Kitchen Runner (on the Cheap)

For the longest time, I had been casually looking for a runner for our kitchen. You know, just a simple cotton rug, about 2′ x 9′? You wouldn’t think it would be that hard to find. But it had been over four years, for goodness’ sake! I pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I would have to bite the bullet and pay $99 (plus shipping) to Pottery Barn for a rag rug runner (say that 15 times, fast!). But I kept pushing it off (I’m really good at that), and now it turns out that PB doesn’t even stock cotton runners anymore! Oh well, no matter, I’ve found an alternative solution — and a budget-friendly one, at that!

Enter the reliable, hard-working (and only $3.99!) SIGNE rug from IKEA (we have four others in our house, so we are well acquainted). Because IKEA’s stock of these little rugs is constantly changing, we find a different selection of colors and stripe patterns upon each visit to the store. On a recent trip, I spied a rug with kelly green, olive, and black stripes on the typical SIGNE-cream background. I quickly grabbed it, thinking, “this just might work in our kitchen!”. At that point, I was so excited to see a rug that potentially matched the kitchen, I didn’t even think of the runner idea. But a week or so later, it hit me, and we returned to IKEA, fingers crossed. Luckily, there were exactly three rugs left in that color combo!

I don’t have a sewing machine, so during a recent visit to my parents house, my sister Amy and I retreated to the basement and put the thing together. Here’s how we did it:


1. We cut the fringe off one side of two of the rugs, and both sides of one rug.


2. Then we ran the cut edges through a serger three or four times using black thread (we were trying to approximate the width of the black stripes on the rug).


3. The three pieces were pinned together so the serged edges aligned with an existing stripe on the rug.


4. Finally, we sewed the pieces together using a heavy-duty needle and a zig zag stitch. We used black thread for the top, and either cream or olive in the bobbin, depending on where the back of the stitch lined up. We did that so the rug would be reversible.

Lest anyone think this was a flawless process, here’s evidence otherwise.

In this case, we had black thread in the bobbin, but the bottom stripe was olive (not to mention the stitching was misaligned). Ugh, ripping out stitches…

Oh, well, it’s not perfect, but it looks good from here…and it cost a total of $12.69 including tax!!!

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7 thoughts on “Kitchen Runner (on the Cheap)

  1. love your stuff – we’re having a Craft Bazaar on Frankford Ave (Garden Center @ Frankford & Berks) on First Fridays (May 6th, June 3rd, August 5th and September 2nd). Let me know if you’re interested in vending. Thanks!

    • Haha. You’ve made custom slip covers and you’re impressed by this? :) Technically, I suppose I should have included thread cost into my total, but since it wasn’t my own machine, I didn’t pay for it. I’m sure thread would add a negligible amount anyway.

  2. V- So funny that you have this rug. When Geoff and i moved into our place these was- of all things- a brown carpet in the kitchen! Turns out that the woman who owned the house prior to us renting replaced the tile floor with carpter in the kitchen because she would get cold. Crazy cold old folks! Anyway, i stared at the horrible carpet for a few weeks, despairing- but then one day we were at ikea and saw the same pile of rugs!

    I have a small kitchen which is kind of dark with the exception of one deeply silled window. Geoff built me a work bench with thrift store purchased old colored vinyl lps which he then covered with clear epoxy and stained yellow. So I have a bit of color between that and a cobalt blue canning cabinet. I ended up buying more than a dozen of these rugs in different colors and layering them up over the entire floor. so much brighter! and i can throw them in the wash. And of course cheap. :)

    • Wow, I would love to see what that looks like! A workbench out of old LPs?

      And yeah, I’ve never understood the idea of carpeting a kitchen… how do you deal with all the inevitable spills (or am I just messier than the average person)? That said, it is amazing how much of a difference even a simple cotton mat can make for the comfort and warmth of my feet!

  3. You’re very talented! Your house is gorgeous. I’m glad I clicked to find your blog through “Stripe Mania”. I love your photo Holly picked to pin!

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