How to make an area rug out of remnant carpet

Happy weekend, everybody!
So on Tuesday I was on TV (see my segment details HERE) talking about 3 hot trends in frugality. DIY projects was one of them. But my “take-home message” was that…
just because you do it yourself doesn't necessarily mean it will save you money…you need to do your research first!
I gave an example of how my husband and I “made” a huge area rug out of remnant carpet, but didn't do the entire thing ourselves. Here is more detail on that project:
How to make an area rug from remnant carpet
We just moved into a new house. On the main floor the floors are hardwood and tile…NOT very friendly for babies and toddlers, if you ask me (but beautiful nonetheless). We needed a rug ASAP…
and we needed it HUGE.
(Here are pics of the room I took with my phone the day we moved in)

We needed it at least 12'x13′. Have you ever shopped for a sturdy, soft, classy rug that size? Here were our options (and keep in mind this is page 3…and they were STILL almost $2k!)

Not only was that way beyond our price range, but we just weren't liking anything we saw. So we decided to get creative!
We went to the RC Willey clearance outlet here in Utah. They had an enormous selection of remnant carpet (which are rolls of carpet leftover from a large project. Often times it'd be enough to carpet a small room…or in our case, make a rug for a huge room.)
Measure and decide what you want BEFORE buying remnant carpet. Most of the time it's final sale, so no buyer's remorse please!
We saw this one and fell in love. The good news? It was one of the only remnants large enough! (as you can see by the dimensions we even had leftover carpet to spare that we decided to make into smaller other smaller rugs.)
This much carpet would've cost $1,454 if we had just bought it from their carpet department. Since it was remnant we got the entire roll for just over $500.
(Once again, there were smaller and cheaper rolls, but we had to get one of the largest ones.)

This carpet roll was HUGE. It was so huge, there's no way it would've fit in an SUV or even truck. Luckily my parents were in town and had a Uhaul trailer with them, so we were able to squeeze it in there.

Think about transportation BEFORE buying remnant carpet! In RC Willey's clearance dept there are no deliveries, so don't buy something before thinking through from points A to Z.

When you make a rug out of remnant carpet you need to bind the edges. Often times the remnant isn't cut straight, so binding it gives your rug straight, clean lines, keeps it from unravelling or fraying, and protects you (raw carpet edges are sharp!).
We looked online for a DIY kit, assuming it would be cheaper. However, with a rug our size we quickly discovered a few things:
1) We would be out a LOT of money if we did it ourselves and messed up (it was a huge project to “practice” on)
2) We would need a LOT of binding materials.
3) It would take a LOT of time.
4) The DIY kits didn't seem as sturdy as professional binding because it just sticks to your carpet rather than being sewn on. With a 100lb dog and lots of kids (and planning on LOTS of wear and tear with this rug) we figured that binding would only be a temporary solution.
So we called RC Willey and asked if they bind carpet. They don't, but they referred us to someone locally who does it out of her garage and only charges $1 per linear foot.
We dropped it off at her house and it was done that afternoon.
 She cut it and actually sewed the binding off with a machine, so it's nice and permanent.
She cut it perfectly even (there's no WAY I could've done that. I can't even cut a straight line in paper, let alone thick carpet!)
All we had to do was give her the measurements and it was done. For the large rug it only cost $50.
See my kids enjoying their new soft floor?
The other cool thing is that we still had 8'x12′ leftover. That's another HUGE rug worth of carpet! We had her cut it in half and made two 4×12 runners. We put one by our front door.

It's rain and snow season here in Utah and our real wood floors are getting a beating. It's not the most fashionable runner ever, but it's so practical.
We made a mistake and didn't plan where to put the other runner before having it bound. DON'T DO THAT! Turns out we really have no place for it, so it was a waste of $32. However, we're thinking in the summer we'll put it out on our huge patio by the patio sectional seating set we plan to get someday.
So…while we do plan to use it in the future, we should've waited to have it bound until we 100% had a plan. Oh well, live and learn, right?

So there you have it. While there are ways to bind carpet yourself, I question the durability and how long it will last. For us, this rug is in the main room of our house, so it's getting a lot of wear and tear. If it's a small project and is in a more formal room where it won't get much use, I think DIY could work just fine.

Don't know where to find a carpet binder near you?

  • Google it,
  • Call carpet stores
  • Call furniture stores like RC Willey that have carpet departments
  • Look on craigslist. The lady we used just works independently out of her home, she has no shop and wouldn't be found online. Ask around and look in unconventional places first!
Please note…if you do it at a carpet or rug store it will probably be more expensive, so SHOP AROUND before committing!

Have any of you bound carpet yourself before? How'd it go? Would you do it again? Would you recommend it?

Don't forget about my Secret Sauce online budgeting program, Budget Boot Camp! Super fun video program that makes money easy to understand. All you need is a screen and you're set!

And don't forget, if you don't save at LEAST what you paid for the program, I'll refund every dime. You've got nothing to lose! Use the code FCFBLOG to get an extra 10% off, because I love you 😉
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  1. AvatarSuzi says

    Do you have the contact info for the lady who bound your rug/carpet? We live here in Utah and are looking to do the exact same thing.

        • AvatarBrittnee says

          Question- do you know if laying extra carpet over carpet will damage the original carpet due to backing material on it? I have a giant piece of left over carpet from install and wanted to use it as a rug over existing carpet in living room walk way but I don’t want the white backing stuff to damage my original carpet. Do u know if it does?

