For our Upcycle Challenge room we wanted to use as many vintage and thrifted items that we could and knew that finding a thrifted rug (or rugs) for the space might be bit of a challenge, mainly because they are usually well-worn and way past a second life after they have been thrifted, so we went the DIY route with two rugs.
Our first rug was made by repurposing some old tennis racket grips and turning them into a great “FLOR” style square rug (check it out here,) and the second we made by upcycling about 10 old white t-shirts and an old latch hook pattern.
We’ll walk you through how we have turned these old t-shirts in a cool throw rug for under $8.00. Here are the supplies we used:
– old t-shirts (depending on the size of the latch hook pattern determines how many shirts you’ll need – we used about 10 for our 27″ x 30″ rug)
– Latch hook pattern (or a piece of carpet grip padding)
– Scissors or rotary cutter
– Spray paint (if you desire to spray paint any of the pieces)
– Time and Patience (yes, that needs to be mentioned here – more on that later)
After gathering your supplies, it’s time to get started!
My advice here would be to cut up a couple t-shirts or all of them at once, this way you can use different shirts throughout the rug. You want to avoid using one shirt in one corner and another in another, etc because each shirt will be a different color and texture (depending on how worn they are.)
Repeat step 2 over 20,000 times filling in the holes. Seriously though, this is where the time and patience come into play. Give yourself and hour – hour 1/2 for each t-shirt. This is definitely not a weekend project (at least it wasn’t for me,) and best to allow yourself more time than you think it will take. The project can get a little repetitive, but like knitting or crocheting it’s pretty relaxing if you’re not working on a deadline which I was. So…
Continue tying through until about 85% of the holes are filled. You can add more or less depending upon how full you want your rug to be. We wanted ours to be pretty full but I definitely did skip some holes! We also decided towards the end of the project that we wanted to add a small pop of color. Here we choose to use a gold spray paint and spray paint some of the ends of some of the strips. When we used the gold paint we noticed these strips took on a leather-look and feel and we love how adding them really “made” the rug in the end.
Here’s a close-up of the final rug:
This rug can be done using different color shirts as well – you can also dye old white t-shirts (there always seems to be more of an abundance of white shirts in my hubby’s drawer!) – you can make a cool pattern, like a flower or rainbow – or you can even upcycle some of your teens memorable t-shirts as a way to preserve them.
This is one of those projects that is more time consuming then you think it will be, but the payoff is also better than you think it will be, so stick with it! Have you ever made a rug like this, and did you finish it to the end?