DIY Polka Dot Rug

DIY polka dot rugRugs can transform a mediocre space into something more special but it's not always easy to find one you love on a tight budget. While nothing can compare to that rug you've been saving up for, this DIY is a great option for areas that need a little pick me up such as a studio, a guest room, or your front porch.

DIY polka dot rug 2One: You'll need a low-pile carpet, freezer paper, a dinner plate (or however large you want your dots to be), a pen, scissors, an iron, possibly an extension cord, masking tape, spray paint in a contrasting color, a large piece of cardboard, and a work glove. Two: To create a stencil, spread freezer paper across the width of your rug and cut at the edge. Evenly space your dinner plate (or other size) and trace 4-5 dots across your first row. Three: Add three more rows of freezer paper and tape them all together to create a larger stencil. Stagger your dinner plate circles so that your second row starts with a half circle and ends with a half circle. Make sure your third row lines up with your first and your fourth row lines up with your second, etc. Four: Cut out all of your circles. Take your rug to a well-ventilated space that is also close enough to an outlet. Follow the manufacturer's instructions and iron all over the freezer paper so that it sticks to your carpet. If you move it after you iron it it'll likely come off. Five: Spray paint your circles making sure you don't spray over the edge of your stencil. Place a piece of cardboard under the edge of your rug so you don't spray the ground.Six: If your freezer paper is coming off, gently press down the edge of the paper wearing your work glove while you paint. Seven: Your stencil may only cover half of your rug so pull it off once the paint is dry and place it down again so that your pattern repeats evenly. Repeat the process. Allow your rug to dry before you move it. 

Another option is using acrylic craft paint if you don't have access to a well-ventilated area to spray paint your rug.

DIY polka dot rug 3DIY polka dot rug 4I made mine to cozy up my basement closet. I love the bold pattern of the large polka-dots but it'd be just as striking to create a striped rug! Enjoy. xo. Rachel

  • This DIY could not have come at a better time! The UO chevron rug I have been lusting over/saving up for has been put on backorder until the end of June, and I just moved into a new apartment that desperately needs a cute rug.

    So thank you very much! 🙂

  • Definitely a great project for my daughter and I to do together. Acrylics would work best for us…big flowers and a scalloped trim for sure, FUN !!!

  • After spending DAYS searching for the perfect rug for the nursery, this was just the inspiration I needed. Thank you!

  • i love the quirky feel of polka dots in a space. this diy could work with any plain rug….which inspires me to try o! stripey rug. i am obsessed with anything stripey ha!

  • that is such a great idea, i’ve been looking for a rug for a while but havent really seen one that would look nice with the rest of my stuff!so this is a fab way of personlising your space!

  • Well done! Once again…
    Looks really nice!
    Elsie, can you tell me what font you used in the first picture?
    I have been trying to find one like that for a while now.
    Thank you!

  • Very cute but be careful what spray paint you use! As a teenager I spray-painted my ugh boots black {in my room} and the powder from it rubbed off my boots for a year. The carpet is really messed up and has never been able to get cleaned off properly, {from where I’d kneel to do my artwork wearing my ugh boots!}

    So yeh,. Just a word of caution! I wouldn’t spraypaint any carpet/shoes/anything that is to be used in a heavy traffic area.

    My parents will vouch for that too hahha.

  • Could you update your post listing where you got your rug? I have been wanting to do the same, but have been having poor luck finding a large low-pile rug that was cost effective 🙁

  • THANK YOU! i couldn’t wait for the tutorial after I saw this on Rachel’s blog yesterday. You gals are great.

  • Isn’t it all crunchy and gross feeling?
    I remember spray painting my shoes as a teenager and completely ruining them.

  • (If you use contact paper instead of the freezer paper, you don’t have to worry about the edges blowing up as you spray.)

  • when i stencil, sometimes for cleaner lines I use adhesive spray. I spray then let it get tacky after two minutes then stick on it and peel when I’m done! 🙂 just another option!

