DIY area rug.

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$20 Area Rag Rug Tutorial (DIY Area Rug)


Yep, you heard it right. I spent $20 on this baby. And you can too.


Small area rugs are cheap. I paid $1.99 a piece for them at the big box
home improvement store.
These measured about 3feet by 2feet.
I used 10.
So, 10 rag rugs cost me $20 and my finished rug is 6 by 10.
I used upholstery thread because it is strong. I wanted this rug to be sturdy and
withstand vacuuming and such. I also wanted to be able to use a needle to thread
it through the rug with. So…upholstery thread is the perfect solution.


I did 2 rows with 5 rugs in each row. (there is a picture below that shows
that better)
I also overlapped it a bit so it didn’t pull and gap after it was knotted.
This was a good move and I would suggest it!


I pulled the thread through, cut the length needed for knotting…and did it again.
I did this again and again until my thread was gone.
Then…I went back and knotted. It was much faster that way!


Rag rugs are cheap because they aren’t terribly perfect . Perfect for the budget.
Not so great for perfect symmetry.
I made sure that one side was perfectly straight so it could be attached to the next row.
But, the outer side was uneven. It has character and looks authentic.


The corners need a bit of special attention. A couple of knots running
across the corners is a good idea.


Now, I am still working on this room for revealing at the party on Thursday.
So, you see the rug…and a bit of sneaky other things.
But…the rug…it’s lovely! It looks inviting, traditional, and fun.
I love that I can swap out rugs when one gets dirty.
And I love…the price!!!
This rug took me about 90 minutes…not bad!

Okay…now it’s your turn.
You got the steps.
Create any size rug you want.
Do you need one as big as mine? More rugs and time.
Maybe you have just been wanting a runner…less rugs, less time.
Whatever you want…get to it!


Nellie is the founder of NellieBellie, and takes basically every photograph you've ever seen on this site. She also runs our web design business, the Savvy Sites Administration.


  1. Shelby

    June 27, 2012 at 1:37 am

    Oh my gosh! I LOVE that you did a tutorial for this! While living in Thailand, I found a bunch of handmade small rugs and bought a bunch! I too put them into one big rug and loved it until it (quickly!) fell apart. After reading your tutorial I now know what I should have done… Upholstery thread!!! Duh. :) I’m going to give it another try! Thanks!

  2. Laurel@Ducks in a Row

    June 20, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    I think everything looks FANTASTIC!!

  3. Liz

    June 19, 2012 at 5:43 am

    That rug project is such a great idea. Would have never thought of it! And I’m loving the reversible blocks. So very clever and colorful and FUN! Good luck at the Olympics! Found this post at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia! Stop by Quirky Vistas when you have a chance and see what’s up there!

  4. Liz @ Here's to Handy Andy

    June 11, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    What a fun rug! And cheap = perfection! I also love those prints. Way to rock Event #1!!

  5. Susie {aka Mrs V}

    June 10, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Fabulous Tutorial! And thanks for Hosting the Olympics — VERY Cool! The artwork is a favorite of mine as well!! Giddy, thanks for the opportunity. Take care!!

  6. Mel the Crafty Scientist

    June 10, 2012 at 8:12 am

    I LOVE it! Way to kick off an awesome Olympics with a wonderful tutorial! (Now the pressure is seriously on and I haven’t even seen the room reveal… back to work for me!) : )

    -Mel the Crafty Scientist

  7. keri @ shaken together

    June 10, 2012 at 3:10 am

    I love the unique, not quite perfect vibe of those colorful rag rugs … seriously creative, my girl Janel!! Can’t wait to see the rest of the room!

  8. katie goldsworthy

    June 9, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Whoa! I’m decorating a nursery for my sis this summer and those are her exact colors, and her husband is a vocal coach! I NEED that print! I actually might have to buy it if I don’t win….and I rarely buy ANYTHING (when it comes to decorating).

    Thanks for hosting!

  9. cassie

    June 9, 2012 at 9:16 am

    that was supposed to be just like you in a mustache. more coffee please.

  10. cassie

    June 9, 2012 at 9:15 am

    the rug looks super cool just like in a mustache.

  11. Bella

    June 9, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Wow that rug looks sweet! I can’t believe you only spent $20. Can’t wait to see the rest of the room!

  12. Gwen

    June 9, 2012 at 7:41 am

    Way to go Janel! You totally rocked it out.. GOLD Medal style!!!

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