DIY: Sewing Rugs Together

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
  • scissors
  • thimble
  • 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.

13 Comments on "DIY: Sewing Rugs Together"

  1. mom says:

    That’s AWESOME! You are amazing, just sayin!!

    Mom

  2. very nice! I like the stitching…it looks like it was supposed to be that way! I have some stuff in my etsy shop that would go along with the animal print…if you are trying to redo the room in animal print patterns :)

  3. Anne says:

    Genuis!!!!!!!
    Also wondering what piece of furniture you were standing up on to get that great angle of the rugs and chairs!! ;) Gorgeous place you are creating there!!!

  4. Aunt Linda says:

    Laurin: that looks fabulous! Can’t wait to see the rest of the apartment! I’m so impressed!

  5. Donna says:

    Great idea! When I was little, my mother made a family room rug like this! She took samples from a carpet store and duct taped them together to make one large colorful tapestry rug. They were shag carpet samples and I remember it being very colorful and comfy to lay on! Since they were shag the duct tape sufficed, you couldn’t see the seam.

  6. Melissa says:

    Rug looks awesome! You did a great job, time consuming yes- i bet by the end of the day you black lines before your eyes! I’m proud of you.

  7. Lauren says:

    I am seriously impressed by this Kizer!

  8. Arden says:

    Can’t wait to see the rest of the place! Hurry up and post more pics! Miss ya:(

  9. Erin says:

    You have just really outdone yourself here, doesn’t get much craftier than this! Looks fabulous!!

  10. connie says:

    What a smart idea! It turned out great!

  11. Cynthia Poor says:

    You amaze me! I love your nice big rug w/ personality! I bet before it is all said and done, it will be reused in another room. It’s got a long good life ahead!

  12. megan mattingly says:

    hey lauren! i’m a friend of samantha and Caroline’s. sam showed me your blog. I LOVE IT!! just thought you’d like to know you have even strangers following!

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