How to Make a No-Sew Fabric Rug

2014_February-rug-13

So often it can be hard to find a small rug in fun, stylish colors and designs to brighten up your kitchen, bathroom, or entryway. Wouldn’t it be great if rugs came in the same designs as fabric?

Well, here’s a simple DIY no-sew fabric rug tutorial! Bring a little extra color into your home by wrapping a plain floor mat in decorator fabric and protecting it with  polyurethane so it can withstand wear. Let’s take a look at how it’s done!

Fabric Rug Materials:

2014_February-rug-1

How to Make a No-Sew Fabric Rug:

  1. Cut your rubber mat to size. A traditional doormat size is around 2 ft. x 3 ft. I had the rubber mat cut for me off a roll at the hardware store, so I just straightened up the edges.2014_February-rug-2
  2. Spread out your fabric and lay the mat on top, where you’d like the pattern to line up.2014_February-rug-4
  3. Cut the fabric so that it is one inch larger than the mat on all sides. If your fabric tends to fray at the edges, add an extra inch of fabric on each side so you can create a hem.
  4. If necessary, iron the fabric to remove any wrinkles.2014_February-rug-5
  5. If your rubber mat has a smooth side and a textured side (like mine does in the picture), apply the spray adhesive to the smooth side of the mat.
  6. Also spray adhesive on the wrong side (underside) of the fabric.2014_February-rug-7
  7. Lay the rubber mat on the fabric so the sticky sides are touching. Smooth the mat down on the fabric to remove any air bubbles.2014_February-rug-8
  8. If needed, add extra spray adhesive along the edges of the fabric and the rubber mat.
  9. Starting with the long sides, fold the fabric edges up over the mat. If you added two inches of fabric, fold the fabric on top of itself first to create a hem and then fold over the mat.2014_February-rug-10
  10. Fold the excess fabric under at the corners at an angle for a finished look. Add extra spray adhesive if needed.
  11. Let the spray adhesive dry for 30 minutes.
  12. Paint a layer of polyurethane on the fabric. I found it works better to paint in the same direction as the ridges of the mat.2014_February-rug-11
  13. Apply 3-4 coats of polyurethane, allowing 2 hours of dry time between each coat. The edges of the mat may curl a bit as they dry. Add some small weights to the corner to keep the rug nice and flat, if needed.
  14. Enjoy your new rug!

One yard of fabric can be used to make two small rugs, so you can add a second rug to your home or make one for a friend.

Browse our wide selection of fabrics, perfect for this project at www.sailrite.com.

Where will you put your fabric rug? Share your ideas in the comments!

12 comments
  1. Jeff Schaber said:

    Great idea, I’d love to see this expanded upon with a sewn rug to use on the entry way or where you step into your boat. I’m always throwing towels down and they get filthy really quick and don’t stay put. I’ve used bath rugs before but the sizes aren’t what I want and the color/patterns aren’t boat like.

    • Nikki said:

      That’s a great idea, Jeff! We’ll have to put that on our project list.

  2. Alice said:

    Do you think this type of rug will work well in the entry way of a sailboat or inside? We have a lot of beach sand in the cockpit from us and our dog.

    • Nikki said:

      Hi Alice,
      I think that this would work great in a boat! As Matt suggested below, sewing the perimeter would make it extra secure, and in a boating environment, you could even add snaps to keep the rug from moving around on you.

  3. Nice job Nikki! This is a fun and simple project. I think if I made one I would also sew the perimeter of the hem, right through the mat, just to make it extra durable. Any Sailrite sewing machine would easily sew through the rubber mat material you used. And it would be interesting to use Phifertex or Sunbrella Sling material for the fabric too where you could skip the polyurethane coating. I have my own home project in mind now!

    • John said:

      Something like Phifertex might also help Alice with her sand problem, assuming it’s not too huge.

  4. Wish I thought of this, what a great idea. I have to change the fabric rug on my patio every couple of months due to kids, sun, dogs and rain. This will be on my “to do projects list” At least this will last a lot longer. Thanks for sharing.

    • Nikki said:

      Thanks, Christine! You’ll have to let us know how your rug turns out!

  5. Subarna said:

    The rug looks soo beautiful and bright, I have to say this was my inspiration to do something similar!! I used foam mats and ended up making two of them…Thanks for sharing

    • Nikki said:

      Your mats turned out great! Glad we could inspire you, and thanks for sharing!

  6. Leah said:

    I am going to make rugs by sewing fabric on top of a canvas drop cloth and put a rubber pad mat underneath to prevent slipping. I’m doing it this way because I have dogs and they bring in leaves, dirt etc and leave hair behind. I need some rugs but can never have any because it seems to take an act of God to completely clean a big rug, it won’t fit in the washing machine, or the washing machine tears it up. I want to be able to wash them frequently. Can I use a coating of polyurethane or something else you guys might know of to prevent staining and won’t complicate washing it in a washer? My friend suggested spraying scotch-guard on it every time it comes out of the wash but the problem with that is I plan on making several and it seems the cost would get high and having to apply chemicals on them constantly would bother my asthma. Please help. I’ve looked and read everywhere.

    • Nikki said:

      Hi Leah,
      I wouldn’t put fabric with a polyurethane coating through the washer. I’ve been using this rug in my kitchen for some time, and I usually just wipe dirt off it with a wet rag. If you want something you can wash, I’d suggest maybe using stain resistant or durable fabric. Sunbrella upholstery fabric would make a great choice, it’s really easy to clean and is machine washable. Or a different option would be to use like a Phifertex Plus material, which you could just hose off or gently scrub with soap and water to clean. I hope one of these ideas works for you!

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