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!

  222 comments for “t-shirt shag rug tutorial

  1. molly's mom
    October 13, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Love the rug…….now just come home and teach me

    • Lisa Jeffrey
      August 12, 2014 at 9:40 am

      I like that comment! Where’s the like button?!

    • shawnee
      December 10, 2014 at 4:43 am

      Hahahahaaa… yes, where is the “like” button!
      Great / easy breezy rug. I think I will clean out the t-shirt drawer and get started this winter! :)

  2. Chris
    November 28, 2011 at 3:08 am

    This is great! I have a bunch of t-shirts with logos on them that I can exactly Goodwill/donate (they were from my college program/uniform) and this is the perfect use for them!

  3. Sweet Posy Dreams
    November 28, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Love this idea!

    Lynette – Sweet Posy Dreams

  4. Jess
    November 28, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    So you dont have to tie them or anything? This is awesome!!!!

    • Gloria Orozco
      September 8, 2012 at 10:06 pm

      I don’t understand are the strips linked together like a chain?

      • autumn
        July 14, 2014 at 7:15 am

        no they are put through the holes in the t shirt, like weaving but only one weave for each t shirt strip lol

  5. Debi Clark
    November 30, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    Excellent! I've been looking for DIY rug for our reading area – this is going to be perfect! I have been saving stained clothes (4 kids=stained clothes) for such a project! If I don't get to it before Christmas, I will after. Thx!

  6. Ruby Reveles
    December 2, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Exactly what I was thinking Jess… how do the scraps not fall out? They must be tied, right??? Love this idea. I have a huge stack of tshirts to use too!

    • Wendie
      January 18, 2014 at 5:10 pm

      Did anyone find out how they don’t come out when washing? Or can they be tied?

      • autumn
        July 14, 2014 at 7:16 am

        you could probably sew them. or dont wash it haha. try hand washing?

      • Lisa Jeffrey
        August 12, 2014 at 9:41 am

        Wash on delicate cycle in a lingerie bag.

  7. Kimby
    December 4, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    I'm worried the scraps would fall out too. Do you attach them to the base somehow?

  8. cuddlesmum
    December 4, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Blimey, you must have read my mind, I've collected some old fleece blankets and started cutting the strips but I couldn't find a cheap rug backing, now I know I can just use some old t-shirts or even maybe even another large piece of fleece blanket. Can't wait to get started now, thanks xx

    • Vickie Lermon
      April 3, 2013 at 7:14 pm

      this will make a perfect rug slash blankit my new grandson to play on

    • Lori M
      June 5, 2014 at 6:15 pm

      I found a latch hook rug from Hobby Lobby for $3.99 and that works great. I am working on it now and I havent tied the strips. My thoughts on was will be with a mild scrub brush by pushing them all in in direction (say to the right and carefully brushing across a couple of times) and then reverse that and do the same to the left. Hang to dry. Good luck.

      • Donna
        November 30, 2014 at 7:50 pm

        Lori are you done with your tshirt rug? I want to make one too…but I’m totally creativity challenged hahaha.
        Please send me an email showing it, & with some easier instructions haha.


      • June 17, 2015 at 9:08 pm

        I’m a ninja

  9. Karen
    December 5, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    I can't wait to try this! I'm going to use old sheets my MIL gave me. If you cut a little tear you can rip through the rest of the sheet. It gives a more "shabby chic" feel to the scraps because there are are frays on the edges. Wish me luck!

    • Lisa Jeffrey
      August 12, 2014 at 9:42 am

      How did your sheet rug turn out?

  10. Amy E Thompson
    December 8, 2011 at 4:06 am

    Very cool!

  11. LilRedJo
    December 8, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Found via Pinterest.

  12. Luann
    December 8, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    I am making one of these rugs right now. After I finish each row I am putting just a small amount of washable fabric glue under the back of the woven strip. No more worries about them falling out!

  13. Meagan Hughes
    December 9, 2011 at 1:56 am

    These are awesome! I'm making one for a photography prop =) Thanks for sharing!

  14. Barbara
    December 10, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    Do you think this could be washed or fluffed in the dryer to remove dirt? Although it's upcycling, I'd hate to go to all this effort if it can't be easily cleaned.

    • Brenda
      November 30, 2013 at 3:33 pm

      She did mention using a lingerie bag to wash it. Seems easy enough.

