Area Rug Inlay

Turn a boring rug from basic to cool in a couple simple steps.
Turn a boring rug from basic to cool in a couple simple steps.
ML Harris/Getty Images



  • Sharpie ink marker (or a similar marker with a sharp point)
  • Utility knife
  • Ruler or yardstick for drawing straight edges on template, preferably metal (optional)


  • Cardboard
  • one or several other rugs (or carpet remnants) for pattern cuts
  • full-size area rug
  • Manco carpet seaming tape (sold in floor covering and hardware stores)

To make:

  1. On a piece of cardboard, draw to size the pattern(s) you want to inlay, and cut the pattern from the cardboard. If the pattern is asymmetrical, label one side "up" so that it is always traced with the correct side facing that way.
  2. Carefully trace the pattern onto the backside of the remnant to be cut, and cut the pattern out with a utility knife. Clear loose yarns from edges, and set aside.
  3. According to how you want the remnant to lie, position the cardboard pattern onto the backside of the area rug and trace with the marker. Cut the pattern from the area rug.
  4. Working from the backside of the rug, press the cut pattern into the area rug so that it fits snugly.
  5. Cover all cut lines with carpet seaming tape, and press firmly into place. Flip carpet over and stomp on patterns to ensure tape has adhered thoroughly. Vacuum up loose yarns.

Information provided by Home Matters guest Matt Maranian, author of Pad: The Guide to Ultra-Living.