  • I’m so glad you posted this! I did this very project myself last summer, and it turned out wonderfully! I did a chevron pattern on a huge rug I got for free. Talk about a cheap way to dress up a room. It’s such a great way to add personality to a room on a budget.

  • Your blog is so beautiful. All of its contents are so eye candies. Thank you for sharing all of your stories.

  • I wonder if you used an old metal coffee can with both ends open as a guide and sprayed into it, if it would be a crisper edge and not leave a light spray of black on the white parts. Might be something to try, because I am thinking this would be great for a 3 season porch

  • How did you hang your scarves? I’m looking for a cute way to hang all mine!

  • I have done this on a welcome mat, but I used contact paper to cut down on the over (under) spray. You could do a die-cut method and put letters or shapes inside the circles or squares.

  • Polo Ralph lauren, série 2012 début des vacances de printemps de l . a . femme libérés, Néerlandais mannequin Pa Patricia Vehicle de Fremont Feuille spéciales (Patricia vehicle de Vliet, )#) l’interprétation. L . a . Polo Ralph lauren any lancé not overall de 25 Fresh Seem et not coup d’oeil de chien, le type habituel Britanniques semblent fraîches dans l’utilisation de increased, bleu clair, gris clair. Les bandes doivent, part tanin, une couche uniforme, tailleurs de tweed, Polo Ralph lauren layout de function abondent, en outre, avec les sacs de vêtements ne peuvent pas être ignorés, ce qui any amélioré à une additionally tiny model de Polo Ralph lauren sac à principal une tache lumineuse

  • That’s ideal for houses with contemporary designs! I wonder gorgeous it would look if you’ve used a different color, say teal or red. My li’l niece would want that in pink and aquamarine. She’s fond of those colors! She actually wanted to have that pink chair in the last photo… Hehe!

  • this is gorgeous, great idea.

    do you find there is a different texture to the rug where you have spray painted?

  • this may seem obvious to other people, but where do you find a rack like that to hang your clothes on? I’ve only been able to find or thought to look for those rolling type things from somewhere like Walmart or Target, but they are hideous and really not all that functional.

    I’d really appreciate makeshift closet advice of any capacity.

  • Have to ask:Anyone have paint brand suggestions? I love the idea, but when I tried ferzeer paper stencilling, my (made for fabric) paint started cracking right away. (After the first wash and dry….and the paint was not super thick either.) I’m hoping that not all fabric paints are made equal and that there is something better out there. Anyone tried Martha Stewart’s new all-purpose craft paint?

  • I love this! I’ve seen them on Pintrest and for sale on a few sites and since I’m an English teacher, I pttery much have to have one 🙂 Can’t wait to try out this DIY! Love it!

  • Like many of the people who do work truohgh the home depot this guy is clueless. My advice to anyone is never use behr paint. It is the most difficult paint on the market to use. Impossible it toucj up and get a even finish. If you hire a painter and they start off tapeing trim and in the case of this video tiles they are not painters and your getting burned. A real Painter can cut in with out paint.

  • Your closet is amazing…I don’t have an actual closet in my room, so I might just have to try something similar to yours this summer!

  • I would love to use this idea in my classroom. I am wondering if the spray paint will get on my kids clothes when they sit down on the rug.

  • Great how-to! Tip: Spray adhesive (the kind they use for screen printing fabric) can help keep the stencil down!

  • I like the world market one & the first one best. The dots are cute too. I am tiynrg to remember what the rest of your decor looks like but my memory is failing me. The world market one & dots rug have nice brown accents, which would tie into the sofa. The first seems classic & elegant & a lot less expensive. My old person thoughts on the first run is do you hang out in the living room A LOT and/or would you get a lot of traffic or spills on the rug that might result in stains or dirt showing-since it’s a lighter color? I am sounding old now, so I will stop. Don’t rule out looking for an area rug at Home Depot or Menard’s. They have a lot of nice rugs & good prices too.

  • hooray! i am also eager for a renters post. we have two forols of rented distressed’ wooden forols that need some love. we have a colorful assortment, but it would be nice to do something that won’t need to always be vacuumed. also, lovin’ the first one what a wonderful room that must be with all that yellow. many thanks and be well.

