DIY Sharpie Rug – A West Elm Rug Knockoff

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DIY Sharpie Rug – A West Elm Rug Knockoff

Don’t you just love area rugs? They can dramatically change a space and add so much character, but unfortunately they can also come with a hefty price tag. Now that I have a new {home} office to decorate I have been obsessing over rugs to find the perfect one for my new creative space.

Of course being on a super tight budget also means I have to get “crafty” to create the space I’m dreaming of. Lucky for me, being cheap crafty, helped inspire this DIY sharpie rug!

Can you believe this was done using a sharpie? Check out how you can create a DIY Sharpie Rug to match your very own style! UpcycledTreasures.com

DIY Sharpie Rug

If you follow me on instagram you may remember this photo I posted a couple weeks ago of an ivory colored 5×7 rug I found at Lowes for $25!

Can you believe this was done using a sharpie? Check out how you can create a DIY Sharpie Rug to match your very own style! UpcycledTreasures.com

I was actually so excited about the price that I tried to pick the rug up right then and there {I was there to pick up a doorknob and didn’t grab a cart}. Um yeah that didn’t happen, haha. Do you ever get so excited about something you get all mama bear and try to grab it as quick as possible, sometimes forgetting to calculate weight or your own strength? I especially get like this at thrift stores, like with my wood shim art. Haha.

Anyway, I wanted to check with a Lowes employee on the price before grabbing a cart but was scared to walk 10 steps away since some other guy was casually walking down the aisle. He didn’t seem the least bit interested in my rug, but I was all concerned anyway and must have looked extra crazy. Long story short the price was right so I snagged it right up {with the help of the cart}, woo-hoo!

My original intention was to paint a rug but I hadn’t decided on a color or pattern yet, although I did pick up some textile paint to mix with whatever color I would eventually pick. I have wanted to paint a rug for nearly 2 years now but apartment living and lack of space made me put it on hold. The wait was worth it though, because I am in LOVE with my new DIY rug! Funny how I actually didn’t even use paint on this rug, instead I used a sharpie. Well, 2 sharpies to be exact :)

Can you believe this was done using a sharpie? Check out how you can create a DIY Sharpie Rug to match your very own style! UpcycledTreasures.com

After scouring the web and pinning dozens of ideas to a secret pinterest board, I finally decided the rug I loved most was the Kasbah rug from West Elm, but at $500? Yowzers! I’m sure it’s way more comfy than my rug but that’s okay, I’ll save the $475 and make my own.

Can you believe this was done using a sharpie? Check out how you can create a DIY Sharpie Rug to match your very own style! UpcycledTreasures.com

I thought I was going to choose a more colorful rug to mimic, but honestly this is the rug I couldn’t stop thinking about. Funny how that happens. Plus it looked to be a bit forgiving and seemed like It was something that wouldn’t be too difficult for my first attempt at a DIY rug. Being that it was black and ivory I figured a sharpie would probably be a lot easier to use vs black paint, so I decided to go that route instead.

The first thing I did was unroll the carpet and give it a good vacuuming, you can see a bit of a kink in the photo below, but now that it’s been rolled out for a few days that’s gone away.

Can you believe this was done using a sharpie? Check out how you can create a DIY Sharpie Rug to match your very own style! UpcycledTreasures.com

This is going to seem kinda silly but there was a black mark on the upper left side of the carpet so I figured I would try to space everything out to work that into the design, and that’s exactly what I did. Of course an hour later Eric had the brilliant of idea of cleaning the spot to see if it would come out… and it did. I guess that’s what happens when you start planning a DIY rug design at 2am after a couple drinks, oh well.

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Materials Needed for DIY Sharpie Rug:

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5×7 Rug

Measuring Tape

Ruler

Sharpie Markers

Painters Tape

Cardboard Cutouts of shapes to trace

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I made marks on the carpet with my finger to help with the space planning, which you can kinda see in the photo below. I then drew up an absolutely awful plan that showed my measurements of where my designs would go to help me get the tape in place. Let me also just say that I am AWFUL at math, it’s definitely not my strong suite. I want to be friends with it but we have a bit of a love-hate relationship. I’m working on it though. With that said, if I can do this, anyone can do this! Please excuse some of the bad phone photos in this post :)

Can you believe this was done using a sharpie? Check out how you can create a DIY Sharpie Rug to match your very own style! UpcycledTreasures.com

I started off using green tape because I heard that was the best kind to use when painting rugs, however it wasn’t sticking to mine very well. It could be that this wasn’t a flat woven rug but I had some scotch blue exterior tape on hand {that I got free from the Haven conference}, and although it’s for exteriors it worked surprisingly well.

