A Rug Full of Ruffles
Last summer we moved into a new house. While there are certainly lots of upgrades and projects we want to do to the house, we’re taking it slow. A new fridge, dishwasher, toilet repairs, carpet, paint, and AC unit will definitely put the brakes on the fun projects.
My son’s bathroom is one of the rooms that I can’t wait to work on. While I certainly want to make some major changes, I started with a simple bathroom rug. I made one similar to this for our bathroom two years ago, but finally got around to taking pictures for a tutorial. I know there are numerous styles of this type, but here’s my take on it.
First you need a base. For this rug, I used an old bath mat. I planned on it being washed quite a bit and I wanted something that would stay relatively fluffy. Depending on the size of your rug, you could use a bath or hand towel. For my first rug, I used a piece of fabric that had been folded for double thickness. Just make sure it’s somewhat on the sturdy side.
Next, you’ll want to make your strips. I used a jellyroll for this rug, but you can certainly cut your own strips of fabric. My first rug was literally scrap fabric from a previous project. You can zig zag the edges, cut them with pinking shears, or leave them to ravel. I used the serger on mine just because I wanted the look of it. My other rug was cut with pinking shears. At this point, you’ll want to sew the ends of your strips together to make one super long strip. This is so you don’t have to piece together ruffled strips; instead you’ll be able to trim them as you go, waste less fabric, and have a much neater looking rug.
After your edges are decided, you need to make your ruffles. If you have a ruffler foot, this will be very easy. If you don’t (I don’t), it can still be easy. Take your time and sew a straight line down the center of your strip. Gather the fabric right before it goes under your presser foot so that you’re sewing a gather. I call it my ‘gathering cheat’. I’ll never run a long stitch and pull threads ever again. Ever.
Take your base piece and mark the lines where you’ll be sewing down your ruffles. My first rug had narrower ruffles so I spaced them closer together. I spaced this rug’s ruffles two inches apart. It’s totally up to what you like. (The picture shows markings at one inch. I originally planned for one inch, but then realized that the ruffles were too close to lay flat and you couldn’t see the fabric so I switched to two inches…just something to consider.)
Once you have your base marked, go ahead and pin down your ruffles. I started out with pinning as I sewed and ended up with my ruffles all veering to one side. Pin first, then sew. It makes for straighter lines.
Keep sewing your ruffles onto your base piece until it’s covered as much as you want it covered. For the underside, I hand tacked some of that rubber grippy stuff used for cabinet shelves to keep it from sliding all over the floor. I first tried sewing it on the machine, but the feed dogs chewed it to a mess. Thanks to Pinterest (thank you!), next time I’ll try putting invisible tape on the bottom of the presser foot to make it slide better. Next time…
And that’s it! Super simple and (I think) super cute!
He likes it. Really. He does. (That dark blue paint isn’t long for this world.)
Here’s a look at the bathroom rug I made for our master bathroom. Forgive the flat ruffles. I should have washed and fluffed it before taking the pictures, but who has time for that?