DIYdiy projects

10 Creative DIY Stair Runner Ideas

by Grace Bonney

This weekend I found myself dreaming of having a home with a second floor. I’ve spent most of my life (and dorm years) living in single-floor apartments or homes, and there’s always been something so grand about the idea of a dramatic staircase leading to bedrooms or other spaces that are a good distance away from the noise and everyday sounds that happen in the living rom and kitchen. I’m so appreciative to have the one-floor apartment we do have, but it it’s always fun to dream. So to indulge myself in what it would be like to play around with a great set of stairs, I thought it would be fun to imagine all the different things you could do with stairs to dress them up, from painted runners and mats to wallpapered runners and crazy geometric patterns. I’ve got my eye set on this simple project, but all 10 of these ideas are great ways to add some unexpected detail and interest to your home. xo, grace

Click through for all 10 ideas after the jump!

I’m obsessed with this gorgeous painted arrow stair runner at Holistic Fashionista. With just a little tape and black and white paint, this would make for a dramatic statement in a space where minimalism was the name of the game (anything else would get really drowned out by all this pattern).

Milly Goodwin created her own stair runner using vintage linen grain sacks! You could easily staple gun them in place or use stair runner rods to hold them in place.

Kay Heyes’ home features a creative painting idea that leaves the traditional runner area as natural wood and paints the outer section white, allowing for a natural wood-colored ‘runner’.

This stunning tape runner installation was created by artist Jim Lambie using, you guessed it, tape! While this is a pretty complicated look to replicate precisely, you could easily create a simpler version using a few different colors of tape to make your own DIY striped runner.

Sibella Court decided to bring her red carpet dreams home and installed her own simple red carpet runner using a staple gun.

Melissa and Caleb created these ombre stairs that seem to be everyone’s favorite these days. They did this on the stair risers, but you could easily apply these to the center tread of the stairs to use as a runner!

Painted number stair runners are a fun idea, too! I love the idea that these would be a fun way to learn with kids when they are little. (Image via EllaBoo and Company, which seems to now be closed.)

I’ve never been a big fan of stencils, but I love the way Megan and Elana at OKL worked together to mix-and-match these stencils for Elana’s stairs. The mix of blues is beautiful and they’d work just as well as a runner as they do here on the risers.

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I love the major candy-colored stripe situation at this Kate Spade pop-up shop that Will at Bright Bazaar captured. This would be a fun way to wake up a cheery back staircase.

Shannon Kaye combined painted stripes and stamped circus-style letters to create a whimsical runner design. Even just the lettered stamps would be a clever way to add some detail to your stairs.

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  • How funny you’d like a stairwell … I grew up in a ranch but have lived in a two story home ever since. As I just wrote on your previous post on ballisters, I am in the midst of redoing my staircase. I spent months trying to find the perfect leopard carpet to grace my stairs. Stairs are usually in the foyer and its a chance to make a dramatic statement for those that enter. Can’t wait till my house is put back together!

    Thanks for your great posts.

    OMG Lifestyle Blog

  • Thanks for these ideas. My husband and I are SO ready to rip up the carpet on our stairs and maybe put down a runner instead. :)

  • Jim Lambie’s use of vinyl is genius. Love it! Like what Shannon Kaye has done with the circus typography and stripes. And the blue and white with wood works well on OKL’s stairs. Thanks for sharing.

  • These are all so unique. I love the simple cream-colored stair runner with the red lines in the middle. Very elegant but also very practical! Also loving the stairs with the elaborate blue designs on the bottom.

    The Office Stylist

  • Thank you for relieving the tension that was building as I try finding a carpet runner for our stairs. We need the safety for elderly dogs and in-laws, but the options are dismal! I’m not decorating my grandmother’s southern mansion. Well, it’s technically in the south, but it ain’t grandma’s and it ain’t a mansion! Just some stairs needing both safety and style! (similar to finding that in a shoe- thank you for this inspiration!)

  • I LOVE all of these ideas, though the grain sacks may be my favorite! The permanence of painting my stairs makes me shy away from doing it, but I’ve been hunting for a fun runner. Thanks for the inspiration.