Learn how to make a rug with yarn correctly and creatively. Making your own rug might require some time and effort, but doing so gives you more freedom in choosing the design, color or color combinations, size, shape, and other features. You can use old t-shirts and fabric scraps, but if you prefer an item that you can use as an area rug, doormat, bath mat, wall decor, and more, the latch hook rug-making technique is one of the best choices.
How to Make a Rug With Yarn - What You Need
Below is a list of the supplies you'll need for this DIY project. You can easily purchase them from craft stores, big retailers such as Walmart, and online stores like Amazon, or they are probably already in your craft supply box.
- Latch Hook Tool
- Darning Needle
- Optional for Non-Slip: Brushable rug backing, glue stick and glue gun, or rug pad
Latch Hook Tool
This affordable and easily accessible tool is available in two types based on the material used in its handle: wood and plastic. Definitely, wood is more durable, but plastic is more lightweight. Nonetheless, whichever you choose boils down to preference. Take note of the names of the parts of the tool.
Best Canvas for Rug Making
This material will serve as your rug's frame, as it's where you'll latch hook your yarn. Choose the plain type or that with blue grid lines. These grid lines create small squares that make the canvas appear like netting for easier latch hooking.
You'll also find that the rug canvas comes with twisted and straight fibers. You'll use the straight fibers for hooking, while the twisted will serve as "borders." Size-wise, opt for a canvas that's a few inches larger than your intended project.
Best Yarn for Rug Making
LENGTH OF YARN - For this technique on how to make a rug with yarn, you need several pieces of 2.5-inch-long yarn. You can either purchase pre-cut latch hook yarn or cut your own.
PRE-CUT VS HOMEMADE - Pre-cut yarn is often preferred since you won't have to worry about length inconsistency. Meanwhile, cutting your yarn is a more practical and economical choice, especially if you have lots of unused yarn. However, it's more tedious and time-consuming.
An easy way to cut your own yarn is to wrap it around something and then cut it. These 2 marker pens put together gave me a perfect length. You can buy a specialty tool to do something similar but I think it is better to save your money and improvise.
COLORS - Color-wise, choose whatever works for your project. You can combine pastel or light colors for a more playful vibe that your kids will love. They're perfect for bedrooms, nurseries, and playrooms since they can look like colorful fur, cotton candy, or DIY pom-poms put together. On the other hand, standard colors are great for a more professional look, ideal for your home office, library, and study room.
EXTRA YARN - Apart from the cut yarn, you will need an uncut length for the finishing touches. It doesn't have to match any of the colors you'll use since it won't be visible anyway.
You can quickly identify this needle because of its big size, blunt edge, and large eye. You'll use this for the finishing step on this how to make a rug with a yarn guide.
You'll need a pair of scissors for cutting the yarn and trimming the excess canvas.
Although the canvas is gridded, drawing a border using a marker can help guide a beginner while following this how to make a rug yarn guide. It ensures you won't go past the finished size. You'll also need this if you're making rugs that are circular, elliptical, and triangular or have complex shapes.
Brushable Rug Backing, Glue Stick and Glue Gun, or Rug Pad
These items are needed to make your big or small rug non-slip, which is one of the most critical steps in the process of how to make a rug with yarn.
How to Make a Rug With Yarn - The Steps
Now that you have the materials ready for this DIY rug project, let's proceed to learn how to make a rug with yarn. The steps involved are:
- Mark the Design
- Hook the Yarn
- Trim Excess Yarn and Canvas
- Finish it Up
- Make it Non-Slip
Step #1 - Mark the Design
Take your marker pen and mark the outline of your future rug. If you want to make rugs with a shape other than a square or rectangle, draw the shape on the canvas.
Pro Tip: If you're going for other shapes, consider drawing the shape on a piece of cardboard, cut it out, and use it as a guide in drawing the shape on the canvas.
Tip: Always put paper underneath when you are marking as the pen will come through the holes of your canvas and mark the surface underneath.
Step #2 - Hook the Yarn
There are two different ways to hook the yarn to the canvas, and we'll discuss both in this DIY project. We'll call them:
- Yarn Before Hook
- Hook Before Yarn
I find option 1 the easiest but try both methods and see which is faster for you.
Option #1 - Yarn Before Hook
Wrap the Yarn Around the Bottom of the Hook
Unlock the hook and hold it using your dominant hand. Take one piece of yarn with your other hand and place it around the metal part of the tool near the handle (below the open latch). Ensure both edges of the yarn are level.
Insert the Hook into the Canvas
While grabbing the yarn's edges to keep it in place, slowly slide the hook under one of the canvas's square grids.
Wrap Yarn Around the Latch
Slowly pull the hook toward you until the yarn reaches the bottom of the bar, but to the point that it doesn't close or lock the hook.
Move your hand holding the yarn's edges to the left or right so that the yarn wraps around the latch and goes inside the hook's eye. (I find it most comfortable to wrap to the left but either direction works. The important thing is that you wrap around the moving latch. )
Pull the Hook Gently
Slowly pull the hook toward you, closing the hook with the yarn in it. Continue pulling until the yarn creates a knot and your hook is completely removed from the canvas.
