Have been looking for budget ways to decorate my new apartment in New England. And in my guest bedroom/office I’ve been working on creating a cozy space with a bohemian/hippy-ish vibe. I decided the room needed something on the wood floor to protect it, create a nice focal point and be easy to clean. Having cats, wall to wall carpeting or thick pile area rugs that I have to vacuum constantly is not an option!
For that reason I was drawn to the idea of printed vinyl area rugs that I had seen on a few sites. But for the size I needed (4×6) they ran $300 and up. That’s when I started searching for tutorials on how to make my own for less.
Taking tips from various DIY home dec sites on how to make one (everyone has their own specific methods and products they use) I came up with a plan.
I would whip up a floor mat from a vinyl sheet flooring remnant and Moroccan style stencils that match the colors used in the room.
Here’s my recipe for creating a boho inspired painted vinyl area rug. But this method works, no matter what design you want to go with. The options are endless.
Vinyl remnant- You can purchase 9 x 12 remnants from Home Depot or Lowes for about $30.
Also, be sure you buy the thicker vinyl remnants that feel like vinyl on the backside. I noticed some stores had really thin product that felt like paper on the back. Don’t use that kind.
Paint roller for applying primer and the base color.
Foam roller for applying acrylic finish.
Paint tray and disposable liners
White latex primer
Flat latex paint for base/background color
Polyacrylic satin finish
Masking or painters tape
Stencils in Moroccan motifs
Containers/cups for stencil paint
220 grit sandpaper or sanding block
Utility knife with sharp blade
I unrolled the remnant and let it rest so it flattened out a bit. Also, the L square is invaluable for making sure all corners are totally square. I was making a 4 x 6 mat, so I only used 1/2 the remnant.
On some sites, they recommend painting the back side of the vinyl. I think that is probably a good choice if you’ve got a vinyl with a lot of shine on it. But mine did not. So I chose to paint the “right” side. Plus I liked the idea of having the “lines” in the pattern. It actually helps when trying to line up the stencils. But I did lightly sand it before priming.
I just used a store brand multi-purpose indoor/outdoor latex primer and slapped on two coats, which was plenty of coverage.
You can have the paint department mix you up sample sizes of paint for a few dollars so you don’t have to spend for a gallon of paint you won’t use. It took two of these samples to put about three coats over the primer. And that included doing over a section because one of my cats insisted on walking on it while it was still wet. So if you have pets, be sure to keep them confined in another room when doing this.
So here’s what it looks like right before the stencil work begins. Of course, make sure the paint is very dry on the mat as you’ll be having to crawl all over it. And if you make a mat that is too large to place on a table for stenciling, you may want to use a cushion or knee pads for all the work on the floor. Trust me on this one. Ouch!
This is important if you have a specific pattern you’re going for. I had been looking at real Moroccan rugs when I got this idea, so many of the motifs were symmetrical. It is more time consuming though because of all the measuring. . You can always do a random pattern so you don’t have to be so precise in your design layout.
For the paint I used Martha Stewart craft acrylic paints, but any brand would work. Though I did really like her color palettes and how richly saturated they looked.
You only need to squeeze a little bit of paint at a time into the container and when you press the brush into the paint you need to swirl it around and pounce it to release excess paint. Basically you don’t want to overload the brush so that paint runs under the stencil.
I decided I wanted my larger Mandala stencil to be two tone. It’s a little trickier to do, but if you look at the close up you can see how I angled the stencil brush a little when applying paint where the second color meets the first. I found the technique of holding the brush that way kept me from pouncing paint onto the green. I also used a smaller brush.
Also, if you do end up going outside the lines here and there you can always fix with a thin bristle paint brush later. No biggie.
Once you’re done with your stencil design, load up a foam roller with polyacrylic to finish. I read many posts that said polyurethane will eventually yellow, but clear acrylic won’t. Also, depending on if your mat is going in a high traffic area, you may want to go for more finish layers. 16 ounces will be enough for 6 coats.
And finally, sand lightly between dry coats of acrylic with 220 grit sandpaper or block. I found the polyacrylic dries pretty quickly. So didn’t take too long for the multiple coats.
Voila, my masterpiece! Not too shabby for my first try. And it looks really cute in the room. I did put one of those non-skid rug pads underneath. Though I think it would have been ok without.
I guesstimate my total investment to be around $100 and I’ve still got plenty of supplies left to make one to go in the kitchen!
Till next time
Linking up with Catherine from Not Dressed as a Lamb for her #SaturdayShareLinkup.