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Southwestern Area Rug on the Cheap

I've got a problem. A big, bad rug problem.
 I have a love affair with woven rugs.  An obsession really.  It got so bad my husband had to put a kibosh on me even looking at rugs.  I would buy them online and ship them to my office, hoping he wouldn't see... I would buy them cheaply at second-hand stores.  I would convince myself that maybe this is the rug! Always to be slightly disappointed with a too-small, too-expensive, or a just not quite right rug.

The Before - bare wood floors and a somewhat subdued color palette.
Before Picture - needs a little color!

I love the look of Serapes, Kilim rugs, and the vibrant colors of Middle Eastern and Southwestern textiles.  I also happen to have a few woven southwestern blankets lying around the house (I kind of went crazy at all the "general stores" on my honeymoon in South Dakota).  As I was imagining what kind of rug I would put in the guest bedroom, it hit me.  Ohhhh, man, hello, epiphany!  I ran downstairs, stripped the living room rug of it's carpet pad and dug through the blanket chest for the perfect blanket, did a little work and, voila! Hello, gorgeous, really cheap rug that didn't actually violate the embargo on bringing more rugs in to my house.  The rug is still holding up wonderfully and we found a cheaper (and somewhat better) solution to the rug pad in the living room, but that is another story.

So, without further ado, here is the very simple way in which I made my fabulous new rug:

Supplies you'll need:

Carpet Padding Remnants or a felt rug pad like this guy.
Mexican Blanket or Serape or Thick Woven Blanket
Construction Spray Adhesive or Needle and Heavy Duty Thread
Scissors or Razor Knife
Permanent Marker

Big stores like Menard's or Lowe's will sell carpet padding remnants in the back of their flooring section priced per foot.  This usually ranges from about $.20 - $.60 per foot, depending on the quality and thickness of pad you want.

I had a Mexican blanket - or Serape - lying around the house.  If you don't have one and want to use one, I'd check your local thrift stores first.  If they don't have any, check out online shops like (they also have gorgeous Thunderbird blankets!) or Black Bear Haversack Trading Post.

How to Make This Here Inexpensive Area Rug:

Once you have your blanket and pad ready, you can lay the blanket over the carpet pad and stretch it out fully.  Trace around the blanket on the pad with your permanent marker, being careful not to get any marker on your blanket.  Roll the blanket up, careful to not get any bunches or folds and set aside.  Cut the pad to the correct size with your scissors or box cutter.

Option 1: Permanent Adhesive:

Spray padding with spray adhesive and line up the edge of your blanket roll on the edge of the pad.  Unroll your blanket slowly and spread it outward from the middle with both hands so you don't get any bubbles or bunches.

Option 2: A Little Less Committal:

Use the needle and Thread and sew the rug to the pad around the edges.

There you have it!  A super cheap, super hip DIY rug!
The After: A bright, cheery pop of color and a warm, cozy place for feets!