How to make an indoor/outdoor stair runner from outdoor carpet


How to Make a DIY Stair Runner from indoor/outdoor carpet

Have you ever watched Antiques Road Show?

Isn’t it amazing what you see on a good night on the local PBS affiliate?

Mark Walberg holds up a few pieces of orange and yellow Tupperware and the crowd goes wild.

This DIY stair runner will be perfect for your home, easy to make and holds up to wear and tear.

You see it all….old Christmas decorations and Barbie heads and vintage Fisher Price People and antique macrame plant holders and ancient ceiling fan parts.


All that stuff your mom threw away….or sold in a yard sale….or you never really wanted anyway….. is now worth hundreds and hundreds of dollars.

Who knew?


Old stuff.  It’s where it’s at.


This old blue shag carpeting definitely had to go.


In the light of the past 500 episodes of Antique Road Show….maybe we should have left the blue shag carpeting on the stairs.

It’s old.

It’s stuff.

It had a certain vintage charm.

Maybe we should have never removed it.

Use indoor/outdoor carpet to make this fantastic stair runner

But we did.

We took out the potentially valuable, historic remnants of an era gone by and replaced it with two indoor outdoor 2′ 3″ x 11′ 9″ stair runners from here.

Nothing too fancy.

We just stapled them onto the stairs.


Use these stair rods to hold the runner in place on the staircase


The set of stairs took two runners and we wrapped the end of one runner around a stair tread and tucked the other behind it to create the illusion of one continuous runner.

And then to make an indoor outdoor runner fancy…..we dressed it up with brushed nickel staircase rods.

With little brushed nickel finials from Home Depot.


The view of the new runner from the top of the stairs


Now….let’s be honest.

The runner is no shag carpeting.

But it’s held up for two years…..with four children, two dogs and 25,567 pairs of really stinky socks.


This indoor/outdoor carpet shows almost no wear and tear over the years


And besides.

I think there’s still a few pieces of that incredibly beautiful, historic one-of-a-kind stair carpeting out in the barn.

And one day…..if Antiques Roadshow ever travels to the beautiful Kentucky countryside.

My blue shag carpeting and I…..

….we’ll be ready for our close-up. 🙂


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  1. Image for Holly Holly

    So excited to see your post Kari! I've been looking into doing the same thing on our playroom stairs. Yours look great. Although, that blue shag was fabulous and bound to come back in style. Good thing you kept some extra pieces in the garage. ;-)

  2. Image for Jaimee Hingerton Jaimee Hingerton

    Wow, that's a great idea to use indoor/outdoor carpeting! I've been beating myself over the head trying to come up with something for my stairs ever since I took a dive down them but I didn't like the look of anything I had seen so far. You know, looks over safety any day... But this is a wonderful idea. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Image for Jen Jen

    Before each new eposode of Antique's Road Show, a friend and I text each other with our predictions...the value of the most expensive item,how many times,"I had no idea",will be said,and most importantly,will the guy with the crazy plaid suits be on.( personally I think he's really auditioning for SNL) Now, I understand that a rare blue stair runner like you had,if left in its original condition would be worth 2 million big American dollars. Tragically,its only value now is sentimental.

  4. Image for Jennifer Jennifer

    Oh love this! Thanks for sharing with us....I think I may just have to do the same thing :-). How many stair treds do you have? I have 16 and I'm just trying to figure if two runners will be enough. Love your blog!!!! It is my very favorite

  5. Image for nantucketdaffodil nantucketdaffodil

    Too funny...I always watch Antiques Roadshow and start wishing I had a treasure tucked away! I LOVE this runner. We have painted stairs...tucked away behind a door in this 183's home. I do have a question. At the bottom of the stairs I noticed you had wallpaper,and now paint. I have wallpaper in 3 rooms I want GONE!!!! Did you have to skimcoat??

