Reuse

HOW TO MAKE A RUG OUT OF OLD KNITS

In attempt to clean out the closet and repurpose material I thought it would be a good project to make a "rag rug" out of some knit findings. We also don't own any bathmats, and I thought this might be an inspired way to combine these two things. It began with some t-shirts that had holes in them. My shirts love to get tiny holes right where my belt buckle is! There are a few ways to make these. One would be to braid strips of material and then sew the braids in the form of a rug. The ones I have seen of those are beautiful. For my rags and my time, I was fine to create as a go and went the crocheting route.

rag_rug_materials

What you will need:

  • old shirts, pillow cases, etc. I found knits with a little stretch were the easiest to work with.
  • scissors
  • crochet hook. I used a 12.0 mm. I went searching for one bigger, but this one worked fine!

Once you have your raw material cut it into 1/2 inch - 1 inch strips you want to work with. Try to cut the fabric in a way that gives you the longest strip possible. You will then add the fabric together. 

two_strips_fabric

You have your strips of fabric that is cut.

cut_fabric

Place the two strips of fabric on top of one another and make a small cut near the top.

cut_tie_fabric

Then bring the bottom of the top strip and place inside the hole you created. Then pull through.

tied_fabric_strips

Then you will have one continuous line of fabric to work with.

Once you have a long enough string to work with you can begin creating your rug. I did this by doing a slip knot, then beginning with a circle and then just doing the basic crochet stitch all around. The experience is pretty organic and I would just repeat rows, or move around based on where I wanted the color to be. When I find myself stuck in crochet work and stitches, I refer to this Harmony Guide: Basic Crochet Stitches

crochet_rag_rug

I really embraced the raggy-ness of this project. It's lumpy in some spots and not perfect by any means. When I was with it, I trimmed up the back of the work where any loose scraps of fabric were hanging out. I also had any of the lump parts from the way you knot the fabric together to sit on the backside. I was hoping to keep going with the white, but in the spirit of the reused fabric, I wasn't going to gather some to complete the project. 

This rug is just the right size for what we needed in the bathroom. In case you were curious this was made out of 3 t-shirts, one cloth napkin, and one and half of an old pillow case. It's approximately 1.5 feet x 2. Now that I have made one I think the next time I try to set this up it will be a little easier. It took me a while to get adjusted to the large fabric and large crochet hook. 

STAINED GLASS: OUT OF WAX

This has been something I have been meaning to try for sometime. I think it's a great way to reuse or sharpen your crayons. I find that having the sharper crayons around the house makes for some inspired drawing. Even though we don't have a ton of crayons they just seem to show up between restaurants, birthday parties and so on. No matter how good you take care of the crayons there are always broken ones. 

crayon_shavings

To begin you will need the following:

  • wax paper double the size of your desired project
  • crayons
  • sharpener
  • knife, scissors, or other blade to make shavings
  • iron
  • paper, or a rag towel to protect your work while ironing

Once you have your sheet of wax paper fold it in half and focus on placing shavings on one side. Choose your placement thoughtfully. These will melt. When things melt together, they can end up being muddy.

colored_wax_shavings

I went for a color wheel kind of look. 

arrange_wax

The younger folks went for a confetti surprise arrangement. 

melted_wax

When you feel good about how you want to arrange your wax, you are ready to go to the melting phase of the project. Fold the edges up about an inch or so on the other three sides. Place a blank piece of paper under the wax paper to protect your ironing surface, then place a rag towel or kraft paper over the wax work. Heat up your iron on medium heat and gently go over the whole work. Check in now and again to make sure it is melted enough, but not overly melted where it looks watery. Think of melting grated cheese here. You want it to loose form, but not separate and become totally runny.

close_up_melted_wax

The melted crayon smell gave me flashbacks to my childhood. I had left some crayons in my parent's car in the door pocket and they melted. This was one of my earlier lessons in "This is why we can't have nice things!" talks. Although they removed them, the smell lingered on for the life of the car. Whenever I was in the back seat on a warm day, that smell resurrected!

Once the work is ironed and cooled you can gently draw what kind of shape(s) you want to have. Then cut out the work and hang up to enjoy!

hanging_stained_wax