A welcome rug at your front steps or garage door is a great place to welcome guests or take off your shoes at the end of the day. These types of rugs get a lot of traffic, so they should be durable and easy to wash. There are a few things to consider before getting started, but a welcome home rug is easy enough for any skill level, and they make great gifts, too.
Decide on a Shape
Round rugs are popular choices, but they’re not as straightforward as square rugs. If you know how to crochet circles, then you’re all set. Round rugs tend to buckle and bowl, so you need to know how to fix those problems if you want to make a circle.
Otherwise, beginners should keep their rugs square or rectangular to avoid these issues. Square rugs are more forgiving because you work them in rows instead of circles. Stick to this shape if you need more practice, especially if you’re giving it as a gift.
Decide on a Pattern
You can use any pattern or repeat stitch to make a rug with a large hook and thick yarn. Just make sure the pattern doesn’t call for any large holes that might cause you to trip. This wouldn’t be the best option for a rug.
Also, pay attention to how dense the stitches are. The denser the stitches, the more yarn you’ll use. Your rug could end up costing a lot more money than you thought it would, but it will be durable and gorgeous. There are plenty of free crochet patterns for welcome home rugs with a wide variety of stitch styles and densities to choose from.
Every type of yarn is different, so what you use will depend on what you want for the end product.
This t-shirt type material is elastic so changes in tension can significantly alter your rug’s shape. Every type of jersey cotton tubes differently, too. While some are shiny and beautiful, others fray at the ends, making them look less attractive when they’re worked up. Make sure each color you use has the same elasticity for consistency in your finished piece.
Acrylic yarn is perfect for a decorative welcome home rug. It’s much easier to make neat stitches because it doesn’t have the same elasticity that jersey cotton does. However, acrylic pills, so it’s not a great choice for places with heavy foot traffic. It’s better as a decorative piece.
Fabric yarn is non-elastic, so it has the same benefits as acrylic yarn, and it’s more durable. It’s hard to work up because it’s tough on your hands and can shed tiny fibers, but the finished product will last in areas of high traffic.
Choosing a Hook
You can make rugs with small hooks like 5.5mm, but your rug will be very thin, which may not be ideal for high foot traffic areas. A 10mm crochet hook makes a nice rug thickness with the appropriate yarn thickness. A hook as big as 25mm makes a great finished product, but it’s hard on your wrists and needs a much thicker yarn.
Making the Rug
There’s no specific gauge you should use, but pay attention to what you are using because you want to be able to work it up as tight as you can and still be comfortable. If your hands or wrists hurt and you are using dense stitches, you may need a bigger hook or thinner yarn.
Take breaks to give your hands and wrists some rest. This also gives you a chance to check your rug (if you’re working in circles) to make sure it’s not buckling or bowling. You may have too few or too many stitches, and this gives you an opportunity to assess and adjust.
Finishing the Rug
A round of crab stitch or reverse single crochet gives you a dense stitch to finish up and help your edges lay flat. You can also add a non-slip backing to the rug so it won’t slide on a hardwood or tile floor. You can sew non-slip drawer liners onto the back or glue on a piece of non-stick backing cut to size. You can also find a rubber coating spray and use that on the back. It’s a lot less work but will have to be reapplied more often.
Above all else, have fun. After all, this piece will welcome you home after a long day or be a housewarming gift for your friends, and it should resemble love and relaxation. You can find free crochet patterns for beginners at Free Patterns, or you can make your own.