Here is the rug almost completely taped off:

Can you believe this was done using a sharpie? Check out how you can create a DIY Sharpie Rug to match your very own style! UpcycledTreasures.com

I decided to print out some shapes to test how they would look on the rug and to help me determine what size and how many to use. I probably spent more time on this than is necessary since it was easier for me than doing some math equations, plus I’m more visual.

Here is a photo showing some cutouts with the inspiration rug pulled up on the iPad.

Can you believe this was done using a sharpie? Check out how you can create a DIY Sharpie Rug to match your very own style! UpcycledTreasures.com

Once I had the shape sizes where I liked them I created cardboard cutouts. Luckily we have lots of cardboard boxes since we just moved.

Can you believe this was done using a sharpie? Check out how you can create a DIY Sharpie Rug to match your very own style! UpcycledTreasures.com

Can you believe this was done using a sharpie? Check out how you can create a DIY Sharpie Rug to match your very own style! UpcycledTreasures.com

Can you believe this was done using a sharpie? Check out how you can create a DIY Sharpie Rug to match your very own style! UpcycledTreasures.com

Afterwards, I started using my cardboard templates to go around the rug one section at a time. I traced the outside with a sharpie marker, making sure to smoosh it into the rug and going up and down to get the color into the rug. Talk about instant gratification!

Can you believe this was done using a sharpie? Check out how you can create a DIY Sharpie Rug to match your very own style! UpcycledTreasures.com

Can you believe this was done using a sharpie? Check out how you can create a DIY Sharpie Rug to match your very own style! UpcycledTreasures.com

You may have seen the photo below on instagram over the weekend:

Can you believe this was done using a sharpie? Check out how you can create a DIY Sharpie Rug to match your very own style! UpcycledTreasures.com

I slowly moved to each section and was surprised how easy it all was, despite the whole process being quite time consuming.

Can you believe this was done using a sharpie? Check out how you can create a DIY Sharpie Rug to match your very own style! UpcycledTreasures.com

I decided to do the side borders last because I wanted to change it up a bit from the West Elm version.

Can you believe this was done using a sharpie? Check out how you can create a DIY Sharpie Rug to match your very own style! UpcycledTreasures.com

I cut out some little triangles to decide how I wanted the pattern to look, and then created a cardboard cutout.

Can you believe this was done using a sharpie? Check out how you can create a DIY Sharpie Rug to match your very own style! UpcycledTreasures.com

Okay I have to admit that I actually really like the way the pattern looked at this point but decided to color the shapes in to give it more weight. I’m kicking myself for that now because I prefer the lines. Live and learn, right? Ugh.

Can you believe this was done using a sharpie? Check out how you can create a DIY Sharpie Rug to match your very own style! UpcycledTreasures.com

The photo below shows the border shapes filled in, at which point I really wish I could have hit control z and gone back a step, ha.

Can you believe this was done using a sharpie? Check out how you can create a DIY Sharpie Rug to match your very own style! UpcycledTreasures.com

I wasn’t too thrilled about the way the borders looked and decided to add lines to the edges. Can you believe this was done using a sharpie? Check out how you can create a DIY Sharpie Rug to match your very own style! UpcycledTreasures.com

I then went over the lines a second time with the sharpie to make them a little darker and thicker. Then a couple days later I decided to go over the lines one more time to make them just a tad thicker. I used 2 sharpies in all, both of which I have had for a while and there were a couple times I took breaks to give them a rest before going back. Not too shabby.

And here is my DIY sharpie rug all finished!

