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How To Make A Coiled - No Sew Clothesline Rag Rug

Updated on August 17, 2012
Ann's Homemade Clothesline Coiled Rug
Ann's Homemade Clothesline Coiled Rug
close up of pattern - Give your rug a design alternate fabric selections on each row
close up of pattern - Give your rug a design alternate fabric selections on each row

I love making clothesline rugs because there is no sewing except when you make a little circle at the end of your clothesline to start the rug. This only takes a couple of stitches and then you are free to just wrap and tuck material in order to get each row to stay together. Other clothesline rug makers suggest you sew the rows together but why bother when the material itself serves as the thread and it actually makes a much more secure rug. I discovered this rug method when trying to come up with a design for students in my daughter's class to use as an auction project. Since there is little sewing involved they really enjoyed working on this particular rug as a class project. Their school colors were blue and yellow, hence the color scheme. I use old bedclothes like sheets and bed ruffles, shirts, etc to save money on fabric. This particular rug includes old blue jeans and tee shirts since the girls donated the fabrics and clothes.

Materials needed:


Fabric cut into long 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide strips - Choose material that doesn't fray easily



Tapestry needle

Let me demonstrate:

First – Take clothesline and with needle and thread (color doesn’t matter it will be covered up) sew a circle on the end of the clothesline/ Make this loop fairly small.

clothesline with circle sewn on end
clothesline with circle sewn on end

Next- take a long narrow strip of fabric (about ½ inch wide) and as long as you can make it. Place glue on the end of the fabric and attach to the end of the clothesline. If you are using fabric with color only on one side make sure the colored side is showing.

Start at the end of the clothesline where the circle is sewn
Start at the end of the clothesline where the circle is sewn

Now wrap the fabric all the way around the loop

1. When you get to where the unused clothesline is, take the material over the clothesline and then tuck it through the center. Next pull through the center and this time wrap around the current clothesline layer. Once again through the center. Next back over the top clothesline row. Then back through the center. Alternate between the two clothesline rows taking it through the center.

This time when you start around tuck the fabric around the third row of clothesline and tuck around the second row with it. Next loop just around the end of the current clothesline. Next loop once again tuck the fabric around the current row of clothesline as well as the row prior. Make your next loop just around the current clothesline. The tapestry needle comes in handy because it is often difficult to push the fabric through the prior row so you can shove the fabric through with the tapestry needle. As the circle gets bigger, sometimes you have to wrap the fabric around the current clothesline row a couple of times until you reach the section from the prior row that needs to be included in your current loop. When you are at the end of your fabric glue the end to the clothesline. Start a new piece. I always glue and wrap my new piece over the old one to secure it. When you run out of clothesline wrap a piece of fabric around the end and loop it through the row above it. Glue it to hold.

IMPORTANT: The single loop from the prior row is where you make your double loop in the current row

single loop
single loop
double loop
double loop
diagram of pattern
diagram of pattern

To increase the size of the rug add a new piece of clothesline to the end with a piece of fabric and glue. Continue until you get the size you want.


Please read the following hub for a unique way to acquire fabrics inexpensively:

If you enjoy rug making try shag rag rugs.

or - an oval shaped coiled no sew rag rug


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    • profile image

      Donna Crawford Foster 

      3 years ago

      Thank you!

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      4 years ago from Oklahoma

      Beautiful craftsmanship. Wonderful idea.

    • AnnRandolph profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      My instructions are a work in progress. I often wonder if anyone can actually understand them. Thanks for letting me know.

    • ShalahChayilJOY profile image

      Shalah Chayil 

      7 years ago from Billings, Montana

      How creative and delightful! Thank you so much for sharing your creations, Ann. you make everything look so simple and your illustrations help ever so much more.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 

      7 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Thank you Ann. That helps a great deal. I appreciate you getting back to me. :)

    • AnnRandolph profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      phdast 7,

      Plan on at least 4 100' clotheslines. I pick them up at WalMart and they aren't much.

      As far as fabrics plan on about 4 yards of fabric. This is a wild guess because I use so many old sheets, shirts, tablecloths etc. that it is hard to judge. Not to worry if you run out of fabric just pick up similar design same color etc.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 

      7 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      How ingenious! I want to start one right now, but darnn, I have to go to work. I have a lot of interesting material and I would like to see how it turns out.

      Can you give us a rough estimate of how many yards of fabric and how many clotheslines it would take to make a four foot diameter round rug?

      Thanks. SHARING


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