Make a shag scatter rug from recycled blue jeans.

How to Make a Scatter Rug From Recycled Denim

by Cyndee Kromminga

The durable fabric of old jeans makes them a good choice for rug making. They will withstand heavy traffic areas as well as provide a country or ranch charm to your home's decor. The natural fray of the cut edges add more fluff to the shag and do not need to be stitched. Plan a few evenings of movie watching while you prepare your pieces and attach your shag.

Cut the legs off of one pair of adult-size jeans, just below the crotch. There is a flat-fell, or double-stitched, seam on one side of each leg. Open the legs along the flat-fell seams, and then cut off the seam.

Open the cut legs and lay them flat. Stack the two legs on top of each other with right sides together. Pin one long edge. Sew the pinned edge using a 1/2-inch seam allowance and a heavy-duty sewing needle in your sewing machine. This is the only sewing required for this project.

Open the stitched legs and lay them flat. Trim the edges and cut the denim into a rectangle or square for your scatter rug shape. This is the base of your rug.

Place a yardstick on the base and 1 inch from one edge. Using a marking pen, mark dots spaced 1 inch apart down the length of the yardstick. This will be considered a horizontal row.

Shift the yardstick another 1/2 inch away from the edge. Mark another row of dots spaced 1 inch apart. Continue to shift the yardstick every 1/2 inch and mark additional rows until you have marked the entire surface.

Trim the edge of the rug base to 1 inch from the marks on the ends of the rows and 1 inch from the bottom row.

Clip a 1/2-inch horizontal slit over each mark on each horizontal row of the rug base using scissors. Note: This leaves a 1/2 inch space between each slit, and each horizontal row is 1/2 inch apart.

Count the horizontal slits in the first row and subtract 1. Count the number of horizontal rows. Multiply the number of rows by the total slits of one row. This is the amount of shag strips needed for your rug.

Cut 1/2-inch-wide by 5-inch-long strips from another pair of recycled jeans. Do not include seams in the strips. Repeat with as many jeans as are necessary to accumulate the number of strips needed for your rug.

Lay the rug base on your work surface with the wrong side of the fabric facing up. The right side of the fabric will be the visible side on the back of the rug.

Insert one end of a jean strip down through the first slit on the first horizontal row. Insert the same end up through the second slit. Both ends are now on the front. Adjust the ends to extend evenly above the rug. One shag is completed. Do not knot or stitch.

Insert the next strip down through the second slit and up through the third strip. Note: Each new shag will share the last slit of the previous shag.

Repeat Step 10 to the end of the row. Repeat Steps 9 and 10 until the entire rug base has been shagged.

Items you will need

  • Adult-size blue jeans
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine with heavy-duty needle
  • Yardstick
  • Marking pen

About the Author

Based in the Midwest, Cyndee Kromminga has been writing craft and interior design articles for 15 years. Her articles and craft designs have appeared in Crafting Traditions Magazine, Easy Holiday Crafting Series-House of White Birches Newsletter and Country Woman Christmas Books. Kromminga's education is in interior design and she has experience operating a craft and design business for more than 20 years.

Photo Credits

  • Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images