Thursday, July 21, 2011

DIY Zebra Painted Rug

My sister, Jessica (sister #3), had her eye on the West Elm Safari Rug for some time.  She wanted it for a small nook in her dining room.  We went to the store a couple of weeks ago to pick it up, but the size that she needed was only available for delivery.  Bringing the cost of the rug to about $130.00.
Which I guess ended up being a good thing, because she fell in love with this Capiz Chandelier.  She figured her husband would not be thrilled with both purchases being made in one day. 

We considered keeping my younger sister's old West Elm rug for the space, but the brown was not working with her new grey chandelier.  Here's a picture of the brown one.
We sent each other about 20 texts that night and the idea of painting a rug came up.  I found a bunch of links, including this one by Tatertots and Jello and sent them to her.  She was sold.  We spent a couple of days trying to find a cheap enough rug, the right size, that would work.  She found the perfect one at Ross for $8.99, yup that's right.
This is what happens when you try taking a picture of a rug with a three year old in the house. The Batman crawl.
We used painters tape to block out the small edging the rug had. It really didn't stick that well, so we pressed down pretty hard.
We used wax paper to trace out the pattern in the original brown zebra rug pictured above.  The idea was genius and can really be done with any pattern. It would work great with florals and other graphics.  Here you can see the traced lines if you look closely enough.
We used a can of Martha Steward latex paint in a grey color.  We cut out the pattern from the wax paper. Basically, it was our stencil.  We placed the rug on her dining room table, to make it easier on our backs.
We found the best technique was to dab the paint on.  For a few reasons, you can see above the brush, where we actually brushed the paint on, it changes the texture of the rug.  We realized this after a few rows of painting.  Also, dabbing allowed for the paint to get into the actual rug piles/loops (whatever that's called).  Having the wax paper was key.  We just held it down and it actually allowed for sharper lines. When we tried to free hand a line, it looked blotchy.  
Here it is.  It took the two of us about two to three hours to get it done.  Thank goodness for my mom who was doing crafts with my niece and nephew.  Without her help, I think it would've taken like three days.
We were actually quite shocked at how incredible it looks.  There are no texture issues and the rug looks amazing. I think we stared at it for about an hour after we were done.  Actually, that whole night my sister would randomly text me pictures of it.
Here's a shot with the fabric memo board.  She is going to have the space painted and add a desk or console to the area
What do you think?  What a way to save about $110.00.  We can't remember what the can of paint cost, but figure about $20.00 for the whole project.  It's not a high traffic area, so we think the durability will be fine.  My sister's philosophy right now is, if it lasts a year, she'll get the real one then, but at least she got her chandelier and her rug.  I would have to agree.

I'll be linking up to these parties
The DIY Show Off



Cassie Bustamante 7/21/2011  

WOW! that is so awesome, jeanne! love love it! i am a huge fan of that west elm rug, but a bigger fan of thrifty spending..... love it!

Debbie-- 7/21/2011  

I looks better than the west elm, love the colors! I just painted my patio rug, glad someone thought of this!

Debbie-- 7/21/2011  

*It---Looks better than the west elm! (I wish I could type!)


Ruthie 7/21/2011  

this is SO genious!

PJ @ Planned in Pencil 7/21/2011  

I like it better than the West Elm version, yours has variation and depth while the west elm looks extremely fake.

Well done!

Anonymous,  7/21/2011  

I love zebra and this rug is to die for ! You sisters knocked this out of the park!
Kim @

cassie {hi sugarplum} 7/21/2011  

wow, another successful DIY! You rock!

Anna@Directions Not Included 7/21/2011  

It looks great!! I've been wanting to try a painted rug but was worried about texture.

Emily [On the V Side] 7/21/2011  

This really looks GREAT! Love it - Nice Job!


Katie 7/21/2011  

That's so awesome!! It looks like a designer rug! You guys did a great job!

Nancy @ Dream it...Build it...Style it! 7/21/2011  

Oh, this is genius!!! Love it!
Thanks for stopping by on my blog and following. It lead me to your blog-which is great!

Anonymous,  7/21/2011  

looks GREAT!

Beth @ Free Stylin' 7/21/2011  

Such a cool idea! The rug turned out beautiful. Great job!!

Alicia 7/21/2011  

Love this! I'm featuring you on my blog :)


Wow! This looks amazing--I have to agree: I like yours better than the original! :)

Rita 7/21/2011  

Awesome! I love the light gray color.

Ali Richardson 7/21/2011  

WOW!!!! SO awesome! It looks perfect! Great great job!

Holly Gruszka 7/21/2011  

Holy Moly that is amazing!!! What a great job!! It looks just like the West Elm one - big props ladies!!

Vicky 7/21/2011  

I am going to do one in my room. Thanks for making me again realize that it can be done!!

Gloria Fox 7/21/2011  

I'd love to feature your rug for tomorrow's Feature Friday.

Coley 7/21/2011  

that is so great and so cheap!! Flippin awesome :) Is it hard to the touch on the painted parts?