  6. Image for Melissa Boyce Melissa Boyce

    What an ironic post-- I spent yesterday ripping out the old green shag from the stairs in my 1935 house. In fact the before staircase looks almost identical. The previous owners had groovy 70s paneling covering the sides that they "updated" in the 80s with some Venetian plaster painted to look like fresco. It was not good. I've been staring at it for five years. Somehow removing the carpeting turned into removing paneling (I was on a hell-bent roll) only to discover plastered walls and the stair baseboards along the sides. Some of the plaster is cracking but I've been deciding if I should add the board and batten look to it or not. After seeing your stairs, I think it is a sign! Thanks for the post-- I may have to save a little of the carpet in case our future generation sees it as a cool "vintage" piece that they can hang on a wall in a frame. :)

  7. Image for Deb @Lake Girl Paints Deb @Lake Girl Paints

    Good Morning KariAnne, My sister and I used to rake my Mom's orange shag carpet in the 70's! I think updating your blue was the right thing.: ) The brushed nickel with the natural is beatiful - clean. Deb

  8. Image for Anne Presley Anne Presley

    Happy Birthday to a very talented, beautiful, amazing lady - celebrate your special day by doing something you have never done before- hard for you as you are always willing to take on a new challenge.

  9. Image for AnnaM AnnaM

    Lovely, as always. I have been thinking of ordering an outdoor rug for our entryway. All the muddy wet boots and shoes...sounds like a good answer to worrying about messing up a rug that will be messed up nonetheless. Always enjoy your great ideas!

  10. Image for shirley@housepitalitydesigns shirley@housepitalitydesigns

    It's your birthday?!!......Happy Birthday!!!!...Well just put on your dancing shoes and "shag away" on that blue shag rug with your blue suede shoes!!....Have a wonderful, wonderful birthday!!!....oh, and love the runner!...

  11. Image for Marian Marian

    Major improvement! I am all for anything that can stand up to more than 25,000 pairs of stinky socks and live to tell the tale. Just out of curiosity, why would you want carpet in a barn? Does your honey have some amazing workshop out there? I know I sure would.

  12. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    We lived with our shag carpeting for 16 years! We threw a party when we got rid of ours! Lots of beer and bratwurst! Your runners are great...very clean...they deserve a party....but more sedate, wine and cheese. So, when's the party? ;)

  13. Image for Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen

    Having just slipped on my friends stairs and enjoy back pain for three days.. this is an excellent solution. Her stairs are between two hardwood floor levels, so would look quite natural and blend in as well. I'll have to show this to her:) xx Smidge

  14. Image for Regina Regina

    Let's not be dissin' the yellow and orange Tupperware . . . I'm still using mine that I received as a wedding gift . . . ;) Love the stair runner! I've looked at outdoor rugs from time to time and thought, "huh. These would look great INSIDE!" So durable! Have an amazing day! :)

  15. Image for Ashley Sparks Ashley Sparks

    Fab! I have been trying to come up with a way to skid proof my stairs but don't want to do wall to wall. It's perfect! I'm getting this done before my mother-in-law come to visit since those slippery stairs make me so nervous! Thanks so much!!! Ashley Rane

  16. Image for Lorrie Lorrie

    Blue might be my favourite colour, but I would put the blue shag carpet in the garage, too. Buried, deep. If those Antiques Roadshow people want it, they'll have to dig for it. Love the stair runner. And those nickel staircase rods are like the perfect jewelry for your stairs. I hear it's your birthday, too. Have a very happy day and a year filled with God's good gifts.

  17. Image for Laurie Davis Laurie Davis

    Very insightful post! I didn't know Mark Wahlburg hosted Antiques Roadshow!! I am going to start watching! Wonder if he lifts his shirt for those really stubborn pieces that just won't sell! I'd buy them...LOL! Love your blog Karianne!!