  15. Sarah Lipp
    December 12, 2011 at 3:44 am

    Why on earth would you use that beautiful Pink Floyd shirt as your base!? Best band ever!!

    • Amy
      August 20, 2012 at 2:22 pm

      I thought the same exact thing!!! Hahaha, I have one of these rugs…I got at an antique mall and it is my favorite rug ever, it is round, however the base of it is crocheted pantyhose instead of a classic Pink Floyd tshirt!!!

    • Ms Pixie
      September 16, 2012 at 3:35 am

      That’s the first thing I thought when I saw the first picture, lol. Quite a neat idea, though. Must try it!

    • Beth
      September 22, 2012 at 5:56 pm

      Thats exactly what I was thinking…lol

    • Dawn
      February 15, 2013 at 4:14 pm

      I totally agree!! I would never cut up a Pink Floyd shirt, this is a shirt you wear til it “retires” to the previously loved, keep forever, holds memories kind of tee-shirt…LOL

      • Judy
        August 31, 2014 at 6:05 am

        Use that Pink Floyd T-shirt for a T-shirt quilt. Gather T-shirts you can’t quite part with or cut into strips. For a quilt, you use the fronts only. Instead of doing all the quilting, provide the batting and backing and take it to a quilt shop and they will know someone who will do the quilting for you, for a price.

    • Mareike
      April 1, 2013 at 10:08 am

      Couldn’t believe my eyes, why the Pink Floyd t-shirt???

    • April 1, 2013 at 7:15 pm

      That’s what I was thinking, too.

    • Veronica M
      July 27, 2014 at 9:24 pm


    • Eve
      February 27, 2015 at 5:42 pm

      Pink Floyd, really? But why? Why hurt a Pink Floyd shirt?

    • Amber
      March 18, 2015 at 4:53 pm

      My thoughts exactly! I gasped when I saw it lol

  16. SugarBooty
    December 13, 2011 at 5:57 am

    I think this is a great idea. For the base, though, I'd probably want to reinforce the pieces and somehow attach it to a rug gripper base, especially if it's used where there are tiles or hardwood flooring.

    • Cyndee Nyquist
      December 29, 2012 at 3:23 pm

      There is a liquid brush on latex you could use. I have used it on rug backs, latch hook rugs, and it works well.

    • brandy
      May 10, 2015 at 6:00 am

      I was thinking using a bath towel…little more Sturdier. Also tying the strips so they don’t fall out. Seems more logical.

  17. Ginny the Sock Monkey
    December 16, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    I think the fabric glue idea is great, although I'm going to try washing mine in a delicate bag when I wash it to help the scraps stay in.

  18. Julie Bagamary
    December 16, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    Wonderful idea and practical too.

  19. Wendi
    December 19, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    You could also run longer strips in and out through the holes, leaving a big loop sticking out, and then cut the loop in half. I'm totally going to do this!

    • Allison112
      October 10, 2012 at 7:37 pm

      Oh, this would make it easy to do an ombre look! Great idea! :)

  20. ktbabeh
    December 21, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Found via pinterest and thank goodness..I absolutely love the way mine turned out and couldn't be happier–thanks for sharing such a great idea! :)

  21. MamaLife609
    December 22, 2011 at 3:25 am

    if you put a gripper bottom on this it would probably stabilize the loops. I wonder if tieing them would make them feel weird under the feet.

    • August 15, 2012 at 10:19 pm

      I was also thinking of putting some kind of backing on so if used on a wood floor or something similar the rug wouldn’t slip. If put in a childrens room on carpet I believe it would be safe.
      Thank you for the idea

    • debra
      September 28, 2012 at 2:02 am

      I was thinking maybe an iron on pellon of some sort on the back

  22. Rhonda
    December 25, 2011 at 6:02 am

    Were there additional scraps tied onto the one pictured at the bottom? The one pictured at the top and also "pinned" looks more "shaggy" & "scruffy" wheras the finished one here seems to look flat and merely weaved? The entire rug at the top looks like the edges of the bottom one…

    • Jenn
      June 23, 2012 at 2:40 pm

      Rhonda – this may have already been answered, but I believe the bottom pic -the “flat and merely weaved?” one is the BACKSIDE of the rug. To shoe you that either side has a nice look to it and a differ feel. :)

    • christy
      July 30, 2012 at 8:35 pm

      that was a picture of the bottom of the rug. she was just showing you could use either side. the fluffy side is on the other side.