Coley at

elizabeth@themustardceiling 7/21/2011  

Great job, I never would have guessed it was DIY!

Sam | Away She Went 7/21/2011  

It looks amazing! I don’t want this to sound like I’d ever doubt your skillz, but I seriously can’t believe how awesome it turned out.

At The Picket Fence 7/21/2011  

That is absolutely fabulous!!! You guys did such a great job on it and the idea of using wax paper was genius! It looks great with the memo board and we are so glad you shared this with us at Inspiration Friday!

gail@My Repurposed Life 7/21/2011  

way cool! great job! brilliant to use the wax paper.

Unknown 7/21/2011  

I think it looks amazing! What a great job. The colors are great and by far it's better than the way more expensive one. Nice job!


Melz 7/21/2011  

wow! great job!!!

Nicole 7/21/2011  

I am loving this! I can't wait to try out some different patterns once we get our living areas painted. All of the rooms need rugs, and this is definitely a doable way to get 4 rugs at once.

Joi 7/22/2011  

This is awesome! I love the soft gray! Who would've thought that paper would have let you have such great lines! Way to go, ladies!

Jenny 7/22/2011  

It looks great!! Love, love, love it!

SkinnyMeg 7/22/2011  

Amazing! Love love love it and the price tag :)

Ashley Jones 7/22/2011  

I love the brown one too, but this is awesome!! Still have the brown one lying around? :)

Amy Gilman and Emily Lee (Sisters of the Wild West) 7/22/2011  

awesome. its simply fabulous. i would LOVE to have you link it up at our link party going on now.
we are your newest followers

Maury @ Life on Mars 7/22/2011  

So cute! Awesome job.

Tanya Anurag 7/22/2011  

What a way to save some bucks and still manage to have a wonderful rug at home. Kudos to both of you!!

Julie 7/22/2011  

I've been contemplating buying that west elm rug. Looks like I need to get busy instead!

McKelle 7/22/2011  

The rug looks amazing! I bought a bamboo rug, at Ross of course, that I've been planning on stencilling. Now that I've seen this, I can't wait to get started!

Rita 7/22/2011  

I know I already told you how much I love this rug, But I want to also let you know that I will be featuring it on my blog tomorrow. Please come and grab a button when you get a chance.

Amy 7/22/2011  

Looks amazing. I have had a rug in my laundry room for 2 months that i plan on painting - just afraid to do it. You're giving me a bit of a push to do it! 7/22/2011  

that looks so great! good job :)

Lina - Fancy Frugal Life 7/22/2011  

I think you did an awesome job! I don't think I'm that brave yet. Ha

Fancy Frugal Life

Lisa @ Cozy Condo Living 7/22/2011  

Wow. I'm so impressed and inspired to paint my own rug. I'm usually not a big fan of animal prints, but I really like that the stripes are a bit muted. Very nice!!!

Simply Jessabells 7/22/2011  

Love it. You make it look so simple! Thanks so much for sharing.

Chelsea @ two twenty one 7/23/2011  

It looks amazing! Fabulous job!

Unknown 7/23/2011  

Wow! You have definitely inspired me to try something like this! Maybe for our master bath...Thanks for sharing! Now following you.

Carol, The Answer Is Chocolate 7/23/2011  

Oh my gosh this is beyond fabulous! You did an amazing job!

Sarah @ So Not Donna Reed 7/23/2011  

What a great project! It looks very rich & expensive - no one would ever guess it only cost $20. Nice job!

Brooke 7/23/2011  

Wow!! I'm really impressed, it looks fantastic.

Lo 7/23/2011  

No kidding, that looks fantastic!! I love the gray that you chose. Thanks for the inspiration.

Natasha Johnson 7/23/2011  

im over here fom tatertots and jello. let me tell you, this project makes me smile. i love zebra print

oops! 7/24/2011  

Love it! Going to have to try this! 7/24/2011  

Love that it is DIY!! Makes it even more special. It's beautiful!!


Lolly Jane 7/24/2011  

This is AWESOME! Love the pattern you chose- looks fab in gray! Nice job :) Hope you will show this off @ our weekend linky party going on! Happy Sunday!

:)Kristi & Kelli

Decor To Adore 7/25/2011  

What an adorable DIY project! Thank you so much for sharing.

Happy Monday!

Bethany @ A Fish Who Likes Flowers 7/25/2011  

This is awesome!!! I have a rug that I've been wanting to paint, but unfortunately, the boyfriend wouldn't be as thrilled about the zebra stips as I would be. You did such a good job!

Karena 7/25/2011  

This rug DIY turned out beautifully!! I love it and it is perfect for the space!


Art by Karena

Exciting New $150 Giveaway from Dr Perricone! Come and Enter!

Unknown 7/26/2011  

Love this! It looks amazing!

Patti @ Pandoras Box 7/26/2011  

Just the design and color - well done!