  18. Image for Pinky Pinky

    You mean to tell me I could have gotten GOOD MONEY for al the stuff I took to GW when we moved??????????? I used to do macrame, worked in a macrame SHOP, in fact so had alot of hangers. Had saved all my kids Fisher Price toys and PEOPLE, and swings, and chairs etc. I YI YI, now I need that $$$ for TAXES:):) I LOOOOVE how you did the stairs. Genius to use 2 runners. I will keep this in the back of my mind for when our carpeting wears out. XO, Pinky

  19. Image for laurie laurie

    What a genius idea to use an indoor/outdoor rug, Kari! Cleaning it should be a breeze! We have old white berber going up our stairs and into the hallway on the 2nd floor. I hate it because it's now worn and just old looking....not to mention such a joy to try to clean after our 17 y/o cat urps up on it. (No...for some odd reason she won't do it on the wood floors in the bedroom. It MUST be in carpeted hallway. lol), So I'll definitely be keeping your great idea in mind when it comes time to replace our outdated carpeting. And I'll watch for ya on the Antique Road Show! lol xoxo laurie

  20. Image for Diane Diane

    Looks great! Congrats on being in Country Living Magazine this month! My copy came in the mail yesterday and I was thumbing through it when I saw your picture. I yelled to my husband, "LOOK ITS KARI!!! I KNOW HER!!!". He thought I was a little bit nutso when I explained that I read your blog everyday and that's how I "know" you. What does he know. By the way, I'm a Kentucky girl too. Louisville.

  21. Image for Linda @ it all started with paint Linda @ it all started with paint

    I'm loving those brushed nickel rods & finials! The staircase is perfection. Would love to do something similar (you know, to hide the dust bunnies) but my stairs are accordion style. Oh well. Once gain a fabulous, inspiring idea for us readers! :) Linda

  22. Image for Dana Dana

    What is the best way you have found to clean/sweep/mop your stairs since doing this? Does any dog hair or dirt get underneath it?

  23. Image for Kelli Kelli

    KariAnne....I have a serious question for ya! :) Your newel posts are white. Are they hard to keep clean and what kind of paint would you recommend? Our staircase is front and center when you come in the front door. Just needed your opinion....before I plead my case with the Mr. to paint the wood! ;) k.

  24. Image for Sherry Sherry

    You've just made me realize how badly my stairs need a makeover. Yours are looking very fancy. I wouldn't mourn the loss of that valuable blue carpet too much if my stairs looked this good. ;)

  25. Image for Judy Judy

    Hi Karianne. A very clever post as usual. Love the stair treads. They look like brand new, they are holding up well. Oh, shag carpet. My sister just got a new rug for her new house. You guessed it - Shag..Happy Wednesday..Judy

  26. Image for Patty M Patty M

    Great idea, and it looks wonderful! Let's pray that the old, green shag carpet that was in my house growing up will never, ever come back in style.

  27. Image for Anna Starner Anna Starner

    I too had the beautiful shag carpet from days gone by, mine was 70's gold. Mine was an accident waiting to happen. Just go to run down those steps in stocking feet. You could find yourself skiing much like a mogul event at the Olympics. So glad to have replaced that carpet. It is now living among the 50's metal doll houses and the Barbies my mother got rid of for me. Oh well I keep telling myself when I see all those things bringing $$$, they wouldn't be worth as much if we had all kept them.

  28. Image for Susan Susan

    Great project for naked stairs! I'm going to pass this along to my daughter who just moved into a 1924 house. XOXO

  29. Image for Pamela Gordon Pamela Gordon

    This is a great idea. We want to replace our broadloom on our front stairs which are only 7 up, and fix up the stair treads with a runner over them. This is perfect! Yours looks really great. Our house is a front split and we use the front door as our main entrance so it gets everything coming in. We usually remove our outer footwear at the bottom of the steps though. We used to have gold shag all through then beige broadloom and now hardwood but just never got the stairs done. Thanks for sharing this idea. Pamela

  30. Image for Amycha Amycha

    Hi Karianne, I absolutely LOVE this!! I have been looking for the best way to do this for my stairs because I just don't want to put carpet back down (yuck!) I currently have some of that blue stuff and can't wait to get rid of it.... soon hopefully... but I clipped this over at Hometalk cause it's so awesome and for when I get to working on this. Great idea, thank you!!

