Toothbrush Rugs - Complete Video Instructions (Part 2 - Intermediate)

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:

Comments

I am fustrated!! I have made

I am fustrated!! I have made three rugs and have taken them all apart. I think I have the technique down, it just will not lay flat!! UGGH, It starts to form a bowl. Then if I stay looser, it looks funny, like the holes are to big. So the middle looks perfect but as the rug grows it looks poorly!! Help! What could I be doing wrong??Please email me with some hints, tips suggestions???
HELP!!!!!!

As everyone has said...Thank

As everyone has said...Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is great...I have so much fabric etc. just laying around...this is the perfect way to make use of it!

Just a quick thing everyone...if you need a "tool"...just use a large bobby pin with tape over the open end...it is strong and the tape keeps it secure enough for this project! Just a thought. ;)

Hi, I am not an expert

Hi, I am not an expert either, but I do teach toothbrush rug-making. If your rug is cupping like a bowl, you are not increasing often enough. If your rug has wavy or ripply edges, you are increasing too many. If you can get your rug to lay flat (mostly), there will be no need for blocking with wet towels. If you machine wash your rug (assuming you used some washable material), dry it in the dryer until it is just damp, then lay it out flat somewhere to let it finish drying. An oval fits perfectly on top of your washer and dryer.

On increasing, don't go through the same stitch twice. it leaves a big hole for the next row. For your increase, insert your "needle" in between the legs of the next stitch. Poke around a little and you will find it. But, don't forget to make a stitch in the next stitch also or you will not have made an increase. Sometimes the increase stitch obscures the original next stitch because it adds bulk, again poke around with your needle and you will see it.

I don't want to sound like a know-it-all but I noticed several folks were having the same problem. I'll leave you with one parting tip I tell my students, if you are making an oval rug, never, never increase on the straight sides of your rug. Only increase on the rounded ends, otherwise your oval will come out kind of round. You should only be increasing on each end, 3-5 times per round, evenly spaced around the oval.

I hope this has been helpful. Happy rugging!

I noticed a few people had

I noticed a few people had been asking about the rug curving?
I am new to this and seemed to have that problem no matter how loosely or tightly I was pulling the material. After ripping things out and trying many, many times I think I finally found what works for me.

Every 'round' the rug gets bigger and every round you should add about 3-4 stiches, and even more once it starts to get really big. I started doing it by numbers ; if there are 20 sitches in the round, then I was adding a new one every fifth stitch. You just add another knot through the same loop that you have already used. So you do a doundle knot or stitch, then do 5 regualr ones, then another double, than 5 regular etc etc etc. (that's just an example of a round of 20, you could be adding an extra stitch every 4th one or 8th, or whatever, depending on the number of stitiches you are working with, and this will keep changing as the rug gets bigger. It doesn't need to be exact. just a general guideline.

After doing things this way, the rug looks so much better because the stitches are more or less the same size, not just getting wider and wider and the rug has stayed completely flat. And it feels alot stronger.

I hope this helps some people and makes sense.

I also totally agree that you have to keep the rug on a flat surface while you are working.

Happy rug-making!

I have been meaning to make a

I have been meaning to make a toothbrush rug with some of my students but had lost the instructions. I feel like it is easier than crocheting and I can produce the tools for free. I have made several braided and woven rugs and my tip for getting it to lay flat is, as others have mentioned, to increase by putting two stiches in the same hole. I increase in three or four places on an oval rug. At the top of the rug and on the right and left in the middle of the spot where it starts to curve after you make a few rounds. I know this is not scientific. I put a safty pin in the spots where I increased on the last row so I can see when I need to do it again. If you are making a round rug I assume that one could do this five times around the rug and if a person were really pickey they would do it in equally counting the stiches between the increases. This probably would make an interesting secondary pattern depending on the color and weight of the fabric being used.

Another tip about cutting the

Another tip about cutting the fabric is if you are using cotton, you can snip the selvedge edge and tear the strips instead of cutting each one. I use a rotary tool to cut other types of fabric.

I use a yarn needle for a

I use a yarn needle for a tool. As long as the fabric isn't too thick, it fits in the hole nicely.

This design is wicked! You

This design is wicked! You most certainly know how to keep
a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start
my own blog (well, almost...HaHa!) Great job. I really loved what you had to say, and more than that,
how you presented it. Too cool!

Thanks for the great videos.

