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03 February 2012

The Sharpie Rug ...and how to become a DIY Warrior Princess

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Good morning everyone!!  Meet my ugly, stained sisal rug.  It started out life as a decent sisal rug, probably purchased new and used for years, accumulating a fair amount of stains.  I, however, was NOT the one to purchase this rug new.  You see, even though sisal rugs are cheap (in comparison to wool  and such), they are still pretty darn expensive for a large size like this.  So if you know me at all, you know that when I saw this rug in a trash can on trash day that it took all of 3 seconds for me to stop the car and toss it in the back.

After a thorough (VERY thorough) cleaning, the rug was in good shape, smelling nice, but still had some stains.  I was *this* close to tossing it in my very own trash can, but decided to experiment a little before tossing it.  My first experiment was a colossal failure (see below), but the second was a success!

The true question was -- "To Sharpie or NOT to Sharpie.  

 You see, the second experiment only took a Sharpie Marker and a little bravery and turned this throw away rug into a fun new rug! Click HERE for the Sharpie after!

Voila!  What do you think of my new Sharpie rug??  The pattern covers up the stains almost completely, and where they aren't completely covered, they are at least camouflaged.

The stains were so bad...check out this photo below.  Actually, a lot of what you see is my own fault (remember that failed first experiment?).  I wanted to try to sun paint swirls and whirls on the carpet by placing a series of ropes on the carpet and letting the sun bleach and bake away.  The only problem was that the wind kept blowing the ropes away and the sun didn't bleach the rug enough for a contrast, yada, yada, yada.  SO FAIL.  This was the point at which the carpet almost got thrown right back into the trash from whence it came.

Of course, the very best time to be brave and make something artistic is when you have nothing to lose.  If I hated the look, then the carpet could go right in the trash or act as a weed barrier for my vegetable garden.  Taking a Sharpie to the rug before its inevitable death was not a big deal at this point...

It did take several nights of patiently making mark after mark after mark to complete the rug.  Basically, the rug already has the pattern woven into it.  It is simply a matter or evolving the pattern into a design.  There are two types of weave on the rug, alternating squares like a checkerboard.  One of the squares has 4 little thread lines.  I simply traced the 4 little lines to make each black sqaure.  Then, the squares and rectangles were elongated on a diagonal to fill in the design.   The project in total probably took 10-12 hours.

Luckily, I had a friend.  Every time I grabbed the marker and laid down on the carpet, 
bebe grabbed his coloring book and crayons and started to work with me.  
Nothing like joint craft time to bond Mama and bebe, eh?

So how will you be brave today?  
Do you have a piece of furniture that you are sick of and getting ready to throw away?  Why not try a crazy color or 
weird sanding technique before you throw it out.  You never know what might strike you as your favorite project yet!!
Be Brave!  Be Fearless!  Be a DIY Warrior Princess! (or Prince!)

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