How To Make A Custom Rug Out of Fabric

by Diane Henkler on 02/18/2011

I have a very easy and inexpensive trash to treasure transformation for you today.  I found a scrap of vinyl flooring from one of the bathrooms in my house that was discolored.  I was about to toss it in the trash when I thought of a way to salvage it.

I don’t know about you but when ever I am looking for small area mats or rugs for my kitchen, foyer, or bath I can never find one in the color or style that I envision and end up with nothing or something that I really don’t like.  I buy it because I need the function of the rug to wipe feet or protect the floor.  This project is going to end that – I am going to use fabric to make a custom rug so my color and pattern options are endless and I will get exactly what I want in color, style and size.

Before

Old-Piece-of-Linoleum-to-us

After

Pretty-Blue-Floor-Mat-made-

What You Need:

Scrap of vinyl flooring cut to the desired size
(flooring stores sell small remnants inexpensively)
T-square
Mat knife
Fabric
Stiff paint brush
Spray glue
Zinseer Bulls Eye Ultimate Polyurethane - Gloss finish. It is water based  or any water based poly.  Water based won’t yellow your fabric.
Duct Tape

This is the fabric I used.  It is printed duck cloth. I bought it at Jo-Ann’s Fabrics on sale for $5.99 a yard. I needed less than a yard for the size of my rug.  It is called HS Gia by Home Seasons.

Blue-Swirl-Fabric-from-Joan

1. Cut vinyl to size with knife and T-square to ensure you are making straight cuts.

Linoleum-mat-cut-sides-to-s

Optional step.  I lightly sprayed the vinyl with white spray paint I had on hand and let it dry.  I didn’t want to be surprised once I put poly on the fabric and have the dark green blocks show through the fabric. If your vinyl is white or all one color you can skip this step. Since the vinyl is to give the fabric some heft it doesn’t matter what it looks like, I could have just flipped the vinyl so I would not have to worry about the hue of the green squares coming through the fabric, but I wanted my rug to look good on the back side too  :)

Painted-vinyl-scrap

2.  Turn the vinyl upside down on the wrong side of your fabric and cut the fabric around the vinyl leaving about 3-inches extra on all sides.

Linoleum-Mat-cut-fabric-to-

3.  Flip both over and use spray glue to adhere the fabric to the vinyl. The best way to do this is to go outside.  Spray the back of the fabric and the top of the vinyl.  (Don’t worry about getting the fabric edges with glue in this step, just the part that will be on top of the vinyl) Let the glue get tacky and then center the fabric on the vinyl.  Smooth with your hands making sure there are no creases or air bubbles.

4.  Using a stiff bristle brush, apply one coat of poly and then let it dry overnight.  It takes a while to dry on fabric.  Once it is dry add another coat, let dry.

Don’t proceed to the next step until you have a t least two coats of poly on your fabric.  My fabric shrunk a tiny bit, so allow for this to happen and then proceed.

Zinsser-Bulls-Eye-Ultimate-

Make sure you are covering every section and the edges.   Watch out for air bubbles, and creases – keep pressing them out with the brush.  Push them out to the sides of the rug until they are removed.

You want to build up the layers of the poly so that the fabric is eventually totally covered. You want to get into and cover the grain of the fabric.  Fabric with a tighter weave will not require as many coats as the duck cloth I am using does.   The layers of poly are what make the fabric wipe-able so your rug will stay clean.  If you skimp on layers of poly – dirt would be harder to clean off.

Work-Poly-into-fabric-with-

5.  After you have two coats of dry poly on your rug you can now turn the edges and secure them to the back of the vinyl.  The fabric will be stiff, but just pull it tightly around to the back.

Let-dry-overnight-and-them-

6.  Start in one corner.  Use spray glue to attach fabric.  Just a shot on the vinyl, let it get tacky and then press the fabric in as shown below.

