How to Make a Knotted Shag Rug

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Make your own handmade knotted shag rug.
Make your own handmade knotted shag rug. (Image: rug making image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com)

Making knotted shag rugs is one of the easiest crafts that you can master. In fact, many people complete rugs while watching television because not much attention is really needed once you get started. Shag rugs can be craft projects for school children or sophisticated additions to upscale apartments, depending on the design and type of yarn used. Once you master the one simple knot, you can experiment with different fibers for a new artistic look for your rugs.

Things You'll Need

  • Rug canvas
  • Permanent markers
  • Rug yarn
  • Masking tape
  • Latch hook or crochet hook
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Duct tape

Purchase rug canvas in a craft or fabric store. Get a piece that is at least 3 inches longer and wider than you want your finished rug to measure.

Stick masking tape to all edges of the rug canvas to help prevent it from fraying or scratching your arms as you work. Place half the tape strip on the front of the canvas and fold it over so that the other half is on the back, enclosing the edge inside the tape.

Mark your rug design on the canvas with permanent markers. If you have a multicolored design, color in the outlines with colors similar to your yarn color, to make a color guide. If you are making a rug of only one color, simply mark the outlines of your rug on the canvas.

Begin in one corner of your rug. The chosen corner is purely a personal choice, depending on the hand you use for the hook. You will be moving across the canvas until you complete an entire row, then moving down or up to work on the next row in line.

Pull a piece of rug yarn out of the package and fold it in half. Rug yarn comes in pre-cut pieces, to ensure that they are all the same size. Push the hook through the loop that you formed in the center of the yarn piece when you folded it in half.

Push your hook through the canvas at the double strand. Rug canvas consists of a set of double strands going in one direction, and a twisted strand going in the other direction. The double is stronger, so hook through that one. Lay your canvas so the double strands go horizontally. Push the hook down into the first hole in your row, under the double strand, and up through the hole right above it.

Grab the two loose ends of the yarn with your hook. Pull the hook, and the yarn ends, back through under the double strand of canvas and through the yarn loop. Grab the two yarn ends and pull gently to tighten the knot.

Continue knotting pieces of yarn all the way across until you reach the end of the row. Knot more yarn pieces onto the next and subsequent rows until you have made yarn knots in every space on the canvas.

Fold the masking-taped edge of the rug underneath when you have finished hooking all the yarn pieces. Sew the canvas edge to the back of the rug. Cover the sewn edge with duct tape for extra security so it will hold during use.

Tips & Warnings

  • Experiment with different fibers or colors for individual looks. Once you have mastered the technique, you can even make a larger 6-by-9 area rug for your living room floor.

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