Instructions for making a rag rug with a toothbrush

Rag rugs are a quick and relatively easy craft to make and they look spectacular. Rag rugs used to be made with old-fashioned toothbrushes, which had a hole in them that held the thread pieces. The end of a second toothbrush served as a poking tool. Rag rugs are still made with modified toothbrushes today. The following instructions will teach you how to make your very own 60cm (2-foot) by 90 cm (3-foot) toothbrush rag rug.

Start with two strips of fabric (cotton, silk, rayon or acetate) approximately 60cm/2-feet long. The first strip is also known as the base strip or the runner. Knot the second strip around the base strip.

Attach the beginning two strips to a cushion, placing a modified toothbrush (that has the bristled head cut off and the end filed down to a point) or rag rug tool on the strip on the right. Hang a heavy object on the strip to the left (base strip) to ensure this strip remains straight.

Put the needle end of the toothbrush or rag rug tool under the base strip to form a loop. Bring the needle over the base strip and down through the loop. Pull the strip through it and make a tight knot. Continue to do this all the way down the base strip.

Form the now-knotted strip into a circle, continuing to knot as you go. Pick up the loops from the previous round to do the next round. Continue this process throughout the rest of the rug. Incorporating loops from the previous round helps to avoid additional stitching.


If you find that the loops are very tight, you may have made too many increases. If they are too loose, you may have made too few increases. Using fabric with patterns is a good way to hide imperfections. Small rugs can also be used as chair cushions and trivets.

Things You'll Need

  • 11 metres/12 yards of fabric
  • Rag rug tool
  • Modified toothbrush
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About the Author

Geoff Hineman has been a professional writer since 2001. His work has appeared in Dodge Magazine, The Ann Arbor Paper and online. Hineman holds a Master of Arts in writing from Northern Michigan University.