Saturday, April 13, 2013

In Search of the Perfect Rug

I want color, I want pattern, I want cushioning, I want durability but when I shopped for that in a rug for the kitchen I came up empty handed. Pinterest to the rescue (sort of). I found this idea shared by two DIY blogs (I Am a Momma Here Me Roar and All Parenting) and thought I better give it a try.

For this project you need a plastic mat, fabric (length/width of mat), scissors, spray adhesive, paint brush, and water-based Polycrylic.

I found a plastic, cushioned rug at Wal-Mart (maybe $10?). The sites suggested the thin ones with a smooth side but I need comfort when I am standing in the kitchen. I thought the texture of the mat was going to show through the fabric but it ended up being fine. If possible get a smooth mat. 

I think the hardest part was finding the fabric. I really wated color but am a bit conservative so I finally settled on a grey and cream chevron ($8yd from Hobby Lobby). I cut the fabric so that it would wrap around the mat and have about 3" on the back. Next time I promise to be more daring with color. My plan is to find something with some orangey-reds in it.

To adhere the fabric to the mat you need a spray adhesive. My #1 tip...follow the directions on the can. If it says wait 30-60 seconds to apply fabric after spraying then do it. They aren't lying. I have had a can of spray adhesive for years and it comes in very handy. No idea how much it costs, Mikey picked it up from the floral company he worked for. 

The water-based Polycrylic I found at Wal-Mart. I was surprised that it was $17 a quart. I applied 3 coats with a paint brush letting each coat dry for more than 3 hours before adding the next. When I painted it on it did appear that I could see the texture in the mat but then when it dried all was good. I think next time I might apply 5 coats.
Here is what I did:
  1. Cut fabric by laying it flat with the mat on top. Cut it 3" larger than mat.
  2. Iron fabric to get creases out.
  3. Set up table with news paper and strips of wax paper to go around the edges of the mat.
  4. Lay mat on table with top side up. Lay fabric over mat with print side up to dry fit it. Extra 3" around edges will hang over. Do not tuck under until after applying Polyacrilic.
  5. Folded back half the fabric and spray adhesive over half. Let set for suggested time.
  6. Apply fabric smoothing out wrinkles and bubbles as you go.
  7. Repeat with other half of fabric. And let dry.
  8. Paint 3-5 layers of Polycrylic over entire piece of fabric edge to edge. Let dry for 3 hours between coats.
  9. Once completely dry, flip mat and fabric over. Dry fit edges around the back creasing the edges and folding in the corners neatly (see image).
  10. Carefully spray adhesive where the fabric will lay (I blocked rest of mat with newspaper to keep overspray from occurring). Press down firmly until completely stuck and let dry overnight. I set heavy books on top of the edges to help them stick.

So far this one has held up pretty well. If that continues I have many more mats to make in the near future.

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