An Ikea Rug Makeover

UPDATE: I’ve added the stencil to DIY your own Moroccan rug in this other post.

I love the dark wood floors we have in our home. The problem is that, since they are so dark, they show every little bit of dust, especially in the living room, which gets a lot of traffic. So I started looking for a rug but they were all so expensive, and didn’t really convince me. After months of looking I found one at Ikea, the Erslev, which I liked both for the price and the color, but it was too… simple. Too solid. I wanted something with a pattern.

That’s when it hit me. I had seen somewhere on Apartment Therapy that a girl named Natalie had taken an Ikea rug and painted a pattern on it with fabric paint (the rug was woven cotton) with amazing results. I searched the web looking for the tutorial and when I found it, I realized she had used the same rug I had eyed at Ikea! So on my next trip I picked one up, made up the moroccan inspired pattern on the computer, printed it out and set to paint. It took me about 5h and it was oh-so-worth-it. Check it out!

What do you think? Share your opinion in the comments.

116 thoughts on “An Ikea Rug Makeover

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      1. Bev Wolfe

        this is the pattern my granddaughter wants me to make for her. Could I get the pattern or can you refer me to a source. Thanks Bev

  2. Joon

    Oh my goodness! I have been looking everywhere for a cheaper alternative to the Pottery Barn Moorish rug and I think this is it! I definitely bookmarked it to try it out, if I end up tackling this I will definitely link back to your blog! thank you for sharing! (love it! and love spain!)

    1. Ainhoa @ ALittleBite Post author

      Definitely try it! It’s really easy. (And you’ll get a good work out, too… I was sore the next day haha)
      Oh and a quick update: I laundered the rug in the washing machine on warm water – it worked like a charm and the paint/design is still like new! So yay for a washable rug!

  3. Katie

    This is gorgeous! As someone else mentioned, i’ve also been trying to hunt down the pottery barn moorish tile rug and this looks even better! I’m not a blogger so I can’t link back but would you mind sharing your stencil with me? Great job!

  4. Sarah

    WOW!!! I have been looking for a rug like that for years!!! I’m so impressed!! And inspired!! Would you mind emailing me the stencil pattern you used?

  5. Sarah

    Gorgeous! I love it and I’m dying to make one too. (Unfortunately no Ikea where I live. I’m hoping I can find a rug that will work.)

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    1. Ainhoa @ ALittleBite Post author

      I used normal latex paint – I looked for fabric paint, but I couldn’t find it and a friend of mine who had painted a T-Shirt said she hadn’t had any problems with it, even after washing it, so I went for it.
      I’ve already washed the rug once (in the washing machine) and it’s held up really well.

  7. Carrie

    Love it! I am making my very first Ikea trip in two weeks – Will have to keep an eye out for this rug…Hope you don’t mind copycats!!! =) Great job!

    1. Ainhoa @ ALittleBite Post author

      I’m flattered haha. I actually saw this in Apartment Therapy, (there’s a link in the post) and decided to make my own stencil. If Ikea sold these rugs in smaller sizes I would’ve done another one myself…

  8. Kelly Michelle

    Hey just saw this link in a comment your left for Liz [Its Great To Be Home] and I am totally in love. This looks awesome! talk about a personalized rug. Nicely done, totally bookmarking this.

  9. Kristen

    Was browsing through some of your other posts; LOVE this rug! You’ve inspired me! And, I’ve added you to my google reader so I can keep up with your great projects :)

    ~Kristen
    savorthesmallthings.blogspot.com

  10. angie

    I LOVE love love this rug. Just saw it on pintrest. Could you tell me where or how to get taht exact stencil? My email is [edited] thank you so much…now off to check out the rest of your blog :)

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  13. Vorpaks

    You did an amazing job! I saw your rug linked on pinterest and thought to myself “Gee, I wish I had bought something like that instead of the plain green Erslev rug.” Imagine my surprise when I clicked on the link! I think my rug is up for a makeover! Thank you so much for showing us how you did it and providing the stencil! I LOVE it!

    1. Ainhoa @ ALittleBite Post author

      That’s so funny, the same thing happened to me, actually! I had been eyeing the Erslev rug in green but I thought it was too plain, and I found a similar makeover to this one somewhere (can’t remember exactly where though, sorry). Imagine my surprise when I realized the rug they had use was the Erslev. I bought it that same weekend and got to work on the stencil!

  14. Cordia

    I love this! A YHL reader shared your link. I have wanted a rug like this for my living room and need a large rug for my dining room! I may have to try this! What a moneysaver! The care instructions on the Ikea website say to professionally clean, but it is cotton and you washed your with no issues right? Of course if I got the big one I might need to take it to a laundromat with a huge washer. Ikea’s site only showed it in white. Wonder if there are more colors at the store or if it could be dyed??

    1. Ainhoa @ ALittleBite Post author

      Hi Cordia! I’m glad you liked the rug. And yes, since the rug is cotton I thought trying the washing machine wouldn’t hurt, and it came out perfectly (the design didn’t wash out or anything, either). I don’t recall the exact colors they have, but I think they sold it in green, red, dark gray and white. Let me know if you decide to dye it!

  15. TBeads

    I love this rug! I have been looking everywhere for something for my daughter’s room – but I wanted purple and white – perhaps white rug with purple rings painted on.

  16. Lauren

    I am looking for a rug with this exact print! I want to buy a brown rug [which isn't offered in the Erslev, unfortunately.] How did you go about measuring and making the stencil to a.) make it where a certain number of them fit exactly and b.) get it to print in the correct size.

    Please help! The rug I will be using is a brown, cotton 5×7 area rug, if that helps.

