How to make a rug for like nothing...

So when I'm not in design hoarding mode, I'm usually in painting stuff.  I love to figure out ways to indulge my crazy ideas on the cheap, because if I bought everything I liked I'd be broke.  I have been looking for a rug for my mudroom for ever, and CB2 had a great one... but it was too big.  Boo.
Well necessity if the mother of invention or whatever... I needed a rug, and it  turns out so did my kitchen, so I just had to make some.
(ignore the dark brown desk, going black soon...I know I'm the only one this bothers. )
So how did I make them?
Joe likes to drive his cars on the vines. Why?
 Because mommy sacrificed his car rug for the mudroom...

So first you are going to need to find an old flat rug to reinvent. The car rug was perfect, it was 3x5 and had a rubber backing and was thin and flat, and I had bought it for $5 at a yard sale a ways back. (PS...Yard sales are the place to find good cheapy rugs and IKEA) 
Besides, the kids have the whole house to drive cars on... the old mat was so LITERAL.  It will do wonders for their imaginations to come up with new roads, I mean driving on vines... that's pretty good!

So after you steal your kids rug, cut a drop cloth (Home Depot folks, $9.99) a few inches larger than the rug and prime it.
Spray the backside of the drop cloth and the front of the rug with spray adhesive. Stick them together and smooth out...

Flip the whole thing over and hot glue the edges to the backside.
You can also do this after you paint your pattern.
Probably a good idea since I got paint all over my floor when I did the edges.


Now for the creative part. 
Paint away, whatever crazy things you want, the rug of your dreams, favorite pattern, unicorns, a cool pattern you stole from the Internet...



I did a faded ombre as my background...


Then taped out a pattern and painted some more...


I cleaned up my edges and tried some super ugly stuff too, but that got painted over.
(See you can't screw this up. If you don't like, just paint over!)


And then roll on 2-3 coats of polyurethane to make it washable.
Boom. Floor mat.


For my kitchen I sacrificed a Pier One 5x8 flatweave that I didn't like the color of. I bought this on clearance for $30 years ago, and its been used for staging, so no love lost. I did like the fact that it had a fringe and I wanted to keep that.


For big rugs I recommend ironing your drop cloth...


Prime it, and using the spray adhesive join them together starting in the center and working out. Use a warm iron set on low to get any wrinkles out and push them together...


Now paint away. I did crazy town Suzani...


Hot glue to the back.  To keep the tassels I folded the edge over and glued it to the top of the rug, then added a banding. I glued the other sides over.


Add polyurethane.

Done. I've already spilled, and it wipes up easy. I've also vacuumed it too.
And when you get bored paint a new design.

Despite the fact that you will need a large floorspace to do this on, it is relatively easy.
Incorporating a real rug underneath makes it more substantial, and it lays nicely.


You can also just make a floor cloth without a rug backing like this zebra hide...
See this post on  the how to.

Oh, and for those of you that want to skip the drop cloth or don't have a rug to repurpose, try painting right onto the Erslev rug from IKEA...  Its got a great chunky texture, so just go with it. $39.99 for a close to 6x9.






22 comments:

DomesticJenny said...

Amazing, Amazing, AMAZING! Seriously I love the suzani rug!

Faith, Trust, and a Little Pixie Dust said...

Hi Danika, I saw you on Vintage Revivals & I popped over for a visit. I've enjoyed reading about your projects. I can't believe how fearless & creative you are! Wow! I'm crazy about this "rug painting" idea.

Warmly, Michelle

Elisa @ What the Vita said...

What a comprehensive tutorial, I love it! Now, where can I get a free rug to experiment on?

My Interior Life said...

Your creativity truly knows no bounds. I love how you come up with an idea and just DO it! Inspiring!

Danika Herrick said...

Elisa,
IKEA always has a great selection...
I like the Karby for $14.99 because its flat & has a rubber backing... http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80094047

Yardsales are great too.

Ashley said...

WHAT?! Danika, you are a genius. I bow down to your genius. Both rugs are fabulous.

Bri@Meyouandawiener said...

Still amazing I don't know if I have the patience for the suzani rug but its fantastic. How do you focus that long? I cant focus that long which is why I never finish anything. I think I will be painting the kilim rug I bought the destroyer. Just changing the colors up. My husand is gonna be so pissed.

Lily said...

Wow those look so fabulous !!!

xxLily
goldandgray.com

Katie @ covestreetblog said...

The colors are amazing, and that suzani...you are an artist! I love that its not a huge deal to change if you mess up, and the fact that their sturdy with the rug behind them.

vanessa said...

These look great! I love seeing how you paint everything and make it look so good. The fabric you painted for your chairs was amazing you should print it on spoonflower!

LindsB said...

ok seriously, is there anything you CANT do with a paintbrush? you are amazing!

Dina @ Honey + Fitz said...

You might have just provided me with the perfect solution for a dressing room rug. Now if there was just an IKEA closer than 2.5 hours from me! Grrrr!!! Awesome job, by the way. Like seriously...ridiculous.

Amy @ Varnish said...

Informative AND funny! Wish I had an ugly rug to remake...

Ms. Manor said...

Seriously, wow!

thelonelywifeproject said...

You're so good it's scary! I would buy that Suzani if I could. So inspiring!!

b.Frank Interiors said...

All I can say is that I love, love, love this idea for creating a new rug!

Danielle {freshquince} said...

I'm speechless Danika and I think I'm being all creative over here painting a few things. You trump me by a mile! Amazing, inspirational and just plain gorgeous!

mstreetdenver said...

Damn Girl! You are crafty. Totally impressed. Love Love Love it all!

deb said...

I love the AMAZING!!!!
I have a rug I've been thinking about replacing but this idea is much better and cheaper too..lol. I'm new to this whole DIY thing. May I ask what do you mean by Priming?

Danika Herrick said...

Hi Deb,

Priming just means to paint the surface with a primer first. It seals and prepares the surface for paint and keeps any colors from bleeding through. If you were to just paint the surface you would find it would take MANY coats of regular paint without the primer, because the paint would just absorb into the canvas dropcloth. The primer kind of seals the canvas and lets you only need 1-2 coats of regular paint. I use Kilz primer, I get it at Home Depot.

nullgraph said...

Hi, I love both the rugs that you painted! I was wondering since you've had them for a while, how are they holding up? Are there cracks or color changes? How do you clean them? I want to paint something like this too and I've been looking everywhere about materials, but haven't gotten definitive answers. Can you say more about what kind of paint/primer/sealer you use? Btw, my pinterest board pretty much has only photos from your blog, I'm a fan! Thanks a lot for the inspiration!

Danika Herrick said...

Nullgraph,

I used regular white latex Primer- pretty sure it was the one Home Depot sells by the paint counter in plastic gallon containers-and regular latex wall paints. The polyurethane makes all the difference though. 2 good coats, and I would do latex just because it doesn't yellow like oil does. I lost the Suzani because I decided to use it outside on my covered porch. Bad idea, one big rain storm and it was sitting in puddles. Got mildew and the glue on the back came apart. The smaller one I eventually painted a light aqua when I changed things in that space- another great feature, easy to change!- and I cleaned it with my floor mop when I would do my floors.
I didn't experience and cracking, but I would recommend using darker colors to hide dirt. Also, start with a small one if you want to test it out. Good luck!

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