Shaggy T-shirt rug

This rug is worth it’s time and effort. As a fairly simple project, it’s great for any skill level and age! An added bonus is a new purpose for any t-shirts that you have just laying around, grown out of, too many stains, etc.

What you need:

The size depends on how large a project you’re up to.
1 -xL tshirt for the base would require around 3-4 xL t-shirts to complete.
My project- using the bedsheet as the base was 4’x2′ , using about 8-10 xL shirts.
For the “shaggy” bits on top:

Any T-shirt or cotton cotton-blend material (If you run out, yardsales and thrift shops are great places to pick up some more on the cheap.)

For the base:

One large T-shirt -or- a (cotton blend) bed sheet you’re willing to cut up.

Getting started:

  • (From a T-shirt) Cut the shirt in half along the seams and at the top of the shoulders and lay flat.
  • Cut just below the sleeves all the way across to make the rectangle. Repeat on the other half of the t-shirt to make a second rug, or sew together for a runner type of rug.
  • (From a bedsheet) Cut the pre-measured size of your choice, as closely to the edge as possible. This way you can make more if you want later on.

Base prep:

  1. Starting with your base, keeping away from the edge all around at 1/2-1 inch and marking every 1/2-3/4 inch with your pen/fabric markers for a visual reference. You should have a border of dots/dashes when you’re finished.
  2. On a flat surface, using your ruler and straight edge; start from the first mark along the short end, cut or make small snips every 1/2 inch in the cloth that go across to the corresponding mark on the opposite side.
  3. Repeat this all the way through your cloth until you reach the other end. When you’re finished you’ll have completed your base, with snips/cuts every .5x.5 inch or 1x.75 inch.

FYI- if you have thicker cloth I’d suggest going with the larger 1x.75″  markings, they’re less likely to rip the holes wider.

Strip prep and threading:

  • Cut the other t-shirts into strips: 6×2″ worked great for the thinner pieces of cloth, while 5×1.5″ worked better with the larger/thicker pieces for me.
  • This will take a while (and maybe a Band-Aid or two on your fingers..)
  • Feel free to use the left over t-shirt scraps from before, if you’re using a t-shirt as your base. You can use all parts of the other t-shirts, collar’s, hems, ruffled sleeves, etc.
  • (The larger pieces worked best on the edges for me.)

Where to begin:

It’s easiest if you begin again in the same direction you cut before; working width-wise along the (soon to be) rug base.

  1. Starting in the corner, your base “pretty” side down: use your pen or fabric markers (with lid on) to push the first end of your strip through the hole and back though the second hole. Adjust the two ends so one isn’t longer than the other.
  2. Using a second piece of cloth, thread it (as the first) through the second hole, and back through the third hole.
  3. Repeat this to the end.
  4. Yay! Next row! Repeat just like the first. As I mentioned before, you may want to utilise those thicker, more quirky pieces on the ends.


If you want added support for your rug, here are a couple suggestions:

  •  Try using craft glue/fabric glue on the “wrong side” just under your cloth pieces, either as you go or after you’ve completed.
  • Tying little knots at the top with the pieces you’ve just pulled through. (Glueing option works here as well.)
  • Laying the rug out flat and using your sewing machine to reinforce the rows one by one lengthwise.


Now get even more creative with those left over T-shirts!
Fun With T-Shirts
Triple Ruffle T-Shirt Dress – Sewing Pattern
Terrific Tees: I Can’t Believe It’s A T-Shirt Quilt!
Fashion T-Shirts: Easy-Sew Projects for Fun Fashion

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