Monday, November 29, 2010

Weaving Rugs with My Stash

I'm Jo from Jo's Country Junction. I haven't been over here at Stash Manicure for awhile...been busy-busy.... One of the things I have been busy with is the house remodeling. It seemed like a "forever project". One of the things I did to keep me from pulling out my hair was to weave rugs.

Yep...weave rugs. It's a GREAT way to not only manicure your stash but to take a HUGE chunk out of it! This is one of the six rugs I weaved while waiting for the remodeling to be done. All of the rugs were weaved with "not so much my favorite fabrics anymore", "project leftovers" or "what was I thinking fabrics" from my stash.

I have been weaving rugs for many years now. It all started with trip to Country Threads in Garner, Iowa and the purchase of their book, Rugs From Rags.

To make the rugs, you need to build a frame....that's my hubby's department. There are directions in the book that are VERY clear. If your don't have anyone to build a frame for you or you don't want to be that patient. NO FEAR....the ladies at Country Threads sell the rug frames too.

After your frame is built, you'll need to cut or rip strips of fabric. How wide you cut/rip them depends on how "chunky" you want your rug to look. The thicker the strip, the "chunkier" the weave of the rug. I like mine about 1.75"-2" for a rug.

The fabric gets weaved onto the nails making a warp.

Strips get twisted through the warp to make the rug. My first rug took more time as I was reading the directions through several times, but now....I never look at the directions anymore at all.

The original rug frame from their book makes a rug that is 25" x 37". I made a couple that size but then wanted a rug that was a little smaller to go by my sink in the kitchen. My hubby made me a smaller frame that makes a 19" x 30" rug. I like this size much better and that's the size I typically make now.
The book also comes with instructions for a frame that is place mat size, 12" x 18". That is the small size in the photo above. I have made several of these....not for place mats though. I put the dog bowls on one and keep one on my end table in the family room.

There is also a table runner size....I've made this size too. Again, I don't use these as table runners. I have two that I use at my entry ways. People put their shoes on them as they come in the house. The narrow size is PERFECT for that.

In the picture above, my daughter was weaving a place mat size rug. To make the mat she works one end for awhile, flips the frame and then works on the opposite end.

I wanted all of the rugs in the addition to have the same "look" to them. To achieve that, I went Goodwill shopping and purchased a couple blue sheets. I weaved the blue strips in to give the rug a blue tone. Then I pulled "uglies" from my stash and mixed them in giving it a real scrappy look.

I have a girl friend that started weaving rugs too. She doesn't sew a lot so doesn't have "stash". She uses old sheets and makes beautiful rugs with them. Her rugs are more of a solid color with a little accent or a secondary color.

Now you might be wondering how much fabric will one of these rugs take....
25" x 37" rug takes approximately 10 - 15 yards
12" x 18" place mat takes 1.5 - 2 yards

That's serious stash reduction!

If you read Country Threads website, they say that the large throw rug may take 10-12 hours to complete. That is true...it's not a fast project. I keep mine on a chair in the kitchen and weave while waiting for something to cook...or weave while I visit with my hubby. It goes faster than you think.

I have the old version of the book, Rugs from Rags...the new one (3rd addition) has color pictures. They also have a video available.

Mary at Country Threads, is the rug weaver. When they go to shows, Mary demonstrates weaving. A while back, she weaved several of her woven rugs together to make a large area rug. It's a beauty.

Rather than let the "old uglies" in your stash weigh you down....take them out, weave them into rugs and walk all over them.
Thank you Stash Manicure and M.Samm for the lovely visit..
Come and visit anytime, we will weave some tales and possibly rugs too!


  1. I have been wondering how to do this for some time! I will be book shopping for my stocking this year! Thank you for all the info - your rugs look great!

  2. At one time I knew (sort of) how to crochet rugs, but forgot it. I am interested in getting the book now.. Thanks.

  3. This was very interesting. I like this better than the mesh and needle method of rug making. And, yes, I see where this would really be great at manicuring stash. Thank you for sharing your information on this fabric craft

  4. I may have to go book shopping :) and start a new fabric hobby right after the holiday season! Thank you sew much for sharing your story. Lovely!!

