Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My Rug Hooking Project is DONE!!!

Hello, everyone!!

First of all, I would like to thank all of you for the wonderful comments made about my 5 arm table lamp.  Many of you have asked whether or not I would be doing a tutorial on it, but I'm sorry to say that I won't be.  This is a one of a kind lamp made by Carriage House Lighting and Tinware and I haven't seen any reproductions or variations of it anywhere, so I'm not sure if there would be any legal issues with copyright laws or not and I don't want to take a chance.  I made this for my own personal use with no intentions of selling them.  However, I AM working on another lamp that I have seen many replicas of, so I will be doing a tutorial on that sometime in the future.  I CAN give you a list of the supplies I used and if you look at the picture I posted last time, you can probably figure out how to make it, especially if you saw my tutorial in the Spring issue of A Primtive Place magazine on how to make a tin candle lamp.  I used the same method for the arms as I did for the candle lamp.


large tin funnel - found at antique/second-hand shops
electrical conduit pipe - Home Depot/$6.97 for 8 ft.
10 ft. lamp wire -  Home Depot/$0.64 a ft.
3 1/2" candle pans - I made my own, but can be found at craft supply stores or
steel threaded nipples and hex nuts - Home Depot's lamp repair section
candelabra light sockets and sleeves -

So, there you have it!  All of the supplies you need to make your own!  It really isn't as hard to make as it seems.  If any of you do make one, please share a picture because I would love to see it!


Well, I finally finished my rug hooking project!  Woo Hoo!!  I finished it last Wednesday, but I just haven't had a chance to make a post until now. I have been busy working on other projects and enjoying the warmer weather, so I will share my other projects with you later since this post is longer than I thought it would be!

This isn't my first rug hooking project.....just the first one completed.    About 3 or 4 years ago, I started making a pillow with a pumpkin on it.  I had purchased a booklet from Hobby Lobby on how to hook rugs and it recommended using burlap for the background fabric, which I used.  What a mess!!  Every time I worked on it, I got covered with little fuzzies!!  Since my project was small, I just used a small quilting hoop.  It was a little tough trying to hold on to the hoop and hook at the same time, so between that and dealing with the fuzzy mess, I decided to set it aside with hopes of finishing it some day.

Then about a month or two ago, when I decided I was going to try hooking again and I started this picture.  I was originally going to hang this on the wall beside my fireplace, but after working on it for a couple of weeks, I decided it wasn't quite what I wanted.


 I wanted something that looked a little simpler, so I came up this design.


BUT......after I finished it, I decided I liked it hanging here instead!  So, now, I need to figure out what I want to do for my LR wall.  But, that will have to wait until after I finish 2 other hooking projects.



First of all, I strongly recommend buying a rug hooking frame if you are going to work on larger projects.  I had started out with one that I had made.  I had bought a lap scroll frame for cross stitching a few years ago, but didn't like using it and it was too late to return    I took off the scroll frame and made a plain rectangular one using 1 x 2's and attached that to the stand base using the hardware that came with it.  I bought a metal carpet tack strip and cut it into pieces and screwed them on to the outside edges of the frame.  It worked great holding my fabric nice and taut.....then I decided to start a new project..... and when I went to take off the unfinished one, I had one heck of a time getting it off without causing too much damage.  When I started the new project, I removed the carpet strips and held my fabric in place with thumb tacks.  This worked good, as well, but just make sure those babies are in all the way.....if not, you'll be sitting there working and all of a sudden - PING!! - one will pop out and going flying across the room and then you are spending precious time looking for a darn tack before someone steps on it instead of rug hooking!  It wasn't too long after using that method that I decided to break down and buy a frame.  They do sell the hooking strips that I could have bought and attached to my frame, but this frame also rotates 360° and I hooked long enough to realize that that made a BIG difference!!  I had my homemade frame turning every which way and that, trying to get a comfortable position in which to hook and having it rotate freely, really does make a big difference.   Another BIG plus was the strips of hooking tape that hold your project in place!  OH MY....what a difference!!  It is SO much easier to position and reposition your fabric whenever you want to, instead of working one area at a time before removing all of the thumbtacks. repositioning your fabric, and then pushing the thumbtacks back in!  (My thumbs are a lot happier now! LOL)

Here's the link to the ebay store from where I bought my frame from.  Keep a watch on these items.  Every now and then, she offers these frames up for bid at great prices or you can purchase them at outright at a higher price.  I was the only one to bid on the octagonal frame with the lap and floor stand for $149.00.  Otherwise, the combo sold for $199.00.   You can also google "rug hookng frames" and find a list of sites that sell them.

