Friday, August 26, 2011
Turning a Rag into a Rag Rug
Back in July, in the midst of my unplanned summer vacation, I discovered the rag rug. To me, this rug seemed to be the perfect upcycling project - one that has been around since the 1800s. As with most things these days, I immediately turned to pinterest to get my visual fill of these beautiful and simple rugs.
Knowing that I would need a lot of fabric (and that a lot of fabric can quickly become costly), I headed to Goodwill in search of sheets. Let me just tell you that Goodwill sheets have now become my go to for all things that require fabric. I bought one king size flat sheet, one queen size fitted sheet, and two queen size flat sheets for a total of $8. That's a heck of a lot of fabric, let me tell you!
With three of my four sheets being white, I decided to dye two of them with RIT dye. That was quite an afternoon adventure...feel free to read all about it here.
Armed with my beautifully dyed sheets (unfortunately the aquamarine color turned out more of a baby blue), I began the boring task of cutting them into long strips.
If you look at the lower right-hand corner of the sheet below, you'll notice the notches I cut. Each strip was about an inch wide - I learned the wider strips provide hefty rows on your rug but are difficult to crochet while the skinnier strips result in puny rows but easier crocheting. Inch wide strips seemed to be a nice compromise.
Another tip is to roll your strips into a big ball. It helps to keep everything organized, unknotted, and tidy. To begin crocheting the rug I followed this video from Sugar Bee Crafts. It's super duper easy - basically you are making a chain of the most basic crochet stitch. I assure you you can do it even if you have no crocheting background.
Here is my chain of single stitches. If you want a circular rug, follow the directions in the video regarding twisting it on top of itself. I decided to make an oval rug so I made a longer chain of stitches and then doubled back.
The next 500 steps are all the same - check out Sugar Bee Crafts' other video to see what that stitch looks like:
After several rows of crocheting, here is what the rug looked like. I was very disappointed once I took a step back - it was looking more like a nursery rug rather than a bold rug intended for my kitchen. I blame the aquamarine dye that turned baby blue.
It definitely needed a bolder color to offset the pastel color theme so I found a red and blue striped sheet to try to incorporate.
Interestingly, I needed only three rows of this bolder sheet to offset the pale rug and bring some life into it. It took me three days of crocheting to complete the project and I must tell you that a marathon of Gilmore Girls definitely helps while you sit crocheting circle after circle, row after row. I myself chose season two as the background for my rag rug.
That is how you turn rags into a rag rug. It was much easier than I expected and I think I may be making another one come winter when I'm holed up in the apartment with nothing to do but watch another Gilmore Girl marathon.