Can you believe this was done using a sharpie? Check out how you can create a DIY Sharpie Rug to match your very own style! UpcycledTreasures.com

Can you believe this was done using a sharpie? Check out how you can create a DIY Sharpie Rug to match your very own style! UpcycledTreasures.com

Can you believe this was done using a sharpie? Check out how you can create a DIY Sharpie Rug to match your very own style! UpcycledTreasures.com

Can you believe this was done using a sharpie? Check out how you can create a DIY Sharpie Rug to match your very own style! UpcycledTreasures.com

Can you believe this was done using a sharpie? Check out how you can create a DIY Sharpie Rug to match your very own style! UpcycledTreasures.com

Can you believe this was done using a sharpie? Check out how you can create a DIY Sharpie Rug to match your very own style! UpcycledTreasures.com

Can you believe this was done using a sharpie? Check out how you can create a DIY Sharpie Rug to match your very own style! UpcycledTreasures.com

Can you believe this was done using a sharpie? Check out how you can create a DIY Sharpie Rug to match your very own style! UpcycledTreasures.com

Can you believe this was done using a sharpie? Check out how you can create a DIY Sharpie Rug to match your very own style! UpcycledTreasures.com

Can you believe this was done using a sharpie? Check out how you can create a DIY Sharpie Rug to match your very own style! UpcycledTreasures.com

I will have to update you on how it holds up, but can say that it feels just as soft as when I bought it and I have even vacuumed it a couple times already with no issues. So what do you think of our DIY sharpie rug?

Can you believe this was done using a sharpie? Check out how you can create a DIY Sharpie Rug to match your very own style! UpcycledTreasures.com

Can you believe this was done using a sharpie? Check out how you can create a DIY Sharpie Rug to match your very own style! UpcycledTreasures.com

Have you made a DIY sharpie rug before or do you plan to make one after seeing this post? Even though this project was time consuming I am over the moon about my new DIY sharpie rug, and definitely see more DIY rugs in my future!

Update: This rug has since been moved into our living room because we love it so much! I am also happy to report that it is holding up really well, best of all, the carpet is still SUPER soft.  Since it’s now in a high traffic area I felt like it faded a bit after about 10 months so I did go over the lines with a sharpie while watching an episode of Property Brothers. Here is a photo of it in our living room, and you can see more on my Christmas Home Tour:

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You may also want to check out my DIY Painted Rug:

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Thanks for stopping by!

73 Comments
  • SPOT. ON. I honestly like yours better. This is amazing!!

    February 20, 2014 at 6:04 pm
    • Thanks Amy! I am amazed every time I see it and still can’t believe it was just a sharpie marker. It looks even better with my new desk on it, which I will be sharing next week :)

      February 20, 2014 at 8:42 pm
      • I’m with Amy! I totally prefer yours. Step aside, West Elm. There’s a new home decor sheriff in town! 😉

        February 23, 2014 at 9:27 pm
  • This totally rocks! Way to go. I love it

    February 20, 2014 at 9:15 pm
    • Thanks Amy! I am loving it too and can’t wait to have the rest of my office done. I’m sooooo impatient, but I have to remember it’s going to take time :)

      February 21, 2014 at 6:11 pm
  • I recently took over our spare bedroom as my art studio, and I have been scouring everywhere for a rug to add some pretty factor (but on the cheap!) I think I may have to trek over to Lowes today! I love your rug.

    February 21, 2014 at 12:07 pm
    • Thanks Andrea! I definitely recommend this as an affordable option. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to make my lines thicker so I figured I would wait a couple days and see if I still wanted to change it. I went over the lines again today and now I love it even more! The fact that I was able to lay on the carpet and basically draw on it is still beyond me. So easy! I look forward to seeing what you do with your new art studio!

      February 21, 2014 at 6:14 pm
  • This is so smart! Love it! Awesome knock off :)

    February 21, 2014 at 4:11 pm
  • Amazing! Now that it’s been a while, how is it wearing? Do the lines remain straight when you vaccum?

    February 21, 2014 at 6:59 pm
    • So far so good! I actually spilled a little coffee on it a couple days ago {seriously!haha} and did a little spot cleaning and it came out great. It’s in my office which isn’t a super high traffic area but the pets have been laying on it so I have already vacuumed it a few times. The lines are straighter when I vacuum and they get a little wavy after a while {like in the West Elm photo} but I actually like them that way too :)

      February 24, 2014 at 1:21 pm
  • Your rug looks terrific – great job!!!

    February 21, 2014 at 7:54 pm
  • Great idea! Pinned!

    February 21, 2014 at 9:24 pm
  • WOW the rug looks beautiful. Simple yet beautiful.