  31. Image for Sarah Sarah

    Fabulous look for your farm house. I have no fond memories of shag carpet, and believe me I lived with it for more years than I like to think about. It was all the rage in every apartment I lived in during the early 70s. I was so excited when we moved into our first home and we had hardwood floors. '-) Green shag, gold shag, blue shag........been there, done that! Your new runner looks amazing, and I bet it's the perfect solution for all those busy feet running up and down these stairs. Love the hardware. Your stairs have a fresh, clean look. Great choice! ~ Sarah

  32. Image for Becca Becca

    I can see that blue shag being worth thousands ... good thing you saved it *just* in case the road show comes knocking! Your runners look awesome ... such a great idea! And, you *know* I love that rug ... they've held up beautifully in our kitchen and mudroom ... thanks again for sharing where you found it!

  33. Image for Sue Hoke Sue Hoke

    I love what u did and now has given me the push to do this to my ugly orange shag carpeting on my 100 yr old stairs. Are the staircase rods/finials very expensive? Becca from Adventures in Decorating got me hooked onto your blog!!!!

  34. Image for Bj Bj

    Wondering how you clean it? I am about to take the carpeting off my stairs but worried what to put on them and how I would clean it. Hugs, Bj

  35. Image for Patty O Patty O

    I absolutely LOVE this idea! I have some incredibly UGLY carpeting on my, short pile, grey with colored flecks in it ugly. I may just have to go rip it out right now!!!!! WEeeeeeeeeee!

  36. Image for Ginger Ginger

    Awe, come on!! I can't believe you got rid of that gorgeous blue shag carpet!! What were you thinking?? No, really. This project is beautiful and simple - right up my ally. Thanks for sharing.

  37. Image for Chante LaGon Chante LaGon

    What a fantastic project! I'll be linking to it on our Flooring pinboard. Check it out at - Chante

  38. Image for Dria @ Dio Dria @ Dio

    Wow that a difference, I agree with Pamela, you have me wanting to rip my carpet off of my stairs! You did such a fantastic job, your stairs look beautiful!

  39. Image for Tammy Tammy

    Now here I have been uhmming & Aahhhhing over what to do with our stairs now that we took our ugly beige carpet that must have been a bazillion years old, & stumbled across you on pinterest! Got to love Pinterest I say, & after painting the depressing dark brown wainscotting Antique USA White, I have now decided what to do as my runner, as I have five sons & a hubby, this seems like the smart practical solution & looks great, thanks heaps from this little Aussie down under!

  40. Image for Cristine Cristine

    I love your stairs, what a beautiful idea. I love the door that leeds up to the stairs. Please tell me if you added this door and if so how did you do it? We have a almost 9 year old with autism and baby gates are getting too short. An old door refinished would be a nice replacement option not to mention a more decorative choice. Cristine

  41. Image for tia mia tia mia

    I ran across this same runner in my search to find a carpet runner for our newly finished stairs. I loved the texture and the fact that it was indoor/outdoor carpeting {so much easier to maintain}. Now, that I have seen an actual install of the product in your home...I am convinced that this is the runner for me! Thanks so much for sharing this project. Your stairs look beautiful! Quick any point during the install, did you have to cut this carpet and if so, did you find it difficult to work with after cutting?{ie..did it unravel, was it hard to cut, etc, etc.} Thanks again! :)

  42. Image for Kristen Kristen

    I am absolutely IN LOVE LOVE LOVE with this idea!!! I have hated what we have on the stairs since the day we bought them. I wonder if I can convince hubby to do this! It is GORGEOUS!!!!!!!

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