  23. Susan Renee Lammers
    December 27, 2011 at 3:37 am

    Wow! I can bearly wait! I am a painter. I wonder if I could draw out a design on a light colored tshirt retangle. Then put in different colors to make a nice sailboat or ocean scene! http://www.ReneeLammers.com

  24. Angee
    December 27, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    @Rhonda – It's the same rug just flipped to show the back side. She mentions in an earlier paragraph you can turn it over for a different look/feel.

  25. Donna
    December 27, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    When you cut the shirt for the base, do you leave it doubled, or do you only use the back of the shirt for the bottom?

  26. Sweet Peas and Bumblebees
    December 28, 2011 at 4:17 am

    LOVE your rug…I'm pinning it right now!


  27. TheCraftBarn
    December 30, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Very neat idea!! I posted a link to this on my blog…thru my pinterest board.
    Jennifer @ The Craft Barn

  28. Amy
    December 31, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Found your lovely rug on Pinterest and I cannot wait to make several! Thank you!

  29. Ginny the Sock Monkey
    December 31, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    @Donna, I only use one layer of t-shirt on the bottom, as it makes it harder to cut through the fabric with two layers. But if you wanted to double it up, I would possibly consider cutting the holes on the base with a rotary cutter! Hope that helps!

    @Angee, yes, it is flipped over. This rug is reversible, which is why I have decided not to back it with any kind of backing. I like the look and feel of both sides.

    @Luann, I've decided against fabric glue as it would make the rug flammable and also not as eco-friendly as the glue is toxic.

    Hope this all helps!

  30. CBW
    February 20, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    That was the first thing I thought when I saw that picture!

  31. LadyRizzo
    February 20, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Im about to make this, right now, with my two year old. WOO!

  32. MLegacy
    February 25, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    Barb, can you tell us how you "tied off" the strips? If you tied off at the base of the scraps, how does that make the back nonslip? Guess I'm not seeing it. I'd like to do this but am concerned about the strips falling out during the wash…and it has to be washable with 2 dogs. Thanks for any help clarifying.

    • Char Brooke
      June 23, 2012 at 3:16 pm

      Did anyone tie strips down? How did it turn out? Like idea of tiring down for washing. Advise please! Any thoughts welcome.

      • Becci
        December 27, 2014 at 3:05 am

        After “weaving” in a row or when finished all together, I would sew down the middle of each piece. That would keep the pieces from coming out. Seems like you could tie it, but I can see where that would make it lumpy and maybe not as comfy on the feet.
        I am amazed at the amount of people who ask questions that are answered in the article.
        I have used the non slip backing only to have it come off in the wash. So, I won’t do that again.
        Someone said they used the regular latch hook rug backing. That too will work great! That is what I have ready to use. I am concerned about washing that material though, because it does tend to come out if washed too often.
        The idea of using an XL shirt seems pretty clever!
        This is a great way to reuse all those stained up, out of style, no longer useful, tees.
        I was looking for the rug I had seen on here earlier this month to see how long to cut my strips, so glad I saw your post. Someone also talked about using fleece scraps….. I am thrilled, I have 3 black trash bags of fleece scraps…. I will definitely use them for rugs or even blankets for the babies to play on.
        You ladies have been a bevie of information for me, I am totally inspired. Thank you!!

  33. spider monkey
    February 26, 2012 at 1:48 am

    Me Too! Can't wait to try this!!!!

  34. Emily @SweetlyScrapped
    February 26, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Wow! I really love this! I made one a really long time ago before Pinterest and the great world of the internet. I tied all the pieces together. While it did come out great it was RIDICULOUSLY heavy. Shaking it wasn't easy, lol. And the thought of throwing it into the washing machine didn't sound great either! Too heavy. So I really like this one. And I am pretty sure that between the hubby and the kids I can find a bunch of tshirts that they don't need 😀 lol

  35. Jeni
    February 26, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Exactly! Pink Floyd was the first thing I noticed! I would have chosen a NKOTB tee instead.

  36. Margaret Murphy Tripp
    February 26, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    I am definitely making this…..TONIGHT. Absolutely love the idea, and with 3 older kids, there are a million discarded t-shirts around here.

