DIY: Sew a shag rug (or bath mat) from old t-shirts!


I’ve been wanting to make one these for a looong time!  I woke up this morning, and decided today was the day to tackle this little project.

For this project, you will need an old towel (whatever size you want, but the bigger the towel, the more work involved!), and some old t-shirts, and a sewing machine.  Whatever you use as your base (towel, t-shirt, etc) I suggest using a color that coordinates with the color of the strips.

When I started this project today, I was feeling super ambitious, so I grabbed an old, large bath towel as my base for this rug.  I was actually making a bath mat.  I also went through the bag of old t-shirts in BF’s closet and picked out some that I considered using.  He actually caught me right in the act of picking out some t-shirts.  There I was, sitting on the floor in front of his closet, with his t-shirts spread all over the floor.  I hear “Oh no, are you doing another one of your project with my t-shirts?  I’m not gonna have any left!”  I pointed to the 600 shirts he had hanging in his closet.  Really?   So I told him “Don’t worry, I’m only taking about 30 of them..”  He gasped, “thirty???”  I said “just kidding.. now, don’t you feel better about me just taking 6 or 7 of them?” LOL  He just smiles and shakes his head, lol.

So I did take 7 of his shirts, not really sure how many I would actually use.


I ended up only using 4 of them.  But here’s what you’ll need to do.

Fold the shirts in half, and with your scissors, cut them into about 1″ strips all the way across.


Then, you will need to cut those long strips into about 5″ strips.  They don’ have to be exact.  Some of mine were shorter, some were longer, some were narrower, and some were wider.  Thankfully, this is a very forgiving project, so anything will pretty much work.


Tip:  I soon realized that if you fold the shirt in half, and then in half again,

if you have a really good pair of scissors, you can cut your cutting time in half!


I did this with all 4 shirts, and ended up with 4 piles of strips like this.


Grab your towel, or whatever you want to use as your base (you could even use another t-shirt to sew the strips to!) and sew the strips to your base.

Like this:



Then just keep going, strips all the way down.  I spaced them out a couple inches between each layer, but I really should have done that every 1″ or so.  My next rug will not have so much space between them.


When you are done, your rug will look like this.  BUT, it’s not quite done.  Throw it in the washer & dryer, and all those little strips will curl up.


And when they curl up, they look like this!

This is my completed project.  It’s not perfect.  I put too much spacing between my rows.  Next time, I will not have so much spacing, and I will use shorter strips, like maybe 3″ long pieces.  But, I think it turned out good anyways!  This will feel soft on our feet when we get out of the shower!


If you make one of these, please feel free to post the link to it below!

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