Crochet Edge for finishing hooked rugs

DSCF1031After seeing my rugs, many people want to learn how to finish their hooked rugs with a crochet edge. So I am updating my photo tutorial for my blog readers today.

If you would like to see larger photos of this same tutorial you can go to my flickr page tutorial by clicking here.

I would like that thank Nola Heidbreder for teaching me this technique, and reviving from vintage hooked rugs she found. Here is a link to her page:

DSCF1049To prepare the hooked piece for crocheting, first steam press it. Trim away the linen backing fabric to a generous 1 inch wide, and fold it in half toward the front, twice. Pin in place. Miter the corner, trimming slightly to reduce the bulk.

Using 8 cut wool strips that are at least 50 plus inches long as your binding, insert hook front to back, close to edge of the last hooked row and pull up a loop. Leave a short 1-2 inch tail at the back. After finishing you can work this tail under several loops on the back, or sandwich it under your work in the back as you go.

crochet 1When you pull up the loop, make it as tall as the edge of your backing.crochet 2Yarn over.crochet 3Pull a new loop through your first loop, making it about 1/2 ” tall. Now we have stabilized the stitch.crochet 4Now let’s make a single crochet stitch: insert the hook a few threads away from the hole you made you first stitch in, coming out the back.crochet 5Make sure that all of your crochet stitches are close to the edge of the hooking, going thru that space where there is just one layer of backing material.crochet 6Yarn over.crochet 7And pull a new loop up next to the last stitch, again making it as tall as the edge of the backing fabric edge. You have 2 loops on the hook.crochet 8Yarn over.crochet 9

And pull this new loop thru both loops on the hook. It may be easier to pull it thru one loop at a time. Make the new loop on the hook about 1/2 inches tall or so. You have completed a single crochet stitch.
crochet 10Continue making single crochets by repeating from the bold now let’s make a single crochet stitch to here, until you have used up the strip and a 1 – 2 inch tail is left. Time to start a new strip.crochet 11

To start the new strip, insert the hook as if to make a new stitch and pull up a loop with the new strip, leaving behind the old strip. Now you have 2 loops on the hook.crochet 12Yarn over and pull a loop thru both loops as normal. As I have noted before, you may leave the tail ends in the back to weave in later, or carry them along the back, sandwiching them under your new stitches.

crochet 13Continue making single crochets, repeating the steps as before.

When you get to a corner we will a need a couple of extra stitches. So at the corner take a second crochet stitch in the same hole. You will probably need to do this a couple of times to round the bend.

Make sure that your row of single crochet lies flat and doesn’t pull in like a gather. If so, redo those stitches, crocheting them a bit closer together or making your top loop (in this photo) a bit longer.

crochet 14To demonstrate what to do when you have completely crocheted all the way around, I have skipped to that part for you. I crocheted several stitches with a brown strip, going right up to the very first stitch I made. This would be your last single crochet stitch.

Take this stitch and gently pull the tail out of the top loop. If the tail is longer than 12″, trim it to that length make it more manageable.

Now take your hook and go underneath the top 2 strips of your very first single crochet stitch, yarn over with the end of the strip you pulled out, pull it completely thru and to the back.crochet 15crochet 16With your hook, come up from in the middle of the very last single crochet stitch — in the place where you pulled the tail out. Yarn over and pull the strip down thru completely.

crochet 17Pull gently on the end of the strip to make the stitch smaller so that it matches all the other stitches along the top.

The tops of the stitches should look alike.

Now that you are done crocheting, you can go back with your hook and hide the ends. On the back side and next to a strip end, take your hook and fish under the back of the nearby stitches and pull the end under a couple of stitches to completely camouflage it. Repeat for all of the loose ends. If you already sandwiched the ends under your stitches, you can skip this step. Now trim any strip ends flush with the back stitches. And you are done!crochet 18

3I enjoy finishing my rugs this way because I love this peaceful technique. It is the perfect thing to do in those little moments chatting or drinking tea. And the finished rug has just the look I love — primitive and understated.

To facilitate this method of binding, I have several colors of wool that are 96″ long, so you can cut your extra long strips for crocheting. Find them in my Etsy shop by clicking here.

I hope that you will try this technique and let me know what you thought of it.

Have a creative day ~ Karen

Here is the tutorial in a slide show:


This slideshow requires JavaScript.


24 thoughts on “Crochet Edge for finishing hooked rugs

  1. Love it! May I teach it to my students? BTW, the rug I hooked in your class at Sauder is still my all time favorite! Someone wanted to buy it but I said it was priceless! And that’s the troof!😜


    • Such kind words Patty — thank you! The crochet edge idea is not my original idea, as it was told to me by Nola Heidbreder long ago. She has been passing this on to all of us, so I am sure it is fine to share it. And if you can mention Nola and my blog tutorial, all the better and we thank you!


    • thanks for your comment. yarn is traditionally used to bind the edge of rugs, using a whip stitch and multiple strands. although i have never used yarn, you could crochet with it also. crocheting around once should be sufficient. you will have to get a feeling for how close to make each stitch as you want to cover the linen backing fabric, using bulkier yarns will be different from finer ones.


  2. How many of the narrow strips of wool (the ones you have on Etsy) would I need to purchase to go around the spiral mat?


  3. As a new hooker I took on a rather good sized rug (for me at least), 18″ x 40″ and wanted to have a nice finished border.
    The crocheted border is just perfect and finishes a piece off beautifully.
    Thank you for sharing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s