DIY: A colorful outdoor rug made in 90 minutesAs we’re all full of ideas on how to spruce up our outdoor living space this season, this is one project you’ll want to try if you’re looking to add some fresh pops of color to your outdoor decor without investing in an expensive rug or patio furniture. 

[Note: This project came from the archives! I created this rug back in 2014, but can say with confidence, this rug held up for quite some time, stayed vibrant as it faced all of the elements and had plenty of use!] 

DIY: A colorful outdoor rug made in 90 minutesReady to get started? Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A plain outdoor rug: The rug I purchased was from Home Depot for $17.88. There was a choice of three colors, however I opted for the taupe color. It’s a pretty decent sized rug at 6′ x 8′ so I cut it down to fit my balcony.  Click here to view the rug online:
  • Six (2 oz) bottles of acrylic paint:  I found these at Michael’s Arts & Crafts when they were on sale — priced at two for $1. They’re considered a generic acrylic paint and will be perfectly fine to use on your outdoor rug without fear of it washing away.
  • Rag
  • Scissors
  • Plate or something to pour the paint on
  • Painter’s tape
  • Sponge

Another little note before you begin: When creating this decorative rug, don’t worry about how you put the tape down. It doesn’t have to be perfect and I’m almost certain I couldn’t recreate this exact rug. The idea is to make something fun and abstract, so don’t worry if you’re tape doesn’t look exactly like mine pictured. That’s the beauty of creating cool abstract art!


1. Using your painter’s tape, start laying down tape on your rug haphazardly. Just make sure your tape runs from edge to edge or meets up with another piece of tape so you’re rug will have perfect shapes painted on it.

DIY: A colorful outdoor rug made in 90 minutes2. Cut your sponge into thirds or for however many colors of paint you have chosen for this project. You’ll want one piece of sponge per paint color. 

DIY: A colorful outdoor rug made in 90 minutes3. Start with one color of acrylic paint and pour it out on the disposable plate. Use the sponge piece to dab the paint the taped sections of your rug. I tried to space out each color so they didn’t appear to be jumbled all on one side.

4. Repeat this step with the other acrylic paint colors you chose.DIY: A colorful outdoor rug made in 90 minutes5. Once completely painted, allow the rug to dry overnight. The painted shapes will start to look patchy as some parts may dry faster than others.DIY: A colorful outdoor rug made in 90 minutes

[Another side note: If you’re looking to make your rug last even longer or it’s going to be used in a high-traffic area, you might want to use some sort of clear acrylic over it. The Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic spray is a safe bet.]

DIY: A colorful outdoor rug made in 90 minutes6. As soon as your rug is dry, remove the painters tape and it’s ready to be placed outside to enjoy! 

4 comments on “DIY: A colorful outdoor rug made in 90 minutes”

  1. Your rug looks GREAT! Thanks for the great step-by-step! I’m wondering if the rug feels funny afterward, like if the painted parts feel rough to walk on, and if that would be even worse with an acrylic coat.


    • Hi Margie, Thanks for dropping by! The painted part isn’t as soft as the part that isn’t, but it isn’t bad enough to wear it will hurt if you walk on it barefoot. The thing I like most about it rug is that it lasts, even exposed to the elements.

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