How to Make a Recycled T-Shirt Shag Rug

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Recycle an old T-shirt and turn it into a creative shag rug.
Recycle an old T-shirt and turn it into a creative shag rug. (Image: looking for a shirt image by Ramona smiers from Fotolia.com)

Refashion your old unwanted T-shirts into new shag rugs for your floor by cutting them into pieces and using them as rug yarn. One method is to cut the T-shirt into strips and tie them to a longer strip that has been made into a base cord. The cord is then coiled around to form a circle rug. Another method is to create the rug by tying the T-shirt strips to a rug canvas, similar to how a hooked rug is made.

Things You'll Need

  • T-shirts
  • Scissors
  • Hooked rug canvas
  • Sewing needle
  • Sewing thread

Coiled Shag Rug

Cut the T-shirt across the chest right under the arms. Discard the upper portion of the T-shirt and cut open a side seam on the lower half of the T-shirt. Cut the lower half into 1-inch thick strips, starting at the open seam, across the width of the shirt.

Cut two strips that are 1 yard long each. Tie the ends of one strip together to form a circle. Slip the other strip through the circle and tie the ends of that strip together too. Fold the entwined strips so they form a long, thick cord.

Cut 5-inch long strips from the remaining strips. Take a 5-inch strip and form a u-shaped loop. Slip the bottom of the loop under the cord and pull both loose ends over the cord and back down through the loop. The loop should be wrapped around the cord with the loose ends sticking out.

Loop each 5-inch strip around the cord until it is completely covered. Turn each loop so that the loose ends are sticking up all in one direction. Wrap the cord around in a coil to form a circle rug. Stitch the cords of the coil together to keep them from coming apart.

Canvas-backed Shag Rug

Cut the shirt across the chest right under the arms. Discard the upper portion of the shirt and cut open a side seam on the lower half of the shirt.

Cut the lower half into 1-inch thick strips, starting at the open seam, across the width of the shirt. Cut short strips from the long strips that are 5 inches long.

Take a 5-inch strip and form a u-shaped loop. Starting at the corner of the rug canvas, slip the bottom of the loop through one hole in the canvas and out through the next hole. Pull both loose ends of the strip through the loop. Pull the loose ends to tighten the knot.

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