How-to-fold-Corners-on-a-ru

7.  Once you have the first corner done work around the vinyl until all the fabric is secure on the back.

Fold-over-all-edges-and-glu

8. Then using duct tape – yes – duct tape all around the edges. It is a cheap and strong tape that will make sure your fabric is not going to come off.

Secure-back-with-duct-tape

Before you use your pretty new rug -  apply a few more coats of poly to make sure you have a wipe-able surface. I did 5 coats. Each coat takes time to dry(the first coat the longest), but it will be worth the wait as the fabric will be able to be cleaned off when it gets dirty.

Here it is in my foyer-

Completed-Rug-made-form-scr

Or maybe I will use it in my bathroom-

New-Bath-mat-from-scrap-of-

That’s what makes small area rugs like this so much fun – you can move them all around the house wherever you need a pop of color.

Do it yourself fabric rug

 

{ 91 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dianne @ The Inspired Housewife February 18, 2011 at 1:27 pm

I love the color! My first question was about keeping it clean – let me know how that poly ends up working out. Great idea.

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2 Diane February 18, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Hi Dianne-

The process is very similar to the vintage craft of painting floorcloths from canvas. Using the vinyl as backing makes it so much more sturdy then a canvas one. The way to make sure it stays clean is to intially bulid up the coats of polyurethane on the fabric. Once that is done – the rug can easily be wiped clean.

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3 Amanda @ House Revivals February 18, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Great idea! Love that the options are endless for this idea. It reminds me of the traditional oil painted canvas rugs — those things can hold up for years and years.
~Amanda

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4 Lilianna Grace February 18, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Wow! Cool idea. Using fabric is such a great way to customize it to your own style. Love it!

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5 lynn February 18, 2011 at 2:29 pm

This is such a brilliant idea!! I am definitely going to try this out.

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6 lisa February 18, 2011 at 2:40 pm

WOW! Great idea! Perfect for us to follow! A must try for me!

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7 Janet @ CraigslistQUEEN February 18, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Oh, this is so clever!!! LOVE it!

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8 kathy February 18, 2011 at 4:35 pm

(kate’s place) What a great idea!! You did a fantastic job.

Kathy

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9 Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal February 18, 2011 at 4:42 pm

I really like this idea Diane. What a great inexpensive way to bring some color in. Some area rugs that are so colorful and pretty are also very pricey. I think it would be great in a kids playroom since you can just wipe up spills.

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10 Vivienne February 18, 2011 at 7:25 pm

Brilliant!

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11 Dawn February 18, 2011 at 8:37 pm

what an adorable idea – I am SO bookmarking that!!!

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12 Diana K February 18, 2011 at 10:00 pm

I tried to post earlier from work and it wouldn’t let me. GREAT IDEA- Love it…I am going to make one for the entry door to the deck off our kitchen! I have several old scraps in the basement. Hugs- Diana

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13 Milk & Cookie Party February 18, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Adorable~ love the color and the simplicity of it! You have wonderful ideas.

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14 Michelle February 19, 2011 at 12:00 am

This is one of the best ideas I’ve seen for making your own rugs. I love the durability and how you can coordinate it to your taste.

Great idea! xo Michelle

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15 Katharine February 19, 2011 at 5:01 am

Diane, you did it again! This is such a clever and practical idea. I bought a kitchen rug that is rubberized. I was amazed at how fast our feet got with the laminate wood floors. Within a month my new “rug” was ruined. I went and got a cloth one with a rubber back. I love your idea. You could have rugs for different seasons and created place mats and other accessories to match.

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16 denise February 19, 2011 at 8:17 am

genius!

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17 Kate @ Chic on a Shoestring Decorating February 19, 2011 at 9:28 am

What a creative idea! Love that fabric. Thanks for linking my Flaunt it Friday party, come back soon! :)

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18 Katie at Eye Spy DIY February 19, 2011 at 10:48 am

What a great idea! It looks amazing, I love the fabric choice!

