So, you've checked out our directions for beginners and are looking for a few more tips? Well, here we go! Starting a CIRCLE versus an OVAL rug:
Better example of working around the ends:
Finishing your rug:
Thanks so much for putting these instructions online. I injured my foot last week and am off work for at least two weeks. I was wondering how the rugs were made and now I know….thanks to you!
Your videos are awesome…..I might even try to teach this to my students when I get back to work!
I’ll try to send you a picture of my finished rug and I plan on sending your link to my friends.
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Yay for rag rugs, boo for bodily injuries!
Thank you for your comment, Terri (on Vancouver Island, my home town!!).
Hi! Thank you so much for your instructions! I have been searching everywhere and yours are the clearest on the web! I just have one question…but starts to curl t the edges and it becomes more a hat. How do you keep it down? I feel like I don’t have as many loops to go through once it gets bigger. Are we suppose to add loops/knots? Thanks again!
emilee, did you get an answer? I'm also new at doing this and I'm having the same problem. Has anyone given you help?
Yes you should add loops, called increasing. But only increase when your loops that you''re going into appear stretched out, or with too big of a hole.
I am by no means an expert, but a friend and I tried our hand at these rugs, using these vidoes. My friend made a 'bowl' and i made a 'rug'....lol. We figured out that hers went bowl-style because she tied the knots and kind of pulled them up and onto the top of the rug, while i pulled my knots to the side of the rug. Does that make sense?
by increase do you mean just add more knots in the hole?
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Got a bowl shaped rug?
I haven't tried making one of these rugs yet - I plan to ASAP! But I crochet. If I want to crochet a flat round shape this is how I would convert the instructions (I think) for this rug.
I would start with 3 or 4 stitches or knots, then when I switched directions I would put TWO knots in each hole until I had gone all the way around to my starting place (filling 6 or 8 holes, and making 12 or 16 knots).
On the next round I would put TWO knots in EVERY OTHER hole so you would make about 18 or 24 total knots for that round. The 3rd round you would put TWO knots every third hole, the 4th round two knots every fourth hole, etc.
To make it OVAL, you would calculate the number of starting knots by subtracting [how long you want your rug] by [how wide you want your rug].
If you want your rug to be 24" x 36" you would make you starting row of knots (36-24=12) 12" long.
Then you would do TWO knots in one hole (called an increase) only on the ENDS OF THE RUG and not on the long sides of it.
I've never done an oval in crochet so I don't know the math for it, but it should be very similar:
increase every other knot in the 2nd time around, increase every 3rd knot in the third time around, etc. except ONLY on the curved ends of the oval, not the along the straight sides.
As I said, I haven't tried to make a toothbrush rug yet, so there may be some dynamic I don't know about, but this is the technique used to make circles in crocheting and I would think it would work here also.
As I said before, I LOVE these videos - they are so well done!
Did you ever make this rug according to your instructions? Was wondering how it turned out...it sounds reasonable to me. I am getting ready to start one and wanted to how your instructions worked out. Thanks!
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I too had the same problem. Also added as I went around. But ironing it worked great. It pressed it down flat.
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To combat the "hat" shape, you need to add two stiches in a hole every few holes. I make a lot of oval rag rugs and just add a few extra stitches at the rounded parts on each end.
Also, if the rug is just slightly curling, you can get it to flatten by soaking it with water, putting it between two towels and weighting it down to flatten. The problem will be that you will have to do this each time you wash the rug.
Who learned this art from my grandmother, over 40 years ago!
I love your videos. Thank you. Have started my first rug. I’m trying to make an oval rug. It started out as an oval but as I’ve continued it has gotten more round than oval.
Also the stitches are getting longer. Can you please explain about the “doubles”? What exactly are they and when to use them? Do they keep the 2 problems I mentioned from happening (i.e. longer stitches & oval becoming rounded)?
Thank you for any help you can provide!
Awesome instructions! I’m excited to try!
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Thanks so much for the easy instructions. I’ve wanted to learn how to do these rugs and thought I needed a crochet class first. I will give it a try.
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I’m so excited! Thanks so much for your instructions. Years ago I had a friend that taught me the basics for braided rag rugs and I started one but never finished it. I was thinking about trying again, so I was looking for instructions on the net when I ran across the toothbrush rugs and I knew I that was the rug for me. For my house I need rectangle rugs. Do you think you will ever do instructions for them?
If you want a rectangular rug. Do your increases only in the corners. Do not increase on the straight sides.
just got in from the International Quilt Show in Houston, saw wonderful rag rugs and wanted to learn how but didn’t want to pay $35 for the dvd. Your instructions were great, clear and easy to follow…can’t wait to start one. Thanks!
You did an INCREDIBLE job explaining this. I love love the rug that someone posted on here. Very beautiful. I certainly have enough fabric to start making this. It’s always easy be inspired by someone, especially when you can tell that they enjoy what they’re doing.
I love your video and the rugs. It looks so easy, but when I get past a certain point my rug turns into a basket. Am I doing something wrong?
can macrame cord be used to make a rug like this or crochet yarn? yours is beautiful but i enjoy working with macrame and crochet yarn .
Do you know of any tips to make the rugs lay flat?
can the cloth strips be purchased any where already cut?
I noticed you added another piece of cloth to only the left strand of the original two strands. Do you keep feeding the left piece, and never the right? Does the right strand stay as it is until the end of the rug? I’m confused.
I see that nobody answered your question. You have to 'feed' both the right and the left strands.....I find that the left strand has to be 'fed' more often because that's the one that you are making the knots with, while the right strand is just staying straight and the knots are tied around it. But you will quickly come to the end of both strands, and will need to attach another strip to each one. I hope that makes sense!
Hi - I just wanted to thank you for putting these brilliantly clear pages and clips up,it’s really clear and helpful.
I’ve just started rug making after a lifetime of wanting to (my grandparents used to make rag rugs in the winter when I was a little girl, sitting in front of the stove, with it between them, working from each end, turning it from time to time to even out the tension and the patterns). I went on a course a couple of months back and since that I’ve made my first proddy rug, just finished my first hooked one and while searching for information about rug making generally came across your site - I’m now off to get the man in my life to make me a tool while I raid my growing fabric collection!!
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Thank you so much for your wonderful instructions! My husband helped me make the t!ool from a coat hanger and it works well. My question is this:
I started out with an oval shaped rug but it has been curling up and looks like a bowl! Should I add stitches (loops) in places like crocheting?
Another thank you for your outstanding instructions. I really appreciate your taking the time to make the video and post it. These are the best instructions I’ve found — I’m starting my first rug tonight. Thanks again!
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Oh my gosh, I have searched and called sewing and quilting shop, looking for directions on how to make these rugs. Great directions, your videos are great. Yo are a GOD send……I was even willing to pay for a class to learn this. Most people didn’t know what a toothbrush rug was. After watching this, I got up and grabed a few long left over strips from a quilt I’m working on….and so it begens. Thank you so much….Sharon
Thank you so much for your instructions for making a toothbrush rug. A woman I know promised to show me how one time, but never got around to it. With your illustrations I think I have the idea and will certainly try it.
Thanks so much for posting the videos and posting instructions! I searched all day yesterday before finding your page.
They are very well done and easy to understand, now I just have to find some old sheets to tear up! I’m going to hit the thrift stores tomorrow for cheap material!
Thank you sooooo much, this is great. But I started one and it turned into a hat instead of a rug. Please tell me what I am doing wrong. I have tried twice now.
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