A few years ago, when I visited my friend Kyrie's dorm room, I was beyond impressed with her area rug. I remember my initial assumption was that she didn't spend a ton of money on it because she just wouldn't have. But I was puzzled because it was seriously the coolest.
I eventually (or probably 2 seconds after walking in the room) commented on it and asked where she got such an glamorous rug.
This might have been the moment I knew we'd be friends forever.
She made it....
with carpet squares and duct tape!
It's been a few weeks in the making (trial and ERROR), but I finally have my own DIY area rug- and I L.O.V.E it!
I happened to find my carpet squares (randomly) on Craigslist.
But here are a few tips for going through a carpet store.
1. Call around to several places and ask if they sell carpet squares (most do) and what kind of selection they have.
2. Go to more than one store before you buy.
3. I don't think it would hurt to ask if they'd take $1/piece.
They were asking $2 for large squares but I asked. I cut the cost of my project in half.
4. Chances are you won't find enough of the same color to make a monochromatic carpet. But, you should try to stick to one type of carpet to get a cohesive effect.
5. Buy a couple extra squares if you can so that you have more to work with to get a pattern you're satisfied with.
Ok. moving on:
This was attempt #1. I learned some hard lessons.
I kind of lost my patients...big time! I didn't take into consideration that Kyrie made a much smaller rug and the flipping over process probably went better for her than it did for me.
But sometimes the best DIYs take some perseverance.
I did a little research, found an adhesive that's made specifically for carpet, and tried again.
I started out by tossing the squares down on the floor and playing around with the arrangement. My first attempt would have actually left me with a completely different layout:
but the second time around I had somehow realized there was another way:
After switching squares around for a little while playing with the colors, I got to the real work. Surprisingly, it took less than an hour.
Here's the adhesive I used. You can find in the carpet department of your hardware store. I payed under $4 a box and used about one and a half rolls.
I used a regular pair of scissors to cut strips. The length varied depending on which seam I was binding, but ultimately didn't really matter as long as you use enough to form a bond.
You then peel off the white piece, lift the edge of the carpet square off the ground, and slide it under halfway. Then firmly press the square back down, take the second square and put it over the other half.
You've got yourself a sturdy seal. Now, just do this until every seam is connected.
There will be some places where the pieces don't quite come together and there is a gap. You can't really tell unless you look closely. I did learn from my experience that my first layout had many more of these gaps because of the number of times four corners came together.
I had bought some colored squares with my purchase just in case. I honestly hadn't planned on using them. I thought about leaving the small squares open to the hardwood. I thought it looked kind of cool. I thought about matching a fabric to my new wall art (that I'll be sharing later) but passed on that idea too. When I realized that the four colored squares coincidently matched my new art perfectly, it was a no brainer. I used a regular pair of scissors (although, a carpet blade probably wouldn't have hurt my hand so dang much) to cut the squares down to the appropriate size.
I also bought 4 rolls of shelf liner at the Dollar Store to use as a gripper. I haven't done this yet. The rug is heavy enough that it doesn't slide around. I might do it just to add some protection for my hardwood floors.
There you have it! I am so happy with it. I love how it grounds the room, adding a coziness that was previously lacking. And, of course, I love that the entire project cost under $30!