T-Shirt Yarn Dog Rug and Chew Toy [Free Crochet Pattern]

Everyone has a major collection of leftover t-shirts. You don’t know how it happens, but the garments pile up and multiply like a cotton-based mitosis until you have dresser drawers spilling over and closets brimming with concert tees, wedding reception favors, and free logo-laden styles from software companies. You’ll never wear those shirts and you know it. However, there are plenty of things to do with the shirts besides tossing them or donating them. Like turning them into craft projects!

 

How to make a crochet dog rug


The more we got to thinking, though, what’s better than an upcycled craft project? What’s even more awesome than saving the environment? What is a thousand percent better than being productive and cleaning out your closet at the same time?

Puppies!!!!

t-shirt yarn dog toy and rug



In this free tutorial and pattern, we turn six shirts into t-shirt yarn (or tarn!) and crochet them up into a super-squishy and super-cute bed for your dog. We put together a simple tutorial on how to create your own t-shirt yarn here. This project is crocheted in the round and works up super quick, thanks to the thickness of the recycled t-shirt yarn. If you like instant gratification, you’ve picked the right project! This rug should not take more than a day to complete.

 

Puppy on DIY crochet rug

 

To make the matching puppy toy, we used scraps from the tees, braided them together, and tied off on both ends. (Disclaimer: if your puppy is prone to swallowing non-food items, please be careful about letting him or her play with this!)

 

PRODUCTS USED

  • 6 T-Shirts (in sizes 2X & 3X)
  • 10 MM crochet Hook (Size N)
  • Rotary Cutter and Mat
  • Scissors
  • Tapestry Needle

 

DIY crochet rug supplies

Shop all of our blank tees here!

 

STITCHES USED

  • Chain (ch)
  • Slip Stitch (sl st)
  • Half Double Crochet (hdc)

 

The project will turn out a lot flatter if you stitch as loosely as possible. This is the pattern we came up that works for us for a perfectly flat and round circle. The pattern is easy to adjust, though, if you start to have issues with the flatness of the rug. Here’s the method we used:

 

  • If the rug begins to curl up like a bowl, there is not enough increase. The next round should be an increase round.
  • If the rug is becoming wavy, you have too much increase. The next round should be 1 HDC around only.
  • Do what works with your tension and the weight of the tees you used! Make sure to check how the rug is looking after every round to see if you need to make any changes.

 

Crochet T-Shirt Yarn Rug

NOTE: Each Ch 2 at the beginning of the round counts as the first HDC. Do not turn work when beginning a new round.

We joined in a new color after the yarn ran out, not at the beginning of a round. On how we changed colors, watch this video.

Chain 3 to begin.

  • Round 1: 5 HDC in first ch, sl st to first HDC to join. (6 stitches)
  • Round 2: Ch 2, HDC in same stitch, 2 HDC in each stitch around, sl st to top of ch2 to join. (12 stitches)
  • Round 3: Ch 2, HDC in same stitch, * 1 HDC in the next st, 2 HDC in the next st * repeat from * until end, sl st to top of ch 2 to join. (18 stitches)
  • Round 4: Ch 2, HDC in the next stitch, * 2 HDC in next st, 1 HDC in the next 2 stitches * repeat from * until end, sl st to top of ch 2 to join. (24 stitches)
  • Round 5: Ch 2, HDC in same stitch, 2 HDC in each stitch around, sl st to top of ch 2 to join. (48 stitches)
  • Round 6: Ch 2, HDC in each stitch around, sl st to top of ch 2 to join. (48 stitches)
  • Round 7: Ch 2, HDC in same stitch, * 1 HDC in next st, 2 HDC in next st * repeat from * until end, sl st to top of ch 2 to join. (72 stitches)
  • Round 8: Ch 2, HDC in each stitch around, sl st to top of ch 2 to join. (72 stitches)
  • Round 9: Ch 2, HDC in each stitch around, sl st to top of ch 2 to join. (72 stitches)
  • Round 10: Ch 2, HDC in next two stitches, * 2 HDC in next stitch, 1 HDC in the next 3 stitches * repeat until end, sl st to top of ch 2 to join. (90 stitches)
  • Round 11: Ch 2, HDC in each stitch around, sl st to top of ch 2 to join. (90 stitches)
  • Round 12: Ch 2, HDC in next 3 stitches, 2 HDC in next stitch,* 1 HDC in next 4 stitches, 2 HDC in next stitch * repeat from * to end, sl st to top of ch 2 to join. (108 stitches)
  • Round 13: Ch 2, HDC in each stitch around, sl st to top of ch 2 to join. (108 stitches)
  • Round 14: Ch 2, HDC in next 4 stitches, 2 HDC in next stitch, * 1 HDC in next 5 stitches, 2 HDC in next stitch * repeat from * to end, sl st to top of ch 2 to join. (126 stitches)

Fasten off and weave in ends.

And there you have it! If you want the rug to be smaller, just stop whenever you want. Simple! If you want it to be larger, keep adding more rounds, alternating between increase and non-increase rows as you see necessary.

To conclude: here are some more adorable puppy pictures with the rug and toy we made. Because, seriously … puppies.

 

DIY dog mat with dish

 

Crochet dog rug and chew toy
MaDonna Sheehy

MaDonna is the Lead Brand Specialist at Shirts.com and simply cannot pick her favorite style of t-shirt. Perhaps a concert tee with Morrissey’s lovely face on it. Or maybe a top that features her favorite Pokemon, Slowpoke! Who knows! Today she’s wearing a tank top that features all of the Zodiac symbols. Tomorrow? It’s a mystery.


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