Dee ⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️ 7/26/2011  

So smart and a clever way to change a rug.


Mikey Fuller 7/26/2011  

This is FAB! I love what you have done! And the Grey color makes it even better! Thanks for sharing!
Now Following!

~Mikey @ Shabby French Cottage

Stephanie 7/27/2011  

This is awesome!!! Thanks for sharing all the steps :)

Mimi 7/27/2011  

I love this rug in gray and can't wait to see the finished space. :) I've been using freezer paper for stencils and haven't tried wax paper. I feel like I saw somewhere that you could maybe iron it onto fabric but I bet carpet would be tough. And I haven't been in Ross for a long time. I can't wait to go see what they have. I need some new rugs.
Thank you so much for sharing this!

Chrissy 7/28/2011  

I LOVE this!!! You can't ever go wrong with animal print & your rug is so chic! Very subtle but super cute! Can't wait to try one myself!!
I'm a new follower too!


Chrissy 7/28/2011  

I LOVE this!!! You can't ever go wrong with animal print & your rug is so chic! Very subtle but super cute! Can't wait to try one myself!!
I'm a new follower too!

Chrissy @

Spunky Junky 7/29/2011  

Holy mac that is awesome! I totally want that rug! I am featuring you in the morning, good job chicka!


~Kerrin 7/29/2011  

Beautiful job!! I have been trying to get the guts to paint a rug myself- you have really given me the confidence! Way to go! I found you via HOH and I am now added you to my list of fav blogs!

Laura Beth 7/29/2011  

I'm SO impressed with this DIY rug. You did a great job creating the design from wax paper. Featuring this project at Blogland's Fabulous Friday Finds!

Heidi 7/31/2011  

You've inspired me! I've been rug shopping on the internet but everything I want (8' x 10') is out of my price range. However I do have access to a lot of plain beige Berber. I am seeing visions of reddish-orange zebra stipes... :)

Meggan 7/31/2011  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marie 8/02/2011  

That turned out so awesome! I've been wanting to paint a rug for my family room so thanks for the tips! I'm your newest follower! Come follow me to.

Jae 8/02/2011  

the DIY painted rug is awesome. So creative!

Unknown 8/04/2011  

Luv Luv Luv this rug... just wanted you to know I featured this on my TooT {TuTe} Thursday over at today!

Unknown 8/06/2011  

Awesome! Love the grey too (and I'm not usually a grey fan) Thanks for all the tips - great tute.

Have you considered submitting it to or ? Not my sites - just good friends ;)

Dropping by from Addicted 2 Decorating.

Jori Hodgson 8/06/2011  

This looks lovely! Do you think this solution wouldn't hold up in a high traffic area? We have such an awkward living room that connects to everything else downstairs and I have really struggling to find a solution that is inexpensive. Our living room is our most use area too! Think it would be okay?

Cassie {Hi Sugarplum} 9/01/2011  

I'm singing your praises on this rug today in my post!

Kim 9/04/2011  

This rug is unbelievable! It looks great! Thanks for sharing the tutorial too. I'm feeling inspired :)

Kelly 9/08/2011  

Love this! How does the paint hold up? Is it better for lower traffic areas or would it work pretty much anywhere?

Sarah @ This Crazy Blessed Life 9/08/2011  

Amazing! I found it on CSI Project and I love it!!!!

shani @ 9/08/2011  

Beautiful! I almost let my banana bread scorch because I was too busy admiring your rug:-) I'm also wondering whether the paint will hold up to everyday wear and tear.

Megan 9/09/2011  

That turned out amazing. Definitely looks store bought. I am visiting from CSI and this looks like an awesome knock off.

Suki Lotti 9/11/2011  

Woot! I'm glad I saw your rug on CSI today because I just bought a rug (carpet remnant) that I want to stencil but then I was reading some things on stenciling rugs and started to freak out a little bit that my rug would just be all stiff and horrible because it's got little loop things. But it's just like this rug!! I'm so painting it.

Andrea @ Decorating Cents 12/09/2011  

You were featured. Please come by and grab a button.

Carol,  2/20/2012  

Try using a textile medium with paint for this project. It even works to paint furniture - Mr Goodwill Hunting did a great job on two wings chairs - check out his blog...

Anonymous,  2/21/2012  

So glad I found this, I was totally eyeing the same rug! I hope when I do this it turns out as well as yours! THANKS for posting this!

Brian 3/23/2012  

You are not a painter. Isn’t that after all, why you are hiring a painter.
house painter phoenix

G'ma S. 4/20/2012  

What a great idea.... and it looks fab. !!

Plastic card printing 2/12/2013  

I am going to do one in my room. Thanks for making me again realize that it can be done!!

Anonymous,  10/05/2017  

Can you update the link to the pics? They aren't coming up anymore. Awesome job!

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Ashlee Rolfson 6/21/2023  

Thank you for sharing this inspiring DIY tutorial. I can't wait to try it out myself, and I hope others will find it equally enjoyable.

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