How to Make a Shag Rug

Shag rugs add a fun, decorative look to bedrooms, playrooms, and more. I’m using different colored fabrics, but you can use just 1 color if you prefer. Jersey cotton is best to use because it doesn’t fray, but other soft fabrics will work well too.  It’s also a great way to recycle old t-shirts.


How to Make a Shag Rug - Materials



Cut & sew the rug base

Measure and cut a 36” x 45” rectangle out of the black jersey cotton fabric.

With the rotary cutter, start at one corner and make ½” slits in the fabric. Each slit should be about a 1/2” of an inch apart. Continue this until you’ve covered the entire rectangle.

The right side of the non-slip fabric is the bumpy side.  Make sure this side is facing down on the table.

Place the jersey knit on top of the non-slip fabric. Pin and stitch with a ½” seam allowance around all 4 sides. Back stitch at the beginning and the end

Cut & tie the jersey strips

As an alternative, you can use old t-shirts. For a rug this size you will need about 10-15 t-shirts depending on what size they are.

Cut 1” x 5” strips out of the jersey knits.  The amount of strips you’ll need varies depending on the size of the rug.  I used about 480 strips.

Take a strip and loop it under the slit and tie it into a knot. If you’re using more than one color you can alternate them.  I’m alternating the 5 different colors that I’ve chosen for this rug.

Tying the strips is very time consuming and can take upwards of 4 hours or more.

For the next row, share the hole with the strip next to it.  Repeat this until you’ve covered the rectangle. Once you’ve reached the end, the shag rug is complete.

Ready to try it out? Check out our selection of jersey knit fabric!