Toothbrush Rugs - Complete Video Instructions (Part 1 - Beginners)

On this page you will find explicit step-by-step instructions that show you how to make a toothbrush rag rug! Yes, everything a beginner needs to know!

Toothbrush rugs are one of the easiest and quickest rag rugs to make. They are easy to learn, inexpensive to make, and the result is gorgeous!

Most other instructions that I've come across on the internet assume some previous knowledge of crochet or knitting. But, believe me, you don't need any experience to learn how to make these rugs! In fact, I just learned how to make these two weeks ago, and I am not very crafty at all.




I taught myself how to make these rugs in one day, and was SHOCKED at how easy it was. I figured it out in one evening, piecing together a number of different directions I found online.

I made two very small experimental pieces that looked awful, but soon enough my rug started to look good and I started a rug for real that very first night. The next day I worked on it ALL DAY LONG (8 or 10 hours?), and my first rug was complete! I was so satisfied and proud of myself!!

As a result, I vowed to share my knowledge. I don't like learning from diagrams, so I wanted to actually SHOW how to make the stitch. I just had to share my easy rendition.

Here is an example of what my instructions can help you to make. This is the first rug that I created (after a few false starts, of course).



To start experimenting, you will need two long strips (each approx. 2 feet long) of fabric, yarn, ribbon, or whatever you have on hand.


You will also need some kind of tool to help you pull the strip through--basically, you will need a "big needle". Many people use altered toothbrushes. The bristles/head are cut off and the severed end is filed to a point, like the pointy tip of a needle. The untouched end gets a hole drilled in it, like the eye of a needle.

Other people have used crochet hooks, or have purchased a tool from the "Aunt Philly" website.

When I was learning, I wanted to experiment right away, so my partner helped me bend part of a coat-hanger into a tool. Not perfect, but it works! Even if you don't have any kind of tool, I suggest experimenting anyway. How about a short, pointy pencil with your fabric taped to the end? The only reason you need a tool is to help you push your material through a tight hole.




Let's watch the following movie. In it, we jump right into seeing the very basic knot that you need to know. Don't worry if you don't quite get it; this is just to give you an idea of what is to come.

Okay, now you've seen that the idea is pretty simple!


Making Lots of Fabric Strips

To make a whole rug, you will need lots of one-inch strips of material. Any material will do (try cotton or wool), but dry to avoid very stretchy material (like spandex, for example) because it's harder to work with. Basically, just use whatever you have on hand to begin with. To start a rug, I usually get around twenty strips "ready to go", which means that they are cut into one-inch strips (anywhere from 3 to 6 feet long), I've removed any annoying strands that are hanging off the strips, and I've cut small holes in the ends (discussed in the movie below).



Starting Your Rug

In this movie we start a circular rag rug properly, and we watch how to attach the strips together when your strip gets too short. (By the way, we start with circular rugs because they're the easiest. Ovals are pretty easy too, once you get the hang of the circle.)

3. So, here we go! Let's make a rug!!

My best advice is to just keep plugging away on whatever you've started. At first, it will probably look like a horrible jumble, but after you've gone around a couple times (for example, you've made like fifty to seventy knots [but don't count them or anything!]), you'll suddenly realize that you're starting to figure it out!

Once you feel like you've got the basic idea, it's time to start over with new material and actually start again with a perfect start.

PS: If you really want to make your rug look good, see the next tutorial (for intermediate ruggers)!



I am trying to make a round

I am trying to make a round rug and it's turning into a bowl! What am I doing wrong? where and when do I add loops or stitches whatever they are called so that my rug lays flat and not turn into a bowl?

Just keep laying it flat from

Just keep laying it flat from time to time to check it's still laying flat. You need to work 2 stitches into a loop periodically to keep it flat.

I cannot see the videos even

I cannot see the videos even though I click on them, could someone please tell me what i am doing wrong? I'm not too great at using the conputer

Thank You, As a 10 year old

Thank You, As a 10 year old I learned how to make rag rugs with the end of the tooth brush, but never learned how to start one. I used to start with a braid then start going around. I can't wait to try your method of starting. Looks so much better.

Hi Dear, are you in fact

Hi Dear, are you in fact visiting this website regularly, if so afterward
you will absolutely obtain fastidious experience.

