you anymore. The packaging showed that these were pairs of queen size sheets. The cost? $3.68 a set. Mine all mine.

But when I got them home I found that it was actually one fitted sheet in each package and I was disappointed. And that wasn’t enough to make a rug the size I needed. So I pulled out two rather beaten up flat sheets from twin size sets from my stash and dyed them to match.

You’ll need to cut your fabric into strips and sew the ends together to make one long piece of fabric yarn. The easiest way is to fold your sheet up and snip. If you leave a strip where the cuts are still attached you’ll have far less sewing.

I cut my strips anywhere between 1.5 to 2.25 inches wide just because I can never make every cut the same, but I’ve never had any problems with gauge. If you’re worried, you can always use a yard stick or other tool to help cut perfect strips.

It’s easiest if you cut, sew together and ball your fabric yarn as you go. I decided to cut my fabric while watching TV and made piles of strips that were a pain in the neck to undo when I transferred them to my sewing machine in my office. But you live and learn!

If you prefer NOT to sew your strips, never fear. There is always the option of knotting one end to the other OR making a small slit in one strip, inserting the other and doing a simple knot to keep them together. I prefer not do use this method because you can sometimes feel the knot when standing on your rug but sometimes isn’t all of the time :)

Tie a knot in your yarn fabric around your gigantic crochet hook.

Chain your width. FYI- I chained 43 and my finished width is 32 inches. Depending on how loose or tight your stitches are you may get a larger or smaller finished product with the same sized chain.

Double stitch into the fourth chain from your hook. Continue your double stitches until you reach the end.

Chain three, turn the piece and continue double stitching to the end. Keep doing this until you get the size that you are going for. I did a total of 17 rows for right at 24 inches.

When you get to the end, tie off securely. Go around and trim up any weird pieces sticking out of the rug but do a little investigation prior so that you don’t accidentally make a cut that will start the rug unravelling.

And there you have it, my fabulous crochet rag rug made from thrift store sheets. And what do you think of my shoes? I loved them and was going to buy them when my grandmother threw a fit because she had a similar pair I could have. It turned out that these free alternative kicks were some serious granny lady loafers with a heel and looked nothing like the sweet pair above. My father upon overhearing the story went and purchased these shoes and gave them to me on the sly. I have the best dad ever!

Need some help with the basics?

Learn how to crochet a chain here.

Learn how to double crochet here.

Or check out the crochet gallery for other fun projects for a hookin’ good time!

Comments (28)

  • Wendy R

    May 20, 2013 at 4:31 AM

    This is such an awesome idea! You make it look so simple, too! Thank you for giving me my next project:)

    1. Allison

      August 12, 2013 at 6:23 PM

      You’re so welcome, Wendy. Thanks much for checking out the post!

  • Wendy Y

    June 7, 2013 at 10:53 PM

    Um, semi off topic, but…what kind of shoes are those? Cute! You do have a wonderful dad!

    1. Allison

      August 12, 2013 at 6:23 PM

      Shoes are always on topic around here, Wendy! The brand is “Sag Harbor” and they came from Marshalls, though it was last year.

  • Jusa

    June 19, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    Great idea. I love the way it turned out (and the addition of a cat!). You can also get really cheap sheets at church rummage sales, especially the bag sale at the end of the day. I don't think sheets sell particularly well, so there will probably be plenty left. At my favorite church rummage sale, the bags go for $3 or 2 for $5. If you could find enough sheets you like, you could do a huge rug for $3. Dying the sheets is a great idea and a game changer. Then you're not restricted to searching down the right colors. What happens when you wash this rug?

    1. Allison

      August 12, 2013 at 6:23 PM

      Hey, Jusa! I actually made this rug and then put it away “for company” so I hadn’t actually washed it yet, so I went ahead and pulled it out and gave it a wash tonight and I think that maybe the fabric frayed a tiny bit more but I air dried it to keep any more from happening if that was the case. It still looks great!!

  • lyn lewis

    June 19, 2013 at 8:43 PM

    Great idea to use sheets in that way!

    1. Allison

      August 12, 2013 at 6:22 PM

      Thanks, Lyn!

