I wanted to share my trick for getting a custom rug for your camper, van, or RV that’s a perfect fit for your space.
It’s an easy, cheap way to convert any rug to the exact size you need with the help of a carpet binding service.
Carpet binders are like tailors for rugs: they make alterations with industrial sewing machines and special equipment that cuts through thick carpet and professionally finish the edges.
These services are usually located in large, warehouse spaces and are super fun to visit!
I thought you might like to have a peek inside a carpet binding shop. The video above takes you behind the scenes at Bond Products, located in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, where I took my rug.
The process is simple, but there are a few things to keep in mind. I included these tips in the step-by-step guide below which I hope you’ll find helpful!
A cool rug can go a long way toward personalizing a camper and making it feel like home. 🙂
Step 1 – Measure your space
I like my rug to be about an inch smaller than the floor. I’ve found that if it’s the same size, it tends to get bunched up against the walls and curl on the edges.
Once you’ve determined the size you need, you can move on to the fun part…
Step 2 – Buying a rug
Any type of rug works for this project. I like rugs classified as “indoor/outdoor” because they tend to have the right combination of durability and comfort.
Another good way to find camper rugs is to search for “high traffic” rugs or rugs for the kitchen or mudroom.
Here’s the rug I bought for our van.
When considering rug choices, think about the pattern and how it will work in the space you have. The rug I wanted to buy had a gray border; I knew I’d lose the border when the rug was cut, so I got a big enough rug so the whole border would be removed when it was cut down to size.
Designs with repeats in them, like our rug, are easier to work with than rugs featuring one large design. That doesn’t mean you can’t use this type of design – you just have to think about how it will be centered when the rug is cut.
Step 3 – Find a rug binding service
Pro tip: A good rug binder may not have a website!
Try using Google maps to search for a rug binder. It should bring up various options. I typed in “rug binders near me” and got over a dozen listings, including Lowe’s, high-end flooring stores, and smaller shops.
You may want to call a few places before choosing one. Rug binding starts at around $1 per foot and goes up to $4/foot.
Step 4 – Follow the golden rule of sewing projects
Before your carpet goes “under the knife,” heed the mantra of smart sewists –
Measure twice, cut once. 🙂
This will help you avoid a costly mistake. If you take your rug to a smaller shop as I did, you likely will have the opportunity to discuss your project with a pro. That’s just the kind of reassurance I need!
Think about how you’d like your rug to look in your space. Do you want a vertical or horizontal layout? Which sides will be cut off to make your rug fit? What part of the pattern will you lose when it’s trimmed?
Then, measure both your space (again! Just to be sure) and rug with these ideas in mind.
A professional binder can help you think through these details.
Step 5 – Choose your binding
There are a couple options for finishing the edges of your rug.
Binding involves wrapping the edge of the rug in a heavy ribbon calling binding tape that’s sewn onto the carpet. It’s the least expensive option and the one I used for my new rug.
Serging involves sewing the edges of the rug with a thick thread that is looped continuously around the edge. This is done with a special “overlock” machine and is more expensive but makes for a less durable finish.
Fringing isn’t a very practical option for camper rugs, but if you are going for a specific look it could be just the right thing. This is the most expensive option and involves attaching a pre-made fringe to the edges.
I hope this has given you a few helpful tips to guide you to the rug of your camping dreams!
I have to admit, before I go… the entire time I was writing this I was hearing “The Dude” in the back of my head saying “That rug. It really tied the room together!”