How To Make A Proddy Rag Rug

this is my work in progress
this is my work in progress
this is a side view of my lap frame
this is a side view of my lap frame
this is a close up of the prodded work
this is a close up of the prodded work
these are the fabric squares I'm using
these are the fabric squares I'm using
this is the fabric folded into a square with the prodder inserted.
this is the fabric folded into a square with the prodder inserted.
This is the fabric being prodded
This is the fabric being prodded
I am feeling the under side to make sure it is prodded in far enough
I am feeling the under side to make sure it is prodded in far enough
Oops! I have some holes that need filled
Oops! I have some holes that need filled
applying seam sealer
applying seam sealer
speading it out with a Q-TIP
speading it out with a Q-TIP

How To Make A Proddy Rug

For Mother’s Day I received my very own long desired lap frame. My husband researched for awhile on the best frame to get me and received guidance from the owner of Green Mountain Hooked Rugs. He chose a frame that has bristled edges that catch and hold the fabric securely while I work. My frame comes from Appleton Krafts but I think it would be rather easy to make one if you are so inclined. I have wanted to make a hooked rug for the longest time. However, I had some leftover fabric from my shag rag rugs so I decided to make a proddy rug for the doorway going into my bathroom. Proddy rugs are a very simple rug to put together so I decided to break in my lap frame with a proddy. This rug is a work in progress and my first attempt at “proddy”. Please join along with me as I create this rug. I will post pictures regularly as each section is completed.

Required items:

A piece of burlap cut the size of the rug you want plus and extra inch on each side

A lap frame will come in handy to stretch the fabric taught and hold it in place as you prod This is not essential but very desirable.

Fabric (make sure you have a lot. I am finding it takes quite a bit.)

A prodder. I am using a screwdriver that is pointed on the end. Do not use a hooking instrument because the hook on the end will catch in the burlap as you prod.

Tape (to mask the ends of the burlap so it doesn’t ravel.)

Ruler (This will be used to measure the correct sizes for your squares. For those of you fortunate enough to have a fabric cutter, your work will go much faster. The most time consuming part of this project is cutting the fabric. )

Scissors or pinking shears. (I always use pinking shears to prevent my fabric from raveling.)

Seam sealer or latex adhesive. (I am using leftover seam sealer from my “How To Repair Carpet Holes and Tears” project.)

Please follow these step by step instructions for the creation of your own “proddy” rug:

1. Cut a piece of burlap the size of the rug you want plus and extra inch on each side

2. Tape the ends of the burlap so it doesn’t ravel.

3. If you want to prod a design please draw it onto the burlap now. I am going to prod the words “Scrub A Dub” on my rug. However, you can also just prod fabric into the burlap without a design if that is what you want. If you have several fabrics you may want to intermingle them.

4. Cut the fabric into the desired size. I am using 3 inch squares for this rug.

5. Fold the fabric piece into a square and put your prodder into the square.

6. Prod the fabric into the burlap. Feel under the burlap to make sure the fabric went all the way through. Pull it tight. Do not push your prodder through the fabric.

7. Prod your next piece about 3 burlap threads over. When you start a new row, prod at least 3 burlap threads down.

8. After you have prodded all you plan for the day, remove the burlap from the lap frame and turn it over.

9. Check for any wide uncovered areas. Sometimes it’s hard to tell exactly how much space you’ve left between pieces. Patch any big holes with additional prodded fabric pieces.

10. Put seam sealer or adhesive on the back of the rug in the sections you have prodded. Put some sealer on the fabric itself. I rub it around with a Q-Tip to make sure everything is covered. Let this section dry for awhile. I usually let it dry overnight but a few hours should be more than sufficient if you are able to come back to your project later.

11. Finish the rug by hemming and sewing canvas to the back.

This is all there is to it. The work goes quickly if you have lots of fabric cut for the day. I was able to complete this section of my rug in 3 days.

A completed rug picture will be forthcoming.

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Comments 14 comments

thunderacion profile image

thunderacion 4 years ago from USA

How much is quite a lot of fabric. How many yards did you use?


AnnRandolph profile image

AnnRandolph 4 years ago Author

I've already used 3 yards of fabric and I am only about a quarter of the way through.


thunderacion profile image

thunderacion 4 years ago from USA

Oh that is quite a bit of fabric. Thanks for the reply. I want to try this, and I needed a rough gage of how much fabric I need. Are you doing a 3x5? So far it looks really good.


AnnRandolph profile image

AnnRandolph 4 years ago Author

That's the reason I always visit yard sales and thrift shops to pick up the fabrics for my rugs. I had a large roll of fabric (about 10 yards) that I picked up for $5.00 - anyway my rug is actually 3feet by 2 feet - I've decide to cut the squares for use around the letters to 2 inch squares. That will reduce the amount of fabric needed as well as make the lettering stand out.


thunderacion profile image

thunderacion 4 years ago from USA

Ooh, yards sales sound like a great idea. 10 yards for $5...who can beat that! Thank you so much.


AnnRandolph profile image

AnnRandolph 4 years ago Author

thunderacion - also go through your old clothes that you were going to donate and cut them into squares - that is what rag rugs are all about


Redberry Sky profile image

Redberry Sky 4 years ago

Wow, Ann, this looks like it's going to be amazing! I don't think I'd be skilled enough to do it, but I can't wait to see how your project looks when it's finished, it's coming along marvellously. Voted up and the rest :)


AnnRandolph profile image

AnnRandolph 4 years ago Author

Thanks Redberry Sky. Actually it's very easy. If you can poke fabric into burlap you have all the necessary skills. Give it a try.


Redberry Sky profile image

Redberry Sky 4 years ago

That does sound easy. It sounds like a very absorbing and meditative pastime too. I may well give it a go since the summer rain here in the UK is showing no sign of letting up! Thanks Ann :)


ShalahChayilJOY profile image

ShalahChayilJOY 4 years ago from Billings, Montana

Thanks for your Hub, Ann R. I have lots of old worn clothes that you just gave me an idea how to use instead of throwing them away or trying to use for cleaning rags! I enjoyed reading your easy instructions and look forward to seeing the finished project.


AnnRandolph profile image

AnnRandolph 4 years ago Author

Alas, I've been working on lots of other projects, but I'm trying to finish it up this week.


Burlap Fabric profile image

Burlap Fabric 4 years ago from Chicago

Really neat hub - glad I stumbled across this!


AnnRandolph profile image

AnnRandolph 4 years ago Author

Beautiful results await you.


Slinky-Lynn 11 months ago

That looks like a hard way of doing it, we do it with fabric strips in england not squares, this makes it flatter on the bottom and no need for glue on back, alot quicker and easier + less fabric to use, we use hessian/burlap backing too and get same results of a beautiful shaggy rag rug.

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