Saturday, January 28, 2012

How to Reuse TShirts to Make a Latch Hook Rug

If you enjoy finding ways to reuse household items, rather than throwing them away, this recycled tshirt rug is for you. Much like latch hook kits you find in the store, you can make a latch hook rug from old t-shirts with canvas, a latch hook tool and old tshirts. Tshirts that are in good condition are best put to use by donating them, or giving them to someone that can wear them, but for tshirts with holes, or that are no longer wearable, why not make this tshirt rug?
You will need:
  • hook rug canvas - 2' x 3' is standard size for a rug, but you can make it any size you wish
  • tshirts to be reused
  • rotary cutter and mat
  • darning needle
  • string
  • latch hook


Step 1: Prepare the TShirt

Get the tshirt fabric ready by removing the seams and sleeves. All you want to have left is smooth fabric that can be cut into strips. Cut across the fabric to make sections that are 6 inches tall. Use a ruler to ensure you cut in a straight line. Most shirts will leave you with 2 or more sections that are 6 inches tall. Next, cut vertically, or down these sections to create strips that are 1/2 an inch wide. You may be able to stack the sections and cut through more than one layer at a time, depending on the sharpness of your blade.


Make the Latch Hook Rug

Before you begin hooking your scraps of fabric, you may wish draw a pattern on the canvas to help you know when to change colors. For example, you could draw a simple smiley face, a heart, or rows where you wish your color to change if you are making a multicolored latch hook rug.

Feed the latch hook tool up through under the first canvas string and back up over the top of it. The tip of the hook should be resting back on top. Wrap the tshirt strip under the bottom of the tool. Holding the ends of the tshirt strip together with your non-dominant hand as you hold the hook tool with the dominant hand. Bring the ends of the strip to the tip of the tool and over the hook. After hooking them, pull them through the canvas with the tool and tie them in a knot.


Securing the Edges of the Rug

When you are finished hooking the strips of tshirt to form the rug, fold the edges under and sew them to the back side of the rug. This prevents them from fraying. You could also tape them to the underside of the rug, if you prefer it to sewing.
If you liked this article, you may want to visit more crafty "Ways to Reuse and Recycle Clothes."

How to Make a Recycled Denim Bag by Repurposing Children's Overalls

Supplies Needed:
  • Children's overalls (A favorite pair of outgrown overalls from your own children, or thrift store finds)
  • Tacky glue
  • Red t-shirt
  • Sewing machine or serging machine

Recycled Tote Bag Made from Children's Overalls


The size of overalls chosen will determine the finished size of the bag. Pockets on the overall add extra storage capacity to the finished bag also.overalls3
  1. Turn the overalls inside out.
  2. Cut the legs off, beginning above the crotch of the overalls. The goal is to have a straight raw edge across the bottom of the overalls.
  3. Sew across the bottom edge with a serging machine, or sewing machine. If you are using a sewing machine, stitch with a zig-zag stitch to strengthen the bottom seam. If the pockets of the overalls were cut, be sure they are sewn shut at the bottom as you sew the seam, so that they may be used as storage also.
  4. Cut a t-shirt to fill in the side gaps of the overalls just below where the arms would be if someone were wearing them. Do this by measuring the open gap between the front and back of the overalls on each side. Cut two pieces of t-shirt material wide and long enough to fill in the gap on the side of the overalls.
  5. Using a sewing machine or serger, finish any raw edges of the t-shirt.overalls1
  6. Glue the t-shirt to the inside of the overalls with the wrong side of the t-shirt facing up.The right side of the t-shirt should be facing the inside, as this is the side that will show when the bag is finished.
  7. Set the bag aside to dry overnight.
  8. When the glue is dry, turn the bag right side out and it is ready to use immediately.
  9. You can embellish the outside of your new totebag with rhinestones, fabric paint, buttons and other objects if you wish.
  10. Take your new recycled tote bag with you when you shop or run errands to help transport your items, or use it to store and organize craft supplies, sewing supplies, toys, or other household items.
If you enjoyed learning how to make a recycled denim bag, you might also enjoy other denim crafts. Old jeans and overalls can be reused in many ways. In addition to this tote bag, you can make pocket potholders, denim roses, photo album covers, storage units for the wall, quilts, rugs, and lots of other crafts. Jeans have so many ways to be repurposed. For many more ideas, see "How to Reuse or Recycle Denim." Recycled craft ideas to repurpose other discarded items around the home, such as plastic, toilet paper rolls, soup cans and milk jugs, can be found at: "Reuse It All - Waste Zero."


Photos by HS Schulte.

Herbal Honey Recipes

Herbal honey can be used to treat common ailments or simply for the pleasure of its wonderful flavor. If you enjoy herbs and honey...