DIY Felt Area Rug

Happy new year, everyone!  I don’t know about you, but 2012 just FLEW by for me.  It was also an amazing and memory filled year.  I’m not sure how 2013 will surpass it, but so far we’re off to a good start.  I plan to blog lots and lots and I hope you all will be inspired this year.  So, let’s get started!

Have you done much shopping for area rugs?  If you have, you’ll notice the most shocking thing about them: their price.  C’est vrai!  The small rugs are affordable, yes, but how many small rugs can you use in a house?  There are just times when you need a large, gracious rug to fill your space.  This was my challenge when I went shopping for a rug in my living room.  The rule of the interior design industry is to use an area rug that is big enough for your furniture to sit on.  This includes your sofa, people!  Not just your coffee table.  It’s such a pet peeve to see a dinky area rug sitting under a coffee table in a large room.  OK, sorry, got a bit sidetracked there.  As I was saying, I have a room that needed a large rug.  If we abide by the rule (and we should because this one is a good rule), I needed a rug that was at least 10 feet long because that’s how long my sectional sofa is.  However, the rug couldn’t be bigger than 12 feet long or 8 feet wide based on the parameters of the room.  Of course, anything worth loving was going to cost me upwards of $5000.  Ouch.  Even if I dropped my expectations, I was still looking at a rug that was going to cost nearly $1000.  So, I resolved to make my own.

Area rugs can be created out of anything for cheap, depending on the amount of traffic it needs to take.  I do plan on sharing with you many more area rug ideas, but this one is made of felt.  And it’s really easy to make, although time consuming (not gonna lie).

Here’s what you’ll need for an 11′ x 6′ area rug:

Rug pad
8 – yards of felt in a base color
1 – yard of felt in several colors (I used 4 colors)
Scissors
Pins
Thread and needle
Hot glue gun and TONS of glue sticks

Felt-Area-Rug_1

Step 1. Lay out the foundation.  After you’ve found some floor space big enough to fit your rug project, the first two layers you’ll lay down on the bare floor is the base felt fabric in the size that will determine your final area rug size.  Since the felt I purchased came in 72″ widths, I made my finished rug at 11′ x 6′ so that I didn’t have to seam two pieces of felt together.  As felt is really slippery, lay on a rug pad next.  This will give the fabric some grip and also some added cushion under your feet.  If your rug pad is too big for the finished area rug, then cut the pad down to size.  I cut mine about 2-3″ on all four sides to ensure none of it peeks through.

Felt-Area-Rug_2

Step 2.  Pin it in place.  Now that you’ve laid out the foundation to your rug, you’ll need to pin the three layers together so they don’t shift around when you go to attach the rug pad to the base layer.

Felt-Area-Rug_3

Step 3.  Keep it together.  I hate how rug pads never stay in place in a {real} area rug, so I wasn’t going to let this rug pad get out of place in my living room.  Stitch them together with a thread and needle.  No need to make the stitches pretty as they will get covered up anyway.

Felt-Area-Rug_4

Step 4.  Make your pattern.  Now the fun part!  I chose to do something simple.  I cut up squares of felt in four different colors and laid them out in a random grid pattern.  I was more concerned with having the colors of my living room in the rug than I was in the pattern, although I do love squares.  I laid out all the squares first before fixing them to the base felt, in case I needed to change the colors around.  After I approved of the layout, the squares were individually hot glued to the base felt.  And that’s it!  The end result is an amazingly soft rug – you don’t need more than the four layers (rug pad, 2 layers of base felt, and pattern felt) that will impress your friends when you tell them you MADE it.

Things I would do differently in my next felt area rug:

  1. Use good quality felt.  As I focused on the color of felt, I pulled colors from both good and lesser quality felt.  I didn’t think it would make a difference, but it does!  Over time, felt will start to pill and there will be some maintenance to keep it looking fresh (I use a razor or a electric defuzzer to remove the pills).  However, I have noticed that the squares from the better quality felt hasn’t pilled at all.  There is a bit of a price difference, but you’re already saving loads of money by making your own.
  2. Be more adventurous with my pattern.  I’ll admit that the grid pattern is rather boring.  Just imagine how interesting this rug could be in stripes or dots or florals?  It would definitely take more time, but I think it’d be worth it in the end.

Total Time:  Cutting the squares took a couple of hours.  Sewing the rug pad to the base felt took about an hour.  Laying out the square pattern took more than an hour.  Gluing down took a few hours.  Running out of glue sticks and burning out my glue gun halfway through the project took an hour to the nearest Michaels, resulting in a $35 parking ticket also.  (Arghhh!)  Anyway, overall, it took about a day and a half to get it all done and ready to use.  It could take less time with a smaller rug.

Total Cost:  $106.19!!!!!  Includes taxes.  smiley face :: smiley face :: smiley face !!!  Here’s how it was broken down:  the good quality fabric cost $5.39/yard, the lesser quality fabric cost $2.99/yard, and the base felt was $2.50/yard.  I did purchase the base felt with a 50% coupon.  The rug pad was $67.19 from HomeSense.  (Rug pads are the best deal from home discount stores.)  I used two bags of hot glue sticks (10 sticks per bag) from the Dollar Store.  $106.19 is quite the savings from that $1000 “that one’s okaaaaay” area rug, huh?

Redesigned-Signature

 

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3 Comments

  1. racheldubois

     /  September 15, 2013

    Thank you so much for this tutorial. I’m in exactly the same position with wanting to furnish my place with an affordable rug and am wanting to do a felt patchwork rug just like this. I was thinking of using regular fabric glue as I don’t have a hot glue gun – do you think this would work ok? Thanks again for sharing!

  2. I’m not familiar with fabric glues as much as I am with a hot glue gun. I don’t see why it wouldn’t! It will probably take a little longer for the glue to set, whereas the hot glue is instant adhesion (almost a little too instant). If that doesn’t work out for you, you should really consider investing in a hot glue gun! They’re only about $5 from Michaels (and cheaper if you use a 40% off coupon), plus you can get a pack of 20 glue sticks from the dollar stores for $1. If you plan to do more crafting, hot glue guns are SO handy! Hope that helps! ~M.

  3. Lambpie

     /  September 24, 2013

    That is so amazing! Could you post a picture of the finished rug?

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