Handmade Amish knot rag rug - Tutorial

28 July 2017

I recently taught myself how to make a toothbrush (Amish) rag rug, which then led to a slight obsession with rug making. Whenever I visit friends and family, I'll make a rug for them or teach them how to make one for themselves. It's an easy craft to master and all you need is an old double duvet cover, a crafting needle, which you can easily make, a pair of scissors and a flat surface. And, I even made a tutorial YouTube video, which tells you all you need to know! The trickiest part is the starting point, but once you've completed the first few circles it's easy. After that, it's repetition, repetition, repetition... quite therapeutic really!

UPDATE 28th August 2017
I also have a newer YouTube video, with more tips and clearer instructions. 
It also shows you how to make placemats with different fabric, using the Amish knot.

For this green rug, I used a double duvet cover and cut the strips appox 1½ inches wide. This gave me a rug with a 27 inch diameter. I was so chuffed when I completed the rug. I will never buy another rug again.

For this pretty rug, I cut strips approx 2 inches wide and made two smaller rugs, using half of a double duvet cover for each. They measure approx 20 inches in diameter each and are slightly thicker than the green rug. I made the first one for my sister and the second one is used in my bathroom by the sink. Patterned fabric gives a pretty mottled effect. If you use striped fabric, consider cutting across the stripes rather than parallel.



This blue and cream rug measures 22 inches in diameter, using approx 2 inch strips. Also it was quite a thick duvet cover. If I had cut the strips thinner, it definitely would've turned out wider. 



This rug was made from a king size duvet cover cut into approx one inch strips. It is 39 inches in diameter and practically the size of my dining table. This is the piece I am most proud of. It's used as a welcome mat inside my front door. I love telling my guests "I made this rug!" Are you tempted to have a go yet? 



If you don't have an old duvet cover, some charity shops do sell them. Otherwise, ask a friend, I bet someone has a stash they need getting rid of. The thickness and width of the fabric strips, also the tightness of each knot makes a difference to the overall thickness and diameter of the rug. With practice, you'll learn what works for you. Hopefully, you will now have a good idea of how yours might turn out. They wash very well and should last for years. If you don't think you have the patience to make a rug, make a placemat instead.


Workshops
My obsession led me to start running 'Parent & Child rug making workshops'. It's a fun workshop designed for parents and children to spend quality time together, learning a new craft and creating precious memories. It's also a great way to teach patience. The workshops have been very successful and I'm hoping to eventually run regular workshops at other schools in my local area, as well as adults only workshops.





Whilst childminding, I also get the children involved. We made this pink rug together over the period of six weeks. Little L was super proud of her rug, which now has pride of place in her bedroom.


I'd originally made this video as a guide for the parents and children attending my 'Parent & Child rug making workshop', but, was very surprised at how much interest there was in the wider world. There has been so many views, likes, subscribers and so many lovely comments, which inspired me to write this post. I will also, in the near future add more videos to my channel...watch this space. 



UPDATE 20th August 2017
I also have a newer video, with more tips and clearer instructions
It also shows you how to make placemats with different fabric, using the Amish knot.

I hope you are inspired to have a go! Have a great weekend!
Barri-Jayne xx



22 comments

  1. I have way he'd your YouTube video on how to make a toothbrush rug amish. I can not express how good your instructions are. They are the very best on the web. I have been though literally hundreds on rag rug tutorials and not one has taught me but yours. I commend you on all your hard work. Thank you I will really be able to make my rug now.
    sbabson2011@Gmail
    Sonia

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your lovely message. Hope you enjoyed making your rug! Happy crafting! Barri-Jayne 😊

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. Such an useful Tutorial about the Handmade Amish knot rag rug and the method of making this Hand made carpets rugs easily.

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  4. I just read your description suggesting duvet cover fabric. I have been using Men’s XXLarge Cotton Long sleeved shirts from thrift store bag sales. I use 3/4” strips and sometimes part polyester insides which make it more flexible.
    This has become an obsession for me, and I have made 3 rounds this year. Next one will be oval! Will also use wider strips!

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  5. Would you post pics please, Nancy?

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  6. I have made two cotton sheeting rugs after watching your videos! Thank you! I want now to attempt making a rug out of jersey sheets. Can I use cotton sheeting for the "spine"? Any other hints for a jersey rug?

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  7. Wow, this blog is amazig and your video i very informative. Keep sharing such amazing stuff. Thanks!
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  8. Hand knotted area rugs are typically made in countries that are world renown in rug weaving with a long history. Iran, also known as Persia in old times, is an undisputed pioneer in the hand knotted rug weaving practice.

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  9. HELP!! Can I use cotton t-shirt to make this rug??

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  10. Can you me instructions on how to make the double knotted toothbrush rag rug please, id be so grateful if you could.
    Thank You
    Colleen Leary

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  11. Could you possibly give me instructions to make a double knotted toothbrush rag rug please? Id be so grateful if you could.
    Thank You
    Colleen Leary

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