  5. i learnt this summer, but on a very simple peg frame that takes up only a few inches of space. its also a great way of using old tshirts ect.

  6. Good Morning Jo, now I like this, weaving rugs...I have braided 100% wool into long runners but never thought about doing this with fabric.Your choice of colors blends well too...Now it may take me awhile to do one as I have sew few scraps...lol. thanks for sharing this morning...

  7. A few years ago we went wild making these rugs - my BIL built us many different sizes of frames...minis for mug rugs, small for hot pads and so on...great stash busters for sure! I usually make the hot pad size for gifts and can't make enough...they are in great demand.

  8. Great ideas!!! I just ordered the book. I'm retiring in a few weeks so I will definitely have time to do this!!

  9. Wow, I have always wondered how to do that. Thanks!!

  10. I've done Aunt Philly's toothbrush rugs before. This weaving sounds fun. I've ordered the book and I have an elderly friend who might build the frame for me. Seems like he likes to have a project, now & then.THANKS!

  11. I saw someone selling the racks at a quilt show and was very tempted...may need to order the book! Thanks...

  12. I love the look of the woven rugs but never thought about trying to do my own. It doesn't look to hard - just may take some time, but then so do quilts! blessings, marlene

  13. very nice looking rugs. I think I might try that to use up some of the really old fabric that i have that i don't like anymore.

  14. Definitely intriguing. I watched Mary from Country Threads doing a demo at the quilt show in Chicago a few years ago and found it fascinating. Definitely something to consider doing sometime. Thank you for sharing.

  15. Beautiful rugs and I love how the wowen rugs look like. I have always wanted to know how you make one.

  16. Wow these make beautiful rugs. Thanks for sharing.

  17. FANTASTIC!!!
    A friend of mine show'd me her frames and how this was done...I had lost the information! I was so surprised today to see this blog content - I didn't put it off any longer - I have ordered the book and DVD from Country Threads.


  18. Oh, this is FABULOUS!!! (so much for my great wall-o-stash, LOL!!!) I will order the book IMMEDIATELY! Country threads should give you a cut!

    In stitches,
    Teresa :o)

  19. These are great rugs. My sister made me one and I LOVE it. She uses old jeans for the base.

  20. Great post - I will definitely be looking into making some placemats and a runner. I just don't like store-bought too well. Thanks Jo!

  21. When I first got married I had crochet a huge round rug using old sheets. I had it for many years and it was beautiful. I'm sure weaving a rug is easier then trying to crochet one. I love the rugs you have shown. Thanks for sharing. Hugs Ariane

  22. I LOVE this idea! What a great way to use up stash!! I also saw a pattern in a quilt book for a crocheted one using fabric strips. This is very cool!

  23. What an amazing thing! I will have to look up this book, maybe our library carries it? Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  24. You are amazing. There is no end to the inspiration I've been getting from Stash Manicure and it's fabulous guest bloggers. I just have to say.....I don't have time to do housework, cook and bake anymore. Ironing is piling up and I just barely get the laundry done. There are so many great ideas in blogland my head is constantly spinning with excitement. Love you bloggers and to my BFF Mama Spark for introducing me to blogland this summer...thank you. Imagine.......there you are commenter #25. lol to all

  25. Wow.... thank you for sharing this wonderful method.... I have tried to make rag rugs in the past and could never get the method right.... So have just ordered the book... this is just what I have been looking for so once again thank you..... One book is now on its way to Australia......

  26. What beautiful rugs and runners! Thank you SO much for sharing this wonderful idea for making things from our stash that we all need in our homes. My late great-aunt used to crochet rugs and made one for our wedding, but alas, we have been married so long that it fell apart from wear. I would love to make a new one for our living room and this may be the way to do it.

    I am inspired right now! Thanks bunches!


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