From Bed Sheets to Bath Mat

So you just got a fresh set of sheets, now what to do with the old sheets? If you’re a crafty person (which if you’re here I’m assuming you are) then I have an awesome idea for you. I’m going to show you how to recycle bed sheets into an upcycled knit bath mat with my bath mat knitting free pattern!

Recycle Bed Sheets

If you’re like me, you hate wasting things. Especially if you’re a DIY type person, then an old bed sheet is a TON of free fabric with lots of potential. There are so many ways to recycle bed sheets, and this is a very satisfying one. This DIY tutorial will walk you through step-by-step how to repurpose old sheets into a fully functional (and super cute) chunky knit bath mat. We’re going to make “yarn” strips out of the sheets, and knit them up with a simple cable knit pattern with a moss stitch pattern as the background. The result is a super plush, chunky knit bath mat that is really cushiony and water absorbent. Rag bath mats have a great texture, perfect for using after a shower or bath. If you’re just starting out with knitting, this is the perfect tutorial to show you how to knit a rug for beginners.

Here’s what we’re going to cover in this knit bath mat tutorial. Feel free to skip ahead!

Materials Needed for the Knit Bath Mat

  • Old bed sheets or duvet cover
  • Scissors
  • Ruler or tape measure
  • Size 19 Knitting Needles

Skills Needed to Make the Bath Mat Knitting Pattern

  • How to Knit and Purl basic stitches

Knit Bath Mat Tutorial: Make Yarn Out of Old Bed Sheets

The first step is transforming those big bed sheets or duvet into a material we can work with. If you’re using a duvet you’ll want to cut it open so you have a single thickness of fabric. If you have sheets, then you your flat sheet is ready to start. For a fitted sheet, you’ll probably want to cut open the elastic on the corners so it will lay flat and be easier to work with. Let’s get started!

Knit bath mat tutorial

Step 1: Make Cuts Into Fabric

Lay out your bed sheet or duvet (single thickness). Make little cuts every 1.5 inches IN THE DIRECTION OF THE GRAINLINE. The grainline is important because it’s going to allow us to rip instead of cut, saving a bunch of time.

Recycle bed sheets

Step 2: Rip Fabric Into Strips

Then, using your hands (not your scissors) rip the strips until you have a lot of strips. Ripping with your hands is much easier and faster because it rips along the grainline in a perfectly straight line. And it’s super fast.

Repurpose old sheets

Step 3: Attach Strips To Make Yarn

Now we’re going to start to attach the strips to one another, but without using knots (which would not be fun to step on). First, cut a 1″ slit at the beginning and end of each strip.

What to do with bed sheets

Step 4: Start Winding Yarn Into a Ball

Now we’re going to start winding up our strips into a ball. PRO TIP! Before you wind up the strip, leave a little tail of the first strip hanging out (not pictured). This is going to be really, really helpful if you need to add more “yarn” later after you get started knitting. (You can thank me later.)

Now, put the first strip through the slit in the 2nd strip.

Old bed sheets crafts

Step 5: Attach the Other Side of the Strip

Then take the other end of the 2nd strip and run it through the slit of the first strip.

Old bed sheets DIY

Step 6: Pull to Create Yarn

Pull the strip all the way through until the 2 little strips “lock hands.” Pull snugly.

How to reuse old bed sheets

Step 7: Repeat Steps 4-6

Repeat steps 4 through 6 over and over with new strips, winding them into balls as you go.

Once you have a few balls ready, you’re ready to start knitting. If you need to add more yarn to your project after you get started, go back to the first ball you created in step 4. Remember that little tail that is sticking out? Use it to add more strips using steps 4-6.

Cable Knit Bath Mat Pattern

Now it’s time to knit! I used a simple 4 stitch cable pattern with a seed stitch (or moss stitch) on the side. I cast on 26 stitches, and used a K1/P1 seed stitch for the first 11 stitches, then cabled the middle 8 stitches (4×4), then a K1/P1 seed stitch on the last 11 stitches.

Keep knitting until you get to your desired length! For me, my finished bath mat was 18″ x 24″.

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