Wednesday, August 6, 2008

T-shirts and frugal braided rugs

I decided to make a braided rug for my living room out of old t-shirts. The problem is that I'm not really a t-shirt person. Most of my t-shirts are polo style or at least have a collar, and there are very few of even those.

I dug through the rag bag and I asked my youngest daughter to save any she might throw out (that was a long shot - she never throws anything out).

So... I slowly started sorting out some old ones that I have worn and enjoyed over the years. By "years" I mean 8 or 10 - maybe 12. They really are getting a little worn, but they're still good. I mean, they're all in one piece, no holes at all.

It's kind of strange, but old clothes sometimes seem like old friends (or enemies). I remember when I found this one at a garage sale and I remember wearing that one to that Christmas party... I remember someone's comments on that one.

I'm NOT sentimental. Memories wouldn't keep my from cutting up a shirt. What stops me is... well, I hate to destroy something perfectly good. I keep thinking that I could do this or that to them. Embroider a little flower on this one, dye this one, split the front and add some buttons to that one.

I keep weighing the desire to have a neat braided rug for the living room against my natural frugal (ok, cheap) nature and I'm still not sure how it balances!

As soon as I get some old, free t-shirts, I'll start on my rug. If they're not good enough to wear, I mean.


  1. I too, have been saving old t-shirts. The ones I wear around the house are fairly stained. I'm also waiting to find some new/used ones. Do you have any directions for the rug--particularly the side of the strips to braid?? I've made a rag rug before out of bonded polyester--Yup, that dates me. It never did lay flat, but it did look nice in spite of it.

    Regards, Peg

  2. Here are directions for braiding a rug that I wrote a few years ago.
    How to make an authentic braided rag rug

    The key to making it lay flat is to take more than one "stitch" or chain on the inside of a turn while taking just one on the outside. Work on the rug while it's on a flat surface and make adjustments as you go.

  3. Thank you, Pat. The directions are similar to what I did before except for sewing the braid on a flat surface. I also used different weights of poly bonded knits. NO WONDER the rug buckled. You are a gem to help me. Thanks again.

    Regards, Peg

  4. I'm making a rag rug out of my husband's worn out boxers. They have holes in them, but I hate throwing out that much perfectly good fabric. Same goes for his old undershirts that are holey under the arms. You might ask the men you know if they have any worn undershirts they want to get rid of.

  5. Thanks for the direction.