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How to Make a Rag Rug, The Homestead Tradition Lives On

Home Projects Crafts How to Make a Rag Rug, The Homestead Tradition Lives On

Learn how to make a rag rug out of your leftover fabric scraps, or old tarnished clothes and rags! It’s a great fun way to recycle and repurpose. You’ll love this old homesteading tradition. I know I have. That’s why I’m sharing it with all of you so you can have fun and keep your door step clean all the time!

How to Make a Rag Rug

I’ll get to the tutorial…. But first, a story:

Rag Rug Compressor | How to Make a Rag Rug

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Lately, it is highly practical for everyone to recycle. It’s just a smarter way of living, not to mention the dwindling landfill space and non­-renewable resources such as fossil fuels like gas that we use daily in vehicles.

However, recycling is not a new concept.

I remember practicing recycling in my home when I was a kid, too, only I was not aware that it was known as recycling. During my childhood years, I always flattened tin cans and bundled newspapers at home. Every Saturday, as if routine, my mom would put on a pot of soup from the week’s leftovers. Nothing ever went to waste in my home.

My parents are pretty phenomenal; they survived the Great Depression and knew how to stretch a buck. My mom never disposed of anything if she could find another use for it.

When a towel wore out, or a sock was widowed, I would dare not toss it away, instead ­­it became a rag for cleaning. Undershirts with holes made good dust rags and thin old bed linens could be torn and used for a lot of things. We converted them to paint rags or tie ups for our tomato plants and even kite tails.

My favorite memory of recycling as a child involved the rag bag.

There was one summer in kindergarten when I outgrew my favorite gray and yellow plaid dress. My mother and I tore it into strips for the rugs. We removed the hem and some of the seams from the dress and pulled out the gathers at the waist. Then we removed the buttons and saved them in the button box, we did not dispose of them. My mom started to make little snips, about two inches apart along the edge of the fabric, and then we tore it.

Fabric Garland | How to Make a Rag Rug

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I love tearing fabric. It makes a wonderful ripping sound. It’s a very therapeutic and practical exercise.

When my mom tore it up, she placed the strips of fabric from my dress into a big brown paper bag. It was jumbled together with blue flowered apron strips, brown and white striped shirt strips, pink blouse strips, and red flannel nightgown strips. The result amazed me, my old dress was still good for something. However, this was not the end of the project. There were some mysterious pieces of cloth that I’d never seen before in the pile of clothes she tore up earlier that day.

She stored all of the rag bags in the attic. I can still remember opening the door at the foot of the creaky wooden attic stairs where we battled our way through the cobwebs with rolled newspaper, wielded as swords to safely enter. The attic was as hot as a sauna, just like it always was during every summer. The sun slanted through the dirty window, filled with dancing dust mites. After shaking and blowing layers of dust from the rag bags, my mom opened the bag with immersed hands, sifting her fingers through the cloth strips. She would collect the rag cloths in bunches, by evidence of the quantity and array of colors in her hand. Even now, I can envision her doing this with the smell of cotton, dye, and soap that surrounded her. My mother would smirk in accomplishment after they passed her examination, and we brought them all downstairs where the real magic could begin.

Colorful Fabric Strips | How to Make a Rag Rug

image via freepeople

I watched her sew the strips end to end, choosing the next piece by whim or art. Sometimes the color trails shaded from dark to light, and sometimes they abruptly changed from yellow to black to green to red.

All you had to do was sew one strip to the next with a single straight stitch. It was very simple, and very mesmerizing.

The long, exotic snakes of fabric coiled on the floor behind the sewing machine as she worked. Some years later, the old black and gold Singer treadle she owned (pictured below) was eventually converted into an electric portable. But, I just cannot imagine my mom sewing in any other way but with her right foot rested on the treadle, and the left cocked so that only the toes could brush each other. She would hit the flywheel with her right hand to start the needle driving up and down. She set a rhythm with her feet as she was working and would often start and stop as she adding in new scraps of color. She did not break a sweat.

Singer Sewing Machine | How to Make a Rag Rug

image via wakullahistoricalsociety

The next step in the project was rolling the cloth strips into balls. My father and I got to help with this one. Pieces of my dress showed up in each of the balls. When finished, my mom packed the product into May Company Department Store bags that had handles and carried them to Mrs. Rodecker, who owned the store. Mrs. Rodecker was a widow who supported herself by doing needlework for neighbors and also weaved rag rugs. The last I saw of my gray and yellow plaid kindergarten dress, it was part of three different cloth rugs along with other scraps of our lives. The remnants were woven closely with bulky white threads and fringed at the ends. Each rug was a kaleidoscope of memories that could last for years to an individual.

