Thank you all for the nice comments on the finished hallway! We sure are loving the space!
Now onto how I turned a carpet remnant into the runner rug. I mentioned previously that I was having a hard time finding an affordable 20 foot runner. It would almost definitely need to be custom, but I thought for sure have a piece of carpet cut and bound would be an affordable option. I was mistaken. Lowes (at least my Lowes) has a large minimum required for binding which would make it impractical and unaffordable, and Home Depot only offers it on Martha Stewart carpets. The catch is carpet comes in 12 foot wide rolls, and I was told they don’t seam rugs. So I would have to buy a 12 x 20 piece of carpet which would be enough for 4 runners for my hallway. And it would be seriously expensive. However, this is a great option if you’re looking for a 9×12 – no waste.
So I tried a local carpeting store, and they did not seem to appreciate that I wasn’t dropping $1,600 on a rug. They also really tried to dissaude from some of the more affordable carpets, so I left. I mentioned all of my roadblocks to my dad on the phone one day, and he suggested I try to make a rug myself from a remnant or a piece of carpeting purchased from Lowes or Home Depot. We both did a little bit of research, and I talked myself into this being a really good idea.
I hit up a local discount carpeting store that sold remnants and quickly zero’d in on this roughly 11 by 6 foot remnant for $100.
Luckily, it coordinated with my entry rug nicely.
Due to the shape and size of the rug I purchased, I knew I would need to cut the remnant in half and seam the two parts together. I watched a few youtube videos on how the pros do this. Seaming requires a special iron that runs under $100 (or can be rented for around $15 per day) and heat activated tape for about $5. Another option is pressure sensitive seaming tape. It also runs $5 for a 15 foot roll but doesn’t require heat. The tape is sticky enough to hold the carpeting together. I did a fair amount of research on the pros and cons of using the pressure sensitive tape. It’s obviously a bit cheaper and a lot easier to use, but it’s generally only recommended for seaming carpet in small or tight spaces or for a temporary solution. I took my chances with it anyway. If I find it doesn’t hold up, there’s no reason why I can’t replace it with the heat activated stuff. Our hallway is obviously a high traffic area, and though it’s only been a few weeks, we’ve found it to hold up wonderfully. The binding also helps I think.
This is probably a good place to suggest picking out a carpet without much of a pattern if you’ll be seaming it. I knew this going in, but obviously went with a patterned carpet anyway. The seam isn’t perfect, but it’s close enough for me and not noticeable. More on this later.
Speaking of the binding, I used Instabind from Bond Products. They offer affordable DIY binding options plus how-to videos that make the process a breeze and provide a professional looking edge. Before I ordered anything from them, I purchased a color card and picked out the binding color I liked best for the rug (I ended up going with light tan – second one down on the left).
Now onto the tutorial. Here are the supplies I used to cut, seam, and bind my rug (I’ve linked to products I used where I can):
Seam Roller (in retospect this probably wasn’t necessary, but I’m a rule follower)
Instabind Cotton Binding Style in light tan
Hot Glue Gun with this tip
I started by rolling the rug out so it was facing down in the basement.
First things first, I wanted to clean up all of the edges so they were square. When it came to making the cuts, I used my carpet knife, measuring tape, a straight edge, and a sharpie.
Using the grid laid out on the carpet backing, I used my sharpie to draw a line down the carpet for my knife to easily follow.
I used my straight edge to keep my knife from slipping.
Next up, I needed to cut the carpet in half and join the 2 pieces to get the length I needed. This is where it gets a bit tricky with a patterned rug. It’s not enough to just cut the 2 pieces to the same width. You need to make sure you cut the 2 pieces so the pattern is in the same place on both pieces so when they’re matched up it’s consistent. Once I had this figured out, I cut the first piece to a width of 30 inches. Once again, I used my sharpie to mark the measurement up the length of the carpet.
Once I made this cut, I lined my 30 inch piece up to the other piece to ensure they were going to be the same width and made my sharpie line.
At this point I had 2 pieces of carpet that were the same width and had a consistent pattern (for example, I cut both pieces so the pattern on the edges were half diamonds instead of full ones). Now I needed to make sure the diamond pattern would match at the seam. This was not easy, but I managed to get it figured out.
Seaming the two pieces together was probably the easiest part. I cut the seam tape to the length I needed and peeled back the tape to reveal the sticky part.
I put one of the carpets on half of the tape
And carefully lined the other piece up before placing it on the tape too.
Not bad right?? This is where I used my seam roller to push the adhesive into the carpet backing.
Now it was time for the moment of truth. I rolled the rug up and hauled it upstairs to see it in place.
The verdict? Too long (which I knew would be the case). I didn’t want the rug to extend past the wall on the right.
I eyeballed where I needed to cut the length and marked it with my sharpie. Feline supervision recommended.
I cut the piece to my desired length in place, and then the hard part was done!
Next up was the binding. If you end up using instabind, I strongly encourage you to check out the how-to videos on their site. Here’s what the binding looks like:
The back of the binding is a sticky tape. You just peel the tape back
And adhere it to the underside of the rug.
To maneuver around corners, make a cut at the turn and fold the binding.
Then just make your way down the sides.
When you get back to where you started, cut the pieces so they line up.
Next up, I cleaned up the edge of the carpet with scissors from where it was fraying (I probably should have done this before I attached the binding).
To permanently adhere the binding to the carpet, use hot glue. I purchased this nozzle from Bond Products for $12 to make the job a little easier.
Put a bead of glue in the crevice of the binding
Then squeeze the carpet and the binding together until the glue has hardened.
Where the ends meet, put a dab of glue on the edges then press them together.
And that’s it! You’re done! A custom rug for a fraction of the price!
In the end, I spent roughly $200 0n the rug – $100 f0r the carpet and $100 for the supplies. Of the supplies I purchased, all but the binding (which cost $54 and I mostly used up) can be used when I do this again (and I do hope to do it again!). To have the remnant cut and bound at the carpet store I purchased it from, it would have been $260 total. Only $60 in savings, but as I said, it will be much less expensive in the future now that I have all the tools. The project also took about 4 hours total – hot gluing being the most time intensive part of the process.
I should also note that this is just what worked for me with this particular kind of carpet. I would except other’s experiences to be different based on the carpet and materials used.
I hope this tutorial is helpful for someone else out there!