    February 21, 2014 at 9:27 pm
    • Thank you so much Anam, I can’t wait to have my entire office pulled together :)

      February 24, 2014 at 1:22 pm
  • This is fabulous! Seriously…IN LOVE! I did a painted indoor/outdoor rug last year and loved it, but it has started to fade. I wonder if this method would fade over time? Either way, who cares for $25, right? Gorgeous girl!

    February 22, 2014 at 9:39 am
    • I originally planned on painting a rug and was feeling good after seeing so many inspiring tutorials, but in the end the sharpie seemed like the easier {and lazier haha} way to do this specific rug design. I guess I will find out if it fades over time and will keep you posted :) It’s in my office which doesn’t get a ton of traffic though.

      February 24, 2014 at 1:24 pm
      • Jim Dasher, Spectrum Graphics
        Reply

        The really nice thing about using a “Sharpie”, is you can always touch-up any part of the rug, if and when necessary.

        The only part of the design that kind of bothers me, is the “original designer” seems to have left out a row of small diamonds, which gives the overall lay-out, an asymmetrical look. Although, in all fairness, this may have been what the designer was trying to achieve. I’m sure it’s probably just me. I have a “thing” about balance, in what appears would be a repeating design pattern.

        Your idea of using a “Sharpie” was great!

        I have even used sharpies to touch-up minor scratches on my black car. Also great for fixing a scratch on a black leather boot, jacket or even a black leather couch. Although, you have to be rather careful when doing it. The plus is, it actually seems to lasts fairly well.

        Finally, your DIY approach to this project is really great. I suppose this is just common practice for you.

        You’ll have to forgive, this is the first time for me, reading your blog. So I haven’t had the privilege of reading any of your earlier posts.

        Thanks Alot,

        Jim Dasher

        April 23, 2015 at 3:13 pm
  • Wow!! Your rug looks awesome – what a great idea!!

    February 22, 2014 at 11:05 am
  • Genius! I love a good $475 savings & I would never know that this was Sharpie. Thanks for linking this to Thursday S.T.Y.L.E.!

    February 22, 2014 at 2:42 pm
    • I know right, that’s my kind of discount! Haha. It doesn’t look like a sharpie in person either, I LOVE it! Thanks for stopping by!

      February 24, 2014 at 1:27 pm
  • This is fabulous! And I like the ‘filled in shapes’ :) I think they add nice weight to the pattern. And $25!! Amazing :) I’ve been on the hunt for a neutral 6×9 rug for our rec room with no luck so far…but when I find one, this might be just the ticket! Erin

    February 23, 2014 at 8:34 am
    • Thanks Erin! I wasn’t so sure about the filled in parts or lines next to them, but once I went over the lines with a sharpie for the 3rd time I really liked it. The possibilities are endless and if you decide to make one I’d love to see it!

      February 24, 2014 at 1:29 pm
  • AnneH
    Reply

    Wow, this is a great project! And maybe just what I was looking for. I want a rug for my dining room but not at $700 which is what I was looking at. The color is the most important thing because my DR is a very light pink and I want it to coordinate with that. I will definitely check for a solid color carpet remnant and try it.
    Very creative of you!

    February 23, 2014 at 5:55 pm
    • Sounds like a great idea! Now I want to play around with colored sharpies and was thinking of testing out white on a colored rug. I’ve never used white sharpies so it will be interesting to see if that works. Thanks for stopping by!

      February 24, 2014 at 1:31 pm
  • West Elm Rug Knock Off buddies! I just finished one up myself for the Torres Kilim. I really like how yours turned out. For $25 i could totally DIY another rug in the near future!

    Ive followed you on your social media. Leaving an open invitation to follow back. I think wed make good friends!

    February 24, 2014 at 8:36 am
    • Yay, I’m off to check out yours and follow you too! I definitely want to DIY some other rugs for our house. For the price and the outcome, you can’t beat it :)

      February 24, 2014 at 1:32 pm
  • that is insane, and awesome, and spot on. let us know how it holds up to traffic.

    February 24, 2014 at 11:07 am
    • Thank you! It’s not in a super high traffic area {my office} but so far so good :) I have vacuumed it many times and even spilled coffee {oops} and was able to do a quick spot cleaning no problem.

