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10 Tips On How To Recycle (And Upcycle) Your Old Rug!

10 Tips On How To Recycle (And Upcycle) Your Old Rug!

Posted by Rugs Express; Australia's Number One Online Rugs Retailer on 2nd Mar 2023

10 Ways You Can Upcycle Your Old Rugs

If you've recently purchased a new rug, or are about to upgrade, you might be wondering what to do with your old rug/s. The obvious answer (and the easiest option) is to take them straight to the tip. However, with more and more people keen to reduce the amount of waste they produce, upcycling and recycling have seen a huge resurgence in recent years

Upcycling can be defined as: "The act of taking something no longer in use and giving it a second life and new function. In doing so, the finished product often becomes more practical, valuable and beautiful than what it previously was.” 

Upcycling a rug can be a great way to add style and personality to a room. Rugs are often made from natural materials like wool or cotton, which can be dyed or printed with a variety of patterns. By upcycling a rug, you can give it a new lease on life while also creating a one-of-a-kind design element for your home. 

1) Hang the rug on your wall, as artwork.

If you are upgrading to a new rug, but your current one is still in good condition, a great option is to use it as artwork. That may sound strange, but the reality is that rugs are not just for floors. Wall-hung rugs are commonly used for wall decoration, and they can really make a dramatic statement in any room. 

Furthermore, they are a great way to add colour and pattern to a blank wall.  Traditional rugs, such as Persians or Afghans, look especially regal when hung on a wall. While Jute or Wool project a sense of minimalistic artworks. 

But any type of rug can be used to add warmth and interest to a space - especially kids' rooms (speaking of which, check out our blog piece on how to choose the best rug for your kids’ room!). 

When choosing a rug for wall-hanging, it is important to choose one that is in good condition and that has been thoroughly cleaned. This will help to ensure that the rug will last for many years to come. With a little creativity, a wall-hung rug can be the perfect way to add personality to any space. 

2) Make Coasters

Most people have at least one rug in their home that has no more use - and many of them are made from natural fibres like wool or cotton. Over time, these rugs can become worn or stained, making them less attractive and less comfortable to use. However, there is no need to throw out a worn rug; with a little creativity, it can be upcycled into something new and useful. For example, old rugs can be cut into pieces and used as coasters. Coasters are one of those things you can never have enough of and there's nothing better than a unique coaster to rest your drink on.

Rug coasters are surprisingly absorbent too, so they will help to protect surfaces from scratches and water stains, and they can add a touch of colour or pattern to a room.

Best of all, they are quick and easy to make. With a little effort, an old rug can be transformed into a beautiful and functional piece of home décor.

You can turn an old rug into a coaster with just a few supplies and some simple steps. 

First, cut a piece of the rug that is slightly larger than the coaster you want to make. Next, use a hot glue gun to attach felt to the back of the rug piece. Then, cut a circle out of the rug using scissors or a knife. Finally, hot glue the edges of the coaster to the felt backing. These coasters are not only functional, but they also add a bit of personality to your décor. And best of all, you can proudly show them off as your personal creation! 

3) Create fancy indoor plant holders.

That’s right. Your indoor plants can have a rug as well. If you have a rug that's seen better days, try cutting it up into smaller pieces and placing it underneath your potted plants. Not only will this prevent leaks from overwatering, but the rug pieces will also add a splash of colour to your indoor plants. This is a great way to get used to an old rug and add some personality to your plants at the same time. 

So next time you're looking for a way to spruce up your plants, consider giving this idea a try. 

4) Use them as car mats.

Anyone who has ever owned a car knows that, over time, the trunk can become a catch-all for everything from dirty shoes to wet towels. And while most of us are careful to avoid spilling anything on the upholstery, the trunk is often seen as an expendable space. 

However, neglecting to keep the trunk clean can actually lead to damage to your car. Moreover, it can be surprisingly easy to keep your trunk clean and free of dirt and debris. One simple solution is to place an old rug in the trunk. The rug will help to catch any dirt or spills, and it can be easily removed and shaken out when needed. This inexpensive and easy solution will help to keep your car clean and prevent any long-term damage but, in the meanwhile, it will give you the chance to reduce your wastage and upcycle your rugs.

Plus, you could get creative and perhaps replace the front mats too! 