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19 Larissa February 19, 2011 at 10:49 am

UM BRILLIANT. I have had the hardest time finding a rug for our entry way. Now I have all the options that have opened up because of this idea. THANKS for sharing.

I will have to let you know how it turns out.

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20 Meg February 19, 2011 at 10:51 am

Ah! So jealous of your weather! We’re stuck in the freezing 20s right now! I love your mat! BRILLIANT I TELL YOU! ;)

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21 Tasha February 19, 2011 at 11:18 am

WOW! I am so excited to try this! Would I be able to make a really large one if I sew some fabric together for under my dining table? Or would that look not so good with the seams of the fabric? I can’t wait to try it either way!
Thanks for the great idea!
knuckle bump!
Tasha

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22 Diane February 19, 2011 at 11:51 am

Hi Tasha-
I don’t see why not. If you can hide the seams in the design of the fabric somehow that might look ok. Or if you make the seams part of the rugs look – like it was intentional. Even if two pieces would cover the area – use three or four pieces and create the seams at even intervals across the whole rug. The seams would be part of the overall design.
I think you would have a winner then.

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23 Molly February 19, 2011 at 11:57 am

AAAAAAAHCK!!! I am in love with that! I have been looking and looking for a rug for my downstairs outdoor area and this is a super-fantastic idea!!!! I know I have some vinyl in the garage and I am thinking about using dropcloths with some kind of painted design…oh my you have totally inspired me-and saved me a ton of money!!

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24 Diane February 21, 2011 at 8:53 am

Hi Molly-

Thanks. I am making a rug from canvas and painting it now. I made a huge one years ago for a Showhouse I did. It lasted for a long time. Now that I have made the vinyl one, I am liking it better only because it has some cushioning and doesn’t flip up like the canvas one always did.

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25 Tanya Stansberry February 19, 2011 at 2:06 pm

What a great idea!

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26 Wendi February 19, 2011 at 5:00 pm

LOVE this rug. SOOOOO creative!

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27 Kim @ Cheap Chic Home February 19, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Hi Diane, What a great way to have a custom rug–you’re right every time you try to find one, it’s not quite right.

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28 Diane February 21, 2011 at 8:47 am

Hi Kim-

Now I just have to go to my local flooring store and buy an inexpensive remnant of vinyl. I used all my scraps up and I want to make more rugs.

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29 Patricia in Denver February 19, 2011 at 8:44 pm

I have been saving a piece of vinyl for years knowing it could be used for something. Now I know. Great instructions, thanks for sharing.

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30 Diane February 21, 2011 at 8:44 am

Hi Patrica-
See – sometimes you know in advance that something good is going to come out of something we have hung on to for years. I have a few things that fall into this description in my attic and basement – just waiting for some more inspiration :)

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31 Chrissie February 20, 2011 at 9:28 am

What an awesome idea! I love your rug, thanks for sharing!

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32 claire rose February 20, 2011 at 10:02 am

This is a great idea-I have used vinyl remnants and cut them into shapes, painted designs and then used them as scatter rugs in bathrooms but fabric is less limiting than my painting skills!!

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33 Diane February 21, 2011 at 8:40 am

Hi Claire Rose-

What a great idea. Thanks for sharing it.

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34 Mom&HerDrill February 20, 2011 at 5:35 pm

I’m visiting from the DIY page, and I love that fabric! I wish I had a Joann’s nearby! lol Great idea

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35 Diane February 21, 2011 at 8:36 am

Hi Katy-
I think you may be able to find it at any chain type fabric store. It wasn’t an exclusive Jo-Ann’s fabric. They may have it on their website. Here is the item #
HS-GIA NBlue Porcela 400102184514. It is $9.99 a yard, but I used coupons and got it for half price.

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36 Roeshel@the DIY Show Off February 20, 2011 at 5:44 pm

You know I’m going to have to try this, don’t you?! I LOVE it! It’s fabulous – so many possibilities! Thanks so much for sharing in the DIY Project Parade!

