Friday, August 19, 2011

{ i spy a diy - the lyrics rug }


Ever get tired of seeing millions of gorgeous but generic spaces? Yes, the perfectly-primped designer rooms that fill the glossy pages of House Beautiful are stunning.  But, in my opinion, they often lack any sense of authenticity or lived-in character.  My favorite kinds of rooms are filled with personal, meaningful details- not a bunch of shiny things from a Crate and Barrel catalog.  Speaking of catalogs (and generic things) ....I've long admired this rug, called the Le Poeme rug from Ballard Designs.  It's lovely, yes?  I think it's such a neat idea to write a poem or a song on a rug.  But this particular poem is a French poem about a cricket and an ant.  Eh. I'm sure it's a fine poem, and maybe it resonates with some people, but it doesn't really mean anything to me, ya know?  

Le Poeme rug by Ballard Designs
 I've been trying to think of  (budget -friendly!) ways to add more sentimental details to our home-things that sort of tell the story of who we are.  I decided to try a relatively easy DIY version of the Le Poeme rug.  I chose to pretty up a plain rug with the lyrics from our wedding song-the beloved classic, At Last, by the legendary, Etta James. This song holds a very special place in our hearts, and so it seemed like a perfect choice to help add a little more "us" to our bedroom decor.

So here's what I started with.  My rug  was a 5x7, natural colored chenille rug from Urban Outfitters, that had most certainly seen better days.

 Blech.  I only chose to keep this boring rag around for so long because A) it's softer and warmer underfoot than our bedroom's wood floors and B) it's machine washable. I'm a sucker for machine washable rugs! I knew I really had nothing to lose while trying to improve upon this old thing, so I raided the kiddos' art supplies, and got to work.  Here's what the rug looked like once when I was finished. 


I'm in the process of making over our bedroom, and I desperately needed to bring in some more yellow elements, which is why I chose this color.  But I imagine you could use any number of colors for your writing and end up with fabulous results.  I love the light green on the Ballard rug, but black, blue, and gray would also look fantastic.  Oh, I just thought of something: you could use a duvet cover for this project as well.  That would be so cool!  Anyway, back to the rug....


Here are the supplies I used in this project:  
plain rug (I used this one), washable marker, painter's tape, tape measure, fabric marker, lyrics of song choice, envelopes

 I had to do a bit of math to figure out how many words would fit onto each line, and how many lines would fit onto the rug.  I wanted to fit the entire song, and so this took a bit of trial and error with playing around with the spacing. I pasted the song lyrics into a 5x7 sized canvas in MS Paint, and then played around with font sizes before finding the right configuration.  My words should fit onto my rug pretty much like this:

 Once I knew how many lines (14) would fit onto the rug, I taped it off.


I used business envelopes (just because that's what I had in reach-obviously plain old paper would work just dandily here) as makeshift spacers to help me roughly plan how to write out each line. I folded them into various sizes, so that I knew about how much space to allow for each word (see below).
Then I grabbed a washable marker, said a little prayer, and just started writing. I started with the washable marker because I wanted to be able to just wash the rug if this project went terrible wrong. 


 Once I was finished with one line, I removed that line's tape, and started the next line, and so on.


 When I was finished writing, I went over all the writing carefully with a yellow fabric marker, which is permanent and should survive washing and drying. And then I let my little Georgia check out my work.


She seemed thoroughly unimpressed.  Hmph.  Well, I like it ;) 
Hope you enjoyed it too.

h a p p y  w e e k e n d !

52 comments:

Laura said...

Beautiful!

Pawleys Island Posh said...

Thanks again for such a great guest post! xoxox

My Story said...

OH MY... i am totally stealing this ideal!!! I love it.

Molly at Anthromollogies said...

Rachel, this is FANTASTIC!! I want one now. I have long adored "poetry rugs" and your ingenious envelope spacing trick will help me get it right. Thanks so much!

Poppies and Poetry said...

Wow..this is so very fabulous!! I have an old rug who needs this treatment:) Thanks for sharing!

Cassie {Hi Sugarplum!} said...

So, so cute!!! Thank you for sharing with me (and the kind words in your email!!). I could never do this project because I have horrible penmanship!!!

Courtney {a thoughtful place} said...

Thank you so much for your sweet email. This is amazing. WOW! I absolutely love it.

ElizabethB said...

Very nice!

I wonder if putting the rug in the dryer for a short while would set the paint more? Even if the rug says not to dry it, if it's dry when it goes in, it shouldn't shrink...."shouldn't" being the operative word.

Shannon said...

So pretty - very creative!!

Jennifer Rizzo said...

Very cute and creative. I love that you used the words to your wedding song!

Renee @ where the grass is greener said...

This is so pretty! I'm definitely going to try this one day!

For the Love of a Cottage said...

Beautiful rug!!

Larrisa Hill Designs said...

Just found your site. I love this idea. Just new to blogging...please stop back and take a look. Heather

Korrie@RedHenHome said...

Amazing work! Beautiful job! Great idea!

Blue Velvet Chair said...

thanks for the fun inspiration! I love text in designing.

Suzy-Q said...

Wonderful! I too love things that mean something and this is fantastic! My hubby likes to write me poems on occasion, maybe I will have to use one of his to make a similar rug.

Meaghan! @ This Messy Business said...

This is a great idea! I was wondering how you could recreate one of those great rugs! I think I will have to use your tutorial to make one for my master bathroom. I love Ballard Designs and all of their great ideas. I tried to copy one of their painting prints. (http://www.thismessybusiness.com/2011/07/sunday-showcase-when-life-gives-you.html)

I'm your newest follower!

Meaghan @ thismessybusiness.com

Brandi said...

This is AMAZING! looks like it was well worth the effort!

Rachel {polkadots and puppies} said...

I'm totally overwhelmed by all the sweet comments from everyone! Thanks a MILLION!

Lyss and Mili said...

absolutely love this blog! I came across this diy on Pintrest.com:) Keep it up- love your blog soooo much!

thesehappytimes said...

This is such a wonderful idea!! At Last is the song I walked down the aisle to at our wedding.

amy of the salvage collection said...

this is awesome! love it!

Donna said...

OH!!! Love Georgia and the rug!

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