the cheater’s guide to stripes on a rug

When we put the boys’ room together this summer, I knew I needed a rug. Creating the loft suddenly provided a lot of empty space {99% of the time, its covered in toys} and the floor was calling out for something dynamic to fill it. I also needed to balance the overall feel of the room. The only problem was, finding the right size, look, and color. And then…the right price. {Insert generic sarcastic comment here.}

This is a fun weekend potential sort of project, and I thought I would share with all of you what we did with our little conundrum.

Of course, there was no such ideal magical rug from heaven for two dollars to be found. I fell in love with the square shape, so I scooped up this 5 x 5 natural fiber rug at World Market, and brought it home…

Only to completely change it.

I had some blue mixed at Home Depot to match the cobalt blue already found in those {formerly chevron} curtains. I had some Chantilly Lace from various projects still lying around, so with a roller and lots of white, I laid down the first layer. I have to say, I wasn’t ready for the rug to absorb so much of the paint. With all the grooves, it was hard to spread it around quickly. It was almost like trying to paint a gigantic sponge, so I learned soon enough that the easiest way was to pour it directly onto the rug, and roll it out from there.

When I laid down the tape by myself, I realized it would take an eternity to do it straight, all by my lonesome. It seemed like such a simple task on the surface, but with the tape not sticking, I learned it would be half as difficult with a helper.

Enter Jamin…with our cheater’s aide: a 1 x 4 plank to use as a guide. Brillz, I say the man is.

I sketched out a fun design in my handy dandy notebook, and measuring out from the centermost part of the rug, we each sat on an end, and placed the 1 x 4 on each section where we wanted a stripe. We then used the plank as a guide, and kept our tape straight, 5 feet across, as we marked each spot.

The tape didn’t really stick, but it served as a great guide, and I painted away from the tape. I also had to watch the grooves, and made sure to avoid spillage.

I’m usually the one behind the camera, but check out my knees. Yep. They were that red from kneeling on the rug. Annnd… my skivvy alert. I was wearing running shorts, so I decided to spare all of you some unsightlies. No, this was not a naked painting partay.

After those initial stripes were painted, I decided to add two more on the ends. It still needed something, and I loved the unusual feel it gave the new little floor rug.

It isn’t perfect, and definitely has a “rough-hewn” look, but we left a bit of the natural element showing through, and love the look it brings to the space.

Is it soft? No. But most natural woven rugs aren’t anyway. It’s fun to walk across because it massages your feet, and the kids love it for a sturdier, hardy surface. Think the perfect play mat for legos and cars.

Tada! A few easy steps, and it’s the simple cheater’s approach to painting a floor rug!  It saved us a little moolah-and we actually got exactly what we wanted. The perfect little weekend project.

As always, let me know if you use this. Plan to tackle any projects this weekend? We hope you have a wonderful few days off!

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Responses to the cheater’s guide to stripes on a rug

  1. Erin says:

    Love the rug! And oh my word, the “skivvy alert” censor made me choke on my coffee. Too funny!

  2. Jennifer says:

    Yes! Skivvy Alert. Excellent; you make me laugh so hard!
    I’ve had the same kinda of idea for our living room; we are headed to Ikea this weekend and I’m hoping to grab up a rug and do a khaki/white stripey deal with it. I LOVE the 1 X 4 idea though, that’s super to know! Thanks!!

  3. jessica says:

    perfect timing! i’m picking up a rug from ikea this weekend to paint stripes on it. thanks for the tips!!

  4. Tamara says:

    I just LOVE your DIY ways! We just did our daughter’s wedding in a big DIY extravaganza inside our greenhouse…….fun, fun, fun. I’ve made making a custom chandelier for my kids weddings into a family TRADITION :)

  5. I have done a similar project using a canvas drop cloth from Lowe’s and it works great and is supremo Never occurred to me to paint my old sisal rug that I am tired of….hmmmm.

  6. I do love the look (the imperfect look) makes it all the more appealing. You get an ‘A’ for perseverance.