Thanks for the great videos. I too have searched for instructions for these wonderful and beautiful rugs for several hours on the web and yours are the best so far. In answer to most everyone's questions about making a rectangular rug I do know that you have to add one extra stitch to each of the four corners to keep the rug laying flat. I found that much from one of the many sites (somewhat) telling how to make them. If you look at your rug like a square in each "corner" add one extra stitch in the corner by going into the one you just made then continue with the basic knot to the next "corner". Each round you will add four (4) stitches and this should make the rug not become a bowl. Also when starting your rectangular rug make the anchor row the same "length" as you want the finished "width" of your rug to be. I have not made a rag rug yet but have found this information on other sites and wanted to share it with your wonderful instructions. Hope this helps. Happy stitching everyone!

I just made my own tool! i

I just made my own tool! i was going to spend 2.00 plus shipping for a wooden one, but instead I found the ONLY wire hangar in my house and made it!

I cut a 6 inch straight peice. I bent it 1.5 inches from each end like this

/____\

then kept bending till the cut ends touched. the ends rounded out nicely. one is the "point" and one is eye, separated by electrical tape.

then i took electrical tape and use it to wrap TIGHTLY around where the two cut ends met up (no snagging) so it looks like a long skinny number 8 with electrical take making it suck in at the middle.

and it WORKS GREAT! thanks for the money saving tips!

ADVICE- This is a simple

ADVICE- This is a simple friendship bracelet knot. You have to be VERY careful where your knot stops. You MUST pull it towards your left hand. If you let it go upward... that will make a bowl. Downward, hat. That is how they make the spirals in a friendship bracelet. If you take one long strand and make the knot end in a different place every time... it will make a design.

I have made 1 rug so far and

I have made 1 rug so far and am ready to start my 2nd. My question is if I am not making one with a pattern just using scraps, do you need to use the same color for the worker and the runner or do you just use any color any time. Thank you.

Hi Janet: I don't know if

Hi Janet:

I don't know if there is any set rule, but while I am making my first rug, after testing with some scrap fabric, I decided to use old bed sheets (regardless of color) as the "runner" (the piece that is actually being wrapped) and using my good fabric that I want to show most as the "worker" (the piece that is actually got the tool on it and is wrapping around the other.

Mostly because the 'runner' doesn't really end up showing and I felt that was just a waste of the good fabric.

My next one I plan on trying what you are - just alternating fabrics on each end change, rather than going around a few times in each color. I assume it will look more like a rag rag that's woven on a loom (the ones that are all multi-colored) with no pattern at all!

This is so fun. I've always loved and bought rag rugs and have them all over my house, but they are so expensive that this is just making me sooooo happy!

I just finished my first

I just finished my first crochet rag rug and found your web site and tutorial so NOW I am excited to try this method. Thank you for the clear and understandable instructions.

My rug keeps having gaping

My rug keeps having gaping holes. How do I avoid that? Also, how often do you increase when you get further along?

These videos were great! I

These videos were great! I recently purchased a pattern for making crocheted rugs from Keepsake Quilting. It's a bit like this but you only use one strand and a large plastic crochet hook (size P). They also say to make the fabric strips 2" out of cotton.. They said if you wanted to make the rug thicker to make the strips thicker... so I did 2.5"... but it is kind of hard work and it gets hard to pull the strip through the hole.

I also have learned to really watch each round for the increases... Too few increases and the rug starts to curl... too many increases and the rug starts to waffle... so it's a fine line you need to follow on the increases...

I was trying to do this rug in my lap while watching TV but it's too hard.. I've moved to making it at the kitchen table.

My rug is made from whites and baby blues and I really like how it's turning out. I'm a quilter and have an overflowing stash of fabric... and am finding that this rug is using a lot of fabric! Also started looking at using old sheets, old curtains that I no longer need... Looking at goodwill for these kinds of things in the right colors

Can't wait to finish this crocheted rug so then I'll try this toothbrush rug... it looks a little bit easier than the crochet rug!

Thanks for the great videos! They are excellent!

Absolutely fabulous

Absolutely fabulous instructions of the Rag Rug making. Can't wait to try it!

Absolutely fabulous Rug

Absolutely fabulous Rug making instructions.
I Can't wait to try it!!!

Thank you, bought pattern,

Thank you, bought pattern, having so much trouble, I knew I needed to see it done. Beautiful.

Thank you so much!! I am

Thank you so much!! I am going to go and make one today!!! Thank you for taking the time to make share these instructions.