Have a great week, Diane!
Take care!

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37 Rachael@Lovely Crafty Home February 20, 2011 at 7:16 pm

This is an awesome idea!!

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38 Messy Missy February 20, 2011 at 8:25 pm

What an increible (and yet so simple) project. That is right up my alley….and after redoing the bathroom this week we WILL have some extra vinyl around….you got a gears turning lady. I’d love it if you’d link this project up on my Marvelous Mess party!! I’ll be picking one project to feature prominently on my sidebar for a week!! Here is the link to it:
http://tinyurl.com/4k6f29c

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39 Jalinda February 20, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Thank you so much for this tutorial. I have a TON of left over vinyl that I couldn’t decide what to do with….unitl now! Personalized rugs, here I come!

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40 Brandi Jo February 21, 2011 at 12:28 am

Thanks for sharing on DIY’ER!
What a smart idea! I totally agree with never being able to find a rug to match perfectly!
I’m a new follower and would love you to be mine!
I’ve got some great things on there and coming out!
http://brandlarge.blogspot.com/
Much love and many more blessings!
B.Large

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41 Tracey@sewsimplycreative February 21, 2011 at 10:41 am

This is darling! I can totally see myself making this! In fact, I’ll add it to my list of projects to try! Thanks for the creative idea! :)

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42 Nat February 21, 2011 at 12:59 pm

SUCH a great job! I’m filing this idea away for later. I featured it today on my blog’s facebook page!

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43 Jane @ Cottage at the Crossroads February 21, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Wow! This was so inspirational. Thanks for sharing. I’m thinking about a new rug for my front porch!

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44 Geoff February 21, 2011 at 3:19 pm

This is brilliant! I love that whole process is cheap and easy. And to think that you can now choose a rug design from the thousands of patterns at Joann’s!

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45 SueZQ February 22, 2011 at 1:09 am

I love this idea, and I think that the duct tape will probably have enough tackines to keep the rug from sliding on a slippery floor, but if not, just add a big piece(s) of shelf liner to the back, especially around the edges, and it will not slip around.

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46 Liz February 22, 2011 at 8:51 am

Now, that’s ADORABLE! Thanks for the idea!!!

Liz

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47 Joanna February 22, 2011 at 11:34 am

Awesome! Thanks for sharing.

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48 Jen February 22, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Awesome idea!! Love this! I think I need to make one for my kitchen & garage door entrances ASAP!

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49 Kimberlea February 22, 2011 at 8:59 pm

How ingenious! I think I will have to try this one. I will be a follower!

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50 Melanie February 27, 2011 at 11:42 am

I am so going to do this! I have been looking looking looking for a fun rug for my side door entry way – that everyone uses! I know exactly which fabric I am going to use! THANK YOU!

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51 Diane February 27, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Hi Melanie-

I just made another one that I painted as I could not find a pink fabric I liked. I bought a vinyl remnant at the flooring store for $8. It is much thicker softer vinyl than the scrap I used for the blue one . I found out there are two types of vinyl flooring – felt back – thin kind and fiber backed the thicker kind. Both work, but the fiber back one has a bit of cushioning to it. I made it longer to place by my kitchen sink. I will post the link to it next Friday when it gets published on the Momtastic.com site.

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52 brandi March 1, 2011 at 11:00 am

This is seriously like the most fantastic idea ever! Thank you so much for sharing your ideas Diane!

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53 Jami at Freckled Laundry March 3, 2011 at 10:53 pm

THIS IS COOL. Freckled favorite tonight. Thank you for sharing with air your laundry Friday!

xoxo,
Jami

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54 Life in Rehab March 4, 2011 at 1:11 pm

This is fantastic, and I already snagged your URL so I can copy this (with full credit, natch). I love the custom look, how easy the project appears, and I already know how awesome urethane is when it comes to clean up. Thanks for the great tutorial!

