Monday, September 30, 2013

How to Shorten a Flat-Weave Rug {Easy Tutorial}

We got this super-cute navy and white striped rug for our dining room.  I love the style and that I can take it outside and hose it down if something spills on it (it's indoor/outdoor).

But.  It was too long.  It was overtaking the main walkway in our house.  The width was perfect, so I didn't want a smaller rug.  I just needed to shorten it!

This was SO EASY!!!

Tommy helped me set up the rug so all the other sides were in the right place.  We eyeballed where the edge of the rug should be (i.e., out of the walkway), and I marked it with a few safety pins.

With a striped rug this was super simple, but with a not-stripy rug I would measure before cutting.

First I cut off just a little so I could know how bad it might fray (bad), and tested out my method (good).

Then I cut off enough so that I had two inches on the rug past where I had pinned it.  This extra length gets folded over twice (to prevent fraying) and sewn down.

That's what I did.  I folded over the end twice, and sewed through all the layers.  My thread matched perfectly, so it didn't matter if I had ugly-looking stitches.  I made sure to keep the roll-over in place with a few clamps.  You know how when you roll up a towel, it gets wonky by the end?  The clamps were to prevent that.

You can see that my stitches aren't perfect, but since the thread matched so well (on the front side), you can't tell!

It took about an hour to hand sew the whole length, but you could do this with the most basic of sewing skills.  Plus, it was free!  All I used was a few yards of thread, which I already had.  I definitely recommend perfectly-matched thread, but the clamps could be substituted with binder clips.   I could also envision using this method to transform a large rug into multiple runners.  I'm already dreaming up what to do with the scrap!

And...ta da!  Custom-sized rug for the dining room.

Much better than before! 

You might also be interested in these posts:

Painting the dining room
Painting the built-ins
An IKEA Hemnes shoe cabinet in the dining room


  1. How cool is that?

  2. Great tutorial. I agree, it looks much better and feels customized for your room & table this way.

  3. Could you use the sewing heat bond stuff & iron the hem in? I thought it might be easier & faster for me, as I am disabled & can't hold things very long, (could get my daughter to do that). lol


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