Life + Style

August 19, 2011

La Poeme Rug DIY

Today, we've got another fun DIY for y'all from Rachel of Polka dots & Puppies.
Thanks so much for another lovely post from a DIY blogger that can showcase amazing ideas that I'm too lazy to actually complete for y'all!
A million THANK YOUs to the ever stylish, Julia, for having me as a guest blogger on her gorgeous little space on the web today. I feel honored to be here!
 I'm a design and decor-obsessed kinda gal, who is always on the lookout for fun and frugal DIY ideas.  And I've got a cool one to share with you, lovelies today :)
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.
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 starting writing. I started with the washable marker because I wanted to be able 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.



  1. What a cute idea! It looks great, and I love that the words hold a special meaning for you. Love that song!

  2. omgoodness, rachel. you have done it again. i love this!!! i am impressed with how well the yellow markers show up on the rug, esp. the washable one. so cute! love it. love it.

  3. What a great project! I love the yellow...I hear you took a friends family pics the other day??? So jealous I need you to do mine :)

  4. Wow! Very creative idea. I'm impressed.

  5. looks beautiful! not sure i'm patient enough for all that measuring, but it paid off.


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