My mom passed away in April

My mom passed away in April of this year. I had 5 boxes of here clothing that I just wasn't ready to part with, I took all her clothing and cut them into strips and started making a rug out of them for on my wall...I also made several small ones (big enough to put on a coffe table or end table even a mantal) for some family members who wished to have my mom around for a while.
I was taught how to make rugs just a few short weeks before my mom passed. My only problem was beginning it and with your viedo I was able to learn how to begin one with no problem. THANK YOU!

I am so excited to find your

I am so excited to find your instructional video. When I was 8 yrs old an elderly lady in our church "Granny Smith" taught me how to make rugs in this manner. I have been trying to recall the technique and watching your video brought it all back to me. She used a pencil, but I really like the rug tool you designed and plan to start on my rug tomorrow evening. I am thrilled to find your video and wanted to thank you for sharing your time and skills with others!

My toothbrush tool was made

My toothbrush tool was made from the handle of a dollar store spatula. The handle was cut off with a hack saw and whittled to a v shaped point. Hope this helps some one wanting to get started...

I tried to make the round

I tried to make the round rug. However I found that it likes to bow in kinda like a bowl shape. I can't figure out why it does this. Can you give any tips on how to keep it flat. Thank you

I have a question. In the

I have a question. In the top photo above, with the sage green around the edges of a blues and purples rug, it looks like there is only one strip of material instead of two. Was I supposed to stop adding material to the right-hand piece at some point?

Thanks so much!

THANK YOU for showing me/us

THANK YOU for showing me/us how to do this in the most EASY, effective way on the web! I've been trying to find out how to do this by piecing together all different ..and confusing..techniques I've found online...then there was you!
Very clear, controled, consise directions...I can't thank you enough! I can't wait to get started on my newly found craft.
By the way your rugs are beautiful...great job all way 'round!;)
Missy M

I have TONS of polyester

I have TONS of polyester strips from work - we use bolts of fabric - cutting the ends off first... which means, I have fabric strips around a cardboard tube-end - from 2"-6" wide.

I will use some to make my own rag rugs, but have more than I need. If you're interested in them - just email me. I will meet you North of Atlanta or can mail them to you.

As long as I have this job, I'll have more than I need of the fabric strips. Not a lot of colors, mostly black, white, blue, red... but that may change.

georgiaboonies at yahoo is my email.

These would also work great on a loom... need to set mine up!

Thank you so much , I am

Thank you so much , I am going to try to make one soon , but I have to cut all of my strips first . If you can find out how many strips you should use for the rugs , I would very much appreiciate if you would share it with the rest of us .

Thank you kindly ,

this is very nice however I

this is very nice however I wonder if I could save these instruction on my flash drive so I could follow it from home...thanks a bunch

Thank you for a most

Thank you for a most informative page. I am now starting on my second rag rug thanks to you. much appreciated

Hello! I just tried making my

Hello! I just tried making my first rug yesterday, and I have a few questions. Everything started out great. As I went on though, it started rippling. What causes that or is that normal? Also as my rug got larger, the stitches got more loose and the holes were bigger. Do I need to incorporate more than one stitch in the holes as the rug gets larger? Maybe I am just thinking to much and need to practice more. Any advice would be appreciated.


Hello, I just wanted to tell

I just wanted to tell you that you need to increase at the corners...this is why your rug is rippling...and your need to work on a flat surface once your rug starts growing...

I purchased a dvd video from "Aunt Philly's toothbrush Rug", and it was the best investment I made...she shows you how to start the rug, how to increase, and where to end your fabric when changing colors...I made a couple of beautiful rugs using her just pop the disk in your computer or laptop, and you can start or stop it as your going. I had to watch it a few times, but eventually it's going to click, and you will say "wow", I get it... some people here commented negatively on her video, but they probably didnt watch it more than once, and if she is not out of town selling this product, she will answer her phone, and talk with you. she is very very nice to talk to and she will help you if your having trouble. I spoke with her twice, and she was very helpful, and said to call her anytime if I had any problems. It's well worth buying her dvd although I know this one is free here to watch, but this person does not show you how to increase which is why so many people are having trouble with the shape there rugs are coming out as. Just thought I would tell you's so fun making these, and are such great gifts to make for can email me if you have any questions, and I would be happy to help you out...

