Five Legged Sprints

That’s the answer by the way.

The question?  Well…it’s more like a riddle….

What do you get when you sew four runners together?  (now reread the title of this post).


Welcome to my brain on three hours of sleep.  It’s not purty people.

Back to the runners.  I am not talking about physically stitching human legs together…although I am sure someone out there has tried that…but more like sewing rug runners.  It all began with this little ditty in the clearance section of the nearest Target…

It’s the Nate Berkus arrowhead runner and normally it runs about $70 a piece.  But for some reason that boggles the brain and blows my nose, it was being clearanced out to make more room for yet another trellis rug.  No offense trellis fans…I own a couple and like them too…but really, do we need eighteen different types while pushing dear Natie to the back burner…err…the aisle end cap with the red sign?!

Needless to say, I went a little hog wild and bought three.

Then I bought two more at a different Target (no…only a crazy person would drive almost an hour from home to get a runner, right?!…no way did I do that.  yesidid.)  But here’s why….

Yup.  $21.  I can ebay them for more.  I can Craigslist them for more.  Heck, I can probably double my money in the parking lot of our local knife pawn shop if I throw in a bag of hot boiled peanuts!  So to me, it was just plumb crazy not to buy them.  So at first I was thinking…ooooh wool….I could recover our stairs in them!  Remember our previous adventure in ripping that out?  It now looks like this but I can totally see it with a cool black and white runner.

Or I could install it going down to the basement…which also makes sense because that area is used by kids a whole lot on a weekly basis.  Not my kids + socks + stairs = slip city.  Not to be confused with nip city.

This seems like a much better option because our upstairs staircase needs a lot of refinishing (the risers need painting, the treads need refinished, etc)…and the basement is used by other people’s children whereas the upstairs staircase is only used by my kids (who can’t stand socks).  So that is probably gonna be it’s permanent home….later.

Until then, I am using them as ‘carpet protection’.  Weston and Will both need rugs in their rooms.  I have decided that anything exposed to boys just needs multiple layers of protection.  My carpet is getting abused on a daily basis.  So while I wait on THE rug for Weston’s room to become available, I decided to try my hand at rug weaving.  It’s not done completely but it took me about an hour of quiet nap time to stitch them together and now they are good enough to protect them from the elements.

I used a yard needle and some coat/upholstery thread that I already had on hand to do a loop stitch through both edges.  I pulled them tight every six inches or so just to be sure that they stuck.

A couple of the rugs are ever-so-slightly shorter than the others which is evident on the ends.  I thought about turning it the other way to make the uneven ends tuck under Weston’s white toy/storage boxes just to hide it.

It’s definitely still a work in progress…but I love the fact that I bought my ‘carpet protection’ for $80 and will be able to reuse them later as a stair runner…at a whole lot cheaper price tag than another other large rug.  This stitched rug ended up being over 7’x7′.  (as a comparison, there is a 5×7 Nate Berkus rug that is available for $150…so this is bigger and is easy to recycle!)

Anyone else out there use things they find cheap to do one task and then use it later as the real thing?  I honestly think that rugs are cool enough that you could make them into more than just ‘bigger rugs’ or ‘stairway runners’….I love seeing when folks use them as reupholstery on an ottoman or on furniture…or when they hang them on the walls to create modern tapestries….or when a headboard is created or even used as room dividers.  The possibilities are endless!



  1. says

    So fun! You can never have too much protection when you have boys. My boys just recently spray painted patches of our carpet yellow and….the littlest one’s forehead (all the while daddy was home watching them alone) I may need to find me some runners to hide those stains now.

  2. AJ says

    Great idea! I just spent months trying to find affordable rugs. You should take a trip out to my neck of the woods and check out OHCO. Every Friday and Saturday they have a “junk sale” – pallets of $50-$100 rugs! 8×10, 10×13, etc etc. So have minor flaws, but honestly, there were some amazing finds! And they even sell fabric by the pound. So if you’re not holding out for a specific rug, it may be worth a look. :) (Oh and Weston’s room is looking amazing!)

  3. says

    I love it! I love the sortof homespun look to it. It is such a great mix with the clean lines of the new chair and the other crisp furniture. I love Weston’s room. Can I move in?
    Oh, how I wish that we had a store like Target in Germany. I’ve been searching, but alas. . . no luck yet.

  4. says

    We picked up really cheap scarves at a garage sale on Saturday behind our house. They were 50 cents a piece and I snagged 4. For now, they are hide-and-seek scarves, but one day they’ll be a hand kite or a tutus for our little girl.

    Which reminds me I need to make a fairy wand for her upcoming birthday (just ’cause she loves stuff like that).

  5. Lizzie says

    Make sure you have something between the beige rug and the black wool

    The die and the lanolin might stain your wall to wall!

  6. Leah Heldt says

    Question Katie Bower. I’m so glad you posted how to do sew rugs together! I have a long entry hallway that’s 30 feet long and 8.5 feet wide. It’s hardwood flooring with a smooth, matte finish. You can always see footprints from the front door and a girl can only bona so much. Do you think I could sew runners together for that? Or would it look ok with multiple runners not sewn together with some space in between? If so, how long would you make it and is 2.5 ft wide too skinny for this space? Thanks!

    • says

      I think it would work! I would use something like a jute or do two wide for sure just so that it looks more like one big custom rug.
      xo – kb

  7. Jessica j. says

    I just have to tell you that I read the title as ‘Five Legged Spirits’ and was so confused. No more early morning blog reading for me!