Rag Rug Balls | How to Make a Rag Rug

image via homesprout

Want to know how to make the rag rug from these balls of torn up and pieced back together fabric? Here’s a few video tutorials for different styles:

How To Crochet A Rag Rug (easiest) from Francis Jones Young:

How to Weave a Rag Rug from When Creativity Knocks:

How to Make a Shag Rag Rug from Rebecca Kelsey Sampson:

You could buy a rag rug for just a few bucks at the store. But it won’t be the same. The quality won’t be as good, but more significantly there are no memories attached, and who even knows if the fibers were recycled from scraps or not. If you need a rag rug, I recommend to recycle your fabrics and make your own rather than purchase one. If you must purchase one, get it from a sustainable source and make sure the fabric used was from repurposed strips of cloth.

Have you ever made a rag rug before? Maybe this story sounds like a familiar one of your own? Let me know below in the comments!

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Self Sufficiency

NYC Adds Nearly 4,000 People Who Never Tested Positive To Coronavirus Death Tolls

New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll Tuesday, bringing coronavirus-related deaths in the city to around 10,000 people.

The city decided to add 3,700 people to its death tolls, who they “presumed” to have died from the virus, according to a report from The New York Times. The additions increased the death toll in the U.S. by 17%, according to the Times report, and included people who were suffering from symptoms of the virus, such as intense coughing and a fever.

The report stated that Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided over the weekend to change the way the city is counting deaths.

“In the heat of battle, our primary focus has been on saving lives,” de Blasio press secretary Freddi Goldstein told the Times.“As soon as the issue was raised, the mayor immediately moved to release the data.”

The post New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll appeared first on Daily Caller

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Self Sufficiency

How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

The thing about homesteading is you get to create your own ingredient right from scratch! Cheese, yogurt, butter and now sauerkraut, a delightfully sour and crunchy ingredient you can use on your meals — or consume by itself — while on a homestead, or while facing this health crisis!

This homemade sauerkraut is a great meal because it has a long shelf life. You can either make plain sauerkraut or mix it with herbs and spices. In this tutorial let us make Lacto-fermented sauerkraut that preserves all the good probiotics in a jar, good for your guts.

So how to make sauerkraut in a mason jar?

RELATED: How To Make Buttermilk On Your Homestead

Delicious Sauerkraut Recipe Every Homesteader Should Know

Why Make Sauerkraut?


Not only does sauerkraut spoil a long time, but it is also a meal in itself, and it is also easy to make! You don’t need to be an expert cook, all you need to do is follow these simple steps.

So let us get started. Here are the steps in making sauerkraut in a mason jar.


  • 1 head of cabbage or 2 1/2 lbs cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

Tools Needed:

  • knife
  • bowl
  • mason jar
  • smaller jar
  • rubber band

Step 1: Wash & Clean the Tools & Ingredients

Wash all the equipment and utensils you need. Wash your hands too.

You don’t want to mix your sauerkraut with bad bacteria, anything that is going to make you sick.

Next, remove the faded leaves from your cabbage. Cut off the roots and the parts that don’t seem fresh.

Step 2: Cut the Cabbage Into Quarters & Slice Into Strips

Cut your cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Then, slice it into strips.

Step 3: Place in a Bowl & Sprinkle With Salt

Put the stripped cabbage into a bowl. Sprinkle the cabbage with 1 tablespoon of salt.

TIP: Use canning salt or sea salt. Iodized salt will make it taste different and may not ferment the cabbage.

RELATED: Homemade Yogurt Recipe

Step 4: Massage the Cabbage

Massage the cabbage for five minutes or more to get the juice out.

TIP: You’ll know it’s ready when you see a bit of juice at the bottom of the bowl and will look similar to coleslaw.

Step 5: Press Cabbage Into the Mason Jar

Add the cabbage to the mason jar gradually. Press it in hard to allow the juice to come out. Do this every time you add about a handful of cabbage.

IMPORTANT: Food should be covered by the liquid to promote fermentation. Add any excess liquid from the bowl to the jar.

Step 6: Press a Smaller Jar Into the Mason Jar

You want to squeeze every ounce of that juice from the cabbage. To do this place the mason jar in a bowl and get a smaller jar.

Fill it with water or marble to make it heavy. Press it into the bigger mason jar. Allow any juices to rise to the surface.

Step 7: Cover the Jars With Cloth & Tie With Rubber Band

Leave the small jar on. To keep your jars clean from annoying insects and irritating debris, cover your jars with a clean cloth. Then, use a rubber band to tie the cloth and the jars together, putting them in place.

