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How to Patch Carpet Yourself in 4 Simple Steps (DIY)

How to patch carpet yourself

It’s difficult to hide a damaged, burnt, or stained carpet that won’t get clean, no matter the effort. When a piece of carpet is damaged beyond repair, you don’t have to replace the whole thing. You can quickly, cheaply, and easily patch your carpet with a cut-and-paste DIY method.

When you need to patch a carpet, follow these four steps: Trace the carpet with a long nail, and cut the trace lines with a utility knife before using the cut-out carpet as a template to cut a donor carpet patch. Apply gorilla glue before slowly maneuvering the replacement carpet into place.

It may seem a daunting task to patch a damaged part of a carpet if you’ve never done it before. However, when you follow the easy steps discussed in this article, you will realize that you were stressing for no reason, as the process is rather simple compared to other DIY projects. Here are four steps to a “brand new” carpet.

Step 4 patch carpet - insert carpet patch

How to Patch Carpet

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes


  • Gorilla Glue (similar glue is fine)
  • Goo Gone (glue remover in case. you use too much glue)
  • Donor carpet squares (if you don't have spare carpet)


  • Utility Knife
  • Long nail
  • Scissors


Step 1: Trace the Carpet

Step 1 patch carpet - trace your cutting line with a nail

Every carpet is designed on a grid. A carpet's grid features rows (thin lines) and columns (thicker lines). The idea is to find a row (parallel line) to trace the area you want to cut out using the long nail. Take the long nail, start tracing a row close to the damaged area, and create a trace line.

You should be able to feel the long nail making its way through the grid and the subsequent targeted row splitting the carpet pile.

Finding the right row on a worn carpet might be more difficult. Be patient and continue until you feel that you are actively separating the pile while forming a clear cuttable line.

After tracing the two rows a couple of times, it's time to move on and trace the two columns following the same method.

Helpful Hint: If the damage to your carpet area is larger than 6", best you call a professional. Suppose you have numerous large damaged carpet areas; replacing the whole carpet might be a better option.

Step 2: Cut a square or rectangle around the damaged area

Step 2 patch carpet cut out damaged area in square or rectangle

Replace the long nail with the utility knife, as you will cut the carpet along the trace lines you created in step 1. Take the utility knife, place it in the row line you created, and cut towards you.

The idea is to cut through the carpet backing, not the carpet padding. After cutting the row lines, proceed to cut the column lines. You should be able to lift the cut carpet piece out, and if you see any carpet fraying, use the scissors to cut them off.

A carpet has a certain direction that the pile flows or runs. To estimate in what direction the piles flow, use a sheet of paper and a pencil. Place the paper on the original carpet and roll the pencil underneath your hand in any direction.

The paper will move in the direction of its pile flow. When the paper reveals the flow, do the same on the cut-out donor and mark the backing with an arrow that indicates the flow. For aesthetic reasons, the replacement patch must match the directional flow of the original carpet.

Helpful Hint: Suppose you have no remnants (extra original carpeting) left from the original installation. Contact the store where you originally purchased the carpet and inquire if they have your order information on file or provide them with the sale receipt.

Step 3: Get the Donor Carpet Ready

Step 3 patch carpet - place glue along perimeter of existing carpet

Take the damaged carpet cut-out and place it on the donor carpet with the backing of each piece of carpet touching. Now you have a size template to work from.

An exact size cut is what you are looking for, but don’t stress if you cut the donor carpet a little bigger, as you can decrease the size until it matches perfectly by dry testing the replacement carpet.

When dry testing the carpet, ensure that no carpet pile is crushed underneath the replacement patch, as this can interfere with the actual size estimation. The critical part of this step is that you're happy with the donor carpet's fit, size, and appearance when dry fitting.

Carpets with a pattern require extra care to ensure that the donor carpet blends in perfectly with the existing carpet. It may take more than one piece of donor carpet to perfect the fit, so ensure you have a couple of pieces to work with.

Helpful Tip: Visit a Home Depot store and use the free donor square carpet samples provided.

Step 4: Glue the donor carpet into place

Step 4 patch carpet - insert carpet patch

The final step when patching your carpet is to glue the donor patch into place. If you have aced the previous steps, you should sit with a tight-fitting piece of replacement carpet. The goal is not to over-glue the carpet area, and it's best not to glue the donor carpet.

The good thing about a small tube of Gorilla glue is that it's cheap, more than enough for this project, and due to its small design, it's very exact in its application, which results in little to no mess when applied correctly.

You want to place a small amount of glue along the perimeter of the existing carpet. Before applying the glue, you must push the original carpet's pile upwards with your fingers, so it's out of the way.

After applying the glue, take the donor patch and ensure that the arrow points in the direction of the carpet's flow. The best way to fit the replacement patch is by inserting one corner first.

Pinch the carpet and use the long nail to systematically remove any piece of the existing carpet that may have worked its way underneath the donor
carpet's backing. No pile of patch carpet should be glued underneath the existing carpet.

When the whole patch carpet is in place, proceed to push the patch
and surrounding carpet with the long nail to ensure that the fit is flush.


What to Do When You Cannot Find a Matching Donor Carpet?

When you patch a section of a carpet, it's vitally important that the donor carpet matches the original carpet. Leftover carpets from the original carpet installation will always be first prize, as you're certain of a 100% match.

Suppose you have no remnants (extra original carpeting) left from the original installation. Contact the store where you originally purchased the
carpet and try to organize a section of the same one used in your home.

What can you do when you can't find any remnants, the store you bought the carpet from doesn't stock your old carpet anymore, and the freebies
at Home Depot don't match? You get creative.

A carpeted house typically covers large areas. Areas that are out of sight. Nothing stops you from cutting a small square piece of your original carpet and using it as a donor piece to patch the area that needs replacement.

Areas that will be largely unaffected by a missing piece of carpet

  • Inside a closet        
  • Underneath a staircase  
  • Water heater closet      
  • Under a piece of furniture that will never change location (media cabinet, desk, bed)  
  • Furnace closet      
  • Basement stairway

When taking a donor carpet square from elsewhere in your house, ensure that you cover that hole with a carpet square which is freely available at Home Depot stores.

How Much Does Patching a Carpet Cost?

The positive thing about patching your carpet yourself is the relatively low cost of this specific DIY project. All the materials and tools should cost you less than $25 and is available for purchase on Amazon or any hardware store.

How Much Is the Cost to Get a Carpet Patched Professionally?

You might find that patching your carpet is above your pay grade and opt to get a professional to do the job. Carpet repair specialists can save you
serious money in the long run by patching a hole, fixing a tear, or addressing fading issues while removing any stubborn spots.

The average cost for carpet repairs varies according to the type of damage, the type of carpet, and the overall size. When done professionally, the average national cost for carpet repairs is as follows:

  • $140 to $200 to patch a hole    
  • $50 to $100 to fix a tear      
  • $100 to fix burns      
  • $580 to rectify fading   
  • $100 to $300 to fix bleach stains   
  • $30 to $50 to fix stains     
  • $140 to $200 to fix snags and runs

If you believe that your carpeting is beyond repair, you can expect to pay between $500 and $2,000 to install a new one.

Did you make this project?

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YouTube/Carpet Repair Guys: DIY Carpet Repair in 3 Easy Steps

The Spruce: How to Repair a Carpet With Carpet Patching

bob vila: How To: Patch Carpet

Thumbtack: Carpet Repair Cost

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