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55 Jessica @ SheekGeek May 16, 2011 at 11:08 pm

I super love this fabric. I included this how to on my DIY rug roundup post at my blog.

Cheers,
Jessica @ SheekGeek

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56 Inspire Me Heather May 26, 2011 at 7:57 am

Gorgeous! I linked it to my rugs post too – I really like how yours turned out!!

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57 Andrea July 3, 2011 at 9:04 am

Thank you SO much for posting this up!! I’ve been searching for a larger, inexpensive but pretty & colorful rug for my daughter’s room, and haven’t found one I liked yet.
The painted ones intimidate me… I know fabric a whole lot better than paint, lol! So this is perfect… now to get a scrap of vinyl and the perfect fabric!

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58 Cathy July 10, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Great idea for the rug!!
I’m fairly new to this type of craft and don’t want to spend a lot on equipment all at once. Hence, no glue sprayer – so what other type of glue could be used? White glue? Modge Podge? Any suggestions?

Cathy

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59 Diane July 11, 2011 at 8:17 pm

Hi Cathy-

Spray glue is sold like spray paint – in a can – No equipment needed, but it does cost about $8 a can. White glue like Elmers would work. What you need to do is apply the glue to the vinyl and use a paint brush to smooth it out. Make sure you get the whole surface covered. Place the fabric over it and smooth it out. Let it dry overnight, before applying the poly on top of the fabric. The spray glue dries in about 5 minutes so you can continue on to the next step right away. I hope this helps you out. Thanks for connecting with me.

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60 Rea July 15, 2011 at 10:32 pm

OMG!!! I am totally going to use this same technique for doing a back splash in my kitchen. I wanted to use fabric but didn’t know how to waterproof it. I didn’t know that you could use poly on fabric. I am sooooo excited!

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61 Diane July 16, 2011 at 9:57 am

Hi Rea-

Polyed fabric on your kitchen back splash – imagine the possibiilites! What a great idea. I would love to know how it turns out.

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62 Jennifer August 8, 2011 at 5:09 pm

I LOVE this. Question – I currently have a cheap runner, some type of synthetic wool , do you think I can follow your directions using it as the backing as opposed to the vinyl? It has extra cushion for the tile floor and is the perfect size already.

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63 Waterproof Fabric Spray October 11, 2011 at 12:38 am

Hi, I saw your blog today. I really enjoyed reading the whole article. I found it very informative. Thanks for writing this article. I have to book marked this blog site, so I can share it with friends, I’m sure they will be going to love this stuff. It was kudos to you in sharing this blog with us. Keep it up.

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64 Trudi December 21, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Hi There,

I love this project. I’m thinking about adding some batting to the vinyl piece so it’s a little more comfy. Has anyone made a larger area rug of this type? That’s what I’m thinking of doing.

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65 Trish at Decoratopia January 26, 2012 at 12:14 am

Hello there, Diane!

I’m always so inspired by your ideas! I really appreciate how detailed you are in your instructions, and your images are always so bright and clear, every step of the way! I’m still a novice at all this DIY stuff, but with the right mentor (you) even I can complete a project and not be embarrassed by it!

I look forward to the next brilliant idea you’re going to share! Thanks!

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66 Norma January 26, 2012 at 10:23 am

I like this, but I’m curious about the polyurethane part. Would that not make the fabric less absorbent? I need rugs by my doors to absorb moisture and such so it doesn’t track on the wood floors. Also does the polyurethane make it slippery?

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67 Diane January 26, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Hi Norma -

The polyurethane does not make it slippery at all. When applied to the fabric, it goes into the texture of the fabric. A few coats will cover it so that you can wipe it clean. If you didn’t add the poly – the fabric would get dirty very quickly with no way to truly clean it. It will absorb some moisture/water, but not lots. It is good to stomp on to get dirt off shoes and to dry soles of shoes that came in from the rain. I have mine in my kitchen and I spill things on it all the time. I like that it gives me a colorful rug that is easy to wipe clean. I hope this helps.