Tighten the Yarn and Repeat
With your thumb and pointer finger, grab the yarn's edges to tighten the knot you've just made. Also, make sure the ends are at an even level, or at least close enough, by finagling them.
Repeat from steps 1 to 9 until you cover the desired area of the canvas. Don't forget to change yarn colors as needed.
Option #2 - Hook Before Yarn
Insert Hook in Canvas
Unlock the hook, hold the handle with the hook tip facing to one side, and slowly insert it under a square bottom bar. We recommend starting at the topmost square for more systematic hooking.
Fold the Yarn & Insert into Eye
Take one piece of yarn, fold it in half to create a loop, and hold the edges with your thumb and pointer finger. Place the folded yarn's loop in the latch hook's eye, with the ends facing away from you.
Pull Loop Through
Slowly pull the loop hook towards you and under the canvas fiber, until a small part of the hoop is showing underneath. Don't pull it too far down.
Pull Down and Wrap Yarn
Push the tool back up through the fibers until the latch can open. Wrap the ends of the yarn around and into the eye.
Slowly slide the hook through the yarn loop by pulling the latch hook towards you. Don't worry about not keeping the yarn in place since the hook will close as you pull it, securing the yarn.
Tighten the Yarn and Repeat
With your thumb and pointer finger, grab the yarn's edges to tighten the knot you've just made. Also, make sure the ends are at an even level, or at least close enough.
Repeat from steps 1 to 5 until you cover the desired area of the canvas. Don't forget to change yarn colors as needed.
Step #3 - Trim Excess Yarn and Canvas
Once you've filled the area you want to cover with yarn, grab your scissors and gently pass them through the top of your tufted rug. Doing so will trim excess yarn that might look out of place. Nonetheless, the pieces of yarn don't need to be leveled perfectly; the slight unevenness creates a beautiful mess, which is what arts and crafts are all about.
Also, trim the canvas if it's too big. Most professional makers recommend counting two squares from your rug's actual edges. However, you can leave behind one-inch excess.
Pro Tip: Whether you make a square, rectangle, circle, or any other shape of a rug, make sure you only trim the canvas after you're done with inserting all the yarn. Yes, too big of a canvas can be inconvenient for some, but it will ensure you don't accidentally cut too much material, leaving you with little to no room for adjusting or finishing up properly.
Step #4 - Finish it Up
To complete your DIY rug project, follow these steps:
- Thread your darning needle with a reasonable length of yarn.
- Flip the rug you just made so the backside or wrong side is facing you.
- Using where the yarn began as a guide, fold the excess canvas in one of the edges. It might feel like the material will break, but it won't.
- Hold the rug in place and sew the unfilled canvas to your rug's wrong or backside using the whip stitch technique. Ensure you don't pull the yarn too tightly and too loosely; otherwise, you'll have a buckled or bulging rug, respectively.
- Trim the excess once you reach the corner to give the flap a triangular shape.
- Fold the next edge or flap over the one you just sew. Trim the edge to give it an angle.
- Hold the pieces together and flat, and then stitch them together.
- Trim the excess once you reach the corner to give the flap a triangular shape.
- Repeat from steps 6 to 7 for the other remaining edges or excesses.
Pro Tip: Once done, you can whip stitch the rug's edges using yarn with a color matching any yarn you used for your rug. This tip on how to make a rug with yarn will help hide any visible canvas and imperfections.
Step #5 - Make it Non-Slip
The canvas material is slippery even if its texture doesn't seem like it. Thus, for safety, you need to ensure you make it non-slip. There are different ways to do so:
- Use a Non-Slip Rug Pad
- Use Glue
- Brush With Rug Backing
Option #1 - Use a Non-Slip Rug Pad
You can simply place your DIY rug on a non-slip rug pad, but this technique won't work if you've pets or children who might displace the rug. That said, you can sew the pad to the rug using a needle and yarn. This tip is practical but time-consuming and requires attention to detail as you need precision and accuracy when cutting and sewing the pad.
Option #2 - Use Glue
One simple and practical technique, but won't last long and requires re-application after some time is applying glue to the rug's wrong side. All you've to do is load your glue gun with a glue stick. Once ready, apply hot glue near the rug's edges, following the rug's outline. Inside that glue outline you made, apply glue using diagonal lines.
Option #3 - Brush With Rug Backing
This is the most expensive non-slip technique but is long-lasting, even if you wash the rug in your agitator-free washing machine. It's also easy to apply since all you need to do is brush it on the rug's wrong side.
How to Make a Rug With Yarn - Taking Your Creativity to the Next Level
Now that you've successfully made your own rug, take this five-step tutorial on how to make a rug with yarn to the next level by adding some Instagram-worthy designs. You can have home decor and a rug in one with letters, words, phrases, or images. Happy crafting!
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