Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My DIY Block Print Rug

A few weeks ago I promised to tell more about the DIY rug that I made for our den, so here it is!
 Coming up with a plausible flooring solution was one of the biggest challenges. As I've mentioned, we'd love to redo our weird addition at some point. It's totally inefficient from an energy standpoint (the floor and parts of the ceiling weren't even insulated before we moved in dry wall/sub flooring and air...), and the layout is pretty awkward. So we've been holding off on doing anything major to the ugly stained wall to wall carpet until we come up with and can afford a good long term solution.

All that to say, we're stuck with ugly flooring for the time being, and it made me sad to look at. I knew an area rug in the sofa area would lessen the pain, so I came up with a little scheme. I love texture and block print, and something that didn't look too polished (since that room is anything but polished):

 Alas, Madeline Weinrib was not in the budget. Free was.

Well, one day a few weeks ago I got my free rug! Rich thought I had gone insane, but I don't know if I've ever been so excited about a project. It hit me late one night as I stepped outside and looked down and saw my answer--our old rubber filigree welcome mat!  I basically used it like a giant stamp:
flipping it over to the flat side, I rolled on some paint (left over wall paint that I had diluted with water)

flipped it over onto the old stained wool ikea rug that my mom had given me a year ago (not that easy for a pregnant lady like me in her last trimester since the mat is a little heavy and unwieldy), got down on my hands and knees and pressed the mat into the rug (I pressed harder in some spots than in others to achieve a more weathered, antiqued look which I thought would tie in with the pillows we already had in the room), and repeated until I had a fully printed rug.:
As you can see, I didn't line up the mat perfectly, which made for a little more wonky of a look than I intended, but overall I really like it. It does the trick of adding a little life to the room, covering some badly stained spots on the carpet underneath, as well as masking muddy dog paw prints (bane!!!)

Since adding it, the room has become a favorite spot for all of our little and not so little beasts!
If you'd like more details, you can check out my detailed list of instructions on Apartment Therapy.


  1. Wow! You are brilliant...I love how this turned out...and I love how you went so bold! It looks fabulous!

  2. LOVE, love, LOVE this! Can't wait to try this technique - if only I had an old rug lying around!

  3. This is great Leah!! I also love the pillows. Where did you find them?

  4. Looooooooove! Totally want to use this idea!

  5. You are a massive inspiration to me. I love, love, love this project. I will give it a go as well sometime soon...Carol

  6. Leah,
    This is fantastic! One of the most interesting DIY projects I've seen in a long while.

  7. Brilliant we all know what to do with all of those blah cream rugs that we have or find! Great way to re-invent!!! Have a lovely lovely weekend! xx Danielle

  8. Ok...Huge Kudos to the pregger girl. Those mats ARE heavy!

    It looks completely fab...and laid back...and unique!


  9. This is stunning. I love what you've done with the rug and the colors in the room are beautiful. I am your newest follower. I can't wait to see more.

  10. Leah, you are AMAZING, this looks fabulous. And to tackle this while in your third!!!

  11. Amazing!!! Absolutely love how it turned out.

  12. Um, FABULOUSNESS! Dang, girl.

  13. love, love love!
    what a great idea, love the unevenness of the print.
    i'm smiling thinking about how our needs can make us come up with such unexpected solutions.


  14. Great work Leah. Not an easy task to accomplish!
    You might enjoy this slide show describing the block printing process step by step:

  15. I soooo love your rug - it's gorgeous! What a cool idea too with the rubber mat. I've got this linked to my rugs post too today, for inspiration!

  16. Love this project. And your dog is really cute!

  17. WorldcraftIndustries
    Wow It's Beautiful,I Love this Rug..,Great Idea. In last photo baby was so cute...


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