DIY Painted Rug Inspired by West Elm

5 Materials
$20

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE area rugs! They instantly change the way a space looks, and are an easy {and temporary} way to add color or pattern to a room.
However, if you are on a tight budget {like us} then you may quickly realize that the area rug you want is out of your price range, boooooo. But then that’s the beauty of DIY, am I right? You can find a style you like and then re-create it in a way that reflects your personality, without spending a ton of money.
One day while browsing the West Elm website I came across the Phoenix Wool Dhurrie rug and instantly fell in love. The geometric/navajo pattern was fun, simple, classic and modern all rolled into one. It seemed perfect for our dining room!
Of course the price tag was a bit steep for us so I decided to create my own version using it as my inspiration. The total cost of my rug? Just $20!
You can view the full post and photos on my blog.
DIY Painted Rug: Before photo: I purchased a plain 5x7 remnant area rug for $20 at Home Depot {You can also find them at Lowes}. These rugs can be random in color and sizes available, but can generally be found near the decorative area rugs - maybe 1 or 2 aisles over. They are already bound but are labeled as remnant rugs :)
I created the shape templates I wanted to use and printed them out on cardstock paper. Each shape took up a few sheets of paper each since I had enlarged them.
I taped the sheets of paper together so that I could cut them out as one large shape.
Here is my paper template cut out.
Afterwards I traced the paper template onto cardboard and then cut that out, this way I would have a more sturdy template to use and trace around.
I measured out where I wanted the pattern to go and began tracing around the templates with a sharpie.
I then painted in the shapes with some custom mixed navy paint using foam brushes. I had mixed fabric medium into the paint as well. I put an old tablecloth underneath the rug to make sure none of the paint seeped through.
Here is the rug with all of the shapes painted in. I had actually gone over the shapes a second time once it had dried.
Once the paint was dry I then went back over the edges of the shapes with some custom mixed turquoise paint.
Afterwards you will want to spray your rug with fabric protector. Here is a close up of my finished rug.
Here is my painted rug all finished!
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Katie Nathey

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

14 questions
  • Sue Peet
    on Feb 19, 2016

    I would like to know what kind of paint did you use? I don't want the brand just if its acrylic or oil.

    • Sabrina
      on Apr 10, 2016

      If you click on the link above your questions, she goes into a bit more detail. She states that you can either use acrylic or latex paint. I am wondering if there is a paint just for material? Guess I will have to read it again. Good luck!

    • Bai8050109
      on Jul 8, 2016

      Acrylic will last through many HOT laundries.

    • Marilee H
      on Nov 6, 2016

      There are craft paints that are specifically for fabrics, but they come in 2 oz. bottles, and limited colors.

    • Katie Nathey
      on Nov 7, 2016

      I mixed up random leftover latex paint and mixed it with fabric medium, you could even use paint markers if you wanted.

  • LadyJoker
    on May 10, 2016

    Do you use regular paint and add Fabric Medium to it - what would be the formula/ratio for the mix?

    • Katie Nathey
      on Nov 7, 2016

      I used leftover latex paint from random projects and don't remember the ratio, but I just followed the directions on the back of the fabric medium :)

  • Rita.gindi
    on Nov 6, 2016

    Can you please explain in detail how much fabric medium to latex paint is necessary, I went to your blog post, but couldn't find those explanations, thanks! Rug looks fabulous, thinking of doing a "Frozen" rug for our little one..

    • Katie Nathey
      on Nov 7, 2016

      To be honest, I can't remember but I just followed the directions on the back of the fabric medium which tells you what the ratio is. Ours was a little scratchy at first and then softened over time, but you may want to add a extra fabric medium if it's going to be in a kid's room. I love the idea!

    • Kathryn Sanderson
      on Apr 20, 2017

      Just chiming in to say I love the Frozen idea, too! Your little one is soooo lucky! :)

  • Gladys Benitez
    on Nov 6, 2016

    Really, really nice outcome! I'd like to know if rug can withstand carpet rug cleaning when needed?

    • Katie Nathey
      on Nov 7, 2016

      I no longer have this carpet but I did spot clean it with no issues. If you're going to use any chemicals I would test it in a small area first.

  • Westie
    on Apr 20, 2017

    Where do you get fabric medium?
    • Gina Bellini Mccrudden
      on Apr 20, 2017

      Hobby Lobby has it. If you iron it (yes, strange) the paint after it dries, they say it softens the paint. I would test it out first (the ironing part) on an old small area rug just to make sure it doesn't bleed. The fabric medium is about 2.99 a bottle.
    • Sharron Bennett
      on Mar 6, 2018

      Gorgeous. Great instructions.

  • M.T. Hawley
    on Apr 20, 2017

    What kind of paint did you use? Fabric paint or just latex from Lowe's or Home Depot?
  • Linda Premo
    on Mar 6, 2018

    Hi I like the way your rug turned out. Did you have any trouble with your paint running or bleeding out of your predrawn sharpie lines? Did your painted pattern crack over time?

  • Linda Premo
    on Mar 6, 2018

    Hi I like the way your rug turned out. Did you have any trouble with your paint running or bleeding out of your predrawn sharpie lines? Did your painted pattern crack over time?

  • Linda Premo
    on Mar 6, 2018

    Hi I like the way your rug turned out. Did you have any trouble with your paint running or bleeding out of your predrawn sharpie lines? Did your painted pattern crack over time?

    • Evestar
      on Mar 6, 2018

      Just a comment about your link to materials which may be the sites problem. It listed a carpet for $39 not $20 and it's a "shag". I would not paint a "shag" carpet.

  • Lorraine
    on Mar 7, 2018

    You didn’t mention what kind of paint you used, and what brand you used.

  • Lorraine
    on Mar 7, 2018

    You didn’t mention what kind of paint you used, and what brand you used.

  • Debbie
    on Apr 3, 2018

    what kind of paint did you use.would you use a seal on it at all.

    • Momo s
      on Oct 27, 2018

      Look at "all materials"...decoart crafters acrylic and golden fluid acrylic

  • Susan Severino
    on Nov 7, 2018

    Love it! Want to do mine. Where did you get fabric medium and can you purchase large amounts of it?

  • Jjqq
    on Nov 8, 2018

    Did rug come from Home Depot or Rugshop? Thanks

Join the conversation

2 of 126 comments
  • Noreen Schaan
    on Aug 27, 2019

    Bravo on this superb job! I love the awesome colors and the design. This is definitely a great idea for a plain old rug. I love it ! Thanks for sharing this awesome idea! Keep on DIY'ing..oh yeah 😉😊💖👌👍👍

  • Susan
    on Jan 17, 2020

    You went above and beyond on this one honey!!!

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