5) Cover your closet

It's inevitable- no matter how clean you are, your closets are going to get dirty. Dust will settle on shelves, and your shoes will track in dirt and mud. However, there is a simple way to protect your closet floors and keep them clean: line them with an old rug! This will create a barrier between the floor and your belongings, making it easy to wipe down the surface when necessary. 

This tip is particularly helpful if you have a closet full of shoes or cleaning supplies - as lining, the floor with a rug is a fantastic way to keep things neat and tidy. 

So next time you're tidying up your home and feel a bit crafty, don't forget to give your closets a little bit of extra protection. 

6) Protect your floors from scratches!

Another great way to reuse an old rug is to cut it into pieces and use it as furniture feet. Simply trace the outline of your furniture onto the rug, and then use a sharp utility knife to cut it out. Not only will this help to protect your floor from scratches, but it will also give your furniture a unique look. 

You can also use rug pieces to muffle unwanted noise. Every household has at least a few appliances that emit some sort of noise on a regular basis. Whether it's the sound of the fridge running or the washing machine going through its cycles, these constant noises can be quite annoying. 

To help reduce the noise level in your home you can apply the rug pieces to the bottom of appliances. This will help to muffle the sound and make it less noticeable. Additionally, you can also rearrange furniture or put-up curtains to help further reduce the noise level in your home. 

7) Give your pet a treat

If you're looking for a way to show your pet some extra love, why not repurpose an old rug into a cozy bed?

Pets are often drawn to the warmth and comfort of rugs, and you can easily cut up an old one into smaller pieces to create the perfect bed for your furry friend. 

They can be used underneath your pet's current bed or to insulate the outdoor kennel, but either way not only will your pet appreciate the gesture, but you'll also be doing your part to reduce waste and upcycle items that would otherwise end up in a landfill. 

And if you've got a cat, you can take things one step further by using some of the leftover fabric to create a scratching post. Not only will your cat thank you for it, but you'll get to enjoy watching them explore their new toy. So next time you're feeling creative, think about how you can turn something old into something new and exciting for your pet. 

8) Make a bag!

If you're looking for a sewing project that's both practical and stylish, consider making a bag. Beach bags, tote bags and reusable shopping bags are all easy to make, even if you don't have much sewing experience. Cushion covers and throw pillows are also good options. For thinner, more pliable rugs, this is a good option. 

The key is to choose a fabric that is durable and easy to work with. Cotton is a good choice for beginners, as it is inexpensive and easy to find. Once you have chosen your fabric, cut it into the desired shape and size. Then, use a sewing machine or needle and thread to stitch the pieces together. If you're not sure how to sew, there are plenty of online tutorials that can walk you through the process step-by-step. With a little practice, you'll be surprised at what you can create. 

9) Make floor cushions for a cozy loungeroom and board game nights!

Especially if you love boho style, then you'll adore this unique upcycling idea: turn your rug into cushions! Not only will this give your home a stylish and eclectic look, but it's also a great way to repurpose a worn or damaged rug. 

After you clean the rug thoroughly, simply cut the rug into medium-sized squares, stuff it with batting or old pillows, and sew shut. You can then use the cushions as floor pillows or arrange them on a couch or bed. 

Best of all, this project is relatively simple and inexpensive, so it's perfect for beginners. So, if you're looking for a fun and creative way to upcycle your rug, why not give this idea a try? It’s nice to have floor pillows to sit on your area rug, and around the coffee table - it creates a very cozy atmosphere. Ideal for board game nights! 

10) Donate it or sell it

If you are too busy to upcycle your old rug, don't just throw it away! You can always donate it to charity. Local organisations such as shelters or Salvation Army are often in need of rugs, and your donation could brighten up someone's day. Another option is to sell your  rug online. There are a number of websites and auction sites that specialise in selling secondhand rugs - including Facebook Marketplace. 


It is no secret that the world is facing an environmental crisis. Pollution, climate change, and dwindling resources have all become major concerns in recent years. One way to help address these issues is to recycle and upcycle old items instead of simply throwing them away. 

Rugs are great for recycling and upcycling, and it is a really nice gesture to do. 

And if in the meanwhile you are on the hunt for a new rug,  Rug Express has the largest variety of quality rugs. If you are unsure about what to look for, in this blog post we cover a few essential tips for choosing the perfect rug for each room of your home.

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