Thursday, 30 January 2014

Shaggy Rag Rug Adventures

Frugal Rag Rugs

Several years ago, I began making myself a little rag rug using a piece of hessian cut from a peanut sack and some spare fabric from curtains and pillow slips.
I had great plans of completing before moving onto something more adventurous.
I photographed it.
I blogged about it.
I never finished it because I gave it to a neighbour who needed something to cushion a rock beneath her garden pond so it didn't rip the liner.

That was in February 2010 and this is now almost February 2014. Making my rug has been on my 'things to do' list for quite some time, so I decided, in October 2013, that this would be the year of the frugal rug and perhaps I could even encourage a few others to join in the fun; I bought 5 metres of brand new hessian/jute from a seller on eBay. (It cost less than £10 including delivery.)
28th January 2014
This week, despite having so many other things to do and yet still managing to avoid doing them, I cut a 2 metre length of the hessian and decided it was now or never! I started my rug on Tuesday 28th January 2014. As you can see, I have no fancy tools. I have half a wooden clothes peg sharpened to a point and used as a prodding tool.
This is going to be a mammoth task but it is one that I am going to derive much pleasure from over the coming months, or perhaps even years!
To begin with, I folded the jute in half then folded it again so I
29th January 2014
could easily mark the centre point. In that centre, I drew my magic circle that will lead me to my final destination - the completion of the rug. I have all sorts of stories and pictures in my head that I won't woven into this piece, but I think starting with a yellow circle is a good way to go - it represents the sun. I love geometric shapes and mosaics, I love patchwork and random colours, I love life unfolding to tell its own story, rather than trying to lay out a basic format from start to finish. My grand daughter may want to help, friends or other family members may want to add a few rags of their own, so each little part will have its own story to tell.
30th January 2014
Next, I added four more circles, each with a smaller circle within it, to represent earth surrounded by whatever you want to imagine - sky, water, wind, atmosphere - this will be a rug that will have the ability to make people imagine all sorts of possibilities. Four more circles of mixed greens and reds represent anything you want them to - life and love, perhaps.
Yesterday, someone sent me a pretty picture of a unicorn, so I have now drawn rearing unicorns on either side of my centre piece.
30th January 2014
The unicorns will take a bit of prodding to get them looking anywhere near how I would like them to look, but I'm in no hurry and am enjoying working on this project. They make me think of folklore and fantasy, conjuring up images of flowers, rainbows and mysticism, so who knows where that could lead. Perhaps I need some trees and birds, too.
The first unicorn, 30th January 2014
The unicorn is coming along slowly, I don't think it's too bad for a first attempt. I have almost finished the navy material I'm using to edge it, so I'll move to green for the bottom half.

I'll add more photographs as the rug progresses but I can tell you now, I have no pre-conceived ideas about how this will eventually look - it really is a crafting adventure into the unknown. It's a work in progress and the final design will be reflect life as it happens, chats with friends and memories recalled during the making of this rug. One day, it might take pride of place in the living room and stay with me to become a family heirloom but, equally, it could simply become a homemade gift for someone else.
NYK in Frugaldom


  1. Well done NYK for persevering! Your circles look great, and it'll be great if your family and friends can add their part to it :)

    Looking forward to following your progress .

    1. I'm only 3 days into the project and am hoping I can keep at it. The slowest part is chopping up the fabric so I may need to prepare some jars or tubs and strip/chop any fabric as I get it.

  2. What a lovely idea! I have no patience for something like this, nor am I creative but I love seeing what others make ~ Pru

    1. I confess to being not very crafty, I just love the idea of making stuff. I do get some really creative ideas, but never know how to implement them - my downfall. But giving it a go is something I want to do so I have comfy things to do once the house is done. The thought of being snuggled in a big comfy arm chair by the fire, stitching away at something, really appeals to me. Or perhaps it's the thought of one day having a comfy arm chair? :)

  3. Looks like it is coming along nicely, really must get back on with mine! DB made me a wooden gadget for cutting up wool/yarn. It was a one foot long squarish baton (measuring around 3" around) with a deep groove down one side. I would wind the material along the length of it then use either scissors or a craft knife to slide along the groove which cut the material to the right length.

    1. I have seen those used for cutting wool for rug-making with hooks. And yes, you should get back to your rug-making. :)

  4. You've inspired me to make one as I now have a use for old t-shirts/jersey tops! Thank you!!

    1. I'm making up the pictures as I go along and need to design those around whatever fabric scraps I can find. The first unicorn is a thread bare pillow slip, the one on the opposite side will need to be a t-shirt. :)


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