In this post, learn how to make your own DIY stencilled rug to add pattern and interest to any space without breaking your budget!
We’ve really been enjoying our new mud room ever since we finished that project this spring. It’s beautiful and functional and it really is everything I’ve ever wanted in a mud room. Somehow though, despite the exposed brick wall, the fun green painted French door, and the beautiful grey cabinetry, I still felt like the room looked a little plain when I saw it in photos. It needed a little pattern and I though a rug or two would be the perfect addition(s) to the room. That’s how this DIY stencilled rug project was born!
Why a DIY Stencilled Rug
Beautiful patterned rugs are pretty easy to find, but I was having a hard time finding two matching rugs in the exact size that I needed. We also use our mud room for actual muddy boots pretty frequently and I knew I didn’t want to spend a fortune on some fancy rugs for that room. I just knew I would cringe every time someone walked on them with wet or muddy boots if I spent hundreds of dollars on these mud room rugs. I’ve also been on a bit of a stencilling kick lately so I knew that stencils would be a great solution for adding just the type of pattern that I had in mind for this room!
Supplies for The DIY Stencilled Rug
To make your own stencilled rug, you’ll need:
- A stencil. I used the Brush Strokes Wall Stencil which my friends at Cutting Edge Stencils sent to me for this project.
- A rug or rugs
- Acrylic craft paint
- Fabric medium (kind of optional)
- A stiff flat paint brush
If you can find a plain utility-type of rug in a size and color that works for your space, perfect. We weren’t able to, so we ended up going to the section of our local Home Depot where they have all the different types of carpeting and vinyl flooring on big rolls. We were able to find a grey color of indoor/outdoor rug that worked perfectly for this project, that we just cut to our own custom size. When you’re looking for a rug, you want something with a relatively flat weave so it’s easy to stencil your pattern on to.
How to Cut Your Rug to Size if Necessary
We used a utility knife to cut our rug, along with a couple of 2x4s to give us something soft to cut into. A big square was really helpful for measuring and also for ensuring that the sides of our rugs we square when we cut them.
We used Gorilla Tape on the back of the rugs around their perimeter to help them lay flat and also to keep the edges from fraying.
How to Stencil Your DIY Stencilled Rug
Stencilling on a rug is surprisingly forgiving if you’re used to stencilling on walls and other smooth surfaces. A few things to note:
- You won’t be able to hold your stencil in place like you can on a wall, so you really need to be aware if it moves at all. Working really quickly makes it easier to keep the stencil straight. The more slowly you go, the more the stencil seems to move throughout the whole process. If you find that the stencil does shift, just re-align it with what you’ve painted so far and keep going!
- Use a stiffer brush instead of a soft brush like you would use for a wall so you can really work the paint into the fibres of the rug.
- You don’t really need to unload the paint from your brush the way you usually would on a wall. There’s no need to “dry brush” because the paint soaks in and sticks the moment it touches the fibres of the rug. So no paint bleed!
- I found that for this particular stencil, the best thing to do was to load the brush with a medium amount of paint and then just go through 4-5 “brush strokes” before reloading again. This gave me a nice, soft look, a good distribution of paint, and it allowed me to move through stencilling a whole rug really quickly!
For my rug, I used a little extra piece that we cut off as a “tester” and once I was fairly comfortable with the technique, I just went to town! If you don’t have any extra pieces, some cardboard will work just fine.
I actually didn’t use a fabric medium on mine, since I don’t mind a bit of a rougher rug surface to wipe boots on, but if you want a softer rug, like if you’re stencilling a rug for your living room, mix your paint with equal parts fabric medium.
DIY Stencilled Rug: The Results
Here’s how the new rugs look in the mud room! They were exactly what I was hoping for. If I ever want to add a little pattern to my life in the form of a rug, I would definitely do this stencilling thing again in a heartbeat!
Have you ever stencilled a rug before? What has been your favourite stencilling project that you’ve done so far?
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.