  37. Dona
    February 27, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    If you use a grid system, like a counted cross stitch design, I think your idea would work just great. Just draw out what you want, and poke the holes in the t-shirt base on a grid, changing colors as your pattern would indicate. Good idea.

  38. Diane
    March 2, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    I was wondering what to do with my tshirt scraps! I think I found my answer! thanks!

  39. Ginny the Sock Monkey
    March 3, 2012 at 4:30 am

    love the colors!

  40. Ginny the Sock Monkey
    March 3, 2012 at 4:32 am

    Good idea, you can also sew squares of t-shirts together by layering them and then running two stiches (zig zag) along where they overlap to bring it all together. I've made large ones this way!

  41. Ginny the Sock Monkey
    March 3, 2012 at 4:33 am

    Thanks Terri!

  42. Ginny the Sock Monkey
    March 3, 2012 at 4:35 am

    I've double knotted them (tying the two scraps in the same hole together to prevent making the rug smaller). It seems to help hold it together without sewing the rug!

  43. Unknown
    March 15, 2012 at 2:16 am

    my grandma made these with her sewing machine – she would lay the strips in a row – opened up – sew a line down the middle of the strip — then fold that row to the left – lay another strip of scraps down – repeat – very quick – very washable :) – i even inherited a special tool for sewing yarn strips (its a rectangle w/ another rectangle cut out where the needle sets in — it lays on top of the yarn strips – (which are perpendicular to the tool underneath) and holds them flat when you sew a line across them.

    • Chris
      December 24, 2012 at 8:03 pm

      Unknown, I’d love to see more details on how your grandma made her rug, especially after reading about poor Sara’s rug falling apart!

  44. Ginny the Sock Monkey
    March 15, 2012 at 3:21 am

    yay glad you liked it!

  45. Ginny the Sock Monkey
    March 15, 2012 at 3:21 am

    It doesn't feel weird, it actually feels very nice!

  46. Ginny the Sock Monkey
    March 15, 2012 at 3:22 am

    I cut the "tube" in one spot to open it up into a rectangle. So, I use both sides, but with one cut it turns it into a long piece of fabric. Hope that makes sense!

  47. Linda
    March 17, 2012 at 5:40 am

    LOL, First thing I thought too. Lovely rug thou.

  48. annulla
    March 20, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Ginny, I have the same concern but – sorry – I don't understand what you mean about double knotting. And I can't see any knots in your photos. Could you PLEASE publish a photo or two showing how and where you tie the knots?

  49. L
    March 22, 2012 at 2:22 am

    I'm now thinking about modular carpet tiles using your fabulous method!

  50. Keeper of the Memories
    March 25, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    I bought a "rag rug" for $3 at Wal Mart to use as my base and a latch hook to pull the pieces through the rows. I'm using scrap fleece. The rug will be a little heavier, but I have a front loading washing machine that can handle the extra weight. I also thought of purchasing the rubber mats used under throw rugs on hardwood floors as a base. They already have rows of holes and would make the rug less likely to slide across the floor. This is especially important if you have older people or someone not quite steady on their feet that will be walking over the rug.

    • mariestiteler
      August 27, 2012 at 12:49 pm

      I also was going to try the rug backing. Please let us know how you made OUT! WOULD LOVE TO SEE PIC’S!

    • gigi
      November 27, 2014 at 2:19 pm

      Wow that’s so smart with the rag rugs. And I was thinking the same thing about the other how easy that might be. Want to make one VERY much. Thanks for all the good ideas.

  51. Jeni
    March 25, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    Finally finished my rug, but made the slits too big and the t-shirt strips slipped out easily. I pulled it all back together and simply ran a running stitch through each. Looks really great!!!!! Love how it looks with the quilt. Our dog Jack quickly claimed it as his own. 😉

  52. Forgetful Mom
    April 3, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    This is great, my project for when the kiddos go to bed tonight. I have been looking to make a rug for at my kitchen sink. :-) Thank you! Stopping by after finding you via Pinterest.

