Tips and Tricks: DIY Rag Rug

Hello you Remodelaholic readers! Colleen here, DIYer behind Lemon Thistle. Today I’m excited to be back, sharing all the tips and tricks I’ve picked up from making my very first rag rug. Rugs can be crazy expensive, but they’re so wonderful to have to cozy up a space, add to your decor, and save your feet when you’re standing in one place for a long time.

Tips and Tricks for making a DIY rag rug

Earlier this year, we made a wall mounted art station for our kiddos and my daughter spends SO much time there. She doesn’t seem to mind the standing, but I thought it would be nice for her to have a cushy rug to stand on while she makes her artwork. Since this is a smaller rug, I thought it was the perfect time to try something new… like a rag rug!

Tips and Tricks for making a DIY rag rug

I’ve spotted rag rugs all over Pinterest and they’re so cushy looking but there is 1 million ways to make them. I did a bunch of reading and decided on what I thought would be the very easiest way. I’m nothing if not lazy in my DIY. So today I want to share with you all the tips I’ve picked up along the way so if you’re deciding whether or not to give one a try, you can have all the information!Tips and Tricks for making a DIY rag rug

Let me start by saying… this is an easy project but it’s as time consuming as it gets. You can prepare yourself for many TV marathons… even to get a rug this size. If you want to do an 8×10 rug… I’d try something else, honestly. But for a little rug like this? I don’t know that you can make a cushier rug!

How to Make an Easy Rag Rug

Read below for Colleen’s tips, and watch the video below or on the Remodelaholic YouTube channel, and please subscribe so you’ll see all our future videos, too! 

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What you’ll need

For my rug, I used a rubber rug mat (the grippy kind that keep rugs from sliding around) and mostly jersey knit fabric. I had read about mommas making these rugs out of old shirts and thought I wouldn’t need too much fabric… but I was wrong. It takes a LOT of fabric and is pretty heavy when it’s all done. I think you could definitely make it thinner, but that takes away from how cushy it is and that’s the BEST PART.

Tips and Tricks for making a DIY rag rug

Choosing the right fabric

The biggest thing to keep in mind when choosing fabric is fraying. I chose jersey because knit just rolls, it doesn’t fray. I did use an old sheet for the bits of white in there and wouldn’t recommend doing a whole rug with cotton like that BUT it works for a bit of an accent colour.

Tips and Tricks for making a DIY rag rug

Cutting the fabric

I went out and bought a rotary cutter because of this project! I cut most of the fabric by hand and seriously… that’s no fun! Since jersey is stretchy it’s totally a pain to cut with scissors.

My cuts with scissors were SO messy because of the stretching and trying to do that without a second set of hands. By the time I bought a rotary cutter, I’d realized that cuts for this project don’t need to be perfect… or even close to it. You won’t even notice once it’s in the rug! Depending how thick your fabric is, you’ll want to cut them different widths. The jersey ended up being about an inch and a half, but each fabric I tried I cut a bit different (the ribbed jersey was only 1″). The size just depends on what easily pulls through your backing without just falling back out. If you cut them too thin, you’ll be stuck knotting them in place.

I then cut the strips of fabric to about 5″ long.

Tips and Tricks for making a DIY rag rug

Tips and Tricks for making a DIY rag rug


Start by hitting play on a Netflix series. Seriously… you’ll be sitting here a while.

I found that using tweezers was the most efficient way for me to do this. You could totally poke the fabric through with a pen (as recommended by one Pinterest user), push it through with your fingers (I found this to be such a pain!) or use a rug hook if you had one the right size. I would grab one end of my fabric strip with the tweezers, poke it through the other side, then do the same with the other end, using my other hand underneath the rug to pull them tight.

I put a piece through each and every hole. This made it extra plush. I decided to thin it out a little bit (skipping one hole every 5 or so) so it wasn’t so thick and the fabric stretched a bit farther. If I were to make another rag rug, I might skip even more to help it go quicker.

Tips and Tricks for making a DIY rag rug

So there’s my tips for you! I am really happy with how this turned out- especially how cushy it is. The price tag (using fabric scraps or clearance fabric) isn’t bad either! That said… it is very time consuming. I am an impatient crafter. Like… one of the most impatient crafters of all time. So I don’t know that I’ll be taking on another rag rug anytime soon! Unless you have an amazing Netflix series suggestion I haven’t tried yet 😉

Tips and Tricks for making a DIY rag rug

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I'm the DIY and lifestyle blogger behind Lemon Thistle: home to DIY, hand lettering, home décor and design. I’m a mom to three kids under three, I love to entertain, and my awesome hubby and I are working our way through major renovations on our new home. I believe you can have a beautiful life, home, and party without spending a lot.

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  1. Hi Cassidy,

    This is really cool and I’m excited to try it. Can you tell me where I can find the rubber netting?