In an effort to save a little money, instead of buying a large area rug for my living room, I decided to make one. I found these 2′x8′ rugs at Ballard’s Backroom and took on the task of sewing them together.
I sewed 4 of them together to make an 8′x8′ rug and the cost was less than $130. It was a fairly simple project and I am quite pleased with the end result.
You will need:
- rugs of your choice
- duct tape (you don’t have to use gold, but I’m not sure why you wouldn’t want to)
- nylon cord (I used fishing line I found at Wal-Mart)
- upholstery needles
- piece of cardboard
- You will need a large area of floorspace for this project. Start by laying all of your rugs out on the floor. You will want to decide where each goes depending on the size you are trying to make and the patterns of the rugs. My rugs had areas of discoloration on one side only. So I matched up those sides and, for the very critical eye, the discolorations now look like two intentional stripes.
- Flip the rugs over and place seams as close together as possible but not overlapping and use duct tape to tape the rugs together. Don’t tape all of the rugs together at once, it will make it harder to work with. I had four long rugs. I taped them into pairs, sewed those first, then taped the pairs together and sewed what is now the middle seam.
- You will be tempted now to just tape them all together and call it a day, but you that would be too easy. It’s time to sew them together. Cut a piece of the cord, thread it through needle and tie a knot at the end. Be sure to make the first stitch straight across so the corners of the rugs stay flat. From the first stitch either continue with a straight stitch or make a slight diagonal like I did. The stitches don’t need to be perfect just tight.
- Continue sewing. And sewing. And watching lots of Friends DVDs or whatever mindless entertainment you desire. Once you come to the end of the cord, knot it and tie off the end on the underside of the rug, start sewing with a new piece of cord and put some duct tape over the knots. As you sew and get closer to the middle of the rug, roll the rug and hold it with your other hand. This helps you more easily lift the rug while threading your needle in and out.
- A few helpful hints- use the thimble and a cardboard box under the rug to help you push the needle through the rug, otherwise you may get a nasty blood blister on your thumb. Since I used indoor/outdoor rugs, the material was very tough and made it harder to pass the needle through. It would be much easier to do this project with thin, cotton rugs.
- Once you get to a point where the size of the roll is too cumbersome, you may want to start sewing at the other side and work your way to the middle.
And after many hours of sewing, here we are!
It took me awhile to get in the groove of the stitching. Once I started spacing my stitches farther apart and using the thimble and cardboard to push the needle through, it went much faster. The whole project took about 8 hours and I really love the look of the stitching- so to me it was time well spent. However, I totally understand if you have children, a man you love, a job, or a bumpin’ social life and would rather just buy a rug.