Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cutting a (Seagrass) Rug

I'm sure you've been wondering what I'm going to do about the seagrass rug that goes all the way over the wall where my new bookcases and window seat are going to be built.  This is a rug I bought on ebay from Natural Home Rugs for about $250, including shipping.  They also do custom sizes but when I inquired about something custom in a slightly smaller size, the price was about $800. 

I'd love to be able to get a sweet little Persian number for the room but with two bathrooms and a kitchen ahead of me, it's not in the budget right now.  I don't want to spend anything I don't HAVE to right now so I thought I'd try cutting it down on my own.

Here's how it went: 

These particular rugs have a rubber backing that prevents the rug from slipping.  That probably doesn't make rugs from this maker the greenest option but it also helps protect the floor.  I remember having a coir rug from Conran's back in the day that really chewed up the hardwood floor in my apartment.  Oops.

The largest cabinet depth is going to be 18 inches so I decide I'll take the same amount off the rug.  I measured in 18 inches from the end and used my 4-foot level to connect my marks.

Once that was done, I used a box cutter to cut through the rubber backing.

By folding the rug along that cut, I could then cut through the fibers of the rug without cutting through into the rug itself.

I then put a bead of Gorilla glue along the newly cut edge and smooshed it in to prevent the edge from fraying.

Now we have to get the binding off.

Get out the handy dandy seam ripper and go to work.  There's no way I can sew the binding back on but I think glue will do the trick.

I replaced the binding over the cut edge and put a good dose of Gorilla glue on the rug as well as the back of the binding.  I'm sure hot glue would work just as well but I usually burn myself when I use it.

Press the binding down firmly just until the glue is starting to ooze out.

I used a board with some paint cans to keep weight on the edge for a few hours.

At the corner, the binding folds over and gets glued to the back. 

And voila!

If your rug has a mitered edge, you would have to sew a portion of the binding from the side edge to make it long enough to fold over on to the back.  Once the front is dry, glue the binding to the back of the rug.

And here's the new finished edge.  This back edge of the carpet won't get much traffic but even without it being sewn down, I think it's adhered well enough to stand up to traffic.


  1. well, well, well. you are a regular martha stewart. this is a really great post b/c i have 2 seagrass rugs that are the wrong size and now b/c of you i know i can re-size them. thanks love.


  2. Recently found your blog and am enjoying it. What I am really wondering about (in addition to seagrass rugs) is the green chest in the picture of your dining room (on the sidebar). What an amazing shade of green!

  3. Excellent! You are a handy man in so many ways.

  4. Amazing, and brilliant, what a fantastic job!

    I'll bet you could bring it into a carpet store and have them run a seam for you - if you want to.

  5. It's perfect!

    I love smooshing and Gorilla glue too.

  6. Well....aren't you a clever Gorilla Glue Boy!


  7. Dear God you're patient and clever. no wonder everyone in blogland loves you.

  8. Is there anything you cannot do?

  9. S...Fabulous!...This post comes with perfect timing. I have two friends that are about to pay big bucks to have this done. I'm forwarding them this post.....thanks for sharing!...k
    p.s.....the wing chairs are first class....great job

  10. is there anything you can't do or design or find or come up with ... can't even tell you cut up that rug!
    Love the post title. :)

  11. Thanks for the DIY - I happen to have a rug that needs to be slightly shorter. I am not yet convinced I should try this myself, but I'm getting closer!

  12. Steve I have the exact same rugs in my living room and dining room. Unfortunately, the brown banding is off by a shade (even though they both came from the same mfg.) and although they aren't custom, they're big enough that I don't need to cut them. HOWEVER, I'd really LIKE to get one for my sunroom - which happens to be 7' wide by 15' long, and there's no way I'm paying $800 for seagrass in there. THIS is a great option!!! I could order and cut! :) YAY! Thank you for being my hero and problem solver today!

  13. Martha could not have done better!


  14. How very clever and resourceful you are!

  15. I have to agree. Martha, Martha, Martha!!! I know I will need this post sooner or later. Thanks.

  16. wow Steve, came out great. I was just pondering cutting down a rug myself yesterday, but had no clue...

  17. Hi Steve, you are so clever! I never, ever would have thought to do this and it looks perfect. Still can't get enough of those redone chairs and may have to copy the idea for my own...
    Thank you for the very thoughtful comment you made about painting the brick on my fireplace. I plan to go with your suggestion -- I can always slap a few more coats on if I don't like it. Your ideas are always welcome!

  18. Hi there,
    may i use the first Pircture of the See Grass Carpet on our Website?
    Thanks and best regards

  19. Worked perfectly- my husband cut the seagrass rug in the driveway on a sunny day, it was a pretty easy job.The only little issue we had was the the Gorilla glue showed through the binding once it dried, leaving it darker in places.But it's on an end wall so didn't matter.Thanks!!