16 October 2018

Tummy Time Nursery Rug - Free Crochet Pattern

Now that we're expecting a BABY (oh my goodness!!!), I'm getting really excited about all the fun baby stuff I get to make. One of the first things I thought to make was a super squishy crocheted rug for the nursery, so I got right to work. It needed to fit a few criteria: no holes so little fingers won't get caught and little toes won't trip, a flat circle, really soft and squishy for tummy time, and a cute border that also doesn't have any holes.

I searched and searched, but I couldn't find the perfect pattern. So of course I decided to free-wheel it! This "pattern" is very flexible and can be changed up depending on how big you want your rug and how tight/loose you crochet, but this will give you the specifics on how I got my perfect rug and general guidelines on how you can make yours!

Pattern notes - READ THESE FIRST!!
1. The body of this rug is crocheted while holding two strands of yarn together. This makes it more dense so it will hold its shape as a rug instead of being soft like a blanket. 

2. The edging is crocheted with one strand.

3. The body of this rug is crocheted in a spiral, but you'll want to keep track of the beginning of each round with a stitch marker so you know when to change your increase repeats.

4. Making a perfect circle in single crochet is a bit tricky. If you follow the same increase formula as with double crochet you'll end up with a round hexagon instead of a circle. Also, single crochet circles tend to ruffle and/or cup, so some flexibility with the pattern is required. But don't worry if yours starts to do either - just follow these tips to fix your circle and get it flat again:
  • If it ruffles (gets wavy) - This means that you have too many stitches for the circle. To fix, insert a full round with NO increases. Then for your next round, continue increasing as if you never made that previous round. For instance, let's say you're at a round where you're increasing every 10th stitch, but you notice that you're starting to get ruffly. Finish that round, and for the next round, don't increase at all. Just put one single crochet in each stitch around, so you have the same number of stitches as the previous round. Then for your next round, increase every 11th stitch.
    •  This will NOT mess up your stitch counts. You should continue finishing each round at the end of a repeat.
  • If it cups (the edge starts to cup up on itself) - This means you have too few stitches for the circle. To fix, insert a round with twice the number of increases, then go back to increasing as you were. For instance, let's take that round where you're increasing every 10th st, but you notice that you're cupping. Finish that round, and for the next round, increase every 5th st. Then for your next round, increase every 11th stitch.
    • This WILL mess up your stitch counts. You will find that you are no longer finishing up your rounds at the end of a repeat. It's not a big deal! Just wait a few rounds to make sure that you've flattened out, then adjust your increases to get back on track. It won't be noticeable at all.
5. To avoid sewing in ends (because who likes that!), when you need to switch to a new yarn ball, just make sure your ends are about 3 inches long and crochet over the two ends. The density of this rug means that the yarn won't slip out and it's bulky enough that you don't even notice the extra yarn encased in that round.

6. At the end, if your finished rug is a little bit wavy in places, don't sweat it! Just lay it flat underneath a larger rug to be walked on for a few days, and that should flatten it out. Didn't work? Lay a few towels down on top of a carpet or rug, pin your new rug out flat on top of them, and spray it with water to wet-block. Put a fan on it for a few hours, and you should have a perfectly flat rug. But be careful not to soak too much! You don't want water getting through the rug and towels to the carpet below.


Tummy Time Nursery Rug Pattern

  • Bernat Blanket Stripes - 6 balls (300 g)
    • I used 3 balls of Stormy Sky and 3 balls of Making Waves
  • Bernat Blanket Big Ball Yarn - 1 ball (300 g)
    • I used Dark Teal - this ball is for the edging of the rug
  • Crochet hook: M13/9.00mm
  • Darning needle for weaving in ends
  • Stitch marker (I used a paper clip)
Finished Size: 48" diameter including edging for mine - (yours might be different!)

Stitches and Abbreviations:  
  • Magic circle
  • Chain (ch)
  • Single Crochet (sc)
  • Slip Stitch (ss)
  • Skip (sk)
  • Stitch (st)
  • Repeat this sequence (*...*)
  • Place all of these stitches in the same stitch ([...])

Body of the rug:
Round 1: Holding two strands of the striped yarn (one of each color way), make a magic circle and make 6 sc into it. OR ch 4 and connect to the 1st ch with a ss to make a circle. 6 sc into the circle. (6)

Round 2: [2sc] into each st. (12) - remember that we're crocheting in a spiral, so you don't need to join at the end or ch at the beginning of each round.

Round 3: sc in 1st st. [2sc] in next. *sc, [2sc]* around. (18)
  • Another way to write this is: 1, [2, 3] - you increase in the 2nd stitch and your repeat is 3 stitches all together. I find it easiest to count this way and get the increases in the correct spot, so I'll continue the pattern in this manner.
Round 4: 1, 2, [3, 4] around (24)

Round 5: 1, 2, 3, [4, 5] (30)

Now to avoid that hexagon shape and to minimize ruffling, we're going to start alternating where those increases happen.