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68 Julie February 29, 2012 at 10:02 am

If slipperiness was a problem, you could use rubber non skid pad under it, even adhering it to the back. By the way, this is the perfect solution to covering my grandson’s floor between the beds.

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69 lilchickie410 March 1, 2012 at 9:32 pm

hi diane! thanks for the tutorial. i want to make a “rug” for my office using one of those plastic chair mats. do you think a regular office chair would roll around on the poly-ed cloth okay?

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70 Diane March 1, 2012 at 11:28 pm

Hi Stacee – I think it will roll around just fine. There will still be some texture to the fabric even with a few layers of poly on top, plus the weight of the chair will help with traction.

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71 Kate March 13, 2012 at 5:11 pm

I’m half way through this project, and I think I messed up. I used OIL based polyurethane, and as I was brushing it on, I could feel the adhesive dissolving under the fabric. Sure enough, the fabric is peeling right off the vinyl. I continued with the poly application and its drying now …. kinda. Did I ruin it? It is a soggy looking mess, but its only been drying for about an hour. I am hoping it looks better tomorrow..

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72 Diane March 13, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Hi Kate -

Oil based poly may dry OK and it may stick as it is pretty heavy duty stuff, but I am not sure as I have only used water based poly. It dries quickly, clear and doesn’t smell. The oil based will take at least 24 hours to dry and will probably have a strong chemical smell for awhile. Oil based polyurethane will also darken the fabric and turn orange :( If you are using a dark fabric you may not notice this. I would let it dry and see how it looks. If it makes you feel any better – I recently was redoing a table and accidentally grabbed the wrong can and applied it to the top of the table only to watch it melt all my work. I threw it out along with the can of oil poly.

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73 Tania June 1, 2012 at 10:49 am

I’ve seen painted rugs before, but that just wasn’t the thing I wanted. I’m so glad I found this post; it’s perfect! I do the same; either settle for rugs I don’t love, or go without. No more of that! Thanks!

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74 Amelia June 7, 2012 at 1:26 am

Thank you so much for the fantastic post – I’m about to move into a new little house and I started hunting for fabrics as soon as I read this weeks ago.

One of the favorite things that I found so far is actually a cotton rug – do you think I could just poly the whole thing as-is or will it curl up or do something weird without laminate? I swore i would never put another cotton rug in my kitchen since the one I have now is so gross, so poly is a must – but I’m not sure if it needs laminate since it’s already a rug. Do you have any thoughts on this?

This is the rug if it helps: http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/urban/catalog/productdetail.jsp?id=23545502&selectedProductSize=5%20X%207

Thank you so much again!

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75 Diane June 7, 2012 at 10:45 am

Hi Amelia -
I would not poly the rug. It would take a ton of poly to get a wipe-able protective coating since the cotton is thick and porous. Fabric is thin and with the vinyl floor backing – it doesn’t require much poly to protect it. You may want to ScotchGuard it to help keep it clean looking. Or take it outside and hose it down with a scrub brush and soapy water when it gets dirty. Then hang it over something outside to dry.

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76 Kate June 7, 2012 at 5:07 pm

I’m the one that used oil based poly a few months ago and wanted to let you know how it turned out.
First of all, the fabric is a deep chocolate color, so the color wasnt affected at all. The next morning it was still a little damp and the smell was awful, so I dragged it outside into the sun to dry. It was a big rug — big enough to fit under my kitchen table, and I was shocked at how much it shrunk when it dried! But I still was able to use it. It’s about five feet by three feet. After a day or so, the smell went away. I only attempted one (generous) coat of poly because of the fiasco, but it’s stiff enough to be wiped clean. It looks great!

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77 Betty-Anne June 14, 2012 at 6:45 am

Looks great! Can this be used outside as well?

