How to Make a T-Shirt Rug

I hate to throw anything away, so you can imagine how happy I was when I realized that you could make yarn out of old t-shirts! I was even happier when I realized you could crochet rugs with t-shirt yarn. This upcycling craft is easy once you get the hang of it. All it takes is old t-shirts, a large crochet hook, a pair of scissors and basic crochet skills. (Don’t worry, I’ve got videos below to help if you can’t crochet.)

What types of t-shirt rugs can you make?

My mom used to make braided rugs out of strips of old clothes. Cutting strips, braiding them and then sewing them all together seemed like too much work for me. So, I started crocheting those strips into rugs. It’s more durable and a great way to put my crocheting addiction to use.

Multi-colored square t-shirt rug.
Photo by DIY Homesteading 101

I have made so many rag rugs made out of t-shirts over the years. You can make round rugs, square rugs or any shape you can come up with. I like to color block my designs, but you can make rugs all one color, if you can find enough tees of one color, that is.

Closeup of crochet rug made from t-shirt scraps.
Photo by DIY Homesteading 101
Photo of a rainbow t-shirt rug.
Photo by DIY Homesteading 101
Pink and red t-shirt rug.
Photo by DIY Homesteading 101

How to Make T-Shirt Yarn

Making t-shirt yarn is super easy. I like to do it while I watch television at night.

Cut around the body of the tee in a circular pattern.
Photo by DIY Homesteading 101
  1. First, cut off the hem at the bottom of the tee. You can throw this part away.
  2. Then, cut your t-shirt in a circle without stopping until you go from the bottom to the armpits. (Take a look at the illustration above for help.) You simply start cutting and go around and around the tee until you get to the armpits. Easy-peasy.
  3. Pull the strip until it curls into itself. This will make the edges curl inward so they aren’t visible when you make your rug.
  4. Tie the ends of your strips from several tees together or you can join them using the technique in the video, below. To do this technique, cut both of the ends at an angle, then cut a hole in both ends. Poke one end into the other’s hole, pull it through and take the end of the strand you pulled through and put it through its own hole. Keep pulling until there’s a tight knot.
  5. Roll the yarn into a ball.
How to Connect Two Pieces of T-shirt Yarn

How to Crochet a T-Shirt Rug

Now you just need to crochet those t-shirt yarn balls into big circles or squares. If you don’t know how to crochet, you can still do this. It is super easy. Take a look at these videos and just use t-shirt yarn and a large crochet hook instead of regular yarn and a small hook. Once you get the hang of the basics, you can get fancier.

The basics

  1. Start with a hook that is size T or larger. I recommend buying a metal or wooden hook since this heavy yarn is hard on your hook, and you need a sturdy one. I broke my plastic hook.
  2. Use a single stitch to make a square or circle. I’ve included some videos at the bottom of this DIY if you’re new to crocheting.
  3. When one yarn ball runs out, join the end of the yarn using the instructions above.
  4. Finish the rug by looping the end of the yarn into a nearby stitch and make a knot.
  5. For a nice finish, you can iron your rug on a medium heat setting, but I just go ahead and throw them on the floor.

How to care for your t-shirt rug

Don’t try to vacuum this rug. Your vacuum will suck it up. To care for your rug, take it outside and beat it with a broom to get the dust out. You can throw it in the washer, too, but don’t put it in the dryer. It’s super heavy when it’s wet and can ruin the drum. Hang it outside in the sun to dry.

JubileeYarn Jumbo Extra Large Giant Bamboo Crochet Hook

JubileeYarn Jumbo Extra Large Giant Bamboo Crochet Hook
How to Single Crochet – Beginner Crochet 

CROCHET: How to crochet a flat circle | Bella Coco


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