Monday, February 13, 2012

DIY Area Rug: 1/28th

(Here for DIY Area Rug: Beginnings)

By 1/28th I mean 1/28th of the way done. Haha!

I love it so far. It's such a mundane process but even Sak thinks this project is worth it.  The rug is so thick and plush! And yes we now make it a point to reach down and count how many rug fibers per grid there are in store-made rugs.  IKEA can't hold a candle to this shaggy baby.

Anyway! Let's start from the beginning. How to latch-hook. It's refreshingly simple. :)

First, stick the latch hook tool through a hole.
Next, stick your yarn underneath the back of the tool.  We used two, 3 inch pieces of yarn per hole (and are filling every hole). We were worried the rug would not be thick enough with only one 3-inch piece. It's definitely thick with two. Definitely.
Next, pull the yarn ends up into the hook end of the latch.  If you do this while pulling the tool down a bit, the latch will start to close over the yarn.
When all the yarn is closed within the latch, you can pull the tool through down, popping it out of the hole!
And you have one latch-hooked rug piece!

We're using Loops & Threads brand yarn, which is 100% acrylic.  I wanted to use wool or natural fiber yarn at first, but frankly I wasn't prepared to pay for it.  Acrylic is cheap, and my particular yarn is currently $2.50 a skein at Michael's.  We're using 40 skeins of claret (red), 14 skeins of soft taupe, and 10 skeins of chocolate.

Sak calculated out how much we'd need based on the design we'd be using, which he mocked up in paint.  The idea was to make a fish scale pattern.  The paint image breaks the pattern down into little blocks, which represent each 10x10 hole section of the latch hook grid.
It will take 28 of these pattern blocks to finish the entire rug!  Which, if it took us exactly 2 weeks to finish one, will make it over a year before we finish the whole thing! Aiya!

But really, it isn't so bad.  We only work on it about an hour a day, while we watch TV (Dr. Who currently).  It's relaxing, and curbs my TV-guilt.  Am I the only one that feels guilty if they are doing nothing while watching TV? I need to learn to relax. :P

The hardest part was just cutting the yarn, but Sak figured out how to make that easy too!  Two taped-together AA sized batteries.  Wrap the yarn around, and you have a helpful groove for cutting perfect 3 inch pieces!
And yes, the rug does shed, though this is true of practically any shag rug.  I am willing to take some pilling for the sake of super fluffiness.  I've read that there are rakes for shag rugs, and that you are supposed to vaccuum it without the beater brush to keep it from fraying more.  I will have to do a vacuum test once it's a little bigger, and if the fibers start to pull out I'll have to think of a way to seal the back of the rug or something.

Anyway, so far I really enjoy this project, though we've got a very, very long way to go!

Expect another update once we fill out this whole grid. Then we'll be at a nice 25% done instead of less than 4%.  ^_^


  1. Wow, it looks so plush and wonderful!! And I love Sak's solution to cutting 3" lengths of yarn -- so innovative. =) It's funny, we happened to swing by Ikea on our way back from Sedona yesterday, and when we walked by the rugs, I totally thought of you!! =)

  2. Wow! It looks great, and I'm sure all of that time will be worth it in the end!

  3. Wow! I am so impressed with this project! I would never have the patience for something like this!

  4. This is an epic DIY! Thanks for the card, btw! It's so cute and creative, how do you do it?!

  5. Looks like a lot of work. Now I know why area rugs are so expensive :) Can't wait to see the finished product!

  6. That looks amazing!!! Love the pattern as well!

  7. This is going to be so amazing once it's done!

  8. that is an amazing labor of love--such a great thing for you guys to do together!

  9. Wow even that little bit looks great!! :D

  10. I have a love for ingenious solutions like that battery tape-cutting trick. Your rug is gonna be so cool!

  11. beautiful! I have been looking and looking and LOOKING for rugs and aside from being way out of my budget, nothing has really caught my eye. My hubby LOVES shag rugs so this would be a great way to get what I want and "compromise" with him :) Thanks for the tutorial!!

  12. Great Rug! Shillcraft will soon be doing a story about custom rugs and we'd love to post a link on our Facebook Page to your Blog. If you are interested you can find us at then send us a message with your link information. You do Beautiful Work!

  13. Beautiful rug! I'm about to make my own. What program did you use to make your design?

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