Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tickle for the Toes

In my last post I mentioned several art projects that are in progress and in the works. I'm almost done with one of them - and seriously in love with it - so I can't wait to show it off. The t-shirt rugs. Two of them (one for each kid) for in front of their bathroom sinks.

Big Girl's is done.

The rug project all started with Pintrest. I saw this great pin...
 ... just after Christmas and was inspired. I went right over to Rags By Sock Monkey for the tutorial.

Here is my own version with a few tips.

1. Gather old t-shirts. I also used baby clothes and skirts and pants that the kids had outgrown. A great upcycle and helped with the "you can't get rid of the shirt with the glittery unicorn on it (even though its two sizes to small)!"

For a nice next the bathroom sink size I used 3 medium or large adult shirts and six or 7 toddler and preschool sized clothing pieces.

Rounding up a lot of pink and purple wasn't difficult at our house. Then an additional large shirt for the base. Gathering green, blue and gray for the second one required a trip to the thrift store.

2. Cut the shirts into scraps. I started by making strips about an inch wide then trimming them into 4" to 5" pieces. I also made a large rectangle from one of the big shirts. Mine was about 12" by 18."

3. Make holes in the large rectangle to weave the strips into. I made a few rows at a time wit each row about a half inch apart and each hole in the row about 3/4 of an inch apart. The smaller the holes the more secure the pieces will be and more difficult it will be the thread them through.

4. Place a strip in the corner hole and then weave it back through using the next hole. Go down the rows like this so the strips are all sticking out the same direction. You will want to have two strips going through each hole (except on the ends) so that the rows look like this.

5. Keep going until your whole rug is full. Don't worry about a pattern or using colors in any particular way - random is great.

Tip: If you want to make sure you have a good mix of every color across the rug you can divide the strips in half when you start. Use all the ones from one pile first - it should last until you're about half way across the rug. Then start the second pile. I did this the second time and it really helped to use the colors more evenly.

6. Turn it over and shake it out a bit. If there are especially long pieces you can adjust them or give them a trim.

It took me about three hours to trim the clothes into strips using scissors while watching TV. If you have a cutting wheel for fabric it would go much faster. If you focus on the project instead of watching TV it would probably also go faster. Weaving all the strips in took about four hours - also while watching TV. Again faster if you focus and don't have interruptions - but such is life.

If you try this out, share a picture and let me know what you think.

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