Rag rugs are made by recycling old clothes and other fabrics, which are cut up into strips and then worked into a hessian backing. In the past, when people could not afford expensive floor covering, rag rugs would be found in various rooms in the house, especially in front of the fire and by the back door where they served as useful doormats.
There are different ways to make rag rugs or rag mats as some people prefer to call them, and also a variety of different terms related to the activity of rug making. For example, you will find rag rugs referred to as Proddy Rugs, Proggy Mats, Clootie Mats, Clippies, Stobbies, Hookies and so on.
Rag rugs are relaxing and a pleasure to make. They have become very popular as people have been introduced to this traditional skill and also because they encourage recycling.
With a Hulton Crafts Rag Rug Kit, you can learn this skill and use the wooden prodder in the Kit to prod through strips of material into the hessian to make something attractive and practical.
Rag art involves using the skill of traditional rag rugging, but on a small scale. Finished rag art can be framed, wrapped around pots to make colourful pencil holders or rolled up and made into ornaments for decoration, like this little caterpillar below!
Rag rugs were originally used as cheap floor covering, made by cutting up waste material (e.g. old clothes) into strips and then “prodding” them through an old sack as backing.
The Craft Kit teaches you this traditional skill and how to make attractive pieces of rag art on a small scale. Nowadays, we are keen to recycle and what better way than to re-use some material that is no longer needed? It is possible to combine fabrics and plastics. It is a fun way of making something really useful and interesting!
Rag art can be relaxing. It soon becomes easy with practice to experiment with different designs and textures and to express yourself creatively.
If the strips of material are densely prodded into the hessian, it gives a lovely soft feeling.
Prodders used to be made from Dolly Pegs by removing one side and then sanding it down so there were no sharp edges.
The Craft Kit contains a simple wooden prodder and some strips of fabric so you can begin straight away. Some examples of what can be made are shown below:
“These craft bags are delightful and you cannot help but want to touch the beautiful and natural materials. It is the perfect activity for the family or a group of children to do together. The drawings and instructions are completed with care. As an O.T. I am always looking for creative, calming, sensory activities and the Hulton Craft bags tick all the boxes”.
Paper mosaics are an ideal activity for beginners and will keep children entertained on a rainy day or provide some relaxation time to anyone. Creating a beautiful item from tiny pieces can be a healing process and help someone with high stress levels to just slow down a little. Enjoyment can come from making patterns and putting broken pieces together to make something special.
Healing and wellness for everyone can come from keeping busy. The elderly benefit from keeping their minds active, whether from crosswords and jigsaw puzzles or creating a colourful mosaic. It can be very therapeutic. Paper recycling is a good way to create beautiful art. The Craft Kit and Craft Activity Bag provide two cardboard squares and a paper plate on which to create paper mosaics. All you need are scissors. Glue and paper are provided.
Group activity at Jennyruth Workshops
For abstract paper mosaics, you can tear paper into shapes or cut pieces to the desired size. You can work independently on your own design. However, if required, help can be given to make an outline of the shape, choice of colours and where to glue on the pieces to make the mosaic. It is all about finding the correct balance between offering assistance and allowing freedom to work independently.
The picture on the left and in the centre have been framed with mosaic and the flower picture on the right has an abstract design from torn, green paper that gives it a soft look.
This certainly is a tactile craft – you can also use pieces of textured fabric instead of paper for the mosaic shapes.
A mosaic made from pieces of fabric
Interest and skill are soon developed. After practising with card, you can move on to making mosaics on MDF, plywood, unwanted tiles or old drinks coasters. They can be displayed on mini easels, which are available at reasonable prices in lots of craft shops.
Make the most of using anything you can find at home to create a lovely mosaic picture. For example, you can use patterned paper, card, fabric, broken egg shells, beach shells, sand, pebbles, plastic/wooden/glass beads, buttons, dried pasta shapes, coins or anything else that comes to mind.
Mosaic art using tissue paper is another area that you may like to explore. Small pieces of tissue paper can be ripped and rolled into balls and stuck in random patterns to make either an abstract picture or something more recognisable, such as the cherry blossom tree below.
Another idea to consider is to re-use the brown paper bag of the Craft Kitand turn it into a mosaic gift bag. You can experiment using the sheets of patterned paper and fabric included or any suitable materials you can find at home. A collage can be created with dried leaves and then given a protective coating by using non-toxic PVA glue. Special craft glues are available from craft shops to give a glossy effect.
With all this time spent on craft-making, it is also important not to forget about good posture. People do not always sit or stand correctly and this can encourage aches and pains if the body is not balanced. Try not to round your shoulders and spine by slouching over your work. When shoulders are more relaxed and the body is aligned correctly, it is amazing to notice the overall difference. A sloping desk support can also help to work in a more relaxed and comfortable position.
Children who are eight and younger are recommended to use child-safe scissors.
Small craft materials, such as beads, buttons and shells etc., which may be used in craft activities, are potential choking hazards. They are therefore not appropriate for use by any children under the age of three.
Adult supervision is generally advised where craft activities with children or vulnerable adults are involved.
Non-toxic glues are safer to use. Glue sticks may be easier to handle than liquid glue.
Personal hygiene is important and hands should be washed after craft activities, especially gluing.
At home you probably already have a good store of inexpensive items lying around that will be ideal for crafts and can be used with the kits. Here is an A to Z list of things to help you. We hope you really enjoy doing the Craft Kit.
A. Adhesives, Area for displaying all your crafts!
B. Beads, Bottle lids, Bubble-wrap, Buttons
C. Cardboard, Chalk, Charcoal, Clothes pegs, Cotton reels, Cotton wool
D. Double sided tape, Dried pasta shapes
E. Empty egg boxes, Extra envelopes
F. Fabric, Feathers, Felt pens, Felt squares, Foil
G. Glitter, Glue dots, Glue sticks
H. Handfuls of opportunities for creative ideas
I. Ingredients for cookery, Ink and Ink pads
J. Jars for storing beads and buttons
K. Kits for enjoying crafts, Knitting patterns and wool
L. Lace scraps, Letter shapes for stencilling
M. Magazine pictures for art work, Mosaic squares
N. Needles for sewing, Non-toxic paint
O. Old packets, cards and cartons, Overalls for messy work
P. Paint brushes, Paper, Pebbles, Pipe cleaners
Q. Quillpens for decorative writing
R. Rags, Ribbons, Recycled items, Recipes
S. Sellotape, Sequins, Shells, Shoe boxes, Stickers, Straws, String
T. Threads, Tissue paper
U. Unwanted items put to good use
V. Variety of other craft materials
W. Wool and Wood
X. XXX Kisses and praise for success – there is no such thing as failure!
Y. Yarn, Yellow and other bright colours
Z. ZZZ A good night’s sleep after enjoying crafts!