Area Rug on the Cheap

This is an idea that I came up with three years ago while I stood in the home improvement store and stared at the ridiculously expensive area rugs on display. At the time, we were getting ready to move into our little home, and we desperately needed a soft place to rest our feet in the living room. We were (are) lucky that the house came with beautiful hardwood floors, but the unforgiving concrete slab under the floor? Not so much.

I knew we didn’t have the budget to spend several hundred dollars on an area rug and there weren’t any options for the large size that I wanted — about 10′ x 12′ — in our price range. I was walking through the flooring aisle feeling rather dejected, when I noticed long rolls of carpet remnants corralled in a corner.

The carpet came in several colors and even a few different weaves and patterns. One of the larger rolls was a great neutral color with a squarish pattern in the weave of the carpeting. Perfect for hiding stains or wear and tear, I thought. But was it affordable?

The entire roll, which was larger than what I needed, was $40. After sandwiching the roll into the back of my car, I took it to a local carpeting shop. The carpeting shop cut it to a custom size for me, and finished the edges (this prevents fraying and gives the carpet remnant a clean appearance). The custom cut and sewing was $80.

A few weeks later, I bought a smaller area rug for my dining room (on clearance) at a well-known home store for well over the $120 I spent on the custom carpet/rug. If I were to include the large rug pad I bought to go underneath the carpet we created, the grand total was $132.

I would definitely recommend carpet remnants as a cost-effective way to make a custom area rug. Carpeting works especially well if you are interested in solid colors, but even a delicate pattern can add extra interest to your floor.

Perhaps the greatest advantage of an area rug made from carpeting is how easy it is to clean. The type of carpeting we chose is both durable and stain-resistant. We just lift up parts of the rug to clean up big spills. Since the rug was such a bargain, we don’t fret too much over everyday messes, and we can use standard carpet-cleaning products without worrying about discoloration or fading!