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No yarn? No Problem - Crochet with Recycled Fabric Strips

Updated on November 12, 2011

Fabric Balls

Crocheting using recycled fabric

For many in recent years, crocheting has become more than a well-loved pass-time. It has become a practical means of dealing with these tough economic times. Recycled fabric strips are an important innovation as we seek to conserve creatively. With these we can make rag rugs and much, much more.

A Touch of Planning

First, you will need to decide on a project. The most common recycled yarn projects are rugs, place mats and table covers, but with a touch of imagination and innovation, you can go well beyond these perimeters.

Strip it Up!

Once you have decided on a project, you will want to make sure you have enough strips for your project. If you do not have enough of one color, it works very nicely to use three or four complimentary shades and patterns. Feel free to use any new or used fabrics (sheets, shirts, curtains, you name it).

Next, simply strip the fabric into evenly sized strips (you will need to do some experimenting to find the right width - one example is if you plan to make a rug, you would want to use thin cotton fabric at 1/2" strips and an 'N' hook) and attach these strips together. It seems that the best way to attach these strips is to make holes near the end of each strip, place the hole of one strip on top of the other, take the other end of the top stip and pull it through the bottom of the two holes.

Once you are done with this, simply roll this great strip of fabric into a ball.

Table Cloth

It's Simple, Just Crochet

Making the balls of recycled fabric is the most foreign part to the average Crocheteer. From here on out, your horizons are just about as broad (if not broader) any other form of crocheting. You will likely end us using a much larger than average hook ('M' - 'P') - especially when making a rag rug, but this is not always the case. If you chose to make very thin strips, you could still use an 'H' or a 'J' and venture to crochet a fabric scarf or beanie.


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    • profile image

      2 years ago


    • profile image

      Ose 6 years ago

      Thanks very much. This is a good way of making money. and a good way to start designing articles.

    • apStumbo profile image

      apStumbo 6 years ago

      Thanks 2Patricias, I learned that one from my mom.

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 6 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      What a wonderful idea for recycling!

    • profile image

      carpet cleaning 7 years ago

      I love this idea ! it sounds really really neat. Thanks for sharing with us all this tricks.

    • apStumbo profile image

      apStumbo 7 years ago

      Dawna! It is good to hear from you! I am surprised you found me.

      Thank you heart4the word. My mom will love to hear that - the picture is actually hers.

    • heart4theword profile image

      heart4theword 7 years ago from hub

      I have friends that have done this, but what you did is beautiful, your rug look perfect. Great Job:)

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      Dawna T 7 years ago

      Drew, this is awesome to know about you. Is this the rug on the family kitchen table? Beautiful work, but guess what, yep, I want one.I could never do something like that. Thank you for sharing one more talent with us, actually I mean gift.

    • apStumbo profile image

      apStumbo 7 years ago

      Thanks PWalker281! The single crochet seems to work best.

    • profile image

      PWalker281 7 years ago

      Great hub on my favorite hobbie! Love your table runner - the colors are perfect! What stitch works best for this kind of "yarn" - single crochet or half double?? Congrats on your nomination!

    • apStumbo profile image

      apStumbo 7 years ago

      Salt: That is awesome! You don't see much of that in America.

      Dashingclaire: Thanks. I hope they enjoy it!

    • dashingclaire profile image

      dashingclaire 7 years ago from United States

      Interesting idea. I'm going to pass it on to my crafter friends.

    • salt profile image

      salt 7 years ago from australia

      Wonderful. In australia, they have knitting clubs where people meet at a cafe or pub and knit together. Its very retro and alternative and this is part of that culture or subculture. Thankyou.

    • apStumbo profile image

      apStumbo 7 years ago

      Athlyn Green:

      I bet you can add strips while you crochet. I have actually never done it, but that seems like a great idea.

      I saw that you added this hub to the dig page. Thanks for the bookmark!

    • apStumbo profile image

      apStumbo 7 years ago

      Thank you Gypsy Willow! My mom actually made the rug in the picture. She is so stinkin' crafty.