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78 stacy September 6, 2012 at 12:00 pm

How do you prevent the vinyl from curling up and being a tripping hazard? I want to do this!!

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79 Diane September 9, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Hi Stacy – the weight of the vinyl keep is down. I have two of them and have not had a problem with them curling up. If you want to make sure any rug is not a tripping hazard you can add a few thin lines of acrylic caulk underneath. Let it dry. It give the rug some traction so it won’t move.

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80 Jodie October 2, 2012 at 10:29 am

Wondering if anyone has tried this fabric and ply technique to upholser dining chairs? Would it be comfy to sit on? Would the poly eventually crack with all the squishing going on??

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81 Diane October 2, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Hi Jodie – I have not tried it on a chair cushion, but if the fabric has a big weave or texture the poly would settle in and resist cracking. I have made two rugs that get a lot of wear and they have not cracked or peeled. If you are interested in protecting fabric -you can buy fusible vinyl by the yard. Heat N’Bond makes one. JoAnns sells it. You iron it to your fabric and then cover the seat as you normally would. It works well and is quick and easy to do.

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82 Elana April 22, 2013 at 9:28 pm

Can you add a pad to this idea? To use it for a kids play mat?

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83 Diane Henkler April 22, 2013 at 11:33 pm

Hi Elana – Yes you could add a pad, no problem. I recently bought one of those padded kitchen mats that are becoming popular. They feel great to stand on, but come in dull colors. I plan on covering it with a fabric I like soon.

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84 Melanie November 14, 2013 at 11:04 am

I am wondering if this would work in a main entry, where it would get wet & muddy.

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85 Diane Henkler November 14, 2013 at 10:17 pm

HI Melanie -

The rug would work fine at the main entry of a house. Just seal it well with a few coats of poly. You want to create enough of a barrier with the poly so that the fabric doesn’t get dirty, just the poly finish that you can wipe off with soap and water to clean. My daughter has one in front of her kitchen sink. She uses dish detergent to clean it.

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86 Shelley January 4, 2014 at 9:03 am

Hi. I made this last night and was so excited to see how it turned out this morning. I used a rubber mat instead of the vinyl. The problem that I have is that the material buckled when it dried. Any ideas of how to fix this?

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87 Diane Henkler January 6, 2014 at 11:26 pm

Hi Shelley -

Did the fabric wrinkle when it dried? I just want to make sure I am visualizing the problem correctly before trying to figure out a fix for it.

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88 Jacinta January 14, 2014 at 4:46 pm

Hi, could i use water based poly on fabric covered drawers?? I know most use mod podge, but i dont like the uneven glossy appearance of it. Thanks

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89 Diane Henkler January 15, 2014 at 10:22 pm

Hi Jacinta – Yes you can. It will work very well. Use a stiff brush to make sure the water-base poly gets into all the hills and valleys of the fabric. Use a few coats, let each one dry before applying the next. They do make matte Mod Podge – it has a yellow label. I like it much better than the gloss orange label formula.

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90 Karen February 24, 2014 at 11:43 am

After applying the polyurethane, my fabric developed numerous air bubbles. It didn’t show when I was applying the polyurethane, but when it dried it was very obvious. By then, the fabric was stiff, stuck to the vinyl and impossible to get the air bubbles out. Any suggestions?

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91 Diane Henkler February 25, 2014 at 11:27 am

Hi Karen -

Two reasons the air bubbles could have developed – 1. The can was shaken before using. More likely – 2. If you used a foam brush and pressed the poly into the fabric instead of brushing it across the fabric. When you press the foam brush, air escapes and can get into the poly. As it dries, the trapped air rises and you get an air bubble. To fix the surface, I would pop each air bubble with a pin and then go over the surface with a medium grit 100 – 220 sandpaper to smooth. Clean off the grit and then reapply the poly. If you used a foam brush, try using a bristle brush across the fabric when applying the poly.

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