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How To Make A Custom Rug Out of Fabric

how to make a rug out of fabric and vinyl flooring scraps

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I don’t know about you, but whenever I am shopping for small area rugs or mats for my kitchen, foyer, or bath, I can never find one in the color or style that I envision for my room’s decor. I end up not buying one or getting one I really don’t like.

This “shopping for a small rug scenario” no longer happens as I found an easy way to make my own rug.

A custom rug allows you to add the exact rug size, shape, colors and decorating style you want for any room in your home. Whether it’s a kitchen, living room, or bedroom, a DIY custom rug can accentuate the decor in those rooms. It is not hard as you would think. I will show you the steps to creating your own.


How to Make an Area Rug With Fabric

This DIY rug project was made using a remnant of vinyl flooring. It is unique and unlike other rug making tutorials that use fabric strips, fabric scraps or even cut up old t-shirts by weaving or crocheting them into a rug.

When you make your own custom accent rug or floor mat to decorate a room using this method, the options of colors and patterns are endless since there are aisles and aisles of fabric from denim to classic prints found at a fabric store to choose from.

The amount of fabric you need will to make a rug will depend on the size rug you make. Vinyl flooring remnants can be purchased inexpensively at home improvement and flooring stores. Just ask a salesperson if you can shop the remnants.


I used this printed duck cloth I found at Jo-Ann’s Fabrics on sale for $5.99 a yard. I needed less than a yard for the size of my rug.

supplies needed:

  • Remnant of vinyl flooring, cut to the desired rug size
  • Fabric – yardage in the same size as the vinyl, plus 3 inches of fabric added on all sides (this excess fabric will be turned and secured under the rug.)
  • T-square
  • Mat knife
  • Scissors
  • Stiff paint brush
  • Spray glue
  • Zinseer Bulls Eye Ultimate Polyurethane – Gloss finish. It is water based  or any water based poly.  Water based won’t yellow your fabric.
  • Duct Tape

Time needed: 3 hours

How to Make a Rug Using Fabric

  1. Cut Vinyl Remnant

    Cut vinyl remnant to size with craft knife and T-square to ensure you are making straight cuts.


  2. Optional Step If Using a Light Color Fabric

    If using a light colored fabric to make your rug, lightly spray the vinyl with white spray paint or a light coat of brush-on white primer. I didn’t want to be surprised once I put the polyurethane on the fabric and have the dark green blocks show through the fabric.


  3. Cut Fabric to Size

    Turn the vinyl upside down on the wrong side of your fabric and cut the fabric around the vinyl leaving about 3-inches extra on all sides.

    Flip both the vinyl and fabric as one over and use spray glue to adhere the fabric to the vinyl.

    The best way to do this is to go outside. Spray the back of the fabric and the top of the vinyl. (Don’t worry about getting the fabric edges with glue in this step, just the part that will be on top of the vinyl)

    Let the glue get tacky and then center the fabric on the vinyl. Smooth with your hands making sure there are no creases or air bubbles.


  4. Coat Fabric With Polyurethane

    Using a stiff bristle brush, apply one coat of water-based polyurethane to the fabric and let it dry overnight.  It takes a while to dry on fabric.  Once it is dry, add another coat of poly, let dry.


    Don’t proceed to the next step until you have at least two coats of poly on your fabric.  My fabric shrunk a tiny bit, so allow for this to happen and then proceed.


    Make sure you are covering every section and the edges of the vinyl where the extra fabric will be turned to the underside of the vinyl.

    Look for air bubbles, and creases that may appear in the fabric – keep pressing them out with the brush.  Push them out to the sides of the rug until they are removed.

  5. Check Polyurethane Coverage

    You want to build up the layers of the poly so that the fabric is eventually totally covered. You want to get into and cover the grain of the fabric.

    Fabric with a tighter weave will not require as many coats as the fabric I used.

    The layers of poly are what make the fabric wipe-able so your rug will stay clean.  If you skimp on layers of poly – dirt would be harder to clean off.


  6. Turn Rug Over

    After you have two coats of dry poly on your rug you can now turn the edges and secure them to the back of the vinyl.  The fabric will be stiff, but just pull it tightly around to the back.

  7. Glue Excess Fabric to the Underside of Rug

    To secure the fabric on the underside of the rug, start in one corner.  Use spray glue to attach fabric.  Just a shot on the vinyl, let it get tacky and then fold over and press the fabric down as shown below.

    Once you have the first corner done, work around the vinyl until all the fabric is secure on the back.



  8. Secure Edges of Backing Fabric

    Secure the edges of the fabric all around the rug using a brand name duct tape. Don’t use Dollar Store duct tape as it isn’t as sticky as The Duck Brand is.


  9. Add a Few More Coats of Polyurethane

    Before you use your pretty new rug, apply a few more coats of poly to make sure you have a wipe-able surface.

    I did 5 coats. Each coat takes time to dry(the first coat is the longest), but it will be worth the wait as the fabric will be able to easily be wiped clean when it gets dirty.



What makes small area rugs like this so much fun…

Do it yourself fabric rug

…is that you can move them all around the house wherever you need a pop of color.

Making rugs doesn’t have to be limited to only using fabric and vinyl. See what your creativity will come up with, perhaps even using a solid color cotton fabric and using fabric paint to design your own fabric.

You can also use craft paint to Paint a Rug on a Floor using a stencil like I did for this Colorful Area Rug in a mudroom. If you have an entire hardwood or vinyl floor that needs replacing, did you know you can paint it? See this post on How to Paint a Pattern on Vinyl Flooring and even Update an Existing Vinyl Floor in a room for $10 with craft store vinyl.

Blue and white area rug made of fabric on the floor in front of a door. Text overlay says hoe to make a small area rug with fabric.

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