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How to Make a No-Sew Rag Wreath with Fabric Scraps

Updated on October 12, 2013
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When you hear the term 'rag wreath,' your mental image may be very rustic, but rag wreaths do not need to look like something form the country crafts festival. Rag wreaths can be quant, sophisticated, or cute - the choice is entirely yours. They're easy and fun to make, and they don't even require specialized tools. This tutorial not only shows you how to make a rag wreath, but also how to make it more durable so it can be used season after season.

All you need to make a rag wreath!
All you need to make a rag wreath! | Source

What do I Need to Make a rag Wreath?

If you're a sewer, you may already have just about everything you need at home for a rag wreath! Here are the supplies and materials you need:

  • A wreath frame. You can use a wire frame, straw, foam, wood, or just about anything else.
  • Fabric. My 12" wreath made for the tutorial used just under 2 yards of fabric.
  • Scissors.
  • Optional - cutting mat and rotary cutter.
  • Optional - Scotchgard or a high-quality clear acrylic spray sealant from a brand like Krylon or Mod Podge.

Create Rags

I've seen lots of people advising ripping the cloth into strips. I guess the theory is that it's quicker but, since you have to make lots of little guide cuts and then shred your hands ripping yards of fabric, I think cutting is quicker, easier, and ultimately looks better.

The size strips you need depends a little on your wreath frame, but I find strips about 1" wide and between 8" and 10" long work well. You can cut them with a mat and rotary cutter, or just with a pair of scissors.

You can get exact if you want to.
You can get exact if you want to. | Source

I've found that simply eyeballing it and cutting strips about an inch wide works absolutely fine for this project. To make life easier on yourself, fold you fabric in half, selvage edges together, and then in half again. Cut through all four thicknesses at once for quick and easy cutting! It also makes shortening the strips to usable length much easier, as outlined below.

Precision really isn't necessary, though.
Precision really isn't necessary, though. | Source

There is no need to cut all of your fabric at once. In fact, I recommend cutting only about a yard of it into strips to see how far it goes on your particular wreath base and then cut more, if you need to. If you want a multi-colored wreath, make sure to cut some of each of your fabrics or your wreath may end up sort of silly looking!

After you have a good stack of strips, cut them into smaller pieces. If you have a wide wreath base, you can simply cut the strips along the folds, as shown below.

Cut strips along the folds - you will have one double thickness cut and one single thickness cut for each original strip.
Cut strips along the folds - you will have one double thickness cut and one single thickness cut for each original strip. | Source

Get Tying!

After you have a stack of 'rags' ready to use, get tying. You can tie them pretty much however you like, but I prefer middling each strip and tying it in a square knot with the knot facing 'out,' as shown below. For a very full wreath, alternate strip directions so you have rags on both the inside and outside!

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Keep on tying rag strips, and cutting more as necessary, until your wreath is full and fluffy.

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Hang your Wreath

After you've finished tying on the strips, all that's left is hanging your wreath. You can use a traditional wreath hanger, or you can use some coordinating ribbon like I did.

If you use Krylon or Mod Podge, make sure you get the matte finish!

How to Make your Rag Wreath Last

Rag wreaths are, of course, made from cloth. Hung outside, even in a sheltered spot, it may eventually mildew. Hung inside, it may collect dust and become shabby with age. There are a couple of things you can do to combat this:

  • Before cutting your fabric, treat it thoroughly with Scotchgard. This amazing stuff will help keep your cloth wreath dust-resistant and easy to shake off for a quick cleaning. You can treat it afterwards, too, but it will be more difficult to get down inside the wreath.
  • If you don't have Scotchgard, use a high-quality clear acrylic spray from Krylon or Mod Podge. Both will help protect the fabric and are non-yellowing in sunlight, making them a great choice for outdoor wreaths.
  • If you coated your fabric before cutting it, give it a final spray before hanging to coat the exposed edges and forestall fraying.

Cleaning dust and pollen off your wreath is fairly easy, once it's been coated. Simply grab on to it and shake it clean! I do not recommend using a vacuum cleaner because the vacuum will probably just eat your lovely fabric strips.

Imagine the wreath you could make with this!

Rag Wreath Ideas

The shown rag wreath is springy, but you can make one for any time of year. It also makes a great stash busting project to use some of those fabric scraps you just can't bear to part with even though you logically know you probably won't use them for much of anything (or am I the only one with that problem?). Here are more rag wreath ideas:

  • Hang or wire ornaments and other decorations from/to the wreath.
  • Cut the rags with pinking shears or decorative scissors for a bit of variety and fray-checking ability.
  • Use a three or four rail wire wreath frame for a super fluffy wreath.
  • Use a charm pack of fabrics to create a diverse wreath, even if you don't have fabric scraps at home already.

