Make a new area rug with $10 and 10 minutes

Guestpost by Amy on Sep 22nd

Puzzle rug

We are apartment-dwellers, which means we have shitty carpet. Maybe some apartment managers put in nice, expensive flooring that looks awesome after ten years, but our landlords didn't. After ten years of parties, dogs, and one wild child, the carpet in our place is spotty, threadbare, and wrinkled in places.

When we made over our eight-year-old's room recently, one thing we really wanted was a big area rug. Unfortunately, rugs are expensive. Lucky for us (and you), making a rug is easy and cheap!

We bought our materials at a Habitat for Humanity ReStore. These outlets sell used and remaindered home improvement supplies, as well as furniture and house wares, and the profits benefit Habitat for Humanity projects. They have locations throughout the US and Canada and keep usable home improvement supplies out of landfills. Score! If you don't have a ReStore where you live, you can probably find carpet remnants for sale on CraigsList or at a thrift store.

Our ReStore had about a dozen small rolls of carpet for $10 per roll. They varied in size a bit, but most of them were about 10 feet wide. There wasn't much variety in color, but the styles varied from stiff, short, flashback-to-elementary-school carpet to thick shag. Since we wanted a rug for The Kid to lounge on, we chose our carpet based on feel more than look. This beige carpet isn't the prettiest, but it feels nice and cushy.

At home, we rolled out the carpet upside down, sketched a shape on the underside with a marker, and cut it out with a utility knife. Remember to put something under the carpet when you're cutting, so you don't slice into the floor underneath. We wanted to cover as much of the old carpet as possible, so we just rounded off the corners of our carpet sample, but it would be fun and easy to make flowers, splotches, stars, or whatever other shape you have the dexterity to cut out.

We were surprised to find a smaller piece of the same carpet rolled up inside the larger roll. We cut that into a smaller rug that fits together with the big rug like a puzzle piece.


We were concerned that the edges might unravel, so we carefully trimmed all the dangling threads. After several weeks, I see no loose threads or unraveling.

And, as you can see, The Kid is pretty fond of her new lounging spot. This turned out to be such an easy, inexpensive project! We'll be making a larger rug for the living room next.

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About Amy

Amy is a poet, teacher, and artist living in Orlando, FL. She and her main squeeze Alex put most of their DIY ingenuity into art-related projects, like rebuilding a ceramics kiln and teaching themselves to make instruments out of clay. Housekeeping is not a priority.