10 Doable Designs for a DIY Rug

Though not always considered essential, area rugs provide comfort and warmth for hard floor surfaces, while adding aesthetics to a room’s design. But the hunt for the right rug is not always easy. Whether you've been holding back on buying one because you haven't found the right style, size, or price range, we've got good news: You can make one to fit all of those parameters. If you’re DIY-ing your rug, you can customize it for your own tastes and needs.

Choosing a color is the best place to start. If you already have lots of bold patterns in the room, a more subtle, single-colored rug might be the right counterpoint. If you want your rug to have as much personality as a piece of furniture, let the colors and patterns sing out. When it comes to size, there are a few general rules to follow. An area rug’s dimensions should be based on the seating area, not the entire room. When you’re sitting on the furniture, you want the rug to provide cushion and coziness for feet, so make sure at least the front legs of sofas and chairs are on the rug in a living room. In a dining area, center the rug under the table, with enough space to pull the chairs out on top of it. At the entryway of a home, open the door fully, and plan to place your rug about 6 inches beyond that. Aim to make your rug the width of the door, or slightly greater. Finally, texture may be overlooked, but it plays a huge role in creating layered and lush room design. A rug can provide a necessary element of texture, whether it’s a chunky rag rug or a smoothly painted sisal.

No matter the space you’re working with, you're bound to load up on inspiration from these 10 smart makers and the DIY rugs that now dress up their floors. From a handwoven kitchen mat to a painted area rug, click through these DIY designs to find the style that speaks the most to you.

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  1. Piece it Together


    If you've your shopped for a large area rug, you know sticker shock—it's what happens when you read the tag for a runner and then one for its room-size counterpart. A clever solution? Gather two or more small rugs and stitch them together with a large needle and heavy-duty yarn, just as East Coast Creative did.


  2. If You Fancy Faux Fur


    No animals were hurt in the making of this rug. In fact, the blogger behind Brittany Makes crafted hers by drawing a zebra skin freehand on a large sheet of vinyl. The gold leafing from a Krylon adds an extra luxe touch to this faux-fur design.


  3. Have a Ball


    For a fun and cheery addition to any room—but definitely the playroom—string together a fuzzy floor covering out of felt balls, just like this project from CATHERINEGRACE. This soft rug is sure to make you pass on traditional seating for a spot on the floor.


  4. Twist Up Some Tees


    No need to run out to the store for your rug materials; instead, start by looking at the stockpile of clothes you've saved to donate. You can transform an excess of plain T-shirts into a DIYed rug by cutting them up into strips and using the slices as "yarn" in this crochet pattern from One Dog Woof.


  5. Roll Out the Read Carpet


    We may reach for the digital versions of our favorite reads these days, but there's still reason to stay grounded in the classics. Artist Pamela Paulsrud created this floor covering from the bindings of discarded books. Too timid to try rounding out the book covers in our own DIY? Adhering hardcovers to a foam mat with right angles will undoubtedly be the easier route!


  6. Cut a Rug


    For a crocheted look without learning the skill set, try your hands at a simpler weave. This project from Craft Passion is another designed to use only what you already have on hand: a set of old bed sheets and a cardboard structure to hold the ends of your fabric strips while you weave. Don't worry if your fabric supply is rather eclectic; the colors and patterns will blend together beautifully in the final product.


  7. Know the Ropes


    In the store, sisal and jute rugs can run a pretty penny. Sisal rope, on the other hand, is quite affordable—just dollars per 100-foot roll—and that's all you need to knit this beauty seen on Merry Pad. Once you get the hang of working with the oversized knitting needles, go ahead and put on a mini-marathon of your favorite shows while you knit the runner to the desired length.


  8. Copy a Classic


    On the occasion that you do find the perfect rug but it falls outside your budget, consider recreating the coveted design with a little fabric paint, just as Katie from Upcycled Treasures had. Just start with a plain, lower-cost rug or carpet remnant and stencil on your desired design to make it unrecognizable.


  9. Ultimate Outdoor Rug


    Garden lovers, take note: You can express your passion just outside your front door with a rubbish-turned-funky floor mat. Designer Mark Kintzel created the semi-circle rug by wrapping cut sections of a garden hose (new or used). Its durable plastic makes it easy to clean—you guessed it—by hosing it down.


  10. Roped In


    What if we told you all you need to make a stylish and sturdy round rug is a whole lot of rope and glue? That's all that's used in this project from Seek Dare Love. On a flat surface, coil the rope around itself, using dabs of hot glue to secure it. Continue round and round until you've hit your desired width.


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