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.
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.
(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.
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.