Tuesday, March 27, 2012

T-shirt Rug

Recycled T-shirt Rug
Cat bed

So you've had a few jobs, ran a couple marathons, got involved in the community, gave blood, got lots of ugly clothes for X-mas, or etc, AND got the t-shirt. Didn't you? :)

Yeah, me too! I looovee t-shirts! Its sort of my unofficial uniform.. So anyhow, I've got tons of t-shirts. And even more that I don't wear anymore for one reason or another.. Who wants to wear old work shirts around?..  (unless you're going for that dirty trucker look or calling it vintage or you just like free shirts)

Old work shirts

Its a good thing I had so many because it takes a lot of shirts for this project. I had to keep adding more shirts so eventually I lost count as to how many there were...  oops.

So here's what we are doing.. Get yourself a big shirt (at least half the size of the rug you want) and cut it open so it will lay flat. I used the back of an old band shirt that was way to big.

Next, cut small slits in to your "master shirt." Make rows and columns of these slits either all at once or cut them as you go, as I did. The slits should be half an inch at most. Remember its t-shirt/cotton so it stretches and tears easily. Space each slit about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch apart. Don't forget to leave allowances on the edges.. especially if you are going to finish it with a border or something fancy like that.

Now is a good time to start cutting up your t-shirts too. Make strips about 1inch x 6 inches long. It saves time to cut them all up at the beginning. After you have your strips cut, they can be dyed. Its much easier to dye them now rather then later when the rug is complete.

The cool design on the back
Insert one end of your strip into a slit on the bottom of the "master shirt" and the other end into the next slit. You should have made a "U" shape with your strip. Insert the next strip into the same slit as the 2nd end of the 1st strip. The end of the new strip should be inserted into the next available slit down the row. Now you should have made a "W" shape with your 2 strips. You should have strips coming out of 3 slits at this point. Continue on down the row.

If you wish to tie your strips together; after completing poking t-shirt through the slits, tie that row and then continue poking in the next row. If you wait to tie your strips together until all your strips are woven, it will be "puttineer" impossible to find each set.
I chose to tie each strip to the next instead of tying each strip around the master shirt...

Eventually, You will come up with something that looks like a big pile of t-shirt strips.. But in an "I made that" and "It feels so good" kind of way! I think, since this rug is so multi-colored and doesn't match anything in the house.. oops, I will give this one to the cat. I think she has already commandeered it as I have caught her several times stretched out over it.

So good luck! This is such a fun project for almost any age! 
Expectant mothers could make for baby
kids could make with outgrown clothes
anyone could make for cool gift
stress relieving to make
time consuming for sick or immobile people
yada yada...

Anyhow, I'm not finished yet. I have to wait until M.J. -the cat- decides to move so I can work on it again!

Have a lovely day filled with all things delicious and fragrant! :)

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