  2. AvatarAspen says

    Great idea I never knew anything about carpet remnants but when I read this I thought what a great idea. I just went to my Lowes this past Sundaay for some carpet to cover a 10X12 area in our basement and I found a brown I liked that was 12X12 for 89.00 but it was to big and I didn’t know how much it would cost to deliver or if I could cut it down to size myself so I kept look then I found that was 5X12 so I got that one it didn’t have a price on it so the guy sold it to me for $10 I got that and two pacakges of the foam alphabet mats and now we have a small livng space/play area in teh basement it’s not perfect but its a huge improvement compared to before when we could even hang out down there! Thanks for the awesome idea!!!!!

  3. AvatarRon says

    Wow, the rug looks fantastic in your room! Actually, the whole room looks great. We are in a similar situation with a new home and after looking at what you did, went to a local carpet remnant dealer and have found a big enough piece we think will make a nice area rug. The cost savings over trying to find a 12 by 12 foot nice area rug is significant.

    Could you let us know what you used for padding? Were you able to find a reasonably priced pad that won’t damage your hardwood?

    Also, love your entertainment center. If you don’t mind sharing, who makes it and where is it sold? Thanks!

    • AvatarFunCheapOrFree says

      I’m so glad you’re going to try it!! We didn’t do any padding, actually. We just set the carpet down straight on the floor. It works fine for a large rug that won’t be moved around or anything (will have heavy furniture on it). However, I wouldn’t recommend it for a small rug that could move around because the netting is pretty scratchy and if you lift the carpet it sheds little sandy flecks like CRAZY! But we’ve been happy with it otherwise.

      • AvatarBets says

        YOU NEED A PAD! No matter the size, if you actually have real hardwood floors, you need to protect your floor from that scratchy webbing under your rug! Heavy furniture will only make it worse. Yes, the rug does shift slightly every time you sit on the sofa, walking around on it, etc. Luckily, it looks like you have the cheaper laminate floor since the wood grain looks artificial.

        • AvatarFunCheapOrFree says

          Yes I agree, you do need a pad! Our floors are real wood, and they are actually very expensive (hand-scraped), which is a horrible idea. I sure WISH they were laminate! haha! But yes, I agree, a pad is great.

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  6. AvatarAndi Blackmer says

    Hi! I loved your post. We are in the same situation – new house, new baby, toddler, and hardwood floors! We have been debating about carpeting or a huge rug and found your blog! Thank you so much! We are going to RC Willey’s and other carpet stores tomorrow! Do you have the contact info for the lady who did your binding? Does she want more business? I would love to find out where she is and if we might be able to use her! Thanks so much

    • AvatarFunCheapOrFree says

      Andi – she was just a random lady, and it was years ago. I originally got her number from the store, actually! I just called and asked if they did carpet binding. They said “no, but here’s a lady who does…” so give that a try!

  7. AvatarScott says

    You will be glad you got real handscraped wood instead of laminate in the long run. Better looking and way way more stable if it was glued down directly to the sub-floor. Laminate will look like laminate in a few years and wood will still be beautiful. Nomuv dura-hold plus rug pads are the best available to help keep your rugs from marring the surface and keep them in place. I have worked with that product many times and it is hands down the finest rug pad you can get. Nice job on the rugs.

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  9. Avatarjill says

    Are you giving out the lady’s number via email?
    I found an area rug that would be perfect but would prefer to cut off a section to create a runner for my adjacent front door area.

    I too live in Utah.

  10. AvatarRyan says

    Would love it someone could give me the lady’s number. I found carpet, but cant find anyone to do the binding. Im in Salt Lake City, Utah.

    • AvatarFunCheapOrFree says

      I don’t think she does it any more, sadly. But we got her number in the first place simply by calling the furniture store and asking for a referral for someone who binds carpet and they gave us her number. So maybe try that!

  11. Avatarcharlie says

    T & J Carpet Binding (801) 367-7167 (Tammy)
    15885 Carterville Rd
    Orem, UT 84097

    Binding 1.00 linear ft
    Serging 3.00 linear ft
    Felt Backing .75 sq ft (6.75 sq yd)
    Rubber Backing 1.25 sq ft (11.25 sq yd)

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    • AvatarFunCheapOrFree says

      Unfortunately she’s not in business any more! but I recommend checking the classifieds or calling the carpet stores near you to see if they have a referral.

  12. AvatarNatalie Y says

    Hi! I am located in Utah as well and would love to bind a few carpet remnants. Can you share the name of the lady with me?
    Thanks in advance!

  13. AvatarAngela says

    Do u remember where u took ur run. I live in salt lake and I would love to know who u used. I can call rc Willey but thought I’d ask u first. Thank you.

  14. AvatarKimber says

    Did you have to put anything under the rug so that it doesn’t scratch the wood? I was thinking carpet has a harder back than some rugs? Thank you in advance!

  15. AvatarBecca Larsen says

    We also have a large remnant of carpet left over from our basement that I want to get bound for the hard surface area in the family room. I would love your contact that did your binding. We are also in Utah. Thank you!

  16. AvatarJane Fenton says

    Do you have the information for the lady you used? We are in Utah and would love a recomendation for someone we know has done good work.

  17. AvatarAshlee says

    Love this post! So helpful. I know I would mess mine up trying to save money and do it myself. I’m in Utah. Can I get the contact info for your binder?

    • AvatarFunCheapOrFree says

      Hi Ashlee! I don’t remember what her name was, so sorry! But you could try calling your local carpet store or RC Willey clearance store to see who they suggest! 🙂

    • AvatarFun Cheap or Free says

      I no longer have her info, but call your local carpeting store and they should be able to recommend someone! That’s how we got the info in the first place. 🙂

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