Rag Crochet is Upcycling For Hookers


Its time for some rag crochet. I bought new sheets last week. That means I have old sheets. That means I have stuff to make rags. That means rag crochet.

rag crochet - a pattern round up

So let’s have a Rag Crochet Pattern Roundup

This post is chock full of links. Others might note that by way of apology or mention it as a disclaimer. Me? I’m saying its a bonus. Every link should take you to a free pattern or a tutorial or eye candy or something good like that. If it doesn’t, that’s because I broke a link and you should let me know ASAP in the comment section!

Some Tutorials

If you’ve never tried rag crochet then I’m glad to be the one to get you hooked (Ha! a pun!) on a whole new thing. The trick is in turning fabric into “yarn”. There are different ways to cut your strips and different ways to join those strips. I do the switch-back cuts that you can find in Vintage Chica’s tutorial.

Rag Rug Tutorial From Vintage Chica (click image to get there)

Then I join the strips like its demonstrated on Sustainable Baby Steps to make really big balls of “yarn”.

joining fabric strips to make yarn
Rag Rug Tutorial from Sustainable Baby Steps (click image to go there)

There is a method of sewing the strips together with a sewing machine. It makes for a smoother yarn, very posh. Then your rag crochet isn’t so raggedy. If you really want a perfect looking rag crochet you don’t use rags at all. Buy yarn that is made from jersey fabric.  Premier yarns makes Craft-Tee Yarn. Wool And The Gang makes Jersey Be Good. (Kinda defeats the whole upcyling effort but it is very nice stuff.)

Jersey Be Good yarn

What to Make With My Rags

When I first realized I’d be starting a rag crochet project (which was approximately 78 seconds after I decided to buy new sheets because my brain went directly from new sheets = old sheets = rags = crochet project) I assumed that I’d make a rug. All my rag crochet projects in the past have been rugs.

And rugs are easy. You just pick a shape and go!

rag crochet rug by pieceful
Pieceful’s rag crochet rug (click image to see more!)
Amanda's Happy Hearth rag crochet rug
Amanda’s Happy Hearth rag crochet rug – includes a free pattern (click image to go there)

There are circles and hexagons and stars and spirals and so on. A crafter is pretty much limited by only their imagination.

I got sidetracked a little and looked into knitting with rags. Cocoknits makes gorgeous knitted rugs with rags. (I like her knitwear patterns, btw. I like them A LOT. She is one of the few designers that designs for less-than-perfect body shapes.)

knit rag rug by cocoknits - free pattern
Rag rug knitted bath mat by cocoknits – free pattern (click image to go there)

Isn’t that lovely? I’ll never make that. My rugs get stepped on and they get dirty and they get washed. That rug looks like it should be in a home decor magazine.

So I shook off the wild thoughts of rag knitting. Rag crocheting, that’s what I want. And I was going to start a rug until I saw this rag crochet basket tutorial by My Very Educated Mother.

rag crochet baskets
Rag crochet baskets by My Very Educated Mother – free pattern (click image to go there)

I like baskets. I have lots and lots of wicker baskets but its not as if I have ENOUGH wicker baskets. I could always use more baskets. But then I saw this tutorial for making a rag crochet tote by Laughing Purple Goldfish.

making a rag bag by Laughing Purple Goldfish
Making a rag bag by Laughing Purple Goldfish – free photo tutorial (click image to go there)

Yep. I like that. That’s what I want. A rag crochet tote. If it turns out big enough it will become my main project bag.

my future rags

Feline Overlord in the sheets

Cowardly Boy Cat in the sheets

I have these three colors to work with. We are all looking forward to this project in a big way, and I do mean all of us. I’m pretty sure that by the time I have laid out the sheets, cut the strips, and balled them into “yarn”, it will be covered in cat hair.

I’ll keep you posted. Oh, and if you start cutting up perfectly good sheets after reading this, its not my fault. Be sure to tell your significant other that it is not. Jenn’s. fault. 

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"There is no failure. Only feedback." - Robert Allen

11 Comments on "Rag Crochet is Upcycling For Hookers"

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YIKES! I was about to donate my old sheets to my fabric arts center for rag rugs. But now I have an idea for a new project – a large, soft crochet container for my unspun fleece. I’m tired of dragging it around in plastic bags. Thanks, Jenn.


You are very welcome! Happy to be part of a instigating a new project. It makes me feel better about all the to-do’s I have. haha

But seriously, that does sound like a great use for your old sheets. Storing fiber and fleece without getting it all compacted can be a challenge.I’d love to hear how it turns out.

Eleonora from Coastal Crochet

I LOVE this! Very inspiring! And yes, I’m tempted to rip up a perfectly good sheet!! Thanks for a great post x


🙂 Glad you liked it. If you do go a rip up your sheets, come back and tell us what you are making!


Hi Jenn! Did you see what Nicole does with Darn Good Yarn? She is very good at inventing patterns and baskets for her sari yarn. And she helps people too! Check her website: http://www.darngoodyarn.com. I’d love to buy from her but here in Europe we have tight custom regulations (especially in Portugal!).


Wow. That upcycled silk is very pretty stuff! Its a bit above my touch but it DOES give me ideas for handspun.



Since you brought it up, can I use you and your readers for an opinion?

I have some good jersey cotton sheet sets left over from when I changed bed sizes. My BF thinks I’m nuts because I want to cut them up and turn them into… A new blanket. He Who Knows Nothing About Crochet says fabric yarn wouldn’t make a good blanket.

I think it would make a great blanket. The sheets are all color coordinated, too! What do you think?


Well… jersey is what t-shirts are made from and that makes for a nice soft think yarn. Are your sheets in that tiny-tiny machine knit stitch like t-shirts are?

And BF doesn’t understand. Poor thing. I kinda feel sorry for him (and all the others) because they can’t see all the beautiful creations that live our imaginations.


They ARE knit in that teeny-tiny stitch! I can cut them as thin as 1/4 inch without fraying or breaking. The end result is equal to bulky weight yarn.

I guess I shouldn’t be so harsh on the BF. When I planned the project, I held up the sheets and asked (like he cares) “Know what these are gonna be?”…

He said: “Sheets?”


CITW, I say go for it. I’ve been thinking that my old flannel sheets would make up into a great blanket. Let us know how it turns out.


I’m gonna do it! If it turns out to thick or stiff, then I guess I’ll have a new area rug!