You won't believe this oh-so-soft rug is made of cast-off T-shirts! You simply cut worn T-shirts into strips and sew the strips to a canvas backing. They flop over one another for a plush effect.

Inspired by a design by Taryn Boyd


  • Canvas (available by the yard in fabrics stores)
  • Pencil
  • Ruler or yard stick
  • Heavy-duty sewing machine needle
  • T-shirts (number needed depends on desired size of rug)
  • Rotary cutter, mat, and acrylic ruler (optional)
  • Rug gripper or non-skid carpet tape

Finished size: rug shown is 18x24" (takes about 10 adult-size T-shirts).

Cut Fabric:

Cut canvas 1" larger on all sides than desired finished size. (The canvas for an 18x24" rug is cut 20x26".)

Cut T-shirts into 2x6" strips (see Step 6)

Assemble the Rug:

1. Zigzag-stitch cut edges of canvas. (Dark thread is used in photos; for your project, use thread to match T-shirts.)


2. Fold edges of canvas under 1"; pin.


3. Sew folded edges in place, using a straight stitch about 1/8" from the first stich line. (Shown is the view of the top after sewing.)


4. Using water-soluble marker or a chalk marker, draw parallel lines across the top of the hemmed canvas (long edge to long edge), 3/4" to 1" apart.


5. Fold canvas so four or five lines show; pin. (You will work from left to right across the marked canvas, keeping the unstitched canvas to the right of the needle and the bulk of the covered canvas to the left.)


6. Cut T-shirt into 2x6" strips. Due to large quantity of strips needed for this project, we recommend cutting strips with a rotary cutter and an acrylic ruler.


7. Fold one T-shirt strip in half so it measures 1x6".


8. Starting at top left edge of marked canvas, place center of folded T-shirt strip atop first drawn line, just inside the canvas edge. Sew across the center of the strip to secure the strip to thecanvas. (It doesn't matter if you sew across folded edge or cut edge first.)


9. Without lifting the presser foot, add a second folded strip in the same manner, butting it up close to thefirst strip.


10. Continue adding and sewing strips in the same manner to cover drawn line. (Each line on our marked canvas required 18 T-shirt strips.)

11. Move to the next drawn line and continue adding strips in the same fashion until the canvas is covered. Repeat all the way across marked canvas. Adjust folded and pinned canvas as you proceed from left edge to right. When the entire canvas is covered, shake the rug and use your hand to brush strips outwards over the rug edges.


12. Place a layer of rug gripper or strips of double-sided carpet tape between completed rug and hard surface floor.