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And then I painted a rug

March 30, 2012 by Hobbylobbyist

I know that this blog is supposed to be about crafting but there are just so many other fun things going on right now. I promise I’ll get back to it soon, but in the meantime I am busy finishing up our house and getting ready for a friend’s baby shower. First, the house:

I have made one significant addition to our living room since you last saw photos– my very own DIY homage to the Jonathan Adler Nixon rug.

It started like this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And ended like this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BAM. Not bad for $65 huh? That’s not to say it was without challenges (and navy cat prints down our hallway) but it was worth it. I referenced this tutorial and this one too, but I have summarized the steps (and missteps) I took for your education and amusement.

Supplies:

(One note on the tape: The tutorials recommend using the green painters’ tape. I accidentally bought the blue stuff but it still worked fairly well.)

If you are a sensible person, you’ll start out with a small rug and a simple pattern like stripes or chevrons. If you are a sadist, you’ll choose to do a massive rug in a complicated pattern like I did. I opted to do a rug similar to the Nixon pattern that Jonathan Adler has incorporated into his recent designs.

At this point, you must fight your crafty instinct to go nuts and start taping. You must first measure your rug and do some algebra. You need to measure your rug because the Swedes are notorious rug thieves and therefore Ikea will probably short you a couple inches on what they claim the rug size to be. Joking aside, every tutorial I’ve read using this rug has resulted in a different measurement. Some may blame manufacturing defects, I prefer to blame the sneaky Swedes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyhoo, back to the algebra part. You’ll want to figure out how many squares you’ll want down the length and width of your rug. I decided to do seven by five squares on my rug.¬† Make sure you factor in the width of the tape you use when doing the math. I used 1 inch tape on this rug.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once I figured out my spacing, I decided to mark out the length and width of my lines with little pieces of tape. This made it easier for me to see if my lines were getting off. After checking that everything was right, the taping began.

In my opinion, this was the most tedious part. You can use the weave of the rug to keep your lines straight but I also used a ruler to check myself every few feet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jasper was a big help as you can see.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Almost there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After you tape out the lines you’ll need to cut out the strips between the squares. This was absolutely my favorite part of this project. It went really fast and was so satisfying to see the pattern come out.

Here’s the cautionary tale portion of my tutorial. Make sure you mix your paint and textile medium according to the directions on the bottle. I was so eager to get painting that I just eyeballed it and did not mix the two together enough. The textile medium will also lighten the color of your paint slightly, so mix up a ton at the beginning of your project. Otherwise it’s too hard to mix extra paint to the exact shade you need.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next tip deserves its own paragraph. Don’t be shy about using a lot of paint. I was timid when I first began painting, and therefore the coat was spotty and rough. I had to basically re-paint the whole rug and the color is uneven in spots. I also had to touch up a lot a lot of white spots with a brush after finishing with the roller.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final tip: Make sure you have your pet locked away from this rug while it’s drying. And tell your significant other that there’s a reason that certain doors in your home are closed. And when he forgets two minutes after you tell him and accidentally chases the cat across the wet paint and through the house, laugh. Because there’s nothing else you can do. Oh, and make your significant other scrub up all the paw prints.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This project took about five hours over the course of a weekend. Was it worth it? Totally. Will I do it again? Not for a while, but it’s a great way to get a custom rug look for a low cost.

 

Related posts:

  1. The Gray Stripes

19 Comments »

  1. Lianne says:

    That is AMAZING. I am going to make something like this myself now for our hallway. Absolutely ingenious!

    • Thanks so much! You better send me pictures once you make yours.

      • Sara says:

        Hi Rebecca The actual feel of the rug is as we eetecpxd, a little rough. Not such a big deal since we aren’t walking or spending much time on it, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for a high traffic area. I have read of others running into the same problem and taking a light sanding to it though. I’m sure this would help somewhat with the texture. Hope this helps!Jessie

  2. Sheila says:

    This is AWESOME! I love this tutorial and wish I had any kind of decorating talent. Your blog looks great.

    • You’re so sweet, thanks! And I know that you have decorating talent because you have a great eye for color.

    • Angue says:

      LOVE this rug! I’m going to try it myself, can you tell me the doimnseins of the pattern? I saw in the other link where they used a vinyl stencil, but I don’t have access to something like that (at least I don’t think I do!) What’s the width of the design and the length of each diagonal line?

  3. betsy says:

    i really love this– the color, the pattern, everything. i keep thinking that i’m going to paint a rug, and now maybe i will.

  4. Allyn says:

    Ditto to everything Betsy said. (Except I had never heard of painting a rug, but now I want to do it.)

    • Haley says:

      Hi Jessie Love the rug!!! I’m adding it to my iiirnpatson folder for sure! More importantly I LOVE your table!!! I did a little searching on your blog and saw that your dad built it for you for Christmas. What a great dad! I was actually going to have my dad help me build something similar. Would you mind sharing any plans you might have for it. Plus what type of wood/stain did he use? Thanks for any input you can provide!Loriann

  5. Menachérie says:

    That is seriously awesome.

    http://www.menacherieblog.com/

      • Akash says:

        Hi Jessie! I’m new to your blog (thanks to your feature on 6th Street) and I am love, love, LOVING eytrvehing about your home!!! I’ve been dying to create my own chevron rug and I reeeally like how yours turned out. Just one quick question though did you paint the white portions or just leave them? I see that the rug itself was white to begin with so I’m just curious if it was white enough to leave or if that portion needed to be painted too. Thanks for your help and congrats on such a great feature! Meg

        • Mani says:

          Hi Jessie! I’m new to your blog (thanks to your feature on 6th Street) and I am love, love, LOVING erniythveg about your home!!! I’ve been dying to create my own chevron rug and I reeeally like how yours turned out. Just one quick question though did you paint the white portions or just leave them? I see that the rug itself was white to begin with so I’m just curious if it was white enough to leave or if that portion needed to be painted too. Thanks for your help and congrats on such a great feature! Meg

        • Alain says:

          Hi Jessie Love the rug!!! I’m adding it to my inarpistion folder for sure! More importantly I LOVE your table!!! I did a little searching on your blog and saw that your dad built it for you for Christmas. What a great dad! I was actually going to have my dad help me build something similar. Would you mind sharing any plans you might have for it. Plus what type of wood/stain did he use? Thanks for any input you can provide!Loriann

      • Elisa says:

        Hi Cathy! This project is detenifily one worth tackling! Granted it’s only had a few days of use so far the paint is actually holding up really well. No chips yet. Although it may not hold up so well in a high-traffic area. With the price it’s a chance I’d take any day Good luck!Jessie

    • Lua says:

      Hi Elaine!Thank you We absolutely adore this rug. We didn’t use a stecinl, although if possible I would advise anyone else attempting this DIY to get their hands on one. The by-hand process is incredibly tedious, but can be done! The diagonals are 9 inches in length and 6 inches wide. I used the same measurements for both colors although I’ve seen variations used and they can look quite nice too! Hope this helps.Jessie

  6. Lebo says:

    Whoa, great find! I wonder if my cienlt will go for it totally her colors. But she hates florals. Not that suzani is floral, but I imagine that those who don’t know much about design might see it that way. Sigh.

  7. Angri says:

    Hi Andrea The paint we used was just an average introier wall acrylic paint, but you might have better luck with a fabric paint. We love the look of the rug but honestly, the texture isn’t so great. Maybe a fabric paint would help!Jessie

  8. ange says:

    The rug turned out beautifully! Thanks for the great tutorial. I found this via Pinterest. PS: What is it with pets and paint? I’ve had doggy paint paw prints more times than I care to count.

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