How to Resize a Rug Using a Utility Knife

How to Resize a Rug Using a Utility Knife
Photo: united photo studio, Shutterstock

If you’re looking for a rug for a specific spot in your home, chances are the one you fall in love with won’t fit the space. But the good news is that if it’s too large for the area, you can resize it yourself, using a utility knife and some glue. Here’s what to know.

How to resize a rug

While you can’t make a rug bigger if it’s too small for a space, you can do the opposite. This tip comes courtesy of Marynn Udvarhelyi, the founder of Wildflower Home Blog, who ran out of patience searching for a rug to fit in a bathroom, and decided to take matters into her own hands. After finding a vintage rug that fit the room’s decor but was too large, she used a utility knife to cut it down to the right size.

But before you start slashing, there are a few things to know.

The first is that unfortunately, this technique doesn’t work on all rugs: According to Kate McGregor at Domino, it works best on “an abstract print or bordered pattern, where there is a clear place to crop without the design looking strange afterward.”

Also, you need the measurements of your floor space so you know the ideal dimensions for the rug. Then, put down a mat or piece of thick cardboard to protect the floor where you’re going to make the cuts. Once you know the right size, grab a utility knife or box cutter, and use a ruler (or ideally, a yardstick) to make sure you’re cutting the rug in a straight line, McGregor advises.

The next step is binding the edges of your new rug. For this, you have a few options. Udvarhelyi decided to take her rug to a local carpet company, where she selected the colour she wanted for the trim, and picked up the finished rug a few days later, for a cost of $67 (that particular shop charged $4 per linear foot).

If you want to take the DIY route, McGregor says that you can use traditional Elmer’s glue to seal the edges and prevent fraying.

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