This next thing (and one many of you have been waiting to hear about)  is VERY useful in cutting your wool.  A few years ago, when I started the pumpkin pillow project, I cut the wool strips by hand using a rotary wheel.  And let me tell you, it was a pain in the *behind*!  I think that is probably why I stopped working on that project...I needed to cut more strips! lol  So when I decided to try rug hooking again, the only obstacle I had was cutting the wool.  After pricing wool cutting machines online, I decided that they were way much more than I wanted to spend.  Especially, for something that I wasn't sure how much I would even use.  While I was in Joann Fabrics, I happened to notice a Rotary Cutting Machine on a shelf behind the cutting counter.  On the box it said "Perfect for Scrapbooking, Quilting, Rug Hooking and More" PLUS it was on sale for $49.50 (reg. $89.99)!  DOUBLE PLUS....I had a gift card!! Woo Hoo!! So I thought "what the heck"  I can always return it if it didn't work out.  When I got it home, I tried cutting a piece of paper with it and....nothing!....not even indentations where it ran through the rotary cutter!  And forget about cutting wool!!  I was SO disappointed!  I thought, for sure, that I had found a solution to my wool cutting dilemma!.....Then I read the instruction pamphlet.  (always a good idea!  lol)  All I had to do was adjust the tension wheel underneath (although I thought it was already pretty tight) and PRESTO, it worked like a charm!!  It has a foot pedal, whereas, all of the other wool cutters that I've seen have crank handles.  And I'm thinking that after all of the wool that I cut for the unfinished project and then for the finished one, my little arm would have been extremely tired if I had to do all of that cranking!!  lol  It can cut as small as 3/8" (which is the size recommended for hooking) up to 2 1/2".  I absolutely love it!  I've never tried an actual wool cutting machine, but for me, this thing works wonderfully!

If you click on the picture, it will take you to where you can purchase the book
 I also recommend this book.  I was able to borrow it from my local library and found it to be very helpful.  Besides learning how to do the basics, like choosing your wool and how to wash and cut it, it shows how to dye your wool (which I have done and it is pretty easy!), how to finish your rug with either rug binding tape or whip-stitching , plus patterns and directions to make some cute designs.  The entire background of my rug is hooked with different light colored wool that I had dyed with coffee.  The book explains how to do that process. Although, it says to use 2 T. (I think) of instant coffee, I used a heaping 1/2 cup! lol  That made me brave enough to dye some of the wool that I am using in my next project.  It's a pretty simple process and I think it turned out great!

When your rug is all finished and ready to be hung, a great product to use are the Command  Picture Hanging Strips.  If you're like me, I tend to rearrange things constantly and don't want to put too many holes in my walls from nails.  These work great!  Peel the paper off the adhesive strip and attach as many strips on the back of your rug as you would like (I used 4).  Tack them in place by adding a basting stitch on each side of the strips.  Place another strip on top of the one placed on the rug. (They fit like velcro.)  Peel off the adhesive strips and position your rug where ever you want on the wall.  They are very durable.  I have a hooked rug from Ragon House hanging in my bedroom that I run the vacuum over and it holds up beautifully.  If you decide to move your rug, all you need to replace are the strips that attach to the wall.

And one last thing.  A great source for wool is your second-hand stores, like Goodwill.  You can find lots of suit jackets, women's blazers and skirts made from 100% wool at great prices.  It's a little time-consuming cutting them apart, but it's so much more economical than buying wool from a specialty shop.  I have purchased little pieces called one-eighth quarters for $7.99 each. You get so much more wool from a jacket for less than that! 

Well.....Goodnight, friends!  I'll be back with pictures of a couple of the projects that I have finished!