  53. zencheshire
    April 5, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    This is great! There is also a spray rubber that goes on kind of think that I sprayed onto the bottom so I can use this in the bathroom and not have to worry about the rug slipping. It also helps keep the scraps in place

    • Patti Hinkle
      August 7, 2012 at 9:51 am

      What was the brand of spray rubber you used and where can it be purchased? I need rubber backing as well, did this work well for you keeping scraps intact to rug and is it proving both durable and washable? We have grandkids and a puppy, also I have some mobility issues and need non=slip for sure.

  54. Ginny the Sock Monkey
    April 5, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    All great ideas, thanks!

  55. Ginny the Sock Monkey
    April 5, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    How interesting, I've never heard of that product. Is it toxic? I'm interested in learning more about this spray rubber!

  56. mdp928
    April 7, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Of all the shirts to destroy– Dark Side of the Moon?!

  57. Mandygirl
    April 11, 2012 at 2:11 am

    I've heard of using a thin line of non toxic caulking on the back of the rug in rows and then using a paint stirrer to widen it out. When it dries it is just sticky enough to keep slippery rugs from slipping. I've also heard of doing that on socks for kids…little dots to help with walking toddlers :) I haven't tried it though.

    • corrine gold
      September 13, 2012 at 1:33 pm

      Puffy paint works great

  58. Connie
    April 12, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Some suggestions for anyone who is doing this for the first time…Use lighter color base..maybe like a gray color and use a ruler to mark dots where you will be cutting your holes. It goes a LOT faster that way. Have lots of pieces cut before you start. LOTS. It is very labor intensive so you need to have patience. It think our finished product will be very cool…Thanks for sharing this project with us!

  59. Rhonda
    April 18, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    I love this idea! I will have to give it a try. Thanks so much.

  60. Unknown
    April 21, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Okay I just finished my shagg rug! I used not only old shirts but jeans, pants, and mismatched pillowcases…the pillowcases make a ton of scraps and i wanted to have different textures, so here it is I hope the link works

  61. Ginny the Sock Monkey
    April 23, 2012 at 12:54 am

    I agree, have a day or two where you cut your strips ahead of time and sort them by color in plastic or other bags to have them right by you while you weave.

    Good luck with your rug!

  62. Ginny the Sock Monkey
    April 23, 2012 at 12:55 am


  63. Jackie
    April 28, 2012 at 2:40 am

    I can't get the link to work, would really like to see how it turned out.

  64. Brie
    April 28, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Would this work using a bed sheet to make a large one? (probably cut in half so its not too large) Thinking this could be a long term project for my 10 year old she could do a little each day till its complete

  65. May 18, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    consistent and wise words.http://www.whoisdominio.net

  66. May 26, 2012 at 4:41 pm
  67. Jessi
    June 22, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    How many t-shirts did you use? Or anybody that made this?

    • Emily S
      December 1, 2012 at 3:34 am

      I made this rug and mine turned out great!!! It only took about 6 Large T-shirts. My cat loves it too!!! :)

  68. bas
    June 24, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    I love your works!
    I work with scraps too and your work is really inspiring!

    You can check my work in my blog: http://bas-redesign.blogspot.com/

    Thanks for sharing.


  69. Scarlett
    June 30, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    It should be “complementary” not “complimentary” colors

    • Minty
      July 1, 2013 at 3:10 am

      @Scarlett: It’s “complimentary”. I just looked it up to be sure. :)

  70. Mimi C
    July 1, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    I saw this idea on Pinterest and can’t wait to make my own rug. Thanks for the inspiration and instruction.

  71. Pingback: T-Shirt Shag Rug
  72. Alarana
    July 4, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Perfect birthday present for my sister! It would be a great addition to her dorm room! Also wonderful because there is an awesome consignment store just down the street from me. Thanks! But one question: are the strips glued or knotted on? like if you pull on a string will it come off?

  73. Sara
    July 4, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    Just be warned I spent 8 hours cutting shirts and doing this and then washed it when i was done and it all came apart even with the bag and on delicate (I cried afterwards) so I would recommend not washing it in a mashine unless you tacked the strips down somehow..

    • Chris
      December 24, 2012 at 8:06 pm

      OMG you poor thing! I would cry too. I want to hear more about the one using a sewing machine.

      • Kayla
        December 29, 2012 at 3:37 am

        I made one. but instead of looping i took a little more time and sewed each piece onto the tshirt. I’m currently working on a much bigger one..like for my living room

        • Jenni
          September 29, 2014 at 9:21 am

          I’m interested as to what you used for a base? I want one for my son’s nursery room (11’x7′) and I don’t really want to see like 12 shirts together. We have all wood floors in our house which doesn’t work well for babies learning to crawl or walk!

