DIY – Painted Area Rug

28 Jan

or How to Make a Batman Rug

or How to Win at Girlfriending

Oxford Comma’s birthday was this weekend which naturally meant I purchased party hats, silly straws, streamers, and superhero balloons from the grocery store.

Fictional Conversation:
Cashier: Aww, how old is your son?
Me: 26. And he’s a great kisser.

Actual Conversation:
Me: It probably looks like I have a four-year-old son but this is all actually for my boyfriend.
Cashier: No one’s too old for Cookie Monster hats!
Me: RIGHT???!!!

And what better gift for a twentysomething with a job and bills than a Batman rug for his big boy bedroom?

Several months ago while on a Pinterest binge I came across a painted pattern on an otherwise boring area rug, and truth be told I’ve been waiting for an excuse to try this out ever since. It’s extra fun, crazy addicting, and I’m now accepting commissioned projects. Below is my step-by-step guide for turning a relatively inexpensive 5×7 area rug into a pretty special present for a guy who desperately needs to make his room look less like a solitary confinement cell.

Step 1: Outline the border and mark the center of the rug with painter's tape.

Step 1: Outline the border and mark the center of the rug with painter’s tape.

This really is the most difficult part of the entire rug painting project. Making sure the tape lines are straight and equidistant from the edge is a tedious process, but following a modified version of the old Habitat for Humanity catchphrase certainly helped: “Measure twice, paint once.” I placed down large poster frames to mark out the straight lines, but use whatever you have at your disposal!

Step 2: Sketch out your design.

Step 2: Sketch your design.

This was an exercise in tracing and patience. I searched “1989 Batman logo” (because my boyfriend has a favorite Batman logo) on google images and hit “command +” until it was a size I liked. Of course, then the logo was far larger than my computer screen so I traced a bit, moused over, traced a bit more, etc. Afterwards, I taped together all the paper I used like a giant puzzle. There is most definitely an easier way to do this, but it probably involves the Staples Copy Center and money I don’t want to spend.

Step 3: Transfer design onto painter's tape.

Step 3: Transfer design onto painter’s tape.

I drew over the paper design with chalk, and then rubbed it onto a patch of painter’s tape centered on the area rug. Super easy. And those are my pajama-clad knees. Hi, knees!

Step 4: Cut out design from painter's tape with a utility knife.

Step 4: Cut out design from painter’s tape with a utility knife.

I’m pretty proud that I came up with this. It ensured the design had clean lines and the stencil wouldn’t shift around by accident. Just be easy with the utility knife, you don’t want to cut through the carpet fibers!

Step 5: Paint!

Step 5: Paint!

I used acrylic paint (available at any art or craft store) and diluted it so it would cover more evenly. The paint does make the rug stiff, but since you can only do this kind of project on a flatwoven, not-too-plush rug, it doesn’t make too significant a difference in underfoot comfort.

Step 6: Remove tape!

Step 6: Remove tape and revel in how impressive you are.

Et voilà! A Batrug! Trombone and stand optional.

Actual Conversation:
Oxford: You got me a Batman rug?!
Me: HELL NO. I painted you a Batman rug.

What followed could not be retold in good taste on this blog, wink wink nudge nudge.

5 Responses to “DIY – Painted Area Rug”

  1. landgrizzle August 31, 2013 at 6:41 pm #

    That is really awesome. I think I’m going to be doing this for my man cave. What size rug is that may I ask?

    • Hippolyta (Polly) October 9, 2013 at 10:05 am #

      That one was 5×7! Let us know how your project goes!

      New tip – I recently painted another rug and mixed the acrylic with “fabric medium” (available at craft stores) which helps the paint adhere to the rug a little better.

      Good luck!

  2. helen January 18, 2014 at 3:16 am #

    Hey I’m wondering does the paint come off like if water or something falls on it? I have a 2 year old so I need to know

    • Penthesilea (Penny) January 20, 2014 at 6:52 am #

      You can definitely spill water on acrylic paint (I just spilled some at Polly’s this weekend!)

      • helen February 19, 2014 at 12:14 am #

        Oh okay thank you we’re huge batman fans, so I’m more than excited to do this :)

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