  • Hi! I just stumbled on your blog today. I love your degisn style! You have literally inspired me to go to degisn school! In the last year, I have found a passion in decorating. I stay up sometimes all hours of the night looking at magazines and searching blogs. Speaking of cabinets, I really want to paint my kitchen cabinets. My walls are a barn red. They were like that when we moved in and I kept them because they were kind of nice and I was pregnant. What color cabinets would go with red walls? Is white the only color? I love love green, but that would look like Christmas! What would you suggest? Thanks!

  • GoodWeave Generic Standard for the Rug Industry, Draft Version 2.4.2- Comments: Page 1- “Objectives”-Bullet 2 “…to promote the atoaiclpipn of other fundamental human rights in the workplace identified as root causes of child labour.” Could be re-phrased to avoid confusion, as it currently can be read as though rights are root cause of child labour.-Bullet 3 might be clarified, with language such as ‘To promote positive change in the community as a result of the programme…”-Bullet 5 should identify the scope as being the rug industry: “…monitoring and verification of working conditions and environmental impact in the rug industry.”Page 8- “Section 2 Standard Requirements”5a. would be clearer if used safe and healthy workplace instead of repeating the category of working conditions.5a-c take on a different presentation that doesn’t include the goal-oriented presentation of principles 1-4, 5d, 6 and 7. Could be clearer with a. safe and healthy workplaces, b. living wage, c. no abusive working hours.Page 9- “Core Requirements”Statement in paragraph 2 “Companies applying this Standard are expected to comply with national requirements.” should be clarified, such as, “Companies applying this Standard shall comply with national laws.”Principle 1- No Child LabourPage 10-Conditions for children working with parents should include parameters on time.-Given that GoodWeave is industry-specific, it seems reasonable to assess the different types of work involved and to identify either the types of work that are hazardous to children and young workers or the types of work that are acceptable for non-adults.-Standard should reference the GoodWeave Protocol for Dealing With Child Labour” to clarify the requirements on companies when they discover child labour.-Identification of risks involved should be added to the “Core Requirement” of a list of tasks carried out by young workers.-“Progress Requirements” protection from hazards for children of workers and legal compliance seem to be more appropriately minimum entry, “core requirements”.-“Producer will co-operate with local community initiatives in order to create the social norms…” might be a more reasonable expectation as “cooperate with local community initiatives to contribute to the establishment of…” A “Core Requirement” here might be communication to the community of the producer’s participation in GoodWeave. Progress requirement of “employer works with local…” might be tracked better if phrased as contributions in-kind and or financial.-Homework “progress requirements” might include: separation of working space and living space as well as records of participants & their ages, hours and types of work carried out.Principle 2- No forced or bonded labour-Workers should be free to leave employment after a “reasonable” notice period; a “agreed” notice period opens up the possibility for coercion.-Workers should be free to leave work after a “standard work day”, not “agreed time of close of work”, which opens up the possibility for coercion and confusion concerning overtime.-“Confidential grievance procedure” is a reasonable “core requirement”, and the related “progress requirement” would be that all workers are aware of the system.-Is “payment in kind or paying workers in tokens for shops on site” a practice that cannot be improved to the practice of cash or check only payment method? If very common, a “core requirement” should be added that prices at stores that redeem tokens are no more than local prices, and cash/check payment added as a “progress requirement”.Principle 3- Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining-Unions’ access to workplaces to conduct their representational activities should be a “core requirement”; the “progress requirement” may be the negotiation of a collective bargaining agreement.-The prohibition of discrimination for trade union activity should include prohibition of a worker’s trade union affiliation in decisions related to hiring, remuneration, promotion, access to training, redundancy and retirement.-“The employer shall, where freedom of association is restricted by law, facilitate parallel means…” creates confusion on roles of employers and workers. Only workers can exercise the right to organize in order to negotiate collectively with their employer. Employers’ responsibility is to respect workers’ exercise of these rights. A “core requirement” in this case may be that an “explanation of the relevant law is made available to workers.”Principle 4- No DiscriminationPolicy and processes should be “core requirements”, while “affirmative action” programs may be more appropriate as a “progress requirement”.Principle 5- Decent working conditions are respected5a. Workplace conditions-Using “occupational safety and health” or “safe and healthy workplaces” would clarify this principle.-“All workers have access to potable water and clean toilet facilities…” should replace “There is…” water and toilets.-Management member appointed responsible for health and safety should be a “core requirement”. “Progress requirement” for workplaces with reasonable workforce (over 10) may be the establishment of a worker-manager committee that oversees occupational safety and health.-To be effective, personal protective equipment require training. Training should be a “core requirement” and include comprehensive methods for preventing and mitigating workplace hazards.5b. Wages-Deductions for disciplinary practices should be prohibited unless both conditions exist: the law permits them and a collective bargaining agreement is in force.-Overtime premium “core requirement” can be that workers are aware of the premium rate for overtime hours.-Loan “core requirement” can be that workers understand the terms of the loan agreement.5c. Working hoursFirst clarification, bullet 2, should include that overtime is voluntary; while stated in the following clarification box, this first statement on overtime needs to be clear.5d. No harsh or inhumane treatmentEstablishing a policy should be a “core requirement” and maintenance of related records the “progress requirement”. It would be useful to indicate that the disciplinary system should be progressive, not punitive.Section 3- ImplementationThe verification system is unclear. Who makes the certification decision? Who are the “evaluators” who conduct the audits? Who qualifies the auditors? What are the audit procedures, and who establishes them and monitors their effectiveness? What is the system to oversee the auditing process & auditors? Page 28-Inspection of factories paragraph indicates that a “synopsis of the findings…will be given…”. The closing meeting between the auditor and the producer is referred to on page 29 and should be noted here. “GoodWeave Protocol for Dealing With Child Labor” should be referenced; current text is vague in its description of the process for remediating child labour.

