T-Shirt Shag Rug

In my many hours of searching projects on Pinterest and Craftgawker I have come across 2 tutorials that inspired this next project….

Shag Pillow Tutorial and No Sew Shag Rug

What I’ve done is combined the 2 of these DIYs and made my own project! I love the look of the “shag” and have wanted to do a project involving “shag” for awhile now. I love the pillow tutorial but was more excited by having a shag rug. The pillow is cute – but I got to thinking about how practical it would be and it is definitely more about the look. All I could think about was lying down on the couch, falling asleep with your head on the shag pillow and waking up with a crazy amount of lines on your face! I know that probably sounds completely ridiculous but these are the things that go through my head. :P

So when I came across the rug tutorial I knew it was for me! While I liked the idea of not having to sew I actually preferred to sew the rug. For a few reasons…a major one being it would be much easier to through in the washer. I worried that with the no sew idea the pieces of cotton would just fall out in the washing machine and you’d be putting it back together every time you clean it. Plus I am really loving sewing right now and learning more about the machine I got from my gramdmother. So I knew sewing it was for me! The longest part of the process is cutting the t-shirts up into strips for sewing. I honestly think sewing the strips would be faster than cutting all those tiny holes into the t-shirt base and then threading each piece through. Best part of this project – its all up-cycling! I didn’t buy anything for this project! So of course I am in love with it. At the beginning of the summer I went through all my old clothes and had a huge pile to give away. Then it dawned on me that I’d seen some projects online that up-cycles old t-shirts, so I put all my shirts aside (that weren’t too ratty) and saved them for a future project. After I had already started cutting the strips for this rug my mom was going through all my brother’s old clothes and had a huge bag of all his old t-shirts to give away. So I quickly snagged those up and have them on hand to make another rug soon! :)

As you can see I am very excited about this DIY! Here is my tutorial:

Materials Needed:

  • rotary cutter
  • ruler
  • quilting board
  • sewing machine
  • white thread
  • 8-10 t-shirts (depends on the size of rug you want and if you are using men’s or women’s shirts)

Here is what I started with….I later added a black t-shirt as well.

Step 1: Cut the t-shirts into strips of 1.5″ wide. Then cut the strips into lengths of anywhere from 4″-5.5″. I know it seems like a big gap in size BUT it really isn’t. This is a great project because it does not have to be perfect in any way possible. Like the blogger in the shag pillow tutorial said – “this is a very forgiving project!” I can’t remember how many shirts I cut up….9 or 10. But I didn’t end up using all the cotton. Once I started to run out of some colours I spaced out my colouring a bit more and eventually stopped when I had run out of all the pink shades.

Step 2: Then take an x-large or large mens t-shirt and cut off the arms and neck. Cut it in half. You’ll end up with 2 rectangles.

Step 3: Sew the two pieces together along one of the long edges. (I originally did this thinking I had enough strips to make a massive rug but when I started to run out of some colours I knew it wouldn’t be as big as I had hoped.)

Step 4: Next I took my ruler and drew lines 1″ apart on the t-shirt base. Some of you may not feel the need to do this, especially if you are good with a sewing machine. But since I am still learning and not very good at sewing a straight line I felt more comfortable having the lines as a guide.

Step 5: Start sewing on your strips of cotton! There really is no rhyme or reason to this part…I didn’t follow any kind of pattern. It was completely random. I just bunched them up a bit while sewing them on.

Step 6: To start the next row, fold the strips from the first row over and start sewing again. Repeat over and over. Sew until you run out of strips or some colours…like I did.

At the end I had alot more of the bottom white t-shirt left that I could have sewn strips on. So I folded it over and sewed it to the edge of the other side. I trimmed the edges of the bottom so that none of it was showing on top and that was it!

Viola, DIY shag rug!


I also recommend buying a non-slip rug base. It’s looks like a rubber mesh thing – you can buy it at the dollar store and cut it to the size of the rug. Comes in handy, especially on slippery wood floors like I have!

It is a very simple and fun project. I really enjoyed doing it and will definitely make another one. I hope this inspires your next sewing project!

~Made beautifully by Heather~

One thought on “T-Shirt Shag Rug

  1. Yes, love it! Easy instructions, great pictures. If I had the energy I would make 3 of these for my kitchen. So easy on the toes!

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