The mornings are getting colder and in turn so is your bathroom floor. Nothing sends chills down your spine like the idea of crawling out of your cozy bed before dawn and stepping onto icy cold laminate…or hard wood if your digs are classy like that. But who has the money to throw away on overpriced under styled rugs? Box stores offer cookie cutter rugs at a minimum of $10 bucks a pop, but you don’t get much bang for your buck. Well for less than $5 or as cheap as free (you probably have the materials lying around) you can make your own rag rug! Rug making is a family tradition for this dame, my parent’s house, my brother’s house and my house are filled with hand crocheted rugs made by my grandmother. My living room rug is a 9′x6′ 55 year old rug made from unraveled sweaters from church rummage sales. It was the first large rug my grandmother ever made and took her one year of spare time to create. Talk about being Green before it was chic! So this is a nod to my grandma and a pledge to keep the tradition of rug making alive…even if I don’t crochet…I knit…so granny and I would kinda have a jets/sharks relationship when it comes to crafting…but I digress. You won’t need any special skills or granny super powers to create one of these adorable rugs! Just some old T-shirts (hello church rummage sale), a Hula Hoop, and some good old 1940′s gumption!
Alright dolls before you begin here are a couple terms you can throw around when people ask you how you made this fab rug: the warp is the material you string on the hoop, the weft is the material you weave with.
What You’ll Need:
- 2-3 Hours (or a safe place to stash the hoop in between free time, like behind the couch)
- About a dozen T-shirts
- 33-inch hula hoop
- Painters Tape- You know the blue tape you use to protect areas you don’t want painted…this is a great craft tape and you should never be without it!
Step One: Cut it out
For the warp, cut 1-inch-wide loops from the bodies of one or two tees removing the hem and stopping at the sleeves. Ideally these loops should all be the same color; we used two colors for clarity in our photographs. You’ll need a total of 11 loops. For the weft, cut at least 50 loops from the remaining shirts. Save the unused sleeves for the basket project.
Step Two: Wrap it Up
Stretch one loop over the hula hoop, as shown. Here is where I throw my two cents in on this project. They move on with the idealic hope that the loop will magically stay in place…they are delusional or sadists. They are either to dim to realize that in the real world it will fall off or they are out to make you rip every last hair from your head while you desperately try the keep your loops in place as you weave. I recommend pulling out that lovely blue painters tape and taping each loop in place as you go by putting a small strip of it along the outside of the hoop where the little girls hand is in the photo at left…her right hand…her right not your right…yeah right there.
Step Three: Keep Keep Keep It Up!
Repeat, filling in the spaces, until all 11 loops are in place. Make sure to tape each one in place, how this kid is keeping them in place is beyond me. Maybe she’s a professional, I hate when they bring in a DIY ringer. She’s probably been making Hula Hoop Rugs since she was in diapers, her mother is just out of frame…”Smile bigger sweetie, sell that loom darlen’, no cookies unless you get this first try” pageant mom style.
Step Four: Two Become One
Push together two warp loops at the top of the hula hoop, as shown. This creates an odd number of warp spokes in your wheel, which allows the overunder pattern of the weft to alternate with each new row.
Step 5: Tying the Knot
Secure the first weft loop to the center of one of the warp spokes (I like to use the doubled spoke from step 4) by wrapping it around the warp and then looping it back through itself.
Step 6: Only a Couple Steps Weft
Begin weaving the weft over and under the warp spokes, forming a tight spiral. For now, treat both parts of each warp spoke as a single unit, weaving over or under the two together. As you work, push the weft material toward the center of the hoop and keep it just snug. If you pull the weft tight, the rug will develop lumps or bends. When you reach the end of the piece of weft, add a new loop by threading it through the end of the first and back through itself.
When your rug is about 8 inches across, begin treating each warp spoke as two individual strips instead of a single unit, weaving over or under each strand instead of going over or under the doubled spoke. This increases the number of warp spokes, improving the structure of the project. When you get to the two warp spokes that you pushed together at the top of the loom, separate them. Treat one of the spokes as two individual strips, but continue to treat the other as a single spoke. This maintains the odd number of warp spokes.
Step Seven: Time to Warp it Up
When the rug is the size you want, but no closer than 5 inches from the edge of the hula hoop, snip open your weft loop. Tie the ends around a warp spoke, and tuck the ends into the rug.
Cut the warp spokes off the hoop one at a time.
- Tie the ends in pairs, then trim them to make a fringe or tuck them back into the rug.