    Thank you! Your rug is BEAUTIFUL!

    1. Ainhoa @ ALittleBite Post author

      Hi Lauren – The rug measured 140cm x 200 cm and repeating the pattern 5×7 times sounded about right (so the pattern would be square) so I just picked the size of the stencil so it would fit that many times. I created the stencil in a vector-type program (VectorDesigner if you’re on a Mac) which lets you resize the stencil to the size you want (in pixels, inches, cm, etc) even if on screen it seems a different size I knew it would print out correctly. Then I just picked a sheet of paper big enough to fit (A3 in my case, which is a pretty standard size). Hope that helps and good luck with your rug, I’m sure it’ll turn out beautiful!

  17. Caylie

    Hi, I was just wondering if you think it would work to buy the Erslev in cream and paint the whole thing a different color and then do the stencil?.. or would that be too much paint?

    1. Ainhoa @ ALittleBite Post author

      Hi Caylie,
      I think if I were to do that, I would first dye the rug the color you wanted, and then paint the stencil! Since it’s cotton I’m pretty sure it would work nicely. I’d love to know if you try it out!

  18. Denise Coard

    I did this same rug from Pottery Barn for a client but as a floorcloth on canvas…..you can see a picture of it on my facebook page………The Jewell Box!

  19. Manette Gutterman

    Great job! I would love the stencil if you could email! Hope to do this myself because $$ is hard to come by. My old house needs some budget-friendly modernizing:) Thanks a bunch!

  20. mckenzie

    I really just LOVE your rug- it is the best I have seen so far!!
    Couple of questions- do you remember what latex paint you used (brand and color). Did you have to paint several coats or did one work? Are the painted areas stiff?

    1. Ainhoa @ ALittleBite Post author

      Hi! I’m glad you liked my rug. The brand I used is Bruguer (I don’t know if it’s a brand that sells only here in Spain, but it’s a pretty common brand here) and the color was simply off the shelf white.
      I only did one coat (I kind of liked that the design wasn’t blindingly white, and honestly, I was really sore) but after a year I decided to launder it in the washing machine and do another one, because my boyfriend preferred it to be whiter. So you can do one coat and then decide if you want to do another one.
      It used very little paint so I still have tons leftover, even though I bought a small can of paint.

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  23. Angie

    I love this, I have jus finished my rug, u inspired me an I printed off the stencil!!! Would love to email to you!! Thanks again for sharing

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  25. Ana

    LOVE your RUG! I been up since 3:30pm looking for the Pottery Barn Moorish Tile Rug- No luck :( But this is very similar and Im going to try to make it. But only one bad thing :( I live like almost 1hr away from Ikea so im looking online for the rug and is not available anymore.. I will hate to go to the store and no luck either.. :( I went to Garden Ridge found a very similar rug is the same exact color as above but I need an orange/clementine color!! Bad thing that is not woven cotton material. Is 100% BCF Polypropylene Flatweave .. Do you think i could just paint the green ? Or is just too much paint? HELP!!!!

    Thanks
    Ana

    1. Ainhoa Post author

      Hey Ana,
      I’m sorry to hear the rug is no longer available. It’s a great rug for the price. I’d try to look for cotton rugs though, I don’t think synthetic ones will take the paint very well. If you found a white cotton one you could dye it in the base color you want (clementine) and then paint the pattern in white. That’s what I would do, at least. Good luck!

      1. Ana

        Thanks for replying :)

        Well guess what!? I just came back from ikea and found the rug… But they didn’t have any color ones only white.. so therefore I will try dying the rug.. I will send u a pic a soon is done :)
        Thanks again…

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  28. Dana

    Love!! Love!! Love!!! Can you tell me where the coffee table with nesting tables is from? I am looking for some right now and cant find anywhere (at least anywhere that doesn’t cost a fortune)… Thank you!!

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  31. Jacque

    Ainhoa I love this idea soooo much that I decided to use your stencil to create a feature wall in my craft room! Thank you for sharing this with us all!
    I have linked up your site so others can come check out your great idea!

    - Jacque
    {http://www.thediyvillage.com/2012/03/craft-room-year-in-making.html}

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  33. Isabel Molina

    What a wonderfull idea. I am planning to do one in black and white. I hope I can do it as great as you did. I live in Venezuela. We don’t have an Ikea store but I am thinking to buy upholstery fabric. Wish me luck!

  34. guest

    honestly the ugliest rug i’ve ever seen. Just personal taste though, and I’m sure it works well at your place! This is still a great article, though! Just goes to show that creativity trumps capitalism :P

    1. Ainhoa Post author

      Hahah yeah this is definitely the most commented project… I had no idea it would so successful cause it was very easy to do! I’ve since changed the rug (it was too light for the living room) but I love it so much that I’ve kept it in storage.

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    1. Ainhoa Post author

      Haha, that would be funny… you should try throwing it in the washing machine, I did that when it got dirty and it always came out pretty clean.

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  38. Nicole

    This is BEAUTIFUL !!! However, I want to do blue solid and white/ivory stencil…

    I was not sure if your rug came in green, or you had to paint that too? Does the rug feel scratchy in the painted spots?

    Thanks! I hope I can do this! The rug I’m in love with is $700+ Moroccan rug… I need to DIY it!

    1. Ainhoa Post author

      Hi Nicole! The rug came in green, I think they also sell it in red, white, dark gray… I don’t think they sell it in blue :(
      If you only paint the pattern (i.e. the white in my rug) it feels a bit scratchy but not too much after a few weeks when it’s broken in. However if you paint it completely… it might be scratchier. I’ve heard people have successfully sanded down the texture though. I hope you give it a try!

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