Craft Confessions | Things I've Learned #2

Don't try to make your own rug. Seriously, just don't try it. I failed at this project at least five different times. I wanted to make a pretty latch-hook style rug for our front door (since we've had many horrible mud-tracking incidents through our front room). My inspiration was this awesome rug found on Xoelle. I should have backed off when she said it took way too much time, but I decided I knew better and I could do it. I'm including pictures in case you decide to be crazy, too, or if you just want to laugh even more.

Fail #1: I am not capable of speeding up time, nor will I ever be.

Just cutting the shirts into 1" strips for this rug started taking forever. I realized this folly and decided I needed to come up with some alternative version so that I wouldn't need as many shirts. I decided that if I laid the strips in rows and tied them down, instead of pulling them through like Xoelle's rug, I would save time and materials (I guess that part was mostly a success, to be honest). But "less time" still meant A LOT of time.

Fail #2: Black dye can turn purple. What did I do wrong?

I still don't know. I wanted my rug to be grey, so after the strips were all cut and sewn together, I dunked the strips in a bit of black dye. Somehow the strips turned a nasty shade of purple. Really? I thought maybe I hadn't washed my basin well enough after using wine-colored dye. However, when I later tried re-dyeing the strips (and going for all-out black this time) they just turned into a slightly darker purple. Darn it.

Then I labored away, attaching my strips to the top of some carpet backing. I also purchased some rug binding and sewed that around the raw edges of the carpet backing. All seemed well. I only wanted to re-dye everything so that the binding and any visible carpet backing would match the t-shirt strips on top. Like I said before, I was kind of bummed out that the rug still looked purple, just a darker purple.

Fail #3: Dryers enjoy eating hand-sewn rugs.

You may be able to guess what happened, but perhaps a picture really does the best work. I threw a beautiful, complete rug in the dryer, and it was the death of that little pain in my neck. I almost cried. Instead, I simple texted my out-of-town husband, "We need to buy new rugs". He knew I was pretty upset, so he had his mom drive over and drop off some rugs she keeps on hand to show her real estate listings. My Main Man sure knows how to make me feel better.

So there you have it. I mess up some projects. A LOT. But it's good for a laugh, right?

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