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?
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?
WHILE YOU'RE HERE…
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 😉