My house has no carpet, which is a good thing because I would never get the fine, red dust out of it.  Instead we have tile and linoleum.  In the winter, that means things can get a little bit cold on your feet. Luckily, I came across a DIY to make a rug.  It’s super simple, and you can one-stop-shop this at Home Depot.  You will need:

  • One canvas drop cloth (6×9)
  • 1.5 inch painter’s tape
  • 4-7 paint testers
  • Brushes

Unfortunately I can’t seem to locate the original tutorial, but I found it on this site (which is fabulous and you should follow!).



  1. Wash your drop cloth.  This will help take care of all the little strings on it as well as make sure you have a clean surface to work on.  I hang dry all my clothes, so I did not put this in the dryer.  I’m not really sure if that would make any sort of difference.
  2. Tape around the edges of your canvas.  Just line up the tape with the edge and go around all 4 sides.
  3. Now it’s time to tape off the grid. Because the drop cloth is a nominal 6×9 (just like a 2×4), it’s not actually 6×9, so keep in mind that it’s okay to be a little bit rough with your measurements.  Your squares should be about 18 inches x 20 inches.  When you tape the grid lines, be sure to keep the lines straight.  Also, you want 3 inches between each square, so you want to double your tape.  (Also, your tape is most likely not 1.5 inches, but rather something like 1.41.  So, again, it’s okay to be a little rough with your measurements.)
  4. Once everything is taped, determine your paint order.  I used 4 colors, but the original tutorial used 7.  Make sure to place the colors next to each other and make sure you like how they look.  Even with just 4 colors, I didn’t like every possible order.
  5. Lay down a tarp to paint on top of, or paint somewhere that you don’t mind if the paint bleeds through (and it will).  Paint each of the squares.
  6. Once everything is dry, remove the tape.  You can also choose to spray an outdoor coating over the rug so it can be used on a patio instead of inside.  I did not do this step.
  7. Smile to yourself whenever someone compliments your new rug and wonders how you found one with colors that match your décor so well.

Tips and Tricks

  • It’s okay to pull up your grid and re-lay the tape if you decide you need to change your measurements a little.  I pulled up my tape multiple times because I wanted it to look just a little bit better.
  • I used a ruler similar to this one (I can’t find my actual one) when laying out the tape.  It really helped that it was see-through because nothing about this project is perfectly square, and being able to create my own version of square based off my tape lines was very useful.
  • I used 4 colors to keep my cost down.  The little sample paints run about $3.50 each, and I was trying to keep this project around $30.  Paint was my biggest expense.  I was able to complete the entire project with just those 4 testers, but the last square of each color made me a little nervous.  If I had laid it on thicker earlier, I would not have made it.
  • I used foam brushes when painting, and this was not my best idea.  The rough canvas really tore up the brushes and I ended up tossing all of them at the end.  Use a regular brush and save yourself some headache.
  • Don’t get paint that is too similar in color.  I originally did not have that purple color.  Well, I thought I had picked a purple color, but, in reality, it was so similar to my blue that it might as well have been the same. (They looked different in the paint chips!)  I ended up buying some regular acrylic paint to put on top of the tester paint to make the more purple color.  I don’t know if this project is possible in all craft paint, but it will take you several 2oz bottles of a color if you’re going to try.  (Looking back, I should have added the purple craft paint to my tester instead of layering them.  That probably would have worked.)
  • My rug is not weatherproofed and I can throw it in the washing machine without a problem.  I have washed it several times now (the dogs keep tracking in mud on it), and it has held up to my (so far 3) washings.  I would assume the same is true if you decide to weather proof your rug, but I don’t know.  (Again, I don’t use a dryer, so my rug has been in a washing machine and then hung dry.)


This project ended up costing $30 plus tax.  I spent $14 on paint, $10 on the drop cloth, and $5 on the tape.  I already had a tarp and brushes.  Overall, I don’t think that’s too much for a rug.  I did find online a 2 pack of the drop cloths for $10, so that would help bring your overall cost down.  You and a friend could spend an afternoon making your own rugs and chatting.  Also, one roll of tape is probably enough for two rugs.  (Though it might be a little short?  I don’t know.  I am still using the roll I bought in small pieces for other projects, and it feels like enough was left for another rug.)  Since I was using wall paint, you could probably use left over paint from your own house and save some more.  I used matte testers, but I’m sure you could use another finish with fine results.

I liked this project.  But I also like to paint.  Since we are renting, this was a great way for me to add my own pops of color without doing anything permanent.  Also, if the rug gets ruined, I won’t feel bad about it because I didn’t spend a lot of money on it and I had fun making it.  When it comes time to move, I can use it to wrap up some of our picture frames, and use it or not in the new place.  It would also make a cool wall hanging if that was more my style.  So many options for such a simple project!


2 thoughts on “DIY Rug

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