Reducing, reusing and recycling are pillars of green living. Like using jam jars as drinking glasses or the kid’s old cubby house for a unique chicken coop, reusing something for a different purpose (upcycling) is a way to reduce your environmental impact. You can upcycle just about anything, including your old rugs.
So, if you’re thinking about buying a new designer rug, we have some fun and creative ideas to help you upcycle the old rug instead of throwing it away.
Why you should Upcycle
Upcycling, also known as creative reuse, is the process of transforming old or unwanted products into new and useful materials or products. Upcycling is good for the environment as it helps to keep excess materials out of landfill while also making the most of the resources used in making the product.
Upcycling can also be good for your bank account. Repurposing something you already own will likely be cheaper than buying something new. And not only can you save money, but you can have a great time while you do it. Upcycling an old rug can be a fun DIY project to do on your own or with the family. You can create something unique and even hold onto something that has sentimental value.
To get you started on your upcycling journey, we’ve come up with five easy rug-repurposing projects.
You can easily upcycle a rug into a range of bags, from a statement handbag to a beach bag and even heavy-duty reusable shopping bags. All you need is a sharp knife to cut the rug, needles, thread and bag handles.
Lie two pieces of rug on top of each other, making sure the inside of the bag is facing out. This keeps all your stitch work inside the bag and out of sight on the finished project.
Stitch the piece together on three sides and then add your handles to the top. Turn the bag inside-out and you’re done.
You can even sew all four sides shut to make a cushion. Just make sure you stuff it with cushion filling before sewing the last side.
- Cat Scratcher
For a more advanced project, you can make your own cat scratcher to keep your puss away from the couch or your new rug.
You’ll need a sharp knife to cut the rug, nails and a hammer, and wood to make up the posts and levels of your cat scratcher. An elaborate cat tree can have many levels for cats to explore or you can choose to make a simple standing post scratcher with a board for the bottom and a pole to scratch.
Plan out your design before you get started. Make sure you incorporate a stable base so it won’t fall over when your cat leaps on it.
Before attaching any parts, however, nail the rug pieces down. For instance, you might like to leave the poles and posts bare and only cover the flat surfaces with your old rug.
Alternatively, you can ‘reupholster’ an old cat scratcher. If possible, disassemble the old scratcher to more easily lay the carpet down. Otherwise, cut the carpet to fit around the scratcher and nail it down.
- Reupholster Furniture
If your rug isn’t too worn out, you can reupholster all sorts of furniture and accessories with it. An easy starting project is to reupholster an ottoman or headboard. Simply cut the rug to size with some overhang to staple down to the back or underside.
- Drink Coasters
Small squares of rug can make unique drink coasters. Just cut the rug to the size and shape you want. This project works particularly well with patterned rugs.
These drink coasters can also double up as miniature rugs for dollhouses if your kids want to add a little luxury to their toy homes.
- Wall Hanging
A rug can easily be turned into a wall hanging. All you need to do is hang it up.
To get more out of the project, you can cut the rug into sections and even add your own embellishments. Try using a crochet hook or thick needle to pull through colourful threads of yarn to create tassels and texture. This will be easier with a handwoven rug. Also, you can also have a look on What to consider when choosing a Living Room Rug
Alternatively, you can pin or embroider motifs onto rug to make the design your own.
Any rug can be upcycled with a little imagination. Try out one of these projects this weekend or even come up with your own.