  74. Sarah
    July 9, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    I love this!! Making one now with white, purple, pink, and a little black.


  75. Ingrid
    July 24, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Huy tuvimos la misma idea aunque yo no fui capaz de hacerla bien voy a intentarlo nuevamente ya con ayuda de este tutorial ….

  76. julie
    July 26, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    u can do this using a pillowcase for the base…or if u want the rug bigger..use old baby blankets like the receiving ones u can find for a dollar at thrift stores or even dollar stores…

  77. christy
    July 30, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Love this. I zoomed in on the finished item. I counted around 950 strips. Does that sound about right to you? WOW. that is alot. lol. guess i need to get busy cutting. lol. I have 3 dogs and there is always dirt and dog hair no matter how much i sweep. When getting into bed (my bed is real high) my feet always feel gritty. This rug would be great at my bed to wipe my feet on. Thanks so much.

  78. Patrice
    August 4, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    So once you thread a scrap through the holes, do you tie them in a knot on the other side? If not, won’t they slip out?

    • Emily S
      December 1, 2012 at 3:36 am

      No, they dont fall out because the way the rug is sitting on the ground, they “cant” slip out.

      • sami
        April 12, 2013 at 2:31 am

        where two different strips meet in the same hole i just tied them together. it works really well 😀

  79. Robin
    August 6, 2012 at 2:35 am

    I love your tutorial but CAN’T BELIEVE YOU DESTROYED AN AWESOME PINK FLOYD “DARK SIDE OF THE MOON” T-SHIRT TO DO IT!!! There, got that out of my system!

  80. August 6, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Hi! Just wanted to let you know that I love this tutorial. I’ve linked to it on my blog I’m planning to make one for myself.

  81. Kimberly
    August 7, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Thanks for the awesome post!! I made my own rug this past week!! here’s a link to the pic.


  82. Tracey Beown
    August 8, 2012 at 12:44 am

    I used the fronts of the shirts for a memory quilt and will use the backs and sleeves for these rugs! Planning to make them with the church ladies at our beach retreat!

  83. Shannon M.
    August 13, 2012 at 5:57 am

    Thank you so much! I’ve been looking for a tutorial to make a shaggy rug. I have bags of my kids old clothes and want to make something that they can keep. I was thinking quilts, someday in the far distant future when I have time to learn, but this is something I can do now and they can use now!

  84. Kyle S
    August 24, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    I love this rug! I have the top half of about 100 tshirts left over from making hula hoop weaved rug, for a Girl Scout project. This is the perfect thing to use these for instead of throwing them out. Thank you, here goes another Girl Scout project!

  85. Chell
    August 28, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    I made a large version of this for our nursery and it came out awesome! I made it to be 3’x5′ with an old beach towel. Here is a pic: http://media-cache-lt0.pinterest.com/upload/262616221992161885_iGGkerSJ_c.jpg

    • Meme
      December 15, 2014 at 9:32 pm

      Webpage not available, it says..
      I like this idea too. I think though what I may do is after I finish it, spray with a spray glue and add the nonslip roll for shelves that looks like a waffle style rubber mat.. this would make it non slip as well as sealing the back. I would think you could use old towels too and it would make a great bath mat, or use the old towel instead of a tshirt for a bigger mat.

  86. Michelle
    September 16, 2012 at 12:15 am

    I’ve been looking for a project I could do that didn’t cost money, thanks for posting this! I’m excited to get busy!

  87. October 28, 2012 at 1:44 am

    I just wanted you to know I featured your t-shirt to yarn tutorial on my recent post about 10 ten ways to re-purpose t-shirts: http://thedomesticatedprincess.blogspot.com/2012/10/from-t-shirt-to-treasure-part-1.html. Thanks1

  88. November 1, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Amazing! Will try to do this!!! Thank a lot for such a lovely inspiration.

  89. Nomi
    November 12, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Instead of using a T shirt for the base, I was wondering, could I use a towel?

    • Debbie
      February 9, 2013 at 7:59 am

      I have been cutting scraps all night. My hands hurt!!!! I am going to use a fleece throw for my base as I want a large rug for my son’s room that I am updating.

