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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

DIY T-Shirt Rug {You're Gonna Love It}

So I don't want to sound conceited but.... This rug is ridiculously awesome! Like who wouldn't want this in their house!? Andddd it's made entirely out of old shirts! Pretty sweet yeah?! {Lie. I did also use someee fabric scraps... but still recycling!}

Ok, I'm going to share my secrets with you! BUT... I will warn you first! It did take me three months to do this. THREE! ...Yeah I might have put it off every so often... and I might have been a little lazy about it... Wait actually both are extremely true... like seriously... I think my sister would have killed me if I didn't get this project out of our living room in the next five seconds! But I had every right! It's a veryyy tedious and time consuming {Obviously} project. But just look at it! It's beautiful!

{DIY T-Shirt Rug}

Can I just say that I am totally excited to write this blog! A) Because it means I'm finally done! And B) because this rug makes me so happy and I just want to share it with the world! {Hope you like pictures! Becaue this blog has a lot of them!}

First of all, you are going to need a lot of shirts! {The more T-shirty, the better!} I wanted it to be very colorful as you can tell! So that made it easy to collect a bunch of random colors!

{I totally raided bags of my mom's old clothes that I found in the garage! So I had a lot of color options, which made it easy to pick the colors I wanted! I also asked my other family members if they had any clothes they were planning on getting rid of, because frankly... I don't have many clothes that I want to give up!!}

Cut the shirts into strips, 3 to 4 inches long and about a 1/2 inch to an inch wide. Whatever you want, its not a huge deal. {My strips were all over the place! Some were fat and short some long and skinny... I think it just adds to the crazy!
{The fabric will come later. A tip: do not underestimate the number of strips you need!!! YOU NEED A LOT! I was cutting more strips all throughout this project.}

Get a larger shirt {or any kind of thicker material} and cut out the shape and size you want your rug. {I used the back of an extra large shirt}I did a rectangle but you can seriously do whatever! I think a circle one would be pretty cool! After you have it all cut out, start cutting little slits in a line. Leave and inch space around the boarder! {I just pinched the fabric with the scissors and it made the perfect size slits}
{You don’t have to cut the whole thing before you start adding the strips. I cut as I went because the rows that I finished were a good guide for the rows that I was doing next. It doesn’t have to be perfect!!!}

{Adding the strips}
To shove the strips into the slits I used a letter opener, I suggest you have something pointy like that to help you get them through. {I used a thicker plastic needle at the beginnig and that was good too, but what I liked about the letter opener was that if the hole was too small I could use it to make the hole a little bit bigger}
You will be working mostly from the back. Go the direction that the slits are horizontal {I know I said it doesn't have to be perfect... But it would make your life easier if these lines were lined up}
Push the strip through the slit, then push the other end through the slit next or above depending on how you are looking at it.     
then push the other end through the slit next or above depending on how you are looking at it.
Flip it over and pull the strips tight {The more you do the harder it is to find the stip you are working on!} 

The Front will look like this  

 And the back like this

Before you know it your rug will be exploding with craziness like this! 

Three Months Later….

 Almost there!!!


I love how the back looks too!

This part is optional.. I just thought the rug would be bunching up and would get messed up a lot.. soooo.. I got this plastic grid mat to put on the bottom to make it a little more sturdier.

The holes were itty-bitty so I cut them bigger

Then I made it stay by threading some extra strips through the mat and the rug

I am a little worried about it not staying on as good as I want, it was pretty sturdy... But I don't know... I might add some more after awhile... I was just soooo ready to be done that I stopped there!
I finally just hot glued the mat to the rug because the strips weren't holing it together. Also the hot glue gave it a little grip so it stays in place on the hard floor better.

Completely finished! {The best feeling in the world!!}

Remember how I said I used some fabric strips? Well... After starting my rug I started working on my ruffled shower curtain and I had leftover fabric so I cut it up and added it to my rug! Genius... I know(:

SEE! They go together so well! Life is just wonderful!!

All the hard work was so worth it, because if you couldn't tell.. I love this rug! A few months ago... That was definitely NOT the case... But now I'm glad I stuck through it! {I could totally use this rug as an object lesson someday... Ha I can see my future kids sayin.. "Ohhh.. Mannn... Mom's telling the rug story again..." I crack myself up!}

{And that was for the mat!!}

{Kelsey: Win.}

Oh my goodness! I was so distracted that I didn't even mention Pinterest! My bad...

 ...Oh hey guys.. I got this idea from Pinterest......


  1. Replies
    1. I probably used 14 shirts plus a yard or two of some old fabric I had, don't underestimate how much material you'll need!

  2. I came here to see how to make this awesome rug, but your shower curtain is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!! You are very talented. Thanks for the inspiration :)

  3. You don't knot the strips after pushing them through the slots? Also would a thinner towel work as the base?

    1. No don't knot because you want the two separate strands per strip to make it more full. They do a good job of staying in the base. Yeah a towel would be a perfect base!