Wednesday, June 20, 2012

diy painted ikat rug

I picked up this super cheap rug on a recent trip to the store, and brought it home with intentions to paint it.  I have been using my painted beach bag a lot, and getting loads of compliments, so it inspired me to try my hand here.  I decided to try and replicate some of those gorgeous ikat patterns that I have been seeing everywhere lately.  If you've never heard the word ikat before- don't worry.  It's a recent word for me, too.  I was going around pronouncing it "eye- cat" like some fabric pedestrian, ha!  It's actually pronounced "ee- coht" apparently.  And the name refers to the way the threads are dyed before the process of weaving into a fabric.  So obviously this is "fake" ikat.  If you'd like your own painted ikat rug, first google "ikat" for inspiration.  I drew from many different patterns, and pretty much ended up with something unique.  Ikat is very forgiving in the pattern, as you will see, which makes it perfect to try and replicate with paint!  I do a lot of painting, but exact is NOT my thing.

Materials needed:
1. a plain rug of any size with a low pile
2. fabric paints or craft paints
3. various sized brushes

I decided on a rounded diamond shape that is very popular in ikat fabrics, and used that as my jumping off point.
I patted my paint brushes rather than stroking them across the rug.  Soon enough my pattern emerged!
When your own rough outline of a pattern emerges, it then becomes much easier because it's all about painting in the negative space.  I just kept the colors coming and layered them inside AND outside the pattern.  Not as hard as it looks, I promise.
And that is it!  This literally took me one hour to whip up.  And that's including stopping to take pictures!  Let dry for at least a few hours, depending upon paint type.  I used acrylic which dries quickly.  After drying, place your new rug somewhere that makes you happy!  My kitchen is a bit dark, so I knew it would perk it right up.
I completely expect some fading and wear as I stand on it to do dishes, but that will make it look even better, I believe.  I like this so much, I may try a bigger rug!  This would also be great on those plain outdoor rugs for a summer deck, no? 


  1. Great Work ,it looks amazing! Love the Colours ,the make me happy too :)

    Wish you a beautiful Day! xoxo

  2. Looks fantastic! Can't wait til I'm done with my son's room & can start doing some crafts with color!!

  3. Pretty, you are so creative and crafty! I love the colors that you chose too.

  4. That is truly amazing. So beautiful and expensive looking! Good work you!

  5. That is gorgeous. The colors, the texture, all of it. Beautiful creation.

  6. wow! I can't believe how talented you are! The rug looks amazing

  7. I seriously don't know how I missed this. Fantastic job, Ruthie. It's such a happy rug!

  8. What a great idea! So cool to see it done without a stencil. I'd love to do an ikat pattern on an accent wall or something but can't use stencils on our orangepeel finish--paint gets under the edges. This would be perfect! Or just fun to try on a canvas!! Thanks for the inspiration!


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