Digging the rug life

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In

Searching for DIY inspiration has become somewhat of a daily hobby for me. Recently, I came across a project that gave me one of those “Why-didn’t-I-think-of-that?” moments. The project entailed making your own rug with fabric. I cannot count the number of times I have visited stores or browsed online looking for the right rug, only to end up settling for nothing or for something that is just good enough. It never occurred to me that I could find fabric that I love and make one myself. If you are having the same problem and are in need of a DIY project to tackle, consider making a fabric rug of your own.
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Start by gathering your material. Decide what size rug you want, and choose a base.

You can use a rubber mat cut to size or scraps of vinyl flooring. (Both should be available at the hardware store.) You’ll also need heavy fabric, such as upholstery fabric or duck cloth, a mat knife, T-square, spray adhesive, water-based polyurethane, a paintbrush, an iron and ironing board.

If your base is not straight or cut to the right size, cut it yourself. Use the T-square and knife to ensure your cuts are straight.

Next, cut your fabric so that it is about 2 inches to 3 inches wider than the base on all four sides and iron it out to get it wrinkle-free.

In a well-ventilated area, spray the bottom side of the fabric and the smooth side of your base with the spray adhesive. You can skip the edges for now. Follow the directions on the can for the best results. When the surfaces are ready, press them together, smoothing out any bubbles or folds.

Before you move onto the edges, fold the corners into triangles that can easily tuck in when the edges go over the base. Then, spray the edges of the fabric and press them onto the bottom of the base. Allow the adhesive to thoroughly dry, again following the manufacturer directions for dry times.

Then, use your paintbrush to apply a thin layer of the water-based polyurethane to the fabric. Allow it to completely dry (overnight if possible), and then apply a second coat. Let that dry before adding additional coats. Some people suggest adding up to five coats total. Remember that the more coated the rug, the more resistant it will be to stains and dirt. You also can secure the fabric onto the base by duct taping the edges on the underside of the rug.

Have a question or comment for Joanne? Email her at thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.