  90. November 15, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    I made a rug myself! Also, I shared this tutorial on my website ‘tching, in Dutch. Thank you very much for the great idea!!

  91. November 26, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    I am using this same method and possibly a latch hook base/grid and using old leather pants I cannot sell and want to repurpose!!

  92. Betty Mersand
    November 30, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    Great idea!! I am going to use all of the Miami Heat t-shirts that I have to make a rug for my grandson!!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing !!

  93. aimee
    December 16, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Great for secret Santa.Love it!

  94. December 17, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    I am SO doing this!!!! :) Thanks for the post. 😉

  95. December 25, 2012 at 5:34 am

    This adorable shag rug would be a great Christmas gift! I love it so much I included it in my “25 Homemade Gifts of Christmas” series on my website

    Tampa Bay Freebies
    . Thanks for the idea :)

    • Wendy Fabsits
      January 4, 2013 at 2:55 am

      I can’t wait to try this!!! I always seem to have soooooo many t-shirts and I hate to just toss them out. What an awesome idea!!

  96. Diane Cox
    January 6, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    Love the idea!!! I can not figure out how to sew the strips to the base. I am a very visual person. Thanks for your help.

    • sweetb
      February 22, 2014 at 9:49 pm

      Tie the two strips that go through the same hole to gather, in two knots… No SEW, no strips coming out…

  97. January 12, 2013 at 1:38 am

    This is flipping adorable. Pinning!

  98. Kimberly Higgins
    January 12, 2013 at 2:00 am

    I’m gonna make 16 of these and put them together for a decent sized rug for the kids room. =] thanks.

  99. January 16, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Thanks for the idea. I made a large one out of fabric remnants. I shared your link and my pictures on my blog at http://lizspinspiration.blogspot.com/2013/01/pin-174.html

  100. Anya
    February 4, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Good tutorial, nice product.. but you must be an idiot for destroying that pink floyd t-shirt. My heart aches now.

  101. Genevieve
    February 6, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    I would like to make it heart shaped and put it on my front door for Valentine’s day but I feel it wouldn’t hold its shape. What kind of backing would be strong enough? Would painters canvas be rigid enough? Anyone have thoughts?

  102. Tracy
    March 20, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Jeni had the same idea that I had.. I would pull the two strips of the same colour apart, then just do a simple stitch down the middle and stitch all the ties together for each row. I was soooo sad to see the pink floyd shirt as the base too.. oh, what I could’ve done with that shirt!! ack!

  103. vee
    March 24, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Grandma Nozicka taught me this way back when but she used burlap for the base. easy to use the t-shirt, too. thanks for bringing back a great idea to me… now need to get mine and my family’s old t-shirts dug out and do something with them.

  104. Lin
    April 12, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    I gave up and picked one up at marshalls for $14 lol

  105. Amanda
    April 23, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    must say I love the rug, but I think its a sin you used a Pink Floyd shirt to make it with!

  106. Melissa McCoy
    July 13, 2013 at 7:01 am

    After you thread the t-shirt rags thru the base, Do you tie a knot on the side that will be shag…if not what keeps them from coming out?

  107. Ra
    July 14, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    Thanks for the tutorial- just finished and could not believe how easy it was – very impressed with the end result though!! I’m now planning on making a really big one for the landing, think I might see a few t shirts together to use as the backing or could I get away with using an old bed sheet? I wonder would the bit of stretch in the tshirt help hold all together?

  108. Sue
    September 2, 2013 at 1:08 am

    Loved the rag rug idea. Good way to use the old shirts. My neighbor used to cut 3 inch squares out of the old double-knit fabric and sew the squares onto a firm backing, She would fold the squares into triangles, overlap the points over the one above, until she got to the end of the backing. Then she would sew down thru the row of the triangles. She used these rugs at all her door ways. They were light enought to shake out the dirt and put back down, and they were easy to wash in the machine. She did not dry them in her dryer, but hung them outside and shook them to fluff when she returned them to be used again. Any fabric could be used, like old jeans for a really durable rug. Lots of luck with these ideas.