Wonderful instructions! I am

Wonderful instructions! I am experienced at crocheted rag rugs, but I've always wanted to learn to do these. I'm already started thanks to you! :)

Greetings! I found this video

Greetings!
I found this video very clear and very informative.
First i found it so helpful by making your own rugs and thus saving you from buying one-makes sense especially with our economy nowadays, second it opened my mind to enter into new field of business as i'm planning to sell my extra ones to my friends thus giving me extra money, third, it does help in recycling used clothes and on top of that i used other materials such as used plastic bags.
This idea if everyone would try to do this could even save our planet by exploring other materials.
You should be very proud of your ingenuity.
Kudos!
God Bless

This is fantastic! I bought

This is fantastic! I bought the toothbrush pattern from aunt philly's - and instructions were confusing! thanks so much for sharing your knowledge! Now I can finally use the tool I bought with the book!

Wow, you made this look

Wow, you made this look sooooo easy, going to give it a try. I am a primitive rug hooker and have a lot of extra wool fabric laying around. I may evan try using this teqnique to border one of my hooked rugs.

I LOVE THE INTERNET. Where

I LOVE THE INTERNET. Where would the world be without women!

Lol, yes indeed!

Lol, yes indeed!

How do you keep the raw edges

How do you keep the raw edges from showing so the rug is nice and smooth and not 'raggy' looking?

Thanks.

FRAYED EDGES bother me, too.

FRAYED EDGES bother me, too. I hope someone will answer how they avoid that.
It seems it would get worse with wear and washing, too.

Awsome, job well done. Thanks

Awsome, job well done. Thanks a ton for making these videos and being so detailed about your technique. Thanks I am going to try to make a rug today.

Still no answer about fraying

Still no answer about fraying - The only thing I can think of
is to use a fabric that won't fray but that defeats the ability to use up extra fabrics. Any way to cut down the fraying?

I took a cont.ed class on

I took a cont.ed class on Toothbrush rugs several years ago but came to your website for a refresher course.. it is right on,,, and so easy to visualize.. Thanks
retire with time on my hands & snow bound in Iowa

Love the videos. My problem

Love the videos. My problem is this: Fraying. I have several pairs of old light weight cotton denim jeans . I cut the strips and am trying to figure out how much of a problem the fraying will be regarding the look, life of the rug and when washed what will happen! I thought the jeans were light enough to make rugs, but am I just looking for future problems if I us this material?

Thank you so very much for

Thank you so very much for the videos. Very informative. I love to crochet, but want to move on to a faster moving crocheting project and I think this is just the thing. Using such a large crochet hook will make it go very fast. Will start on one very soon. Will also try your knotting method too.

When I was 6 years old my

When I was 6 years old my grandfather whittled a rug tool for me. I remember making at least two of them. I hung onto the tool long after his death and looked for instructions on this rug technique off and on most of my adult life. Thank you...thank you...thank you for posting these instructions and bringing back so many good memories. I will definitely be making rugs again.

Thank you so very much! You

Thank you so very much! You are so wonderful to create such thoughtful and clear tutorial videos! You are an inspiration. Keep up the beautiful work. Best wishes, CD

Some folks are natural

Some folks are natural teachers. The old crafts ,born of frugality, were shared by demonstration and doing,jumping-in,and you do it so well. I'm wanting to try it now! Thank you for your clear,concise videos. Other tools that might work, an elastic or ribbon threader, or bodkin of sewing use. Visual learning works better for me,as discovered with this (Aunt Philly's directions on rectangular rug seem to skip steps at the beginning of process). Have you ever heard of twined rugs? Another "old" craft that was covered in Piecework magazine years ago. Another minimalist frugality technique that you might enjoy. Thank you for sharing! Joyce

I've taken the workshop from

I've taken the workshop from Aunt Philly on these rugs. A couple of things I'd like to suggest: 1. On the oval & round rug you do need to increase stitches as has been described by others on this thread: oval, increase at each end 2 or 3 stitches "around" the oval, but your 2nd stitch should be placed in the "bar" (crocheters will understand this one) of the last stitch. If you put 2 stitches in the same hole it sometimes creates a bigger hole when your rug is finished. 2. For the rectangular rug, when you reach the end of the 1st row of stitches you should put a couple of extra stitches in the very end of the knot. The 1st couple of rows may be somewhat difficult but if you perservere you will be able to follow your pattern and make the rug as big as you like. I hope this will help those of you who asked the questions.

thanks for really clear

thanks for really clear instructions that i have not seen on any other site and i have started on my rug right now. taking a clue from u i have taken a hairpin and taped the tips together firmly and got quite a neat tool.

