Category Archives: Rag Art

Rag Art

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:

Something soft in pink and white cottons
Something soft in pink and white cottons
A more traditional look made from coarser materials
A more traditional look made from coarser materials
Modern fun colours – a “liquorice allsorts” selection!
Modern fun colours – a “liquorice allsorts” selection!
Decorated pot for holding pencils
Decorations for a Christmas tree
Decorations for a Christmas tree
Use festive colours for Christmas decorations, with added pine cones for a special effect
Use festive colours for Christmas decorations, with added pine cones for a special effect

“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”.

Anele Griessel – Occupational Therapist,The LightHouse Clinic

Circular fabric rag art


1. Draw a circle of about 6 cm diameter onto card or paper and then cut out the circular shape. (The smaller circle template in the Craft Kit may be helpful here.)


2. Place the circular shape onto the coloured materials being used to make the petals and cut out as many petals as you require.


3. Fold each petal in half and then into half again. Push the wooden prodder (available in the Craft Kit) into the centre of the cone shape and prod the tip of the petal through the hessian.



4. On the reverse side, the tips of the petal cones will be seen like this.


5. Once you have completed an outer circle, your flower will start to look very attractive as the circular petals open out. Add as many petals as you wish.

6. Once complete, cut out the hessian, taking care not to cut too closely to the material used for the petals.


7. Cut out a backing of suitable material and glue it to the reverse side of the flower to cover the ends.




1. Select some favourite colours of material depending on the type of flower and its decorative purpose. It can be used for a hair band, brooch or for display.



2. Make petals by cutting the strips to the shape shown below.

flowers-rag03 3. You can fold a normal strip of material in half lengthways and then cut around the edges and in the middle as shown. It does not matter if the petal strips are not exactly the same as this will add interest and variation to your flower design:


flowers-rag054. Prepare about 10 to 15 petal strips in the colours and materials of your choice. These will be prodded through a piece of hessian in the manner described in the Rag Art section of The Craft Kit.

5. Draw a circle on a piece of hessian about 7 cm diameter and another circle about 3 cm diameter in the centre of the first. Prod the petals through the inner circle of the hessian.
6. Cut around the outer circle of the hessian to cut out the flower. Make a backing for the flower by cutting out a similar shape of any suitable material you have available. Stick together with non-toxic craft glue.


7. Attach the Rag Art flower to different types of hair bands, as shown below.





8. Experiment with different colours and try to make individual flowers. The poppy-type design below could be used as a brooch.