How Do I Choose the Best Rug Hooking Patterns?

Tara Barnett

Choosing the best rug hooking patterns depends on your skill level and interests. Sometimes, the best approach to choosing rug hooking patterns is to pick those that come in simple kits with all the materials and instructions included. More advanced crafters may find that complex scenes and interesting patterns are more appealing. Many people enjoy recreating historical looks, but modern designs can also be attractive. There are many free patterns available online, and some people find that designing patterns by hand is both satisfying and simple.

Making rugs is the traditional use of rug hooking, but small projects can be hung on walls or can be used to make bags.
Making rugs is the traditional use of rug hooking, but small projects can be hung on walls or can be used to make bags.

The first thing to consider when choosing rug hooking patterns is the scale of the project. A small project, like a pillowcase, may be appropriate for beginners, while a large project may be better for more advanced crafters. Making rugs is the traditional use of this craft, but small projects can be hung on walls or can be used to make bags. Rug hooking patterns that are small may also be complex and beautiful, but their size makes the project easier to handle.

Motifs and images portrayed in the pattern are also important to consider. People are naturally more inclined to finish projects they enjoy, so liking the image being created by the pattern is important. Traditional patterns often include flowers, animals, and stars, but any picture can be represented using rug hooking. Designs that relate to holidays and events are also very popular, although they may not be as appealing because they are not often appropriate for yearlong use.

Rug hooking patterns often come with supplies included and may include the design itself printed onto the material that will be used to make the rug. Designs that have been printed on burlap are often good for beginners because it is quick to get started. Advanced crafters often find that drawing or transferring a design onto the burlap is a better solution because this allows for custom sizing and alterations to the pattern. It is possible to use this technique to turn nearly any art into a rug hooking pattern, although highly complex images may need to be simplified in order to be manageable as rugs.

When choosing rug hooking patterns, it is important to keep in mind what you hope to get out of the project and how you enjoy working on it. A small, straightforward project may be best for a person who likes to zone out while hooking, whereas a highly complex one may be better for a person who likes a challenge. In the end, experience is the best teacher, and the best way to choose patterns is to narrow down which types of patterns you like best through experience.

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Discussion Comments


I'd say a beginner would need to get a pattern that doesn't have too many colors. They just need to get the technique down before they start looking at really intricate patterns. I guess that's true of any craft -- learn the basics before you cast out into deeper waters.


You used to be able to find rug hooking supplies and kits everywhere, but I haven't seen them in the craft store in a long time. I used to hook rugs once in a while and I enjoyed it. It's really a simple craft to learn. I learned to do it when I was about nine or ten.

My first rug that I hooked was a horse's head. It looked pretty nice and I was proud of it. I don't remember actually doing anything with it, but I kept it for a long time. I don't know what finally happened to it. Maybe I gave it to someone.

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