Thanks for the clear

Thanks for the clear instructions. Had my boyfriend make me a tool from the coat hanger. I started one but got stuck on the turn around so it's start over time. Adding the extra stitches makes alot of sense. Alsoo I never through of hooking the strip to the tool like you did and I was getting extra fray on the 'tail' AND huge holes from pulling the doubbled strip through. Hope to post a creation also. Love the pix people put in.

I bought a rag rug that had

I bought a rag rug that had all the edges folded in so that the raw sides of the fabric were not showing. I started to iron the strips by folding the two sides in. Needless to say, I'm loosing the fn in rag rugging. My friend said that there is an actual tool that does this for you as you are crocheting the rug. Does anyone know what it is called and were I could get it?

what type of knot is at the

what type of knot is at the beginning?

I am preparing a demo for a

I am preparing a demo for a pioneer gathering tomorrow. I do a different stitch, but yours looks simpler to teach, and I will probably show both.

About the problem with cupping if you don't add more stitches in each round. Think about it, a circle with a larger diameter is going to have a larger circumference. If you increase the circumference and don't increase the number of stitches, the stitches themselves have to keep getting bigger and bigger (or longer and longer).

I know that adding stiches can make a hole larger. So, I was wondering, how about doing your increase stitches over just your carrier strand (that's what I call the strand that just lies there and has the knot go over it). That's what you did at the start of the rug and it seemed to work without a lot of bigger holes.

With the style of stitch I do for toothbrush rugs I need to add about 8 stitches per round, and placement seems to matter, but I am still working on where that placement should be, and in the initial rounds of the rug it sometimes seems to need 10 increases per round.

I appreciate your videos, they are well done and clear.

About the fraying edges...I

About the fraying edges...I double fold my two inch fabric 100% cotton strips so that the raw edges are all folded into the center.
Then I roll the strips into one large ball of fabric. When all the strips are made into a ball about the size of a softball, I dampen the whole ball under the kitchen faucet. Pop it into the microwave oven on high for about forty seconds or just until the moisture in the rag ball is hot. Be careful not to burn the fabric or yourself. Immediately remove the hot dampened ball from the microwave and roll it into a dry towel and let it cool for about ten minutes or so. You should have a well pressed, double folded fabric that will not come undone while weaving. The resulting woven rug will have beautifully turned edges and look professionally finished.

About the fraying

About the fraying edges...I
About the fraying edges...I double fold my two inch fabric 100% cotton strips so that the raw edges are all folded into the center.
Then I roll the strips into one large ball of fabric. When all the strips are made into a ball about the size of a softball, I dampen the whole ball under the kitchen faucet. Pop it into the microwave oven on high for about forty seconds or just until the moisture in the rag ball is hot. Be careful not to burn the fabric or yourself. Immediately remove the hot dampened ball from the microwave and roll it into a dry towel and let it cool for about ten minutes or so. You should have a well pressed, double folded fabric that will not come undone while weaving. The resulting woven rug will have beautifully turned edges and look professionally finished.

Thanks for the tip!! I will

Thanks for the tip!! I will definitely try that. I like both the frayed and the clean looks! :)

Really enjoyed SEEING you do

Really enjoyed SEEING you do this, I've read other instructions, but actually WATCHING you made this process so much clearer. I guess, in a nutshell, I learn better by watching than reading. Thanks for inspiring me, and yes, I think your work is wonderful. Keep on rag ruggin'!

I am am almost finished with

I am am almost finished with my first oval shaped rug. It was so easy, thanks for the instructions. I am thinking about what I will used for my second one, as I am finishing. I love it because it takes only what fabric and tools I have on hand, not have to go and purchase additional supplies and tools. I have been sewing for years and knitting and making all manner of fiber crafts and I think I like this the best. Some fabrics I have on hand I would never have used otherwise!

Sure do appreciate that you

Sure do appreciate that you have this video posted. I am going sheet shopping at the thrift store today and start one!

What a great tutorial! Thank

What a great tutorial! Thank you. I made a small needle using a coat hanger- works wonderfully and I loved that I didn't have to go buy anything to start this craft! Thank you!

Could I make this rug from a

Could I make this rug from a heavy quilted bedspread?
Seems it would make a nice heavy rug but would I need to make the strips thin or wider?

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