DIY: Washable Rug

I needed a new rug for my living room. The conundrum I faced was needing a new rug every 6 months. Between kids, dogs, and cats rugs do not survive in this house and I’d rather buy a new one than bring it to get cleaned. I was so tired of paying $500+ for rugs and the selection for 9×12’s is skimpy.

Since there are no washable rugs on the market that accommodate a 9×12 space I decided to take things into my own hands and I am THRILLED with the results.

Full disclosure this was a huge project and I am a newb at sewing. It only took me 3 days and about 8-10 hours of project time to complete.

Completely doable for a beginner DIY-er!

Things you will need:

  • Fabric– fabric is usually 54′ wide you so you would purchase what you need lengthwise in yards. For example, 2 panels at 54″ wide are 9 feet so I purchased 8 yards. For convenience, I had them but into 2 4′ pieces.
  • Drop Canvas– can be purchased at any home improvement store and come in varying sizes to accommodate your rug size.
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread– A sewing machine will be infinitely faster but hand sewing is manageable!
  • Heavy-duty cotton thread– I needed 2 spools for this 9×12 rug.
  • Other– Scissors, straight pins, clamps, safety pins. All of these will be useful but you can improvise for things like clamps and safety pins.
  • The patience of a saint-Just kidding, sort of.

Step 1:

Choose fabric! Go to your favorite craft store and look for a fabric that matches your room decor! Be sure to look in the upholstery-like section on rolls.

Step 2:

Wash said fabric! If you don’t wash the fabric before it could shrink one the first wash and that would be bad.

Step 3:

Cut your fabric and drop cloth down to the size of the rug you desire. (I didn’t need to cut it since I was using 2 54″x 144″)

Step 4:

Lay your fabric out on the floor and line up the center so that the pattern matches (this may take 2-3 tries to line it up straight, or maybe it’s just me).

Step 5:

Using straight pins, safety pins, or bobby pins if you’re desperate, pin the two pieces of fabric together.


Step 6:

Sew the center line about 1 inch from the edge. I sewed that line twice to make sure it held!

Step 7:

Lay your rug out with the pattern facing down. Lay the drop cloth on top and pin around the sides LEAVING ONE SIDE OPEN. (You will need this open to turn the rug right side out later). Think of a pillowcase!

Sew 3 sides, 1 inch from the edge just like the centerline. (I also did these lines twice).

Step 8:

Turn right side out! Fold and pin the open end and sew the edge. I then went around the whole run again to give it a border of sorts! (and for extra reinforcement because I don’t want to do this again).

Step 9-

Cut all of the thread ends that are showing to make it extra pretty!


Note: Some people apply caulk to the bottom of the rug for gripping purposes. I do find mine slides but I was too lazy to put the caulk, yet.

I have washed it 3 times and it is holding up great! It is very heavy when wet because it is so big but it washes and dries perfectly! I am happy to clarify any steps

Tips: Try to buy fabric when it is half off or you have a 40% off coupon it helps with the whole cost.

The total cost of this project was $200! Largest cost was the fabric.

Ali Comeaux
Ali is a homeschooling mama of 2 kiddos, Ella, 11 and Cohen, 9. She and her husband Jansey are originally from Acadiana and have finally returned home after 10 years of living around the world. She recently graduated from LSU with a Master’s in Higher Education, and she is currently in the Doctorate program in Educational Leadership at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Once a Cajun, always a cajun! She is a full-time mom, wife, teacher, maid, chauffeur, and student. She and her family love to travel and do so as often as possible. In her spare time, she enjoys rescuing animals and currently has 2 dogs, 3 cats, a guinea pig, a bird, and a fish. Her hobbies including crafting all of the things, cooking, and binge-watching reality tv late at night.