How to Use Upholstery Material to Make a Rug

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Rugs today are as outrageously expensive as they are practical. Fortunately, they are also easy to make from durable, relatively inexpensive upholstery material. Creating a rug to help extend the life of your expensive flooring, to complement your decor or even to cover a stubborn stain is an easy sewing project even a beginner can do. Your rug can be fashioned of whole cloth or pieced together in an interesting design like a quilt. You may want to add contrast or matching borders. The possibilities are endless.

Things You'll Need

  • Upholstery fabric
  • Backing fabric (like heavy canvas)
  • Binding
  • Fusible webbing (like Wonder-Under)
  • Sewing machine
  • Heavy-duty needles and thread
  • Iron
  • Fray Check or similar product
  • Measure the area you want to cover with the rug. One of the best reasons to make your own rug, aside from low cost, is that you can size it to fit any area.

  • Cut out the top of the rug from upholstery material and the same-sized piece from the backing fabric.

  • Cut an equal sized piece of batting, if you want a padded feel.

  • Paint all cut edges with Fray Check.

  • Lay the batting on a work table, add a layer of fusible web, and put the backing on top. Follow instructions to iron the backing to the batting.

  • Flip the fused backing/batting over, add another layer of fusible web on top of the batting, and then lay out the upholstery fabric for the top, face up. Iron to fuse. If you are not using batting, fuse the top directly to the backing.

  • Finish the edges by adding a border. For example, if you want a border that is 3 inches wide, add 3 inches for fold-over and 1 inch for seams. Cut two border pieces the same length as the shorter sides of the rug (if the rug is square, just pick opposite sides) and two pieces the length of the longer sides plus 1 inch.

  • Iron under 1/2 inch on each long side of all four pieces, then fold in half and iron down the middle to create the edge.

  • One side at a time, starting with the short sides, snug the layers of the rug inside the binding, and sew on the outside through all layers using a zigzag stitch.

  • At the corners of the long side bindings, fold the1/2-inch overlap to cover the rough edges, and sew.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your rug will sit on wood or tiled floors, use a nonslip rubber backing. You may choose to put the backing under the rug or sew it in as the bottom layer of your rug construction under the backing. A pieced rug is a great way to use free upholstery samples. After binding, decorate the edges of your rug with trim, braid or fringe.

References

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