Round 6: 1, [2, 3], 4, 5, 6 (36)

Round 7: 1, 2, 3, 4, [5, 6] (42)

Round 8: 1, 2, [3, 4], 5, 6, 7 (48)

Round 9: [1, 2], 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 (54)

Round 10: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, [6, 7], 8, 9 (60)

Continue with rounds until you reach the size you want (I had 37 rounds). You'll probably need to insert no-increase rounds here and there to keep your circle flat, but at the beginning of each increase round, assess where your last few increases happened and place that round's increase in a different stitch. Because everyone will probably need a different number of no-increase rounds (I was crocheting tightly, so I needed a no-increase round every 3-4 rounds after about Round 10), I'm not going to tell you where to put them. Just pay attention to how your rug is working up, and don't be afraid to rip out a round or two if that's what you need to do. I certainly ripped out plenty figuring out how to get this circle flat!

Last Round: Start with your new increase pattern count for this round, and keep going until you are close to running out of yarn. Finish up by continuing to stitch and increase until the total stitches in your final round = a multiple of 4 (for instance 360, 432, 480, etc... just be sure it divides by both 4 and 6) This is because the edging is in a repeat of 4 stitches. If you don't feel like taking the time to count these out, it's really not a big deal. Your final edging may have one final repeat that doesn't look perfect. Eh. For your final two stitches, use a ss to help taper down the edge.

Round E1: With solid-colored yarn, ss in the final ss. ch1. sc in each st around. Join to 1st sc with a ss.

Round E2:  ch1, sc in same st. *sk 1 st, [2sc, 2ch, 2sc] in next, sk 1 st, sc in next* Repeat around. If you've finished your Final Round with a multiple of 4, you should finish up this round with a [2sc, 2ch, 2sc] and a skipped st. If not, no big deal, just add an extra sc or sk an extra st to get yourself to the end of the round. SS to the 1st sc of the round. Bind off and weave in ends.

You are welcome to sell anything you make with this pattern, but please do not sell this pattern as your own. Copyright Tummy Time Nursery Rug to The Ivy Killers Crochet 2018.

I'd love to see your projects! You can upload them to Ravelry - just search for Tummy Time Nursery Rug and add your project - or you can post to Instagram and tag me @theivykillerscrochet for a feature on my page. And please feel free to comment below with any questions or thoughts! I'd love to hear all about your gorgeous rugs!!! 


  1. I love this rug, it's so pretty! I've been wanting to make my sister a rug, she's been saying that she would like one.

    1. Thanks Cheryl! Let me know how it goes - I hope she loves it!

  2. Hi do you continue round 11 etc as the same as round 10?
    Really interested in making this!

    1. Yes, you continue adding increases at different spots for each round. So for round 11 you might put the increase at stitch (9,10) and in round 12 you might put it in (2,3)... And keep adding no-increase rounds as needed to keep the rug flat. I crochet quite tightly so I needed a no-increase round every 3 or 4 rounds, but if your tension is looser you might not need them as frequently. Let me know how it turns out!

  3. Hey I just wanted to say thanks for this wonderful and easy pattern! This is actually my very first crochet project and I had 0 experience weaving or knitting or anything before but I'm a very impatient person and just wanted to dive into making a rug for my room. I just finished using two skeins and it's actually turned out bigger and better than I expected, but nowhere near as beautiful as yours!

    1. I'm so glad it turned out great! You really dove into the deep end with your first crochet project - congratulations!

  4. My rug is cupping immediately. I tried undoing it and making it looser, but it is still cupping as soon as I start increasing. Suggestions?

    1. Cupping means its a bit too tight. If you already tried loosening your tension, the next step would be either going up a size of crochet hook or adding an increase row or two with extra increases. That could mean 2sc every other st or even every stitch, depending on how much it's cupping. I would try one trick, and if that doesn't work, then try the other.

      A flat circle in sc is definitely an exercise in ripping out and compensating! Good luck!

  5. 15
    Thank you for sharing your pattern. I enjoyed making it. I wanted to post a picture but couldn’t figure out to do it . The instructions were easy to follow and it layed flat.

  6. i love the pattern and got to round 3 perfectly then the terms changed from what i am used to doing and totally confused..praise to those who can follow but after 60 yrs of crocheting i cannot follow...how would i be able to if you continued writing as in rounds 1-3...?

    1. See if this helps. You could write Round 4 in several ways: "2sc, [2sc]" is the same as "sc in the 1st st, sc in the 2nd st, [2sc] in the 3rd st". That is, st 1 gets 1sc, st 2 gets 1sc, st 3 gets 2sc. In the shorthand method, as you're counting, you count 1, 2, [3,4]. 1, 2, [3,4]... all the way around, putting that increase in st 3.

      Then in Round 5, you count to yourself: 1, 2, 3, [4,5]... all the way around with sc4 and sc5 both going into the 4th stitch of the repeat.

      Then in Round 6, because you don't want to start forming a hexagon with expanding points at the increases, you start moving the increase to a different spot in the repeat. Count to yourself: 1, [2,3], 4, 5, 6... around, with the increase in the 2nd stitch.

      I find that the rhythm comes in a few round of working this way, and it cuts down having to read through a longer and longer set of instructions for each round. Good luck!