Seems I’m hooked on making rag rugs ! I can’t help it, they are just such a great way of upcycling unwanted textiles and clothing.
I’m currently working on two large rag rug projects using old t-shirts, they’ve been so successful that I’ve run out of old t-shirts! (You can read about my big braided t-shirt rug experiment here). I’ll have to wait till a family member or friend has a clean out so I can get started on those again.
The one thing I do have lots of is worn out jeans and chinos!
Mr Man wears though jeans and trousers like crazy. The wear is mostly between the legs and I do patch and mend where I can, but sometimes they are beyond repair and head straight to the rag pile.
Because the worn out area is mainly in the bum, the fabric on legs of Mr Man’s jeans is usually in great condition.
I like to save old jeans because denim is such a strong and versatile fabric. Mainly It up to use in other sewing projects like adding knee patches to jeans, or making coin purses out of pockets.
But the unwanted trouser and jeans pile was getting pretty large so I thought a big upcycled denim project was in order.
I’ve had so many requests for a rectangular coil and crochet rug on this circular rag rug post that it inspired me to create this very eco-friendly rag rug using old jeans and leftover cotton yarn.
This little rag rug is pretty sturdy and makes the perfect bedside mat or even a colourful indoor door mat. You can use this technique to make a rag rug in any size you like.
Of course the bigger your rug the more jeans you’ll need. Just to give you an idea, this little mat is made from 2 pairs of large loose fit men’s jeans. If you are using ladies or skinny jeans you may need more pairs.
Don’t up wearable jeans. The whole idea of up cycling is to use up materials or garments that would normally go into landfill. If you have jeans that are in good wearable condition, consider donating. I only up old clothing if it’s too far gone for charity donations.
Often charities get lots of unwearable items donated to them that they then have to dispose of at great cost. If you don’t have any old jeans piling up in your wardrobe, maybe you can have a chat with the local thrift shop and take some un-sellable holey or stained jeans off their hands for a few dollars.
I’ve used lots of left over cotton yarn scraps in a range of colours for this project. Cotton yarn is idea because quite sturdy and doesn’t stretch like wool or acrylic yarn can. Thinner yarn can be doubled up.
If you don’t have scrap yarn, I’d estimate that you’ll need 2-3 50g balls (but that’s just a guess).
Crocheting over a fabric core is one of my favourite techniques. I’ve used it to make a bigger round scrap fabric rug and some small rainbow baskets.