  109. Arianna
    December 2, 2013 at 1:29 am

    I went through my clothes towards the end of summer and I found a ton of old shirts that I didn’t know what to do with because of stains and what not, but this is the perfect idea! I think I’m going to make one for my mom for Christmas to put in our living room. I’m so excited to start it! (:

  110. GLOWY
    January 2, 2014 at 1:59 am


  111. January 12, 2014 at 5:59 am

    Love this tutorial. I always come back to it when looking for t-shirt projects. Might actually try it soon for our nursery. Thanks!

    • mollykay
      May 31, 2014 at 10:18 pm

      They make great nursery rugs!

  112. Angela
    January 31, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    Thanks for the idea to use a t-shirt for the base, much better than buying the latch hook rug base. I want to make a larger rug so I’m going to cut my rug shape out of a jersey knit flat sheet I got at the thrift store for $1.49. I’m thinking a dab of permanent fabric glue placed on the back of the t-shirt base before I pull the other side of the strip through the next hole so the strip can’t totally pull out in the wash or from every day use. If you are going to use fabric glue make sure it is permanent fabric glue as many of them are temporary. Aleen’s Fabric Fusion is perfect for this. I got a set of two “pens” of this stuff at WalMart, the tip screws off so I could refill it from a bigger (cheaper) bottle. I’m also thinking for a neat finished edge I could leave a 2 inch or so boarder on my base and when I’m done I can fold them over and use the fabric glue to hold them in place.

    My local Salvation Army thrift store has a rack of t-shirts with small stains or corporate logos for 50 cents each,, or just a quarter during their half price sales.

  113. Katrina
    February 19, 2014 at 1:44 am

    this looks great! It’s a good idea and a good craft for when you’re sick it seems to me!

  114. Lois Stoltz
    April 20, 2014 at 1:18 am

    love the rug..a great idea but I am curious about your name…I am married to a Stoltz..could we be related? It is not a common name.

    • mollykay
      May 31, 2014 at 10:18 pm

      I guess it is more common than you think! Met a few Stoltz’s around the country. Means “Strong” in German. Could be related, but who knows?

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  116. Ela
    August 9, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    I love it it is so easy!

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  118. Lanise
    September 28, 2014 at 5:43 am

    Love Love Love this! I was just stewing over how to cover a my daughter’s floor in a creative way. She will love helping me make this!

  119. Deja
    December 7, 2014 at 5:23 am

    This is nice. However, I might consider doing this on a sewing machine and securing the strips to the foundation/base.

  120. edir
    December 8, 2014 at 4:37 am

    Starting this week on a round one, of many shades of blue. Can’t wait.

  121. Jen
    December 24, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    I marked my base with marker before I put the slits in and it made it a lot easier. :)

  122. Janice
    February 27, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    I saw one like this and they tied a knot in the strips after they put them through to keep them in place. I think that would help.

  123. Beckey
    March 10, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    Can you please tell me how the scraps of material stay in. I know the question has been asked above several times, but I do not see the answer. I would think you would tie the the tshirt scraps together but it does not say that where I can see. I love the ideal of using the bath mat from Walmart. I think these would be great gifts for a nursing home for Christmas and with it being a non skid surface make it safe for them. Looking forward to an answer, and thanks for the ideal of such a nice looking project.

  124. Jamie
    March 24, 2015 at 2:47 am

    It has been years now, I would like to know how the rug has held up?

  125. BARBARA
    May 22, 2015 at 11:53 am

    I love the fact that, since you don’t have to knot the strips, the bottom will be relatively smooth and little knots won’t poke the bottom of my oh-so-tender feet! There were so many people commenting on why knots weren’t required – it’s simply because the holes are small and by the time two strips are pulled through them, there’s simply no room for the strips to slip! Thank you for posting a unique method for making a rug that others have created – but with very different methods (tying, hot glue, sewing, etc – too much bother for me!).

  126. Sue
    May 26, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    im feeling pretty stupid right now. I watched the tutorial, but I don’t understand where the shaggy top comes from. Are the woven pieces only short pieces that use only 2 holes in the base? Or do you use longer scraps and weave them the whole length of the base? It appears that one pic is smooth and the other is shaggy. From and back I understand look different, but how is the shaggy front side made shaggy. I think I missed something in the instructions :/

  127. neha surati
    June 25, 2015 at 9:52 am

    I changed the same rug by cutting strips and stitching the scraps in a line across the rug. It is best to use a thicker fabric for base for it to stay in good shape. U may use a jeans cut patches and make any shape

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