Rug Making Tips for Beginners

Five Pro Tips

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By RUSSELL WEBB

Let’s take a look at some key rug making tips for beginners. This piece is written for students who are in training, or about to commit to the program. These are tips I wish I had been taught when I went through a similar program, way back in 1991.

Tip # One: Keep it Simple

Start with smaller size rugs. Keep it simple and develop the basic skill sets. Learning custom inlay, where you inset a flower or a symbol, is similar to piecing together a puzzle. Find a mosaic style piece of art, study it, and then realize this is a similar method. 

If you look at the Jimi Hendrix piece above, that took about 73 hours to inlay. It was one of my very first intricate pieces, and it was a test really, to see how far I could take it. But this is the opposite of simple, I digress. This comes later!

Think of basic designs, which I provide in the program, designs that have two or three colors. This is easy to manage in the early stages of training. I have lots of easy designs in my design book. See some rug design samples on the home page.

Let’s look at some other rug making tips for beginners…

Tip # Two: Do What You Love

Choose themes that interest you and make rugs related to these themes. Have fun with it. I have always gravitated towards nature in design. There are countless design possibilities in nature. 

Symbols and logos are also fun to work with, you can replicate most symbols right into a rug. Lay it on the floor or even hang it on the wall. Go to your local Chamber of Commerce and make an entrance rug with their logo. Go to chamber mixers and show them what you can do. Instant sales. 

 

Tip # Three: The Infamous Learning Curve

Most folks reading this will likely know what I am about to say is true, and this is from their own experience working various jobs. Learning a trade requires a learning curve for most of us, and this particular training program is designed to shorten that curve.

The entire sequence of making a custom rug has been captured on film, and in great detail. There are many close up shots showing specific techniques that could not be understood without clear demonstrative instruction. 

There have been numerous studies over the past few decades on the average learning curve for most jobs. This curve is about three months. In some jobs all you need is a few weeks.

Now, if you were to go to Japan and tell your new employer how quick you learn, and they might just smile and let you get away with that ‘three month’ claim. But they know better: to commit to a trade requires many years in the trenches, and mastery comes much later in their careers. There is a humbleness with this perspective.

Having said that, you can be making attractive rugs within a few weeks, I know because that’s what I did, and I was producing high quality rugs within three months. Then within one year I was featured in design showcase homes.

And yes, mistakes were made. That’s life… 

Tip # Four: Practice New Skills Daily

Develop a method for your training. Spend a few hours practicing inlay, then an hour or two practicing carving techniques. Do this every day. Buy carpet remnants for cheap and practice making small rugs. Work with themes that interest you or your friends or family. Then give them away or sell them.

You’ll notice with practice that you will naturally pick up the speed and tempo. With this newly earned confidence you will increase earning potential by making rugs faster. 

Make samples, say 24″ x 36″, of cool designs. They can be corner samples of a rug design from our design book. You’ll be using these samples to attract buyers.

 

Tip # Five: Have a Rug Order in the Que ASAP

Find someone who will commit to buying a rug from you ASAP. This worked for me, and was a huge confidence boost, knowing I had a rug order waiting in the wings before I even finished my training.

This someone can be a family member, friends, neighbor, relatives. Shamelessly promote your new career move and persuade someone to buy your first rug. And make sure you get paid. You want to hit the ground running!