    • apStumbo profile image

      apStumbo 7 years ago

      Thanks so much Georgina!

      I have always loved rag rugs as well.

      I hope this idea works for you.

    • RiaMorrison profile image

      Ria Bridges 7 years ago from Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

      I love the look of ragrugs, but am hopeless at crochet. Shame they don't look nearly as good when knit.

    • Athlyn Green profile image

      Athlyn Green 7 years ago from West Kootenays

      What a great idea. Can you join the srips as you crochet? I would think you could. I recently saw an article about using fabric strips to make bowls and thought that was a neat idea, as well.

      Your rug picture is fantastic. Well done. Bookamarked.

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Inspirational hub thanks for sharing. Your rug is delightful.

    • Georgina_writes profile image

      Georgina_writes 7 years ago from Dartmoor

      I love this Hub. I've made rag rugs and plaited (braided) rugs from fabric scraps before, but never thought of crocheting them. This is so pretty. Thank you.

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 7 years ago from United States

      Rag rugs are still popular in the North East, down here in the south we don't see them as much. Good reminder!

    • mpurcell10 profile image

      mpurcell10 7 years ago from Arkansas

      Great hub! My mom makes the best rag rugs. I always use them in the bathroom.

    • mega1 profile image

      mega1 7 years ago

      I really like this - rag rugs we used to call them and some people weave them, but crocheting them is great and no need for a loom - thanks for this - do you know how to make those crocheted baskets, too?

    • Money Glitch profile image

      Money Glitch 7 years ago from Texas

      Wow, what a great recycling idea with such a pretty end results. Thanks for sharing and congratulations on being nominated as a HubNuggets Wannabe, good luck!

    • apStumbo profile image

      apStumbo 7 years ago

      Thanks so much Ripplemaker! That was a very pleasant surprise.

      I bet you will start crocheting and I am sure you'll love it. My hands were a bit rebellious while I was making my first scarf, but they learn to cooperate :)

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      apstumbo, congratulations for your Hubnugget Nomination. The Hubnuggets Team send our very best wishes to you to start your new year wonderfully! Woohoo!

      This is a fascinating subject. And maybe just maybe someday I will learn to to crochet. My hands should really start cooperating. LOL

      To vote for the Hubnuggets, click away:

    • apStumbo profile image

      apStumbo 7 years ago

      Thanks Elven Hottie for the congatulations - without you and wavegirl22 I wouldn't have even known I was nominated.

      You are welcome Dolores - I am glad you enjoyed the idea!

    • wavegirl22 profile image

      Shari 7 years ago from New York, NY

      Wow. . this is amazing. So creative and smart at the same time. Great Hub and congratulations on your Hubnugget nomination!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

      I love this. It's so pretty and functional and green! Thanks for sharing such a creative idea.

    • Elven  Hottie profile image

      Elven Hottie 7 years ago from USA

      That is a beautiful idea! Congrats on your nomination!

    • apStumbo profile image

      apStumbo 7 years ago

      Thank you, Ben!

      Awesome, I hope she enjoys it.

    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 7 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Wow, what a great idea. Really beautiful artwork that you've made there, I am going to send this to my daughter to see if she will be inspired to make me one!

    • apStumbo profile image

      apStumbo 7 years ago

      Thank you Prettydarkhorse! I appreciate it.

      Thanks Ivorwen, the one that you see in the picture was actually done by my mom. I owe all that I know about crafting to her.

      TamCor: I am glad you enjoy the idea. I hope it works well for you!

    • TamCor profile image

      Tammy Cornett 7 years ago from Ohio

      What a great hub--thank you for telling us about this idea, I love it!

      I've been wanting to make some rugs, but hadn't decided the best way to do it...thanks to you, now I do! :)

    • Ivorwen profile image

      Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      I've always wanted to make a fabric rug, but have never taken the time to do so. Yours is a lovely example.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      neat and simple, Welcome to HP, Maita