  8. Ang says

    Katie, I am learning so much from you (and Sherry) about not using things for their intended purpose. You’re so creative and resourceful! Thanks for another “think outside the box” lesson :)

  9. rashi says

    Oh looks so much like Sherry’s runner!

    Nice to see u guys have a matching stair well…. i would love to do it too… but with a curved stairwell don’t know how that would work.

    • says

      We still love it. In fact, it has held up pretty well and we have shamefully have not shampooed it since we got it. I think this is the year for us to get Low-Res in here to do their thing. The high traffic areas do have some dirt marks (our boys spill things constantly) but after shampooing and then regular vacuuming, I think that it will be easy to get up.
      xo – kb

  10. Susan Morris says

    Love the carpet protector! where are the shelves in Weston’s room from? I love them and desperately need playroom storage!

  11. Sue VanParys says

    SO SMART GIRL !!!! That gives me an idea, I need a rug underneath a bed, maybe I could sew some runners together !! ?? BTW, you are not the only one to drive to several Targets, I do it all the time !! I even have purchased the wrong size clearance sweater, in hopes I could exchange it any another Target ! Plus it gives me a reason to go to check out another Target! Have you noticed different Targets have different stuff ???? How many times can I say Target ?? haha LOVE YOUR BLOG !!!!!

  12. says

    OMG I have been looking for a runner for our new houses steps! I totally love that pattern! How lucky to get it on super clearance! I just called a store that is 30 miles away (sold out in my town) and they still saying full price! Boo…still a great price! Might have to get it anyways! Love your creativity!

  13. Bree says

    Love the idea! The room is looking super cute and the red “W” is awesome! Just curious if you guys built a second toy chest or did you take the one out of Will’s room? I know you like to change things around alot, but now you have me wondering if you took it out of Will’s room what did you put in there to replace it? :)

    • says

      We switched the boys toy chests. I found the exact one at Pottery Barn (I blogged about putting it in our room till Weston transitioned to his own room) and it was dark brown (which matched Will’s crib) so we wanted to put it with the matching thing. Plus, Weston’s had doors that had chalkboard on them and since Weston is a little too young for that, we thought it better suited an older boy :) So now they both have their own toy storage…similar but not exactly the same :)
      xo – kb

  14. Ali says

    Looks great! I need to do this for our entry hallway because it is an odd shape and regular runners look too puny!

    And let me guess… you built the white storage unit?! :D

  15. Mollie says

    I got the same runner at same price a couple weeks ago! I was actually looking at a regular priced pillow and spotted it the last one tucked behind and immediately did some thank you jesuses in the aisle. it was totally someone trying to hide it while they thought about it. JV move, sneaky shopper, i will find nate whenever he is.

  16. Crystal says

    Great score on the runners. I am loving Westons room so much! Will you be sharing the sex of your newest baby anytime soon? I’ve been trying not to ask but I’m really curious.

    • says

      We hope to right after Thanksgiving…we are waiting because the grandparents (greatgrandparents to the babe) will be here and we want to share the news and the name with them first.
      xo – kb

  17. says

    Ah great score! We have the 2×3 and paid $25 for it, I feel robbed now. Also jealous you have rugs on top of your carpet. We can never make it work, someone always trips on the rug corner and moves it so to save my sanity I took them all up. Any tips?

  18. Tirsa says

    What a great solution. Love a steal that can be used in two different areas. I looove Target clearance sections. You never know what treasure you will find.

    • says

      BUMMER! I was trying to think if someone could DIY these…like with a wool carpet runner and some bleach pens. It might be worth googling :)
      xo – kb

  19. says


    I like your projects because thiese are all hings I can do without having to ask for a lot of help..

    The runner really matches the crib. It was the first thing I noticed when I looked at that photo.
    Great interior design choice. Everything feels so comfortable and they all match!


  20. Lesley says

    I wish I’d read your philosophy on covering carpet in boys rooms about 3 gum spots, 5 spilled drinks and 2 markers ago. New house is getting wall to wall over top of the wall to wall…

    Aside: I looked on both the US and Canadian Toys R Us websites for the chair you bought for Weston’s room and can’t seem to find it. Can you provide a model name… #… something more specific?

    • says

      According to the receipt, this is all the info on the chair…
      Item Type PR
      Item Tax ID 942838-1
      Description Shadow Kersey Recliner
      Vendor Best Chairs Inc
      Style 5N145
      Hope this helps!
      xo – kb

      • Lesley says

        Love you! And the chair.

        It’s not looking good, searching on the full model name only gets me a link to this post, and someone’s BRU registry with the chair listed without a sale price and without a link…

        I shall use the other details you provided and my superpowers to hunt one of these bad boys down!!! We have tall, tired people in our house too.

  21. Stephanie S. says

    Hey Katie,
    Cool idea! Nate’s stuff is ALWAYS on clearance, right? I got a white and gold decorative bowl for $5.98 there last week, and since I had a $5 gift card, it cost me a whopping .98! What?! I think it will look great in the basement. Question, where did you get the bookcase?

  22. mary w. says

    That is a great deal. As far as the difference in length goes, you could always stagger them by 5 or 6 inches back and forth, kind of like flooring planks? Make it look intentional; then you really have a one-of-a-kind!

  23. Audra says

    I think I commented on this but just saw Tori Spelling’s rug made for her baby’s room made out of vintage placemats…this looks so similar and creative.

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