Salvaging Mementos

I have this wonderful handwoven area rug that I brought back to the States almost 30 years ago from Chile, where I lived for a number of years.  It is a beautiful piece of artwork that has followed me around and quite honestly, it is irreplaceable.. Probably because I attach a lot of sentimental value to it. 

Anyway, imagine my dismay when it began to fray at the edges and a tear developed.  There was no way I could repair it and continue using it as a rug. I had to find some way to reuse it.

We have a fairly large game/TV room that gets a lot of use.  One of my issues with the room is that there is never enough seating for the kids and they end up dragging office and dining room chairs into the game room, then forgetting to put them back when they are through. For years, I’ve been meaning to make a coach beanbag that would resolve the seating issue.

With the eminent demise of my beautiful rug, I decided that it would make the perfect cover for a coach bag.

I started by sewing a large 7′ x 5′ envelope out of waterproof clear vinyl.  The dimensions are 6″ less than the dimensions of my rug. You can purchase various grades at Wal-Mart or your local sewing/fabric center.  The entire length cost me less than $5 and sewed up quickly on my machine. I used a zigzag stitch to give it extra durability at the seams since this would be sat on, dragged around, etc. 


Next, I stuffed the envelop with foam I’d been collecting from various projects.  My husband thought it was hilarious that I had enough foam saved up to create two of these monsters. I stuffed it in as tight as I could because eventually, the foam would compact and become loose over time.  In the month that we have been using the couch bag, I am already wishing I’d stuffed it just a little bit more.  The finished “tube” looks like a bad movie prop but it will do the job nicely.


After the tube is completed, I took my beautiful Chilean rug and repaired the rips, then I folded it in half lengthwise and sewed three ends together.  Keeping in mind that it will get a lot of use, I wanted to make sure it was removable for cleaning so I installed an industrial grade zipper at one narrow end so I could remove it for cleaning. The sewing took less than 30 minutes for both “tubes”.  The packing of the foam took another 15 minutes. When the sewing was done, this is what I had to work with.


That left just the insertion of the foam tube into the rug cover.  I wish now that I’d had pictures of my husband and I doing the stuffing, but the kids were out Trick-or-Treating and it took the two of us to get this put together.  Believe it or not, it took a little over 2 hours to stuff the tube into the sleeve,  I had thought that the slick vinyl would make it an easy process.  Quite the opposite was true.

However, we prevailed and finally, the cough bag was completed and my beautiful rug was salvaged.  Even my “conguering hero” was pleased with the results.  He was so pleased…


I couldn’t get him off it and eventually he fell asleep there.

When the kids got home (and woke him up) we took the bag to it’s new home.Image

It is constantly in use when the kids are home or we have company. I love how the vinyl and foam insert help it keep its shape and BEST OF ALL, I love that I didn’t have to toss out my beloved rug.



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