If you’re just getting started making toothbrush rugs, soft cotton fabrics work best. You can also recycle old sheets if you’d like. Save the stiffer fabrics for when you are a little more experienced.
Before cutting or tearing, wash and dry fabric first.
Tearing will not work for all fabrics, such as loosely woven fabrics like tweed, which I would not recommend for toothbrush rugs. If you are working with different fabric weights, it may work better to tear as you go, rather than tearing everything all at once. Wider strips may be needed for lighter weights of fabric and narrower strips for heavier weights. If you are a just learning to make toothbrush rugs, try to work with fabrics that are all the same weight.
Using a ruler and scissors, measure the width of the strips needed and make 2”-3” cuts working from one selvage across the fabric to the other selvage.
After the cuts are made – it’s time to start ripping.
Check the strips occasionally to make sure they are tearing straight.
Tearing fabrics creates a lot of dust. This is a good outside project.
Hints for cutting fabrics:
After washing and ironing material lay out on a clean flat surface.
1. Fold fabric in ½, making sure the selvages match up and continue folding in ½ until you have reached the thickest point your scissors will comfortably cut.
2. Place a ruler or a guide (made from a piece of cardboard) on top of the fabric and cut along the edge of the ruler to get your desired width, cutting from one selvage across the fabric to the other selvage.
Don’t rule out purchasing precut strips. Several places offer strips at competitive prices. Precut strips shouldn’t be washed before using.
When working with fabrics that have a right side and a wrong side, some people like to iron their strips before starting, others don’t. Try both ways and see which one you prefer. To iron fabric strips, fold them in half, with the right side of the fabric facing out.
Length of fabrics strips:
Working with fabric strips that are three to four feet long seems to work the best.
Joining Fabric Strips:
Joining Fabric strips is easy, no sewing required! To read about joining fabric strips, see the link below titled “No Sew Fabric Joins”. As you are working on your rug, use “No Sew Join #1” to join fabric strips.