Tuesday, October 25, 2011

DIY Painted Geometric Ikea Erslev Rug

The past couple months I have been on the lookout for an affordable decorative rug but we all know how expensive rugs are.  A large area rug can easily be $500 and up so I decided to make my own.  I first came across this DIY project through the amazing blog Design*Sponge and oh-so-creative Holly.  I'm sorry  that I cannot claim this as my own design and creation.  It came from Holly and I made a couple tweaks to the instructions because I used a bigger Ikea Erslev rug which had the dimensions of 5' 11" by 8' 2".

Time Commitment
2 to 3 hours to tape the rug
2 hours to cut the tape design on rug
1 1/2 hours to paint
Estimated total time spent:  6 1/2 hours + clean up time

1 Ikea Erselv rug 5'11" by 8' 2"
2 quarts of paint (I used the Olympic flat paint in Admirality and bought a gallon to be cost effective)
4 4-ounce Liquitex fabric medium bottles (fyi, fabric medium is also known as textile medium)
1 paint roller (I used a 9-inch roller)
1 paint brush
1 paint tray
2 rolls of 1.4 inch wide Frog tape
yard stick 
x-acto knife
1 5-quart mix and measure plastic bucket (to mix the paint and fabric medium)
paint mixing stick
plastic sheeting

Here are my notes and instructions
*I underlined a couple important points I noticed during the process.

I knew I was working with a bigger rug than Holly so I needed more squares for the design.  I made 6 squares across the 5' 11" side of the rug and 8 squares across the 8' 2" side of the rug.  I made each square exactly 8 1/2 inches wide (including the tape widths on each side) and spread the squares 3 inches in between one another.  Holly's design was inspired by Jonathan Adler's design.  I had to look up the design for myself to see the original vision for the rug design.

I noticed a couple things while I was calculating the dimensions for the design.  The Frog tape I used to make the tape design on the rug was 1.4 inches wide (not 1.5 inches like some of the labels will say).  Also, I calculated the dimension of 5'11" by 8' 2" to be 71 inches by 98 inches.  However, when I actually measured the rug, it was 71 inches by 94 inches.  I wasted an hour of time taping and re-taping one side because the dimensions were off so measure the rug before you start taping and calculate the dimensions.  I did not include the time spent on my mishap in my estimated total time spent mentioned earlier in this post.  My lesson learned.  Do not trust the dimensions on the label of the rug.  I don't know if it just happened to me or all the rugs are like this. 

First, I laid out the rug on plastic sheeting and started to tape the rug with the help of my yard stick and scissors.  I took lots of breaks during this part of the project.  It gets a bit tiring to be completely honest.  Easy but tiring.

My sweet little dog kept me company the entire time.  She really is my BFF.

I used long pieces of tape to go across the rug and short pieces of tape to connect the squares.  The ridges of the rug really helped to keep my lines pretty straight.

I carefully cut the design with an x-acto knife.  I was first scared that I could cut the rug with the x-acto knife but it only cut the tape.  This task takes some precision.

Before you paint, press down on the edges of the tape to make sure the seal is as tight as it can be.  

Mix the paint and fabric medium in a plastic bucket.  I used a mix and measure plastic bucket that had measurement labels on the side so I could pour exactly 2 quarts of paint into the bucket.  When I mixed the fabric medium into the paint, I noticed that the white fabric medium made my paint color a shade or 2 lighter than I originally planned.  It turned out looking nice in the end but please be aware of that.

Paint away.  Be careful to get all the white spots but also do not press too hard on the rug with the paint roller.  The paint will seep in under the Frog tape if you press really hard.  The tape works very well but wasn't prepared for my husband's enormous muscles and strength when he rolled the paint out.  I'm being completely sarcastic but you know what I mean.  If you have some hard spots, go over it with a good ol' paint brush. 

The rug will dry overnight and you can start peeling the tape off once it is completely dry.

I was really happy that the paint dried really well.  It is not flake-y and does not peel!  Yay!

So all in all, I spent $60 on the rug, $26 on the fabric medium that I bought online and had to pay shipping for, $19 on the flat paint,  $16 on the Frog tape, $3 on the plastic bucket.... a total of $124 and the rest of the equipment I already had on hand.  A custom area rug created for a fraction of the normal cost.  Mission accomplished!

EDIT:  This is my vision for a possible living room design.  There are so many possibilities! 

Photo Credit:  Elle Decor


DrunkOnShoes said...

HOLY BALLS!!!! Mon that looks amazing!!!!!!!! Good friggin' job! I am super blown away!

the almost 40 year old intern said...

you did a great job on this!!!! love the color choice! yeah, it's the taping that takes a long time but in my opinion totally worth it!

Monica said...

thanks DOS! =)

holly, i totally agree with you. the taping takes a long time but it is totally totally worth it! thank you so much for your notes! i couldn't have done it without your post!

Kathy said...

This looks so good! Great job, Mon!

Elizabeth said...

Very cool! I think I may have to try this!

Anonymous said...

You are AMAZING. That's ALL! -Ryann

LandofNams said...


Brandi said...

Do you know how awesome you are? This is so amazing! You rocked it!

Olga said...

What do you cut the design for? Is it necessary?
Your rug looks awesome!!!

Oh Sweet Escape said...

thanks for the compliments!! =)

prat said...

Hi..The rug looks pretty! I see that you used wall paint and it came out wonderful. I also saw a lot of other posts by other people who have used latex paint and fabric paint. But most of these were for stenciled patterns. I would like to paint my rug a bright solid color and then add patterns on top of it. I was wondering what paint I should use? Does painting the whole rug make it stiff? Which is better for my needs? Please let me know. Thanks!

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