My son and I decided to do

My son and I decided to do this as a winter project for schooling. Your videos are perfect for instructing. BUT I have a problem. The material I am using is old sheets and pillow cases, to practice on. BUT there are little anoying strings everywhere and its uglying up the project. We are using fiskars rollar to cut the material nice and even. Is it the material that we use?? I see that there are others that have used sheets. All the pics we looked at dont look as bad as ours. Thanks for help.

These directions are great

These directions are great except they do not show how to increase/add stitches as you go. I would like to request that the owner of this page add one more video to show how to increase by putting two stitches into one as you go and also to be careful not to add too many stitches so as not to get a ripple affect! I did enjoy the stand and stomping comments though. As I cannot jump and stomp I could hire my grandson to do that for me!

Hello, Thank you for your


Thank you for your videos. I just came across them tonight on you tube. I have never made a toothbrush rag rug before, but I hope to soon. Thanks again for your directions. In the post previous to mine, the poster asks about increases and decreases. Would one want to increase or decrease in order to give a shape to their rug other than oval or circular? I am wondering actually, is it possible to make a rectangular toothbrush rag rug? Thank you for your response!

Hi, thank-you for these

Hi, thank-you for these really clear instructions, but I have a question. I am making a rag rug that a homeless person will use to sleep on, however I am unsure on how long to make the first chain so that it will turn out the size that a person can sleep on (a bit smaller then a single bed.) If anyone knows, it would be much appreciated if you let me know. Thank-you.

Isn't this basically the same

Isn't this basically the same as single crochet? I am just fascinated and these rugs turn out really lovely! I cannot wait to do one. But I think since I got a little confused in starting it mostly only the center part that..I might get a large crochet hook and go in circles...really fascinating! I posted this on my facebook and a got a bunch more wanting to try this, I made a hotplate tonight out of tshirt remnants very cool and alot of fun!

Just wondering if any know

Just wondering if any know how to do the toothbrush purses. I took a class, but didn't have time to finish. Tried to finish at home, but can't find in instructions how to connect the one side. We were shown in class how to connect the the one side just, then make the rows, but not how or when to connect the other. I did it when finished and it looks terrible. Any suggestions. The instructions tell how to connect at bottom, but not that last side.

One dumb question. Do you

One dumb question. Do you need to continue adding core strips or is that just to lay the beginning foundation?

Thanks so much for posting this. I've enjoyed watching and learned so much!

just tried doing this

just tried doing this technique, but how do I fasten more fabric on the strips

Amazing! I did several

Amazing! I did several searches and never found your directions before today. Not just that, you were hidden away on the 5th page of my Google search. This should be number ONE that comes up. These are the clearest, most useful directions I have seen. I am using wool and instead of a toothbrush, I am using the handle of a scrub brush. I will let you know how it turns out. I am off to perfect my starting knots. Brilliant! You should publish this.

I used to make these but

I used to make these but couldn't remember how to start them. The directions I had called for only one strand of material, finished looked like a braid on the top and edge, but not the bottom. Do you have the directions for that process?

Wow! Finally I got a web site

Wow! Finally I got a web site from where I be able to actually take useful information concerning my study and knowledge.


OH MY GOODNESS!!!! BEST TUTORIAL!!!! I'm so excited!!! I have been wanting to make one of these rugs for so long!!!! Haven't because I thought I had to crochet. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!!! Can't thank UOU enough!!!!

Thanks so much for this

Thanks so much for this tutorial!! I've always wanted to make one of these and was totally lost lol. Your instructions make it easy and fun.

Thank you for taking the time

Thank you for taking the time to create this website with the instructions on making a cloth rug. I've always wanted to make one and this will make it much easier for me! Thank you!!

Laura Jane, I am glad I found

Laura Jane,

I am glad I found your videos and I am glad I did not order the dvd from auntie p. and waste my money. But have you ever thought to teach people how to set up a blog such as this? I still don't know how to do that. Just a thought.

Thank you! wonderful job

Thank you! wonderful job

thank u so much. i hav been

thank u so much. i hav been lookin everywhere for somethin like this and now i found it. !!!!! thnx u bitches

I used a paperclip for my

I used a paperclip for my tool. You can thread it on there, bend it back and push through with the rounded part. Really easy solution most people probably have in house already.

Do have directions for making

Do have directions for making a rectangular rag rug? The directions you gave are quite clear. Thank you.

Thank you, so much! You are

Thank you, so much! You are very creative. I am into art myself, and usually prefer to make things rather than buy them. I'm redoing my room, and I was looking for an interesting rug and I came across this website. Thanks so much!