  • The new GoodWeave Standard represents a treeondmus and welcome evolution for RugMark/GoodWeave in addressing very comprehensively the social and environmental impacts of handmade carpet production – while still in keeping with the original mandate to end exploitative child labor. I found little to comment on in the Draft 2.4.2 document and applaud this far-reaching undertaking. Just a few questions/comments are noted below:•Under Principle 3 (Freedom of association/collective bargaining): I wondered if consideration was given to explicit language prohibiting intimidation or coercion of workers attempting to organize. While this might be implicit in the core and progressive requirements, given the prevalence of such tactics, such explicit language may be important.•Under Principle 4 (No discrimination is practiced): What is the reason that the progress requirement that “Employers have a written policy about their recruitment practices, employment terms, made available to all workers” is not a core requirement? It would seem to me that policies are a necessary first step, whereas processes and implementation might take time to evolve.•Under Principle 5 (Workplace conditions): Risk assessments based on MSDS is a good requirement. I confess to not knowing much about the toxicity of raw materials, but it would seem appropriate to have a progress goal that addresses explicitly the goal of reducing exposure to harmful materials by aiming to reduce both the volume and toxicity of inputs in the production process. This is addressed a bit later in the environmental section, but I see it equally as an occupational safety and health issue.Also, I thought the chart in Appendix 3 relating GoodWeave to other standards was interesting. Since other standards were benchmarked to GoodWeave, I couldn’t discern if those groups covered any areas that might be relevant to GoodWeave (and therefore missing). Admittedly, that seems unlikely!Thanks for providing me with an opportunity to comment.

  • I just came across this and love it. I am about to do it for my new apartment but I wanted to ask a couple of questions first.

    How well has the spray paint held up?
    Can the rug handle a lot of walking on it or should I put it in an area without high traffic?
    Has the paint faded with time?
    Does the spray paint harden and make the rug uncomfortable to walk on?
    Does regular spray paint work or should you get a special kind for fabric paint?

    So many questions! I just want to make sure that this is something that can last me a long time before I start altering the rug I have.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.