I have been wanting a kilim or dhurrie rug for quite some time now. I have eyed the ones at Pottery Barn, West Elm, Sundance Catalog, even neighbors. Unfortunately my budget doesn’t have room for any of those right now. So after some thought, I decided to convert a rug that I already have into a “dhurrie style” rug. I have seen other bloggers paint a rug, but with my dirty little munchkins I have to be able to throw it in a washer and know it will be clean! So searched for another solution.
Difficulty of this project: Medium (only because of all of the measuring)
Supply List: regular bleach (any brand), blue painter’s tape, measuring tape, spray bottle, rags or paper towels and a square (not necessary, but helpful) and…a rug!
[note: pour bleach into empty spray bottle. I used an old Windex bottle I had. Be sure it has a mist spray. Also, do not leave the bleach in spray bottle for a long period of time because it will expand and break down the plastic of the spray bottle.]
Here’s how I did it.
Find an old rug, I happen to have an Ikea runner rolled up in my basement. It needs to be at at least partially natural materials. 100% cotton works great, but so does a 50/50.
Measure the width of the rug and divide it in half, then draw a line down the center of the rug. Mine happen to be about 30″ wide so my center line was 15″ from each side. (I know, it’s a lot of math, but I tried this many other ways, and none of them worked. If you follow these measurements then your rug will be consistent)
Then make a mark half way between the edges and the center line. So for my rug I made lines at 7 1/2″ and 22 1/2″. I also wanted to give a little space at the end of the rug before I started the chevron pattern so I marked 3 inches up from the bottom of the rug and drew a line perpendicular to the center line.
Next is the tedious work of marking up the rug. I used a pencil (which came off in the wash) and started in the center line. Start with a tape measure at the 3″ line. Measure up the width of the desired stripe. Mine is a thick and meaty 7 inches. Then I made marks all the way the center line at 7″ increments. Repeat the same marks on every other vertical line on your rug. For me the next vertical line was the edges, so I marked them up. Next divide the thickness of your line by 2. For me it was 3 1/2 inches. Use that measurement to start the next markings on the even vertical lines (mine were the 7 1/2 and 22 1/2 inch marks). Now your rug should be all marked up and ready to tape. The following layout may help.
[note: the above drawing can be altered to have the chevron be at 90 degree angles or a wider angle like I have selected. I felt the wider angle was more pleasing to the eye and less jarring.]
Begin taping dot to dot. I used 2″ blue painters tape and filled in the stripe till it was 7″ thick. Then I sealed the edges by pressing down carefully on all the edges. Continue to work your way up the rug.
Lay the rug out in a dry well ventalated place, like the garage, put on a mask and get ready to spray. My helper is ready to do the Bleach dance.
Spray the rug evenly with on hand from one side, then rotate to the other side and repeat for an EVEN layer of bleach. Do not drip large droplets, but lay down and even light coat. Magically, before your eyes, it will begin to lighten! Since my rug started out green it lightened to yellow.
After you finish spraying and admiring your changing rug, grab a rag and dry off any droplets that have pooled on the tape.
Now the worst part, WAITING! I was ready to rip off the tape and wash it immediately, but based on all that I had read about this process told me to wait. Wait till it is dry to the touch, completely. For me that was about 3 or 4 hours. Then…remove the tape and shake the rug. Beat it actually. You need to get rid of any dried or crystallized bleach. This will reactivate when wet (like in the washer) and bleach areast you don’t want bleached. OK, now that you have beaten your amazing looking rug, DRY it in a dryer. Yep, more waiting, drying it will help get off even more crystals and powdered bleach. Then, BEAT it again in the garage. Finally, you can throw it in the wash. I did a rinse and then a wash and it turned out perfect.
In this close up shot you can see where a little bleach seeped under the blue tape, but I think it adds a natural feel, I don’t mind it one bit.
Here is a shot of the colors in daylight.
I’m not sure it this will be it’s final landing spot, but it looks darn fine in my mud room!
Or, as long as it is clean, I’m loving it as a table runner! Who knew, this old Ikea rug from 15 years ago would deserve a spot at our dining table!
Have fun and let me know how YOUR project goes!