Emily Winters: My New Favorite DIY Project

Last time I was in Ikea, I picked up a 55″ x 79″ ERSLEV rug for $39.99. I looked around for months for an affordable rug for a child’s bedroom, and only ended up being both overwhelmed and dissatisfied at the options within my price range. This simple rug felt like a good fit for now, especially considering it’s going to meet its fair share of markers, glue, and crayons over the next few years. Stark white rugs are pretty, but I came to terms even before I left Ikea that it’s bound to show wear, so I decided to embrace that mindset and set out to use it as my own canvas first.

Rolled out onto the back deck it’s a little hard to scale the actual size of this rug, but it was a great proportion for the bedroom it would soon live in. It’s fresh, it’s clean, and it’s something that will hold up well to my hand painted designs, high-traffic, and Lego construction.

Getting ready to paint our carpet!

Keep on reading to see my finished design and our new gold-accented area rug. I think you’re really going to like it.

If you’re setting out to design a pattern on your own rug, you’re going to want to be congnisent of the weave of your base. The flat weave on this white Ikea rug was the perfect canvas because it has no nap. I was eager to get started.

Close-up detail of the carpet from Ikea.

I gave a lot of consideration to the design that I was going to paint on this rug; I wasn’t afraid of doing something that would require a lot of attention to detail, but am more comfortable doing something to template (like our once dotted sunroom floor, or my ikat pattered closet) rather than a freehanded design. In deciding to keep a modern edge on this project, I decided to paint a series of large half circles in a repeating pattern the full length of the rug. To decide on the dimensions, I measured the entire rug and divided up the available area so that I would be left with exactly 12 half circles (6 in two columns), each sized 12″h x 24″w. The up-front measurements were important to me so that I could plan to end with the last part of the pattern completely on the rug with an even 3″ white border all around. I even took into account the width of the tape as it would serve as the consistent spacer between each repeating pattern.

To begin this design, I measured and taped off the first of the guide lines on the surface with masking tape so that I could keep the design consistent all the way down. The masking tape also doubled as painter’s tape, ensuring that the straight line of our half circle would be even and consistent. I did this project slowly over the course of a few days, painting only two side-by-side half-circles at a time to eliminate the risk of me accidentally smudging the wet surface. Folding the rug like an accordion worked more efficiently than if I had moved all of the furniture out of the living room and claimed the room as my project space for days upon end (we have a small house, and we just can’t live like that). This whole design is going to make a lot more sense as you read on.

Start your rug painting project with a carefully measured template.

I’m on a self-imposed mission to add golden accents to our home over the next few months, so I picked up a few small cans of Martha Stewart paint in Golden Pearl, favoring it more than any fabric paint golds that I came across in my travels. It’s soft and subtly metallic, not loud and brassy, and it was bound to complement the pinks and birch tones in her bedroom today. Plus, at just $4.97/each, I was able to buy three containers for less than $15 and cover a lot of ground, literally and figuratively.

Specialty finish paint from Martha Stewart.

The half-circle design was simple enough to paint quickly and easily, and I was able to ensure some degree of consistency with the help of a quick template that I made of craft paper to ensure that each half circle was shaped identically. With the stencil in place between the boundaries determined by my carefully positioned masking tape, I used a colored pencil to lightly create an outline to paint within.

Painting the rug gold with the help of a custom template.

The line was noticeable enough to be useful, and subtle enough to be disguised from afar. I painted right up on top of that line too, so in the end product it’s not even visible.

Painting a gold pattern with the help of a template.

Three containers of paint proved to be just enough. The coverage was good, and the entire project only required one coat, so long as I was careful to wedge the brush in between the shallow crevices of the fabric.

Painting gold details onto our new rug.

The finished project is a charmer, a glowing contemporary game changer in our little girl’s bedroom.

A finished hand painted contemporary rug.

When I laid it down, I did add a non-skid rug pad, but instead of buying something sized to match our carpet exactly, I bought yardage from JoAnn Fabrics at just $7.48/yard (and then used a 50% off coupon to get a steal of a deal. It adds the perfect amount of cushion beneath the carpet, and completely locks it into place on our wooden floor.

Did you know you can buy yardage of rug mats at the craft store?

This new gold, contemporary-designed rug is the perfect little addition to our home.

Gold painted carpet for a kid's room.

Have you painted any rugs recently yourself?

Catching the home improvement bug at an early age, Emily Winters is a now a devoted DIYer living in Rochester, NY. The projects she covers on her blog Merrypad range from painting a wall to building a deck, so it’s only natural she landed at DIYNetwork.com. You can follow Emily on twitter at @merrypad and like her on facebook at facebook.com/merrypad.


19 Responses

  1. new year says:

    thanks for sharing with us that awesome artilcle you have amazing blog.new year 2016 happy new year 2016 dd

  2. [...] might say that I’m a busy little bee over here as I create patio sideboards, paint rugs, and work on an assortment of other blog projects, but I’m also preparing for one of the [...]

  3. [...] white craft paper that I have on a spool. I picked gold paint, the same gold paint that I used on this carpet. With the paint spread thin onto a plate, it becomes an [...]

  4. product you get an affiliate commission.a good…

    blog will start with anywhere from 10-20 posts to get it off on a good start.once we have that in place we will work on adding adsense ads. in this case i have the pro review theme and a layout that…

  5. [...] white craft paper that I have on a spool. I picked gold paint, the same gold paint that I used on this carpet. With the paint spread thin onto a plate, it becomes an [...]

  6. [...] The furniture in my daughter’s room is predominantly IKEA-birch, and we decided to leave the majority of the wood au natural so that it fit into the overall design, but we did paint gold scallops (or, clouds) using leftover Martha Stewart metallic paint that I had used to paint a design on her bedroom rug. [...]

  7. eddie milby says:

    shin guards &knee protecters

  8. Patti says:

    Wouldn't this be fun to paint a mural on it?!!

  9. educatoranne says:

    Thank you for sharing this! I have been looking for ideas for a rug for my sons floor at home! I may try a different template but the rug and idea are awesome!

  10. Moodyvega says:

    Do not allow elderly relatives in the room or they are sure to trip and break their hip…

  11. pincushiondoll says:

    Love it!

  12. Barb says:

    I love it. Perfect for any room!!

  13. [...] via: Emily Winters: My New Favorite DIY Project Category: Home Tags: Emily, Favorite, Project, [...]

  14. Lyndon says:

    The floor rug padding is a true design.

  15. Meghan says:

    Such a good tip about getting rug padding via Joann and a coupon! I had no idea they sold that stuff.

    • merrypad says:

      It was a magical day that the lightbulb went off on that one. BIG SAVINGS! Hope it serves you well too!

  16. Very nice! You also could have done that on a blank canvas floorcloth. When you finish a floorcloth with several layers of clear coat you get a rug which can be damp mopped and will last for decades! Check it out at http://canvasworksfloorcloths.com.

  17. [...] think you’re going to like today’s project for DIY Network; it sings a merry tune, shines effortlessly, and adds a wonderful, modern touch to Julia’s [...]


About Emily Fazio 


I caught the home improvement bug at an early age, and now I'm a full-time DIYer living in Rochester, NY. The projects I cover on my blog Merrypad range ...

More About Emily Fazio