Making a Rag Rug from Scraps
by Jill Nott
When I posted a photograph of a miniature rag rug in the DHP&P carpets album a while back, several people said they would like to make one for their dolls houses. It’s over 20 years since I made it so I made another one to help me remember how I did it first time round! I’m sure there are other methods but I’ll try to describe how I made mine, using scraps.
- Hessian, Aida or similar fabric for the base (I used an even holed plastic mat for this demonstration but I think fabric gave a better result)
- Fabric cut into 2” long, very narrow strips
- A tiny crochet hook or wire bent into a tiny hook
When you’ve decided what size rug you want to make, mark out the edges on the base fabric. Poke the crochet hook through from the back to the front. Take two fabric strips, hook them in the middle with the crochet hook and pull through till you have a small loop on the back of the work. (You can use a cocktail stick or tiny paintbrush to help if needed) Continue working evenly along the row until the desired length is reached. The rags at the front will look far too long at this stage but will be cut to length later. I found it much easier to work with the longer length as it’s difficult not to pull shorter lengths right through as photo 2 shows.
Continue with the next and subsequent rows until the whole marked area is complete:
Next trim off the base fabric excess:
On my first rug I left enough fabric round the edge to hem under and attach to a backing felt but I found this made the rug too bulky and I eventually took off the backing and trimmed the edges back.
Finally hold the rug over your finger and trim back the excess rag lengths:
It’s better to do this little by little to make sure you don’t take away too much. You can place the rug under heavy books for a few days to further flatten it if necessary.
These two pictures show my original rug and its underside. It was worked on hessian and took more “stitches” than the wider holed canvas.