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!

Quote: Abraham Lincoln and Silence

Go Team!

Recently, I’ve become a part of the Fashion:Remix Team on Etsy. We’re small, but we are slowly growing in mass. Our goal: to promote quality up-cycled, refashioned clothing made from eco-friendly, recycled materials. Not only do we want to promote our work, but I also believe that it will be helpful to have a community who is committed to this idea coming together to get others interested in doing so.

So, if you are interested in joining, check out our profile on Etsy at this link:
http://team.etsy.com/viewteam.php?id=752

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So enough business, on to the Quote of the Week, my first of its kind. I would like to include a quote that strikes me throughout the week, and share it with you. Hopefully you will share your thoughts as well!

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” Abraham Lincoln

“I am rather inclined to silence, and whether that be wise or not, it is at least more unusual nowadays to find a man who can hold his tongue than to find one who cannot.” Abraham Lincoln, February 14, 1861

I found the first quote by our President Abraham Lincoln on the tag of my Good Earth tea this morning (decaf, I might add). I looked at it for a second, and nodded, saying “yeah, of course he knows what he’s saying, he’s Lincoln.” I mean, he emancipated the slaves and all that, or at least, that is how the story goes.

Cue cool old blurry picture of Lincoln. Yup, he looks just like I always imagined. What a ridiculously tall hat… but what a very cool dude.

However, after a second thought about the quote I said to myself, “Waaaaait… No! I don’t agree at all.” This second thought prompted me to research a few more of his quotes, where I uncovered the second quote. Lincoln was a man of many words, but his preference, as indicated by the quote above, seems to be silence. And so, my question is, is silence always golden? Should one hold their toungue in order to stop themselves from saying the wrong thing, or should they forget about the consequences of their words and say what is on their mind?

There seems to be two schools of thought pertaining to silence. The first was “Shhhh!” As a child was taught to hush, baby, don’t say a word, and to use my inside voice, and to speak when I was spoken to. Well, maybe not in those words, and maybe things are changing today, but I believe that generally speaking adults teach children to keep their words to themselves unless the house is on fire.

Things become more subtle as we get older. We are told to speak up in class, told that the squeaky wheel gets the oil. Through high school and college, things become even more complex as we navigate society and must figure out when it is appropriate to speak and when it is best to hold our tongue. Sometimes we become tired of trying to figure out whether others around us truly want to hear what we have to say, or are just asking so that they can offer their position on the subject.

I can recall a college classmate who often did this to her friends- take over the conversation. And, here, I believe, is where Lincoln’s point is true. Not that she was foolish, far from, she had many interesting things to share, but she did seem foolish when she did not offer the room for others to also offer their thoughts.

However, I am grateful for the professors who taught me that one must put whatever is on their mind on the table, even if they think it is “wrong” because you often learn through failure. I know that I personally learn a lot from my failure to do things well, although it is only because I have had people willing to help me get better at what I do.

Without constructive criticism and my own humility to learn and change from my mistakes, Lincoln is right. But I sincerely hope that Licoln’s way is the norm in today’s society. I hope that the people around me are both open to criticism and willing to tell me when I am wrong.

So, the moral is, Lincoln, you didn’t have the whole story. What do you think, people of the blog-o-sphere?

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