You can create a custom rug from old T-shirts or knit sheets.
1) Although the latch hook technique is extremely simple, this is a time-consuming project. The rug I made is 3×5 feet and I’d estimate that I spent about 40 hours on it altogether. But it cost me a lot less than it would to buy one that size, and it’s extremely thick and durable.
2) I bought this rug canvas at JoAnn’s, and you can also purchase them online. You can expect to pay between $8-$12 on the canvas.
3) You’ll also need a large latch hook tool. My Wal-Mart carries some with wooden handles for around $2, but I ordered this one with a soft handle for about $4 online. You’ll be spending a lot of time with this tool, so make sure you choose one that feels comfortable!
4) When it comes to selecting the materials to make your rug out of, pretty much anything will work as long as it’s a jersey knit. Old t-shirts, stretchy jersey sheets, or fabric off the bolt will work. I decided to incorporate all three of these into my rug so that I could give you my feedback on the different materials. I can’t notice a visible difference between the different materials I used in my rug. However, my personal recommendation would be to check second-hand stores for jersey sheets, as they take less time to cut into strips than the T-shirts do.
5) If you plan on dying your fabrics a custom color, you’ll want to do that first. For best results dye white fabric. I used Rit brand dye. You can use it in your washing machine. or in your sink. Just follow the directions on the bottle. If you’re making a multi colored rug like mine, you can save money by buying primary colors of dye and mixing your own custom colors.
6) I cut all of the fabric into strips that were between 1 and 1 1/2 inches wide. You really don’t need to be precise about measuring, because the fabric will curl inward a bit anyways. The sheets and the bolted fabric had a little more stretch to them than the T-shirts, so I cut the sheets and fabric to about 4 inches in length and the T-shirt strips to about 5 inches in length. You can use a rotary cutter or fabric scissors. My dressmaker’s shears could cut through a huge stack of fabric at once, so the cutting went quickly.
7) I tried cutting the strips in both directions, and found it was easier to latch the fabric when the direction of stretch went vertically down the length of the strip.
It’s been 3 years since I posted this, and it’s still looking great in my daughter’s rooms. None of the strips have unraveled.
I’ve washed mine in my HE washing machine several times, and it held up great. However, this rug is very heavy when wet, so you may want to opt to wash it in an industrial machine at a laundromat. Alternately, you can spot clean it with a soapy washcloth.
I like to use the hose attachment to vacuum it.
Show it off!