I hope you enjoy this project and, as always, please let me know if you have any questions!

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    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Crafts without a lot of sewing are just my speed. Thanks for the great idea.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      What a simple and enormously creative idea. Love this one. Just cut the fabric. Voting this up and pinning in my craft section...You are so clever!

    • cabmgmnt profile image

      Corey 4 years ago from Northfield, MA

      adorable...would be a great project for Easter!

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Wow, I stepped away from the computer for a moment and came back to three comments! Thanks!

      Yes, the new-sewing does make it hand for folks who don't want to sew. It's also a really kid-friendly project because it doesn't matter if things come out a little uneven.

      Thanks so much for the comments and pinning =)

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      Very nice I have so many scrapes of fabric this would work great to use them up. Voted up.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks for the up vote! It looks great with fabric scraps and is an excellent way to use all those little pieces that aren't really big enough for anything else.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      This is really pretty and looks so easy to do. Voting up and pinning.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      It is pretty darn easy! Thanks for voting and pinning!

    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 4 years ago from Oklahoma

      Love it! I've been looking for some scrap-busting projects. (no...you are definitely not the only one with sentimental attachment to pretty cloth!) this would be perfect! thanks for sharing!

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      It can be so difficult to get rid of something that might theoretically be useful one day! I hope you give it a try to enjoy.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I cannot believe how many great wreath ideas are out there these days! I really need to pick one and make it. Thanks for the great tutorial. I love the colors that you used for your wreath.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks! I saw the fabric at the store last week and it just kind of called out to me. Plus, it was on sale. How could I resist?

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 4 years ago

      Natashalh,

      a really nice idea that you have here

      I love wreaths they are easy to make and

      can really brighten somebody's day

      Voted up and shared.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      This is a great idea. Since I do lot of stitching myself, I have lot of cut pieces piled up. It would be great to try this idea, into making something useful for home decoration.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A creative and to the point work of art here, so skillful and such different way and looks a simple way too.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you, torrilynn, ChitranadaSharan, and DDE! I appreciate the comments, complements, and votes.

      Thanks for the share, torrilynn!

      CS - Yes, it is such a great way to get rid of some scraps without really getting rid of the fabrics!

      Such high praise, DDE! Thank you!

    • KarenCreftor profile image

      Karen Creftor 4 years ago from Kent, UK

      I love this!

      I love anything raggedy, anything no-sew and anything that uses scraps (of which I have tons!)

      I may just have to try this (repeatedly)...I have lots of old lace and denim that needs upcycling. I also have lots of old boxes, so I might try to make the frame out of them :)

      Thanks for the great hub!

      ~Kaz x

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      You probably could make a frame that way. I'd just cut two layers and place them at angles to each other for strength and tape them up! A couple of pieces of corrugated cardboard can be really strong when you position them well.

      I hope you have fun with this project thanks for tweeting about it!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      I could make a whole bunch of these with my fabric collection. Cool!

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Yes, they're a great way to show off some leftovers!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I wondered what I would find when I clicked in here. I am so awed by the beauty of this simple wreath. Good color combo and looks so stunning. Thanks for the idea. Voted up and pinned.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Aw, thank you! The first time I heard of a rag wreath, my immediate thought was "?" because I wasn't sure what was happening, either. Thanks for voting and pinning!

    • TheKatsMeow profile image

      TheKatsMeow 4 years ago from Canada

      Great tutorial, gotta love those no-sew projects! and so easy too! I love this ribbon wreath :) thanks for checking out my wreath tutorial!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

      So easy to make. I can even use an old fabric which is still good for this wreth and no sewing at all. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and useful.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 3 years ago from Hawaii

      It is a great project for all those old scraps! Perfect, really. Thanks for stoping by.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 2 years ago from USA

      Love your rag wreath in pastels! This would also be fun to make in more wintery colors for Christmas or fall colors for Thanksgiving and Halloween. I like the idea of spraying with a protective coating to repel dust! Voted up and shared!

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 2 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks for voting and sharing! I agree that it can work for basically any season. =)

    • profile image

      Allana hall 13 months ago

      How do you keep the fabric from fraying?

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 2 weeks ago from Hawaii

      You don't. =) It doesn't usually fray much just sitting there, though, but any fraying adds to the rustic charm.

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