t-shirt shag rug tutorial

Here it is, finally! My shag rug is complete. I love how it feels under my feet, and if it starts to look a little flat, I pick it up, shake it, and it fluffs right back up! 
It took some time but I finished it and I’m glad I decided to make one. You can too, especially if you like to cut up t-shirts but never know what to do with the scraps afterwards. The scraps from my scarves are perfect candidates for making a rug. And this craft is very easy, even children can learn how to thread the rug with some assistance with cutting the scraps.
Feel free to message me with any questions. The idea and instructions for this rug came from the book Generation T, which is a great book to purchase if you like making eco-friendly t-shirt clothing and crafts. Please visit their website and check out their multitude of fantastic ideas.
How to Make a T-shirt Shag Rug

Supplies: 1 XL t-shirt, cloth scissors, and lots of small t-shirt scraps
the base with a few scraps threaded through
1. Make the base.
For the base of the rug, lay the X-L t-shirt flat and cut a large rectangle out of the shirt, as large as you would like the size of your rug to be. It’s possible to make a larger rug by sewing more t-shirts together- two to make a runner, four to make a large square, etc. You could also cut it into a circle shape for a circular rug.
a rotary board makes cutting easier
perfect sized scraps!
2. Make scraps.
If you are me, you have scraps of t-shirts all over your apartment. If you aren’t, you may need to go to the thrift store and purchase a lot of t-shirts to make into scraps. I would go for 10-12 to start, although I’m not positive exactly how many you will need. Go for more rather than less, and choose complimentary colors, or try to purchase t-shirts that are the same color for a monotone rug. 
Cut these t-shirts into strips that are approximately 5-6’’ long and 1-1 ½’’ wide. You can use scissors, or if you are lucky, a rotary cutter and board, which helps make things faster. Some t-shirt fabrics stretch and so you can pull them to make them longer. Others don’t.  Once you cut a few t-shirts you’ll begin to see what works. Also, don’t be afraid to use imperfect scraps-scraps that have odd edges, have a serged edge on them, are ruffly, etc. They add to the shaggy look of your rug.
holes before and after scraps are threaded through 
3. Cut holes into the base.
Starting 1’’ from the edge of the base, carefully poke or snip horizontal and vertical rows of small holes about 1/2 ’’ to 2/3’’ inches apart. It will look like a big Lite-Brite board without the little pegs! You can also do this as you go along while putting the rug together, as I did, or just go ahead and make all of the holes before you start to thread the scraps into the rug. If you want perfect rows, you can mark the holes first using a ruler to mark the spots. 
see how the scraps share each hole? 
4. Start threading scraps into the base.
Beginning at one corner, thread a strip down through the first hole and back up through the second. Take a second scrap and thread it through the second hole (the same hole you just pulled the first scrap up through) so that it shares this hole with the first scrap, and then pull it up through the third hole.
Continue doing this for a very, very long time… Do this while watching movies, television, when you have a really short moment of time and you don’t know what to do. It will take time, but it will be finished!
the back and top side of the rug- pretty on both sides!

5. Give your rug a haircut.
When you are finished, you can give your rag a little haircut to even out any longer scraps that look off, or you can leave your rug uneven for a shaggier look. But remember, these scraps don’t grow back!

The top side of the rug looks great, but so does the bottom side. Flip the rug over for a new look and feel! If a scrap falls out or gets uneven, simply put it back in or pull it until it is even. It’s very easy to maintain. If you would like to wash it, please use a lingerie bag and run it in a delicate cycle as it could fall apart in the wash. However, the fabric is not delicate itself, so if something were to happen, it can be cleaned.

Send me pictures of your own rugs, and I’ll post them here. Or, make one for a Christmas present this year. It’s not too early to start!

Join the Sierra Club No Impact Challenge!

I happened to watch No Impact Man about a month ago and still am inspired by his year-long purge of all things unfriendly to the earth. So, first things first, here is a little reminder to go and watch No Impact Man!

Second, he has now posted a challenge, in conjunction with the Sierra Club, for you all to try going no-impact for ONE WEEK! Hey, if Colin and his wife and small child (who, by the way, are dragged into the project more by default than choice and who manage everything very incredibly, I might add) can do it, then so can we!

This starts Aug. 29th, so sign up soon! The link is here- Sierra Club No Impact Week

Once you sign up with your name and email address, they will send you information through email that you need to complete the challenge. The email contains a great 17-page booklet with daily challenges aiming to slowly introduce no-impact living. It’s not meant to have you go cold turkey, but instead begin introducing new ideas everyday that will help you to reduce your impact.

For example, the challenge in day one focuses on our consumption. Colin suggests watching “The Story of Stuff” to get you motivated for a day of not purchasing… well, stuff. I’ve watched this before, but I’ll be watching this little ditty again and again as a reminder. The challenge for the day includes gathering every piece of garbage that you throw away in one day into one garbage bag. This part, I think, should be very telling from the get-go! It also asks you to make a list of things that you need for the day, and to then begin getting rid of things from that list that you could go without for the day. Little by little, bit by bit, Colin simply asks us to think before we buy.

Courtsey of Sam Javanrouh

I’m superbly excited to participate, and will be updating on my blog as I go along. I hope to also include my fiance in the challenge to make it more of a household event. I can’t wait to tell you what I’ve learned and how I’ve changed and whether or not Colin’s tips were helpful.

Keep in touch, this should be fun!

-Check out petitedancer25.etsy.com to purchase any of my items!-