Hi I made one of these from

I made one of these from your instructions. Too easy! The only problem is mine won't sit flat. Obviously some tight bits in there. Any suggestions?
My (brilliant) idea was to dampen the rug then lay it on a couple of towels and then upturn a heavy table on top. Leave it for a day or two, I thought, and it might flatten out. Unfortunately I forgot about it and went away for 2 weeks. Came back to a lovely round stain on my ne carpet that a $120 cleaning bill wouldn't remove and a mat that still refuses to lay flat :(
As for the tool I simply cut a piece of wire coat hanger about 6" long then bent it in half making a loop at the top. Works a charm and is cheap as!

YUP! Your video is SO

YUP! Your video is SO HELPFUL! The problem I am encountering is that I have a lot of threads all over the place that make what I've done look very messy. I will also say I've been trying to make one of these for some time and have been using the same strips. I'm guessing that's the problem but how do I avoid it in the future? The fabrics I am using are from quilting projects, all cotton.

I've been experimenting a

I've been experimenting a little first trying to get the hang of this but one of the problems I'm having is lots of fraying strings to deal with. I realize I might need to look for a fabric that doesn't fray when cut, but some of the posts refer to "sewing" so I'm wondering if I'm supposed to actually sew the rough edges of all the strips first. YIKES!
Thanks for this lovely video and all the tips. (I checked out Aunt Philly and I agree - not very helpful)

You are a very good teacher!

You are a very good teacher! My friend and I have been ripping strips to make rag rugs with my Gramas old braiders. But this pattern looks so much easier and no sewing!!!!!! I love it. Thank you for posting this. We will get started tonight.Thank you again

Could I suggest two things?

Could I suggest two things? One brighter, brighter brighter light! And use contrast materials so we can see the knots better? I had alot of problems turning it, after you did your first four half knots, then I got really lost!

Thank you for this tutorial I

Thank you for this tutorial I am now on my second rug and they are awesome to make and everybody thinks they are neat. I too ended up woth a bit of a bowl with the first one which i made as an oval as i didn't increase enough in the beginning but when you have chucked them in the washing machine and you lay them out flat to dry you just push it out at the sides and they dry fine. I am now on a square one but had difficulty find instructions for this so i just made alot more knots to start with and made sure that i increased all around the corners and now it looks fabulous and it doesn't seem to bowl out so that's good too. Will be making the braided ones next as well. All in recycled sheets from op shops. Again many thanks for the videos. You did a fantastic job of explaining everything. Happy rugging everyone.

I love sont généralement . Ce

I love sont généralement . Ce genre de couverture !
Gardez les superbes fantastiques fonctionne gars
je l'ai incorporé inclus vous les gars à notre
blogroll .

OMG!! Thank you so much for

OMG!! Thank you so much for doing this. I bought the toothbrush tool a long time ago didnt think it would be that hard and when it first came out it wasnt on then net as far as tutorials. Now you put this out it was such a big help. I even went out and bought a book called the braided rug book thinking that would help NOPE. Your a blessing thank you thank you thank you so much Im so excited to get started today. Imma big crafter and love doing all kinds of crafts this is now gonna be my next one. Thanks to you. Im gonna sell them on etsy once I get good at em I should send you half my first check lol. as a thank you gift. Keep in touch sheena .

These Tutorials are

These Tutorials are fantastic, I'm making my first rug at the moment and its going pretty well! keep up the good work!
mine is with scraps of fabric in all textures and colours and patterns so its going to be pretty colourful when its finished!

Have tried making a rug

Have tried making a rug before with instructions from 'another
site'. The site was horrible as were my results! So glad to have
looked again and find your video! Awesome instructions! I'm an a
avid quilter so I always have leftover strips left and I hate to
waste things. This will one more way to use my leftovers and be

super simple, thank you so

super simple, thank you so much!

May I just say what a comfort

May I just say what a comfort to find a person that actually knows what they
are talking about on the web. You definitely know how to bring a problem to light and make it
important. More and more people must look at this and understand this side of your story.

It's surprising you are not more popular because you definitely have the

I was looking for something

I was looking for something easy...your instructions were right on the money...I have to see not just read and yours fit the bill. Thank-you, Thank-you, Thank-you. I am going to start my rug today....

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