close up of sock rag rug

Tutorial: How to Make a Plush Rag Rug from Old Socks in 5 Steps

Upcycle old socks into a squishy, colorful rug!

I make rag rugs out of old t-shirts, torn flannel sheets, and now, holey socks!

Here's a quick tutorial, in case you have old socks lying around that you would like to upcycle into a rug!


  • Old socks (Thin, stretchy, colorful ones work best. I found that my old wool blends and generic cotton sports socks weren't stretchy enough.)
  • Scissors or rotary cutter
  • Tapestry needle
  • String (I used warp string, but you can probably get away with other string or even some strong yarn.)

Step One: Collect socks

Collect old socks and other materials! Straightforward.

Step Two: Cut sock doughnuts

Cut socks. Lay a sock out flat. Using a rotary cutter or scissors, cut off the toe. Discard that. Then, cut sections about an inch or so wide. When unfolded, these sections will be stretchy doughnuts.

a tall sock laid flat on a rotary cutting mat, being cut into strips
Cutting sock doughnuts.

Step Three: Make a sock loop chain

Start your sock loop chain. Hang one stretchy sock doughnut on your index finger. With your other hand, stretch it out, wrap it around your thumb, and loop it back onto your index finger. Take a second sock doughnut, and do the exact same thing. Then, pull the first loops over the second ones, until the first doughnut is hanging on the second.

Repeat, making a chain of sock doughnuts looped over sock doughnuts.

This chain will begin to come apart if you take your fingers out. Use a pencil or a pen stuck through the loops at the end to hold it when you are not working on it.

Hang one sock loop on your finger.
Pinch, stretch…
...wrap around your thumb and loop back onto your finger.
Get a second sock loop and hang it on your finger...
...wrap it around your thumb and loop back onto your finger.
Pull first sock loops over the second ones.
The first sock loop will hang loosely on the second.
Repeat to build up the sock rope!

Step Four: Sew into rug

Once you have a long chain of looped sock doughnuts, you can sew it together into a rug. Put a length of string on a tapestry needle. Tie the end of the string to the very beginning of your sock loop chain. Start coiling the sock loop chain up, like a snake. Weave the string through the loops along the inside edges of the coil to hold it together.

Tie string to first loops in your sock rope.
Sew the string through the sock loops and start coiling.
Keep coiling and sewing…
Keep the string going through loops on the inside edge of the coil.
Coil and sew!

Step Five: Finish it off

To finish, sew the last two sock loops together, and then sew that to the side of the rug. And there you have it! One new sock rug.

Finished rug picture forthcoming! Here's what it looks like today.

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