Making Do Part 2 {A Series}: Rug Rehab

rug 1

Maybe I should have saved the hutch rehab for my final post in the series. It’s certainly the biggest transformation and the most involved of the rehabs.

This one, however, is certainly the most unexpected. And the simplest. And by far the most comical. When my mom realized what I’d done with their old rug, she literally doubled over in hysterics.

So here’s the scoop. I inherited this giant room-size rug from my parents.

rug 2

It’s enormous and perfect for my great room which really needs a few key touches like rugs to set apart the living area from the eating / crafting / schooling / writing area {aka my kitchen table.}

I am all about free stuff. So even though the rug needed a bit of touch-up cleaning, I took it home. I’m glad I never bothered with the touch-up because seriously, I have 3 kids and the rug is cream and in about 2 days it was beige. As I’m writing this, it’s tan with chocolate brown accents.

This rug was so gross, I wanted to throw up every time I walked past it. And honestly, it looked as if I had done just that.

{This shot does not do its nastiness true justice.}

rug 3

And because it’s huge and the cost of cleaning it would buy me a brand new rug, I was forced to push resourcefulness to new heights. Or perhaps sink to new depths, depending on how you look at it.


rug 4


rug 5

I flipped it. That’s right, I did the unthinkable. The unsightly underbelly of the rug, the part that was never intended for eyes to gaze upon, is now a key element of my living room design.

Don’t you love the faux organic look? It reminds me of a jute rug that says, Just kidding! I’m not real fiber; I’m actually a synthetic weave coated in plastic. You watch, Pier One will be selling them next year for $400.

And while I realize that 90% of you would never try this at home, I’m writing this for the remaining 10%. The 10% of you who have bad rugs, no shame, and no budget for a new rug at this moment. It won’t work for every rug. Some are beyond hope. And some have been christened one too many times by potty-training puppies.

The moral of the story is that sometimes there’s legitimate possibility in the unlikeliest places. {And yes, I use the term “legitimate” very loosely.}


So, how do you make do? {The crazier your secrets, the better.}

And by the way, The Nester did a great post last week that I can’t stop thinking about, Simple Solutions for Everyday Issues. Seriously great stuff that I can’t wait to get started on. Unfortunately she did not provide a solution for the incurable disease of L.A.D. {Laundry Avoidance Disorder.} It’s chronic.


  1. says

    Well, I’ve never actually done this-but I have considered it. I did try it with one rug-but unfortunately the underside was worse than the front side. But I’m all for making do, I’ve painted over bright blue flowers one some small throw rugs-they needed some toning down and my little trick worked!

  2. says

    OK . . . I’m doubled over again. Seriously, I’m sitting here alone in my office, laughing out loud . . . really loud! All I can say is I’ve seen it in person and it really does work. Your resourcefulness is exceeded only by your willingness to confess to what you’ve done to “make do.”

    Love you forever,

  3. says

    Great job!! I took a nice (but nasty) wool rug out to my driveway last year and hosed it down. Then I put it in my entry and my son asked, “What if it gets dirty here?” I said I would hose it down again! Before that it was rolled in the garage for 2 years, and in the basement before that. Why not try to clean it myself! Making do… it’s a good thing! Blessings!!!

  4. says

    HAHAHAHAH!!! I love this!! I am laughing too, because it reminds me of my couch… remember how I made do? I dyed my butter yellow stain-ridden couch MOSS GREEN with FAUX FINISH accents… ok so it looked a little tie-dyed. If you get sick of the sisal Pier One look, just give me a call and I’ll come runnin’ with the Rit. We could dye it a deep Chocolate Brown (mix Rit Brown with a hint of Rit Black)….I’m serious!!

  5. says

    Well, aren’t you the clever one! Looks great to me! Love the over all ‘look’ of your living room space too! I esp. <3 the print over your fireplace!

  6. says

    Neat! It has a certain industrial chic vibe! I’m guilty of three rug related infractions. I have used the underside of a lovely oriental rug because it was more muted and subtle, I’ve done like the other Terri up there and hosed/scrubbed an antique Turkish rug for a good half hour because the cat peed on it and cat pee usually signals the death of all things home decor (it worked!), and I relegate the really yucky throw rugs to the garage when they’re too gross for the inside. So much nicer to look at than boring black/brown/gray rubber.

  7. says

    Lord have mercy! I absolutely LOVE this! Of course every rug I have has a dog pee stain on the underside, so I couldn’t get away with it. Great job!

  8. says

    This is brilliant! Where were you when my kids were little and spilling things???? You have probably started a trend with this idea.

    I saw this via A Soft Place to Land. Your room is lovely.

  9. says

    The simple fact of the matter is. . . I love it! I looks like one of those really expensive jute or sisal or whatever natural fiber rugs–not one of the inexpensive, burlappy ones, but one of the really nice ones! And I really love your resourcefulness!

    Honestly, I think some of our best thoughts come when we’re trying to make do. I fondly remember sewing panels out of cheap fabric to cover a damaged wall. I installed cafe rods at the top and bottom and just hung the fabric right over that terrible wall. Years later, we were able to afford beadboard to go right over the damaged wall, but for a long time the few dollars’ worth of fabric worked just fine. :)

    Did y’all get snow? We’re having such fun with ours!

  10. says

    Because its a neutral rug you can do that, a printed one would show the design on the other side too. But…..if or should I say when this one gets ugly perhaps you could stencil or paint a design on this side to get a bit more wear out of it since you have kids. You could add a bit more color to the room that way too. :) Great idea.

  11. says

    I had to immediately get up and flip over a corner of my rug! I love it. I can still see my pattern but the colors are so muted. I was so excited I had to drag my teenaged son away from the computer to show him (he wasn’t impressed). I’m going to flip my rug tomorrow (but I should probably vacuum it first) :(

  12. says


  1. […] always a new way to see a room or a piece of furniture. Problems offer opportunities. Once I even flipped a rug upside down. The Nester calls them “Lovely Limitations.” In fact, her new book has an entire […]

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