    Until Next Time . . . . Kris


  1. Kris, your rug is beautiful! I really would like to try hooking sometime. I think I will save that for my retirement, though! :-) I have so many unfinished projects now, that I really don't need to start another! Your talent never ceases to amaze me!

  2. your rug hooking is beautiful Kris!...thank you for all the helpful information!...I have wanted a hooked rug for quite some time to hang on the wall but they are always soooo expensive!...and your lamp turned out gorgeous!


  3. I always wanted to learn to make rugs. One day..Beautiful work. You are so talented.
    Thanks for sharing
    Granny Trace

  4. Great post as always...I love your rug. How thoughtful to put so much info in the should work for a magazine!!! xox

  5. All your DIY projects are these rugs! Love all you do for APP, thank you for sharing! Visit me at The Prim Colonial blogspot and follow if you like...

  6. Seeee I knew if I waited long enough YOU would figure out all the kinks for me!! There's a method to my procratination!! LOL serioulsy though, you confirmed what I knew to be true, the right tools make all the difference and the swivel frame sounds like the only way to go. I LOve the design you chose as well. As usual my friend, you did a remarkable job and it is perfect!!

  7. Hi, I came over from a link on Audrey's blog. Thank you so much for all the wonderful info on rug hooking. I so want to try this but it will be a self teaching deal as there are no classes in my area. Your info was very helpful.
    Love the rug you made!!

  8. You have done a great job here of walking a beginning hooker through equipment and basics. Your projects are nice - hope you get that alphabet one finished - it's one of my favorite designs!

  9. Wow Kris, you have been so busy! Love your hooked rugs you are working on and thanks for all that great info!

  10. Beautiful rug! I would love to try one sometime too. You have such a beautiful home!

  11. AllllRIGHTY THEN Ms HGTV!!!
    Girl, you are truely a QUEEN of ALL TRADES. Love your rugs, and the flower pot rug(my favorite) looks perfect where you have it hung right now. Perfect. You really did a beautiful job with it too. MUCH, Thanks to you on the information you kindly passed on to us. I know I was one hounding you everywhere I saw you, asking about this special tool for cutting fabric. :DDDDD Sorry for being a bother, but I do appreciate all you kindness. Guess what, I use the same method of collecting wool as you do. :D Not just GW, but any 2nd hand store and yard sales. I have 4 huge trash bags of wool clothing to be used for my rug hooking some day. Just couldn't make myself cut it by hand. Well, guess I need to look into the future purchase of a frame(love yours). Thanks so much for sharing this post with us Kris.


  12. Kris..Awesome job!! I have a swivel lap frame that I LOOVE!!! I lucked out and bought a frase cutter for $25.00 that a "old Hooker" was selling in the local I love it, the crank handle is fine on the hands, doesnt tire you out :). I have a tons of wool that I need to felt and cut, now you've inspired me to get my but in gear!!!

  13. Your rug is beautiful and I appreciate all the instructions. Would love to try it but at this late date (age) not sure I'll get into purchasing all the right equipment. don't live too far from me - maybe you could whip one of these up for me. BTW, my birthday is in July. Hint, Hint... Aren't these warm OH days great and if they'll only continue.

  14. Good job!! I made my first little rug a few months ago's hooked but not bound yet. Bought a little kit on Ebay that had everything included so I could teach myself & now I'm hooked (no pun intended!). Isn't it fun to play with new things!! I was so excited with your tutorials in the spring issue of A Primitive Place magazine! I already made the soap & need to get the supplies for the lamps. You are so creative! So nice to see another Kris with a K!! Mine has 2 s's but it's so uncommon!! Keep up the creativity! I need to post some of my own little prim crafts on my blog to share! ~Kriss~

  15. Hi Kris - say I am your neighbor (I am also in NE Ohio - Lorain.) I design and sell rug hooking kits and patterns - you did an awesome job hooking your rug (and almost 'rugs'.) You have figured out great alternatives to the traditional tools, as well. Keep at it - the next "best" tool you can buy is a Hartman hook! You'll never regret it, I promise! Hook on . . . Sally

    PS - if you want to check my blog, there are some tutorials there and also on my website, which might help you along the way.


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