How to Make a Jelly Roll Rug

Finished jelly roll rug

How to Make a Jelly Roll Rug

I’ve seen the beautiful and colorful pictures of jelly roll rugs, and wanted to try one for myself!

I picked a bright jelly roll of Jen Kingwell fabrics, from her Beach Road line for Moda Fabrics. The colors are perfect for my home and fun for my first jelly roll rug. The finished size is about 30″ x 44″ – a great size for in front of your kitchen sink, bathroom or to make a bold statement at your front door! (Read our interview of Jen – so inspiring! Love her fabric line!)

I did a little research on the best way to make a jelly roll rug, and found some great tips and tricks. To start, you can cut batting into 2-1/2″ strips, or can you buy precut batting in rolls ready for the project. I choose to buy the batting. I’m glad I did a little quick math in the fabric shop on the total length of the jelly strips when they are sewn end to end and how much batting I’d need. It took almost two full precut batting rolls or about 50 yards of 2-1/2″ batting for the rug.

sewing the fabric together end to end.To start, sew the jelly roll pieces end to end to make one long piece of fabric that is 2-1/2″ wide. I did press the seams open on each seam – because I like to. It helps keep them flat when you are sewing the fabric around the batting.

Make sure to have a seam allowance big enough that the selvedge doesn’t show. Here is my pile of pressed fabrics ready to cover the batting!

Fabric all sewn in one long strip.

I wasn’t exactly sure how the fabric enclosed the batting, but found this terrific video on You Tube. It really helped!

Once you start, the fabric and batting fold nicely, making a great relaxing and mindless sewing project! I did turn in the upper edge of the fabric when I started to finish off the top edge. Just lay the fabric under the batting, fold in both edges and sew down the middle to catch the edges inside. If you miss a little, it’s okay, as you’ll be zigzagging the edges to make the rug.

Making the jelly roll strips filled with batting.

I saw lots of pictures of people with their big balls of the new ‘yarn’ or fabric covered batting. As I was sewing, my covered batting just lined up perfectly on the floor behind my sewing machine! Here is a picture of it all done – isn’t it pretty?

The finished jelly roll strips ready to make a rug

The finished jelly roll strips ready to make a rugI picked up my fabric covered batting and moved it to my dining room table. I needed more space to now make the rug. Since it was in the order it came off my sewing machine, it didn’t tangle at all and just fed the process as I started round and round to make the rug.

Sewing the strips together to make a jelly roll rugI started with about 15″ of the fabric covered batting and made a big ‘U’. You need to really curve the ends, and smush it down. Set your machine to a big zig zag stitch, and have plenty of bobbins ready. I used 8 bobbins of thread for putting the rug together. Zig zag the fabric covered batting together. When you get to the end, start wrapping the corner to make the rug.

At the beginning, make sure to ease in a lot of the outside fabric as you round the corners so that the rug will lay flat. If you pull it up, it will curl a bit. To do this, lay the fabric very flat on your sewing surface and ease in until the outside edge can lay flat without curling.

Sewing the strips together to make a jelly roll rugTIP: Make sure that you are adding the next round from inside your sewing machine arm, not on the outside. As the rug gets big it makes it much easier!

Keep sewing round and round until all of your strips are sewn into a rug! Just make sure everything is lying flat, or your rug won’t lay flat. That is really the only thing you need to worry about!

TIP: If your rug starts to curl or be wavy, try really hard to make it very flat on your sewing machine bed when sewing. You’ll have a tendency to lift it, but don’t. A little bit of waviness can be pressed out with a good steam iron.

My new bright jelly roll rug!

Finished jelly roll rug

Love the fabrics? Check out our interview with Jen Kingwell!

You’ll find you won’t just make one! What will other color schemes look like?

      • To make placemats, use about 7 yards of the fabric covered batting
      • Make a round rug by starting with a tight circle instead of sewing two sides together in a strip
      • Make a fabric bowl or basket by building up the sides as you get started, similar to this fabric coil bowl or basket tutorial.

    I’ve had several people reach out to me to see if I sell the rugs, I don’t — between a full time job and playing around with Create Whimsy to share amazing stories of makers, there is no time. But, here are some that are for sale!

  • You know you CAN make it, but you can also just buy it and support another maker!
  • Jelly Roll rug from Treschicgeekboutique This beauty is made by Treschicgeekboutique!

    Jelly Roll Rug Treschicboutique
    And, another gorgeous rug from Treschicgeekboutique!

    Check out all of our sewing projects on Create Whimsy!

    Here are some of the items you might need to make your own rug from a jelly roll of fabrics:
    Buy a set of two patterns to make jelly roll rugs – one oval and one rectangle.
    This bright jelly roll from Hi-de-Ho fabrics would make a gorgeous rug!
    You can purchase the Jen Kingwell jelly roll that I used for my rug on Amazon.
    Batting tape makes it easy to join the batting strips with no extra bulk.


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