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

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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amy peca said…
ok i am TOTALLY loving this! What I love even more is that you are a dumpster diver!!! No shame in our game huh!! what a difference from the before to after!
Nessa Bixler said…
WOW! That looks so awesome!

My husband hates it - but I always scan others trash on the curb. People just get rid of nice (or could be nice) things all the time.
Amy Renea said…
My husband hates it too :) I usually try to avert my eyes when he is with me, but I did make him pick up a firewood holder once because it was too good to pass up :)

Amy - no shame, no shame when its such a fun game! ;)
OrangeHeroMama said…
Absolutely BRILLIANT idea! LOVE the pattern! <3
Laura said…
I'm so impressed! I think it looks great. good work. And I like the new header.
I love it Amy!! Nicely done my friend - it's gorgeous!
Gingered Whisk said…
Wow, your rug turned out fantastic!!! Great job! I love being a DIY Warrior Princess (hehe) and its so cute that you had help, too! :)
That looks great! Thanks so much for sharing! If I ever find something similar I'm gonna try this one.

BTW, I LOVED your guest post at orgjunkie :)
Super cute! I just found your blog and my name is Amy Renee! How fun!
Catherine said…
Just saw your rug on Roadkill Rescue - looks fantastic! What a great find!
So cool. Love thinking out of the box. You go, DIY Warrior Princess!!!
Aimee said…
What can't a Sharpie do? I absolutely love how you saved that rug. *Never say, "Oops." Always say, "Ah, interesting."*
MuseBootsi said…
Sharpie's, and awesome ladies, can do amazing things! Nice work!
Awesome! Love the design.
Kristi said…
Oh wow!! This turned out fabulous. Love me some Sharpie. That photo of you and your little one both "coloring" is precious!! Would be delighted for you to link up with us at Mop It Up Mondays:
Thanks so much! Have a great week!
wow-good for you! that's awesome.
Vicky said…
Pinning this! Don't know that I would have the guts or patience to do this, but I am SO impressed! What a great way to give an old rug new life. I am a new Pinterest follower visiting from The Girl Creative. Vicky from Mess For Less
Jami said…
That is an UNBELIEVABLE makeover! Wow! Would love for you to stop by and link up to the Tuesday To Do Party (if you haven't already.) Also, the Pretty Packages Party is going on & I would love for you to share any creative gifts, packages or party favor ideas!

abbi waxman said…
I came to you from Crap at Crafts and I LOVE your rug! OMG so awesome! I am inspired.

Angela Conley said…
Sweet makeover. Love the pattern and additional texture it gives your space. I imagine it took a lot of patience to complete! Thanks for sharing your creativity!