Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Remarkable Recycled Rag Rugs

As some of you may know I am an estate sale junkie, as well as an avid crocheter. A few months ago I found a way to combine the two ... rag rugs!

Every estate sale I go to has a bed with stacks, and stacks of old sheets. I'm not interested in putting someone's old sheets on my bed, but on the floor is another story. Vintage sheets have amazing patterns, especially, if like me, you are going for a retro look. So I began looking for sheets that would work in my new house. I new I wanted something pink for my pink master bathroom, but before I found sheets for that, I found a great set for practicing. On one of our random weekends of estate saleing Nikki, Matt, Mike, and I went to a sale in Highlands Ranch. For those who don't know, Highlands Ranch is not an old neighborhood, in fact it's typically pretty "cookie cutter", but we found a gem! 1st up we walk up the driveway and find a free pile! In that pile were some cute sheets that I knew I had to have, but I knew that no one else would want them, so we kept walking. Next up, inside we found some great stuff too. In fact, this was the sale where I found my hutch and kitchen table. Matt and Nikki also picked up some good stuff, including a box of old National Geographic slides, and a couple of classic books (I will add pictures as soon as I receive them!)

Chairs not included

Anyway, enough drooling over my hutch. After arranging to come back for the hutch and table later, I grabbed my free sheets, and we headed out. I had seen several examples of rag rugs, like this one,, on Pinterest, so when I got home, I Google'd "rag rug crochet pattern", and found a couple patterns that seemed easy enough. 

I don't write patterns, so instead here are some tips I've come up with:

Wash your sheets (duh!)

Most rag rug instructions say to cut the fabric (sheet, tshirt, whatever) into strips, and then to knot them. I found that it was much easier, and weirdly relaxing, to spend the evening cutting the sheets into one continuous strip, and winding it into a ball. Even when you run out of one sheet, there is no need to knot it to the next one, since the ends are frayed, the ends blend in!

I would recommend trying to find a queen/king sheet set. Once you're done cutting, you are going to have a GIANT sheet ball, but trust me it takes a lot to make one of these rugs.

OK, so you're all set, so get crocheting! Keep in mind that your rugs are going to have frayed edges, but I think it adds to the whole vintage look. I have thrown both of my rugs in the wash since finishing them, and neither have fallen apart, or overly frayed. Also, as we crocheters know, a lot of times a round pattern does not lay flat, however, I have found that once you put the rug on the ground and start using it, it will flatten out.

I eventually did find the perfect pink sheets for my bathroom, and here are the rugs that I have made thus far:

I was able to make both of these with a queen sheet set, and the matching pillowcases (estate sale find) 
This is the practice rug, aren't the flower colors great?! This one is also a queen sheet set, but it is bigger than the round rug above.
Taylor, hope this helps, and thanks for this post's inspiration! :)

P.S.  Some of you may be aware, but I left my camera at Nikki's house this weekend, and I have a ton to blog about! So I hope to have another post up this weekend. Spoiler alert!!! The tentative title is "Kitties and Kegorators"

1 comment:

  1. these are pretty cool! i love the idea of recycling stuff. my mom had a sheet 'fetish', most in queen size which no longer fit the newer queen size mattresses. i need to strip them and give them to someone who can crochet with fabric (not me with my 'sissy' wrists)
    jd in st louis