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