Step #2: Design the maze.
- Verify that you have enough carpet to make the rug you want, and that your masking tape is at least as wide as the head of your clipper. They don’t have to be exactly the same, but they should be within 1/4" of each other.
- Divide the length and width of the area you want to cover by the width of your tape and round to the nearest odd integer. In my case:
- x = 74" / 1.875" = 39.47 (39)
- y = 41" / 1.875" = 21.87 (21)
- Work out a maze on a square grid that is x by y units (39×21, in my case). You can design on paper or in software, or you can generate the maze procedurally. I used John Lauro’s simple web-based maze maker at makezine.com/go/mazegen.
- Following the outside edge of the tape, cut the perimeter of the rug to shape with carpet shears or a utility knife.
- My plan was designed to use the entire width of the piece of carpet I had purchased, so I only had to make one cut, as shown. Depending on your plan, you may have to make two perimeter cuts.
- Remove the tape. Just grab it and pull.
- Inspect the corridors for shallow areas, bumps, or other imperfections. Touch them up with the clippers as needed.
- Pick up the rug, shake it out hard, and sweep up the loose trimmings. Give it a good vacuuming, and you’re done.
- NOTE: The carpet backing may be visible at the edges at first, but a few weeks' use will round them over.
The tedious bit was not the trimming, but applying the pattern. I considered mounting a projector on the ceiling so I could project the pattern onto the carpet, but the tape trick won out for simplicity and cost. There must be better ways to solve the pattern problem: Chalk? Washable paint? Freehand cutting? Let us know in the comments!