  • Nancy North-Gates

    June 29, 2013 at 11:44 PM

    This was just what I was looking for! Thank you for a great tutorial with such good pictures. Now I am ready to rock and roll.

    NNG

    1. Allison

      August 12, 2013 at 6:22 PM

      I’m so glad you like the tutorial, Nancy! Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  • Gaby Privett

    August 10, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    Hi there, what a great tutorial! Definately will be making a rug myself….that is, once I found out what you mean by ‘chaining’ and ‘double stitches’! Please help a totally inexperienced newbie to crocheting what that means. Also, as I am not only new to crocheting but also to Canada, where do I find the gigantic crochet needle required? Thanks for the brilliant tutorial, I can post my address so you can send those shoes to me too! :-)

    1. Allison

      August 12, 2013 at 6:28 PM

      Hey, Gaby! I added links to the bottom of the post with direct links to learn how to chain and double crochet. Once you get the hang of it, it’s super easy!
      I looked around I’m not sure what stores you have around you, but around here they’re carried at craft stores, fabric stores and Wal-Mart. You can also find them online at Amazon here but I’m not sure if they ship to Canada. I did find several options on Ebay Canada, though!

  • Gaby Privett

    August 12, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    Thanks Alison, that’s great. However, I don’t seem to be able to find the links to page where I can learn how to chain and double crochet….I’m probably having ( yet another!!) blonde moment.

  • Gaby Privett

    August 12, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    Okay, forget my previous email, I just found it. Doh, me….lol.

    1. Allison

      August 12, 2013 at 7:42 PM

      Ha! It’s no problem at all. Good luck!

  • Polly

    October 6, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    I love your rag rug. I haven’t crocheted in years but I think I will buy one of those large hooks and give it a try. Thanks for blogging.

    1. Allison

      October 6, 2013 at 7:27 PM

      You are too sweet. Thanks for commenting and best of luck with your new (and fabulous) rag rug!

  • Alayne

    November 30, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    Hi I crochet blankets but have never done this. I have followed the directions but mine isn’t laying flat. The more I do the worse it gets. I’ve taken it out 2 times now. I must be missing something. Please help.

    1. Allison

      December 1, 2013 at 12:05 AM

      My guess is you crochet pretty tightly, is that right? A loose stitch works best. Let me know if that fixes you up.

      1. Alayne

        December 2, 2013 at 9:27 PM

        Thank u so much. I did that and it’s turned out great. Thanks again.

  • shelley

    December 3, 2013 at 11:38 PM

    Love your rug!!! I cut some material up years ago to try this. I have moved twice since and am still packing it around. You have inspired me!! I was confused with the book I bought so I have been putting it off. I am going to try this using your directions!!!! Thank-you for the inspiration!!! Shelley

    1. Allison

      December 4, 2013 at 10:04 AM

      I tend to get really confused by crochet directions, too! I guess that’s why I sort of make up my own way to share the how to. Glad to know that I’m not the only one who isn’t totally into the traditional crochet directions!

  • Joanne from GA

    October 15, 2014 at 3:16 PM

    I stumbled upon this site quite by chance! I was looking for an easy crocheted rug so I could use up my gigantic ball o’ bed sheets. I found mine at a local rummage sale for about $1. Thanks for the great instructions! Love your shoes and your kitty-cat!

  • Christi

    August 9, 2015 at 3:54 PM

    I found you from a link on IG by jennifermoonquilts. I was wondering if you think this would work with old tshirts?

    1. Allison Murray

      August 9, 2015 at 4:18 PM

      Absolutely! Let me know how it turnso ut!

      1. Christi

        August 10, 2015 at 12:55 AM

        Thanks! It’s probably a longer term project, but I’ll let you know!

  • Angela Geiseman

    October 9, 2016 at 10:35 PM

    How heavy are these rugs when wet. I am concerned that they will be to heavy for the washing machine.

  • Christine

    November 13, 2016 at 1:28 AM

    In order to avoid the fraying a tool that makes binding out of strips of fabric can be bought at a quilting store. It will take longer but may result in a longer lasting rug.

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