Step 8: Set Aside & Check Daily

Set it aside in a cool dry place, away from direct sunlight. Check the water level daily. It should always be above the cabbage.

Step 9: Taste Your Sauerkraut & Keep at Cool Temperatures

Homemade Sauerkraut Cumin Juniper | How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

After about five days, you can taste your sauerkraut. If the taste is to your liking, tightly cover it with the lid and store in the fridge or cellar.

NOTE: If after five days it’s still not your desired taste, leave it for a few more days. This will allow the fermentation process to continue.

You can now enjoy your sauerkraut in a mason jar. Enjoy its goodness! You can use it as a side dish or mix it with your favorite sandwich.

Things to Remember in Making Sauerkraut

  • Store away from direct sunlight and drafts.
  • Colder weather will make the process longer. Spring is the best time to make them since the warmth helps activate the fermentation.
  • Always make sure that the cabbage is below the water level during the entire fermentation process.
  • If the water level decreases during the fermentation process, you can make a brine and add it.

Let us watch this video from Kristina Seleshanko on how to make delicious Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar!

So there you have it! Making Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar is as easy as slicing the cabbage into strips. Remember that as long it remains unopened, your sauerkraut can last for months. Best of all, you can partner this sauerkraut in many recipes.

What do you think of this homemade recipe? Share your best sauerkraut recipe in the comments section below!

Fellow homesteaders, do you want to help others learn from your journey by becoming one of our original contributors? Write for us!


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Self Sufficiency


Having plants in the house will bring peace to people. Having a little garden with vegetables is even better! You can grow these vegetables in your backyard garden easily as well!

RELATED: Microgreens Growing Guide

In this article:

  1. Tomato
  2. Eggplant
  3. Beet
  4. Spinach
  5. Pea
  6. Carrot
  7. Radish
  8. Cauliflower
  9. Asparagus

Growing veggies in your garden will give you an opportunity to understand what you eat and value it more. Early spring is when most vegetables are being planted. Keep reading to learn about 9 spring vegetables that anyone can grow in their garden!


Tomato is the most popular garden vegetable in the States! There are different varieties to choose from. Tomatoes need to be planted in early spring because they won’t survive a frost.

Because tomatoes are consumed daily, try adding them to your garden! They’re not difficult to grow either.


Eggplants are known to have low-calorie, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Plus, they are delicious! So why not plant them in your garden?

Eggplants shouldn’t be planted too early because they won’t be able to survive a frost. So you could consult an expert in your area before you plant your eggplants.


Beets are known to be a superfood for its various health benefits. They’re easier to grow in the garden, usually around late March or early April.

If the weather is always cool, beets will keep getting bigger and bigger. Once the weather starts to warm up, you’ll need to harvest them, or they’ll go to waste.


Spinach is a delicious early spring veggie, and it’s also very beneficial for health. And it’s not difficult to grow spinach in your garden!

Spinach needs cold weather to grow. Getting spinach to grow is easy, but keeping it growing will require some extra care.


Peas are usually planted in late April. Peas will die in freezing temperatures, but they also won’t survive the heat either. So make sure you plant your peas in early spring.

Peas are widely used in many different ways, and there are different types of peas. The soil you’ll be planting your peas should be suitable for them, so make sure you ask while buying seeds.


There are different types of carrots, but regardless of their size and color, it’s a fact that carrots are both delicious and rich in vitamins.

They’re root vegetables, so with proper sun and watering, they can be picked up as baby carrots as well.


A radish is an excellent option for beginners because it doesn’t require too much care. Radish is easy to harvest.

Radish grows fast, so it’s better to keep an eye on it after a few weeks. Radish usually is grown pest-free, but there’s always the chance of unwanted guests, so watch out for worms. Radish can be eaten raw or can be added to garnish recipes.


Cauliflower isn’t the easiest vegetable to grow at home, but it is very popular.

Cauliflower grows better in colder weather, so before you plant it, consider the climate of your garden. Cauliflower can be eaten raw or cooked, and it is known to be very beneficial for health.


Freshly picked, tender asparagus is very delicious!

Asparagus plants get more productive with each harvest, and mature asparagus harvest can last for months! Make sure you plant them at the correct time, or else they might go to waste.

All the vegetables listed above are great for your healthy diet, and it’s fun to watch them grow. So don’t miss out on the opportunity to grow your own veggies and eat healthy this spring!

So tell us which veggies will you be growing this spring? Tell us in the comments section!




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