Any punch rug experts out there? You might want to look away now. I’m about to break almost every rule of punch rugging, including the first rule. Don’t talk about punch rugging… And I’m only half joking about this one. It seems no one does like to talk about punch rugging, not for beginners anyway. It’s taken me a long time to research and work out this elusive technique and the result is a tutorial that is half technically proficient (thank you Youtubers) and half kind of improvised. But I’ve also been ignoring a lot of the advice I’ve read, like what fabrics not to use, which just goes to show sometimes it pays to go it alone.
One of the reasons I’ve been a bit of a rebel putting this tutorial together (well, as rebellious as you can get armed with an embroidery hoop) is because I wanted to make this tutorial beginner friendly. When I started researching punch rug making it looked as if I was going to have to spend quite a bit of cash just to get set up. And while I’m sure there’s a good reason for using the proper materials and equipment, when you want to try out a craft it can be off-putting to spend a lot of money before you know if it’s going to be for you.
I actually bought my punch rug needle researching new We Make Collective kits from a supplier a while ago and it’s the only one like it I’ve seen. It has a thicker point and an adjustable length which means you can work with a range of thicker yarns, not only making it a great stash buster, but also allowing us to work with this hessian fabric which is inexpensive and much easier to source than the traditional monks cloth. This needle also let me experiment with thicker materials like roving to create a gorgeous squishy texture. It was the perfect beginner tool!
You can buy the punch rug needle here or let me do all the work for you and purchase all the supplies you need as a kit over on We Make Collective. It’s a much
Punch Rug Needle | Embroidery Hoop | Tight Weave Hessian Fabric | Yarn
DIY Punch Rug Artwork for Beginners Tutorial
1. Place your fabric in the hoop ensuring it is secure and pulled tight. Draw out the design on the back of the fabric. This will be the side we work from. Thread the needle from the flat end to the pointy end and through the hole in the side of the tube. With thicker yarns I use a skewer to push the yarn through. Find your starting point on the work (this can be anywhere) and push the needle through. Pull the end of the yarn through the fabric so the tail is at the front.
2. Pull the needle back out of the fabric and hold onto the end of the yarn. When working from left to right make sure the hole in the needle is facing left, so it’s facing away from the direction of travel.
3. Push your needle back through the fabric next to the initial punch hole. Depending on your yarn weight you can skip over a few holes in the fabric. Push it all the way down the the handle then bring it back up and out of the fabric. Repeat this step to create short loops on the back and longer loops on the front.
4. Work in lines or shapes to create patterns.
5. One you’ve finished a section punch the needle through the fabric and cut the yarn on the right side. Remove the needle and trim the thread at the start and finish.
6. Adjust the handle on the needle to create longer and shorter piles on the front side of the work and play with different yarn weights and materials to get some surprising results!
Sometimes the yarn will not stay in the fabric. This happens because we’re using the hessian which has a loose weave. When this happens gently pull the spare yarn back through the needle, moving back to the last successful stitch. Realign the fabric weave and try again. It helps to leave shorter gaps between 3-4 punches to get back on track.
Once the fabric is full trim off the ends, pull the hessian tight in the loop and cut off the excess fabric. And it’s ready to hang!
Sophie // Junk and Glitter says
These are absolutely gorgeous! I’ve just bought basic rug hooking tools but I might need to try this next.
Thanks Sophie! I do love me a bit of rug hooking. It’s good to try out the different techniques and see how they create different outcomes.
Amy | Delineate Your Dwelling says
I think I just pinned 8 pictures from this post. LOVE how it turned out, Fran.
Thank you Amy! And thanks for sharing girl! :D
Hi Fran. What a gorgeous idea! I have included your fabulous DIY Punch Rug Artwork for beginners tutorial, in our Crafty Like Granny weekly Craft roundup https://craftylikegranny.com/craft-creativity/ :) Cheers Emily
Hi Fran – had an awesome post day Monday: Fibreshare parcel arrived AND my punch rug kit! I haven’t had a mo to try my kit yet, but I had a question, hope you don’t mind. If you wanted to make this into say a cushion cover, could you take it out of the hoop, and (gently) treat it like fabric, and sew it to some backing fabric, or might it fall apart a bit? Thanks, can’t wait to try it! Maya xx
Hey Maya! YAY it arrived :D The resulting fabric is really quite sturdy. It doesn’t fall apart as easily as you might think. Lots of people also back their pieces when they make rugs. It sounds like you’re thinking of doing something very similar but on a cushion. I think it will work out beautifully! Can’t wait to see the result! xx
Hello! Love this tutorial so much. Gutted that your kits and the tool are sold out. Can not find anything similar in the uk and can’t afford to spend £40 on one from the US! Do you think you will have a restock at any point in the near future? Thank you! :)
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I just bought the kit but i’m really struggling with the hessian as it makes me itch!
Do you have any suggestions for alternative fabrics that are easy to find in the uk?
Hey Hope, I am actually experimenting with some softer fabrics as we speak! I’ll write a post soon and update my kits. Sorry that you’re not getting on well with the hessian. :(
Did you find any softer/ less itchy fabrics?
Hi! I was very excited to receive my punch needle kit. After putting the fabric in the hoop and trying to use the punch needle I ended up with big holes and the yarn just fell out. I’m not sure if I’m doing something wrong or the fabric that came with it has a weave that is too loose.
I realize this is an older post so the kits are sold out, but where might I find the punch rug needle? Btw your work is striking, I’m all about texture.
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It was the perfect beginner tool!
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Bailey Robson says
Hi there! I am really wanting to try this, but am having trouble visiting the link to We Make Collective to buy the needle/ starter kit! Can you give me any help???
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Love the idea of punch rug art. I’d love to do a sand and sea theme set.
The information is good, i need more, i’m still learning about it. run 3
Thank you for demystifying this craft for me. I realize now it’s the hessian not me when it goes wrong, makes me feel a lot better!
can’t access your kit link. It says its not secure
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