How to Make a T-Shirt Shag Rug

    by Contributing Writer

    T-shirt shag rugs are easy to make by cutting strips from old t-shirts and tying them onto the canvas used for latch hook rugs. This creates a long, soft pile that feels good underfoot. An all-white rug adds a spa feel to your bathroom. A colorful rug made from outgrown or castoff t-shirts brightens up a bedroom or spot by the door. All you need to purchase is some rug canvas from a craft store. You might even be able to pick up a latch hook kit cheaply at a thrift store and just use the canvas from it.

    Things You'll Need

    • Hooked rug canvas
    • Scissors
    • Rotary cutter and mat (optional)
    • T-shirts

    Determine the size rug you want to make. Cut the rug canvas to the correct size. Rug canvas is available at fabric and craft stores.

    Cut the T-shirts into strips using scissors or a rotary cutter and mat. Cut first across the shirt just under the arms. Then cut across the body in 1-inch wide strips, parallel to the hem. Pull the resulting loops to form tubes -- the t-shirt material will naturally roll into tubes when you do this. Snip the tubes into pieces 4 inches long. Some pieces may also be cut from the top and sleeves of the shirts. The number of pieces you need will be determined by the size rug you are making and how thick you want your shag to be.

    Starting at one corner of rug canvas, tie strips to form a shag. Fold a strip in half and hold the ends together in one hand. With the other hand, slip the loop end down through one square hole and up through the next hole. Pass the ends of strip through the loop and pull to tighten. This is called a lark's head knot.

    Tie a knot in every hole of the canvas for a thick rug with dense shag. You could also use every other hole in a checkerboard fashion for a lighter rug, or if you don't have enough t-shirts to completely fill the canvas.

    • To launder your rug, first shake out the excess dirt. Wash by hand or on delicate cycle and lay flat to dry. Tighten any knots that may have loosened.
    • Make your rug all in one color, or alternate colors for a tweedy look.

    Photo Credits

    • Martin Poole/Photodisc/Getty Images