      March 3, 2014 at 1:17 am
  • krisi -www.krisimiller.com
    Reply

    wow, this is such a fantastic idea!
    P.S. I found you through the link party on http://www.linesacross.com/

    February 24, 2014 at 12:30 pm
  • Wow! Amazing transformation!

    February 24, 2014 at 4:13 pm
  • Pingback: The Makers {link party no. 6}
    Reply
  • WOW that is awesome! great idea!

    February 25, 2014 at 8:24 pm
  • I love it! Amazing. I pinned it :)

    February 25, 2014 at 10:31 pm
  • Haha… some of my best projects are done at 2am after a few drinks. Seriously tho this is AMAZING!! I am in love. GREAT JOB

    February 26, 2014 at 12:38 am
    • I couldn’t agree with you more, or at least that makes them a little more fun :)

      March 3, 2014 at 1:20 am
  • This is such an incredible knockoff!! Wow!!! So impressed Katie- and it looks stunning!! Shared:)

    February 26, 2014 at 2:42 pm
  • Oh my goodness I’m adding Lowes to my weekend errands see if ours has one that cheap as well! It turned out so fabulous and I actually love how you changed up the design!

    February 28, 2014 at 11:29 am
    • Thanks Jodie! Good luck and I’d love to see what you do if you make one!

      March 3, 2014 at 1:21 am
  • OMG! You did it again! I love this rug, I mean LOVE! Great job! I like it better than the West Elm.

    March 2, 2014 at 2:06 am
    • Thank you so much Heather, it’s definitely one of my favorite projects and I still can’t believe it’s a sharpie! The hubs likes it so much he wanted to move it into the living room but I’ll just have to make another one :)

      Have a great week!

      March 3, 2014 at 1:26 am
  • Hi Kate,
    Just wanted to drop in and let you know your West Elm Knockoff Sharpie Rug is one of my features this week on Link it Or Lump It Link Party! Thanks so much for linking up. Come grab a button and link up again! http://www.twoityourself.com/2014/03/link-it-or-lump-it-link-party-27-plus.html#more

    March 2, 2014 at 2:59 pm
  • I {really} LOVE this! I’m hosting a Sharpie crafts link party on my blog this week, and I’d love it if you wanted to link up! Favorites will be featured in a compilation post next week, & we’re giving away a $50 Target GC and Sharpie prize pack! http://bit.ly/1c0IEvS

    March 3, 2014 at 8:54 am
  • I just can’t get over how amazing this rug is! I’ve seen the Sharpie on a rug approach before and I’m curious how it’s holding up so far. I’d think if it was in a more high-traffic area it might smudge a bit. I’d love to know your thoughts!

    March 3, 2014 at 12:45 pm
  • So so awesome. I love sharpie projects!!!

    xo
    Daniela
    Put A Bird On It
    http://iputabirdonit.blogspot.com

    March 3, 2014 at 7:58 pm
  • I am so blown away by this DIY! That West Elm rug is one of my favorites. And your version looks so, so good! Can’t believe you did it with a marker. Really genius.

    March 4, 2014 at 12:04 am
    • Thanks Alexis, I’m still blown away that it’s a sharpie and I think it looks even better in person :)

      March 11, 2014 at 10:09 am
  • I LOVED this rug so much it was a feature in Link It or Lump It this Sunday… BUT the coolest part is how much my 6 year old nephew has taken to your rug. My sister texted me super ticked because he came in and woke her up at 5 in the morning and asked her to turn on the laptop so he could look at it again :) They’ve decided to tackle this project so he can have his own DIY West Elm Sharpie rug in his room!

    March 7, 2014 at 5:58 pm
    • Oh my gosh Allison that is so awesome! I would love to see how his rug turns out and what awesome parents he has to work on a project together like that. Love it :)

      March 11, 2014 at 10:10 am
  • Hannah
    Reply

    Wow, I’ve been dreaming of having that West Elm rug for months now. I’ve looked high and low for a cheaper alternative and was just about to give up hope when I found your post! Just curious…is it still holding up?

    September 27, 2014 at 12:04 pm
  • Nova
    Reply

    Hi no one asked this ques bcos maybe everyone knows the answer but im curious whether this can be washed at all? It looks terrific but i have toddlers so not sire i can have a rug i cannot washed. :(

    March 28, 2015 at 6:52 pm

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