Ask most designers where they start when designing a room and chances are high that they’ll say the rug. From palette to texture, rugs are integral for setting the tone of a space. Tucked under furniture; however, rugs can sometimes lose a bit of their wow-worthy presence. To ensure that rugs get their design due, designers have rigged up an ingenious trick: hanging a rug on a wall.

Utilizing a rug as art is nothing new, of course. Tapestries have been in use for hundreds of years. Whereas tapestries tend to recall traditional realist oil paintings; rugs read more like abstract art. If you’re considering hanging a rug on a wall, pay mind to rugs with geometric gusto, including kilims, Moroccan berbers, and Navajo rugs. Bold patterns tend to resonate better as art than the intricate scrollwork that’s a hallmark of traditional Persian rugs. Ready to get hanging? Here are a few tips to help you master this trend and step-by-step instructions for tackling the hanging process.

A kilim rug hangs behind a gallery of paintings and mirrors in a Mid-Century living room
Photo courtesy of Martin Brockett

Choose Where to Hang Your Rug

Whether it’s a colorful antique rug from your recent travels or an abstract patterned rug that doubles as a graphic work of art, instantly transform any dull entryway with a woven that tells a story. This conversation starter will kick in the second your guests enter your home.

Living Room
As much as we love an original print or one-of-a-kind painting, there’s nothing wrong with a little added texture above a couch. Have a rug that doesn’t quite fit where you thought it would, or love your rug so much that footsteps just simply won’t do? Show it off where you hang the most.

Looking for a full-proof way to make the space above your bed the showstopper of your bedroom? Use a hanging rug to create a headboard with a cozy punch of pattern and flair. Play up high ceilings with an oversize style that spans most of the vertical space, or hang a smaller style horizontally for a more compact statement.

Pro Tip:  Regardless of where you hang your rug, don’t hesitate to scale up in size. You’ll often find that designers who hang small rugs—3’ x 5’ and under—on a wall opt for specimens encased in floating acrylic frames. Acrylic bolsters small rugs’ presence, working to make them look moored. From a proportional stand-point, larger rugs tend to fare better stylistically.

A casual, blue and white patterned rug hangs in boho chic bedroom
Photo by David Tsay/OTTO

Things to Consider Before Hanging

  • Size/Weight: The hanging method you choose will depend on the overall size and weight of your rug, so make sure to measure it before purchasing any hanging tools. Also, try to avoid an uneven distribution of weight when hanging, which can cause a heavy rug to warp or even rip.
  • Sunlight/Heat: To prevent fading over time, avoid hanging your rug in direct sunlight or in front of a heating duct or fireplace.
  • Damage: Keeping rugs off the ground is a great way to protect them from wear and tear. However, nailing or pinning rugs directly to the wall can cause damage to the dyes and fibers in your rug long-term. Try one of these safe, secure methods below instead.
Photo by Trevor Tondo/OTTO

Methods for Hanging

#1: Hanging a Rug with Velcro


  • Velcro tape (about 2 inches wide)
  • Unbleached muslin fabric
  • Carpet thread
  • Scissors
  • Wide piece of flat, thin wood
  • Staple gun, drill, screws

How to Hang a Rug on a Wall Using Velcro

  1. Cut velcro tape and muslin to match the same width as the rug.
  2. Hand-stitch the fuzzy, soft side of the velcro tape to the muslin, and then stitch the muslin onto the back of the rug.
  3. Cut a piece of thin wood to match the width of the rug.
  4. Staple the rough side of the velcro tape to the wood.
  5. Mount the wood to the wall using a drill and screws, and attach the velcro together to hang the rug.
  6. Repeat steps 1-4 if necessary to add more velcro in lines down the rug, or around the sides.
Orange and red Navajo style rug hangs in living room with vibrant floor mat.
Photo by Matthieu Salvaing/OTTO

#2: Hanging a Rug Using PVC Pipe


  • Twine
  • PVC pipe: ¾ inch
  • Saw (for cutting the PVC pipe if needed)
  • Drill, screws/nails

How to Hang a Rug on a Wall Using PVC Pipe

  1. Cut the PVC pipe slightly shorter than the width of the rug so that it is not visible when hanging.
  2. Cut several long pieces of twine.
  3. String the twine through the pipe. Using multiple pieces of twine will result in a more secure rug once it’s hung.
  4. Fold half of the rug over the pipe so that the rug is draping down on both sides.
  5. Tie the loose ends of the twine together outside of the pipe. When holding up the twine, it should form a triangle with the pipe and rug at the bottom.
  6. Hang the rug via the twine on a nail or stud on your wall.

#3: Hanging a Rug Using a Curtain Rod


  • Sturdy fabric (heavy cotton, linen, etc)
  • Unbleached muslin
  • Carpet thread
  • Curtain rod
  • Wall anchors
  • Drill, screws

How to Hang a Rug on a Wall Using a Curtain Rod

  1. Cut a muslin strip to match the same width as the rug.
  2. Cut a piece of fabric the same width of your rug, large enough to be able to form a tube that will snuggly fit the width of your rod. This will serve as casing for your rod when hanging the rug.
  3. Sew muslin to the top of the rug.
  4. Sew fabric to the top of the rug, forming a tube.
  5. Attach anchors to the wall using a drill and screws.
  6. Insert rod into the tube of fabric on the rug and hang the rod onto the wall.

Ready to take on the rug hanging challenge? Shop all our vintage rugs on Chairish here.

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Lead Photo by Matthieu Salvaing/OTTO

April 10, 2021

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