Custom Fabric Rug

Custom Fabric Rug

Get a rug that matches your décor exactly by creating a custom piece with Designer Kenneth Wingard’s instructions.

5 col

This project creates a large custom area rug using a canvas drop cloth and upholstery fabric of your choice.

(2) Large plastic drop cloths
8-by-10-foot pre-ironed canvas drop cloth
(2) 4-by-10-foot pre-ironed upholstery fabric — color and pattern of your choice
Large piece of scrap cardboard
Small box of 3-inch T-pins
Fabric scissors
Rubber cement spray adhesive
Permanent fabric tape for the perimeter of the rug


  1. Lay one plastic drop cloth on the floor in a large, well-ventilated area
  2. Spread open the pre-ironed canvas drop cloth (8-by-10-foot) on top of the plastic drop cloth. The canvas drop cloth will be the base of your rug

Attach the First Piece of Fabric:

  1. Lay the first piece of upholstery fabric (4-by-10-foot) over one half of the canvas drop cloth so the edges of the two fabrics are aligned on three sides. On the fourth side of the fabric — running down the center of the canvas — trim off any excess fabric fringe and remove it from the workspace. This will allow the fabric to lay flatter when the rug is finished

  1. The fabric will be glued onto the canvas starting in the center and working towards the edge. Pull the fabric taught and tack it to the drop cloth by placing a row of T-pins across the center. This is so the fabric doesn’t shift off center when it’s pulled back for gluing
  2. Fold back one half of the fabric all the way to the center that’s held by T-pins. Spray a generous layer of rubber cement adhesive all over the exposed canvas drop cloth. Work in long strokes and overlapping adhesive layers for maximum coverage
  3. Pull the fabric back over the glued area and smooth it down starting at the center and working towards the edges. This will help to push out any bubbles or wrinkles in the fabric. Remove the T-pins from the center
  4. Repeat steps 5 and 6 for the other half of the fabric that hasn’t been glued down yet. The first piece of fabric is now securely attached to the canvas drop cloth

Attach the Second Piece of Fabric:

  1. Lay the second piece of upholstery fabric (4-by-10-foot) over the second half of the canvas drop cloth so the two pieces of fabric meet in the middle. Trim off any excess fringe on the fabric edge that is down the middle of the rug. Overlap the second fabric 1/4-inch over the first fabric to minimize the join line

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  1. Cover the first piece of fabric with the second plastic drop cloth to protect from the spray adhesive. Repeat Steps 4-7 for securing the second piece of fabric in place

Finish the edges:

  1. Take the edge of the rug and fold 1-inch underneath itself all the way around the perimeter to make a clean edge. Hold it in place with T-pins spaced every 10-to-12 inches. Push the T-pins in towards the center of the rug so you will be able to iron between them in the next step. Repeat on all four sides of the rug

  1. Place the large piece of cardboard directly under the section of rug you will be ironing first. On a medium-to-high heat, iron directly onto the fabric over the fold to make a crisp edge. Continue ironing along the fold between the T-pins making sure to move the piece of cardboard along underneath. Repeat on all four sides of the rug
  2. The corners will have excess fabric that needs to be removed so the rug lays flat. With a pair of fabric scissors, trim off the excess fabric so the two edge folds meet at the corner but don’t overlap

  1. Once all four edges of the rug are nice and crisp, remove all the T-pins. Flip the rug over so the underside is face up
  2. Run long strips of permanent fabric tape over the seams on all four sides of the rug to secure the folded edges in place. The rug is now ready for use

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