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!

DIY Sharpie Rug – A West Elm Rug Knockoff -

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!

DIY Sharpie Rug – A West Elm Rug Knockoff -

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 :)

DIY Sharpie Rug – A West Elm Rug Knockoff -

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.

DIY Sharpie Rug – A West Elm Rug Knockoff -

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.

DIY Sharpie Rug – A West Elm Rug Knockoff -

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.

Here is what I used for this project:

  • 5×7 Rug
  • Measuring Tape
  • Ruler
  • Sharpie Markers
  • Painters Tape
  • Cardboard Cutouts of shapes to trace

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 :)

DIY Sharpie Rug – A West Elm Rug Knockoff -

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:

DIY Sharpie Rug – A West Elm Rug Knockoff -

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.

DIY Sharpie Rug – A West Elm Rug Knockoff -

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.

DIY Sharpie Rug – A West Elm Rug Knockoff -

DIY Sharpie Rug – A West Elm Rug Knockoff -

DIY Sharpie Rug – A West Elm Rug Knockoff -

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!

DIY Sharpie Rug – A West Elm Rug Knockoff -

DIY Sharpie Rug – A West Elm Rug Knockoff -

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

DIY Sharpie Rug – A West Elm Rug Knockoff -

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

DIY Sharpie Rug – A West Elm Rug Knockoff -

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

DIY Sharpie Rug – A West Elm Rug Knockoff -

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

DIY Sharpie Rug – A West Elm Rug Knockoff -

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.

DIY Sharpie Rug – A West Elm Rug Knockoff -

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.

DIY Sharpie Rug – A West Elm Rug Knockoff -

I wasn’t too thrilled about the way the borders looked and decided to add lines to the edges. DIY Sharpie Rug – A West Elm Rug Knockoff -

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!

DIY Sharpie Rug – A West Elm Rug Knockoff -

DIY Sharpie Rug – A West Elm Rug Knockoff -

DIY Sharpie Rug – A West Elm Rug Knockoff -

DIY Sharpie Rug – A West Elm Rug Knockoff -

DIY Sharpie Rug – A West Elm Rug Knockoff -

DIY Sharpie Rug – A West Elm Rug Knockoff -

DIY Sharpie Rug – A West Elm Rug Knockoff -

DIY Sharpie Rug – A West Elm Rug Knockoff -

DIY Sharpie Rug – A West Elm Rug Knockoff -

DIY Sharpie Rug – A West Elm Rug Knockoff -

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?

DIY Sharpie Rug  - A West Elm Rug Knockoff -

DIY Sharpie Rug  - A West Elm Rug Knockoff -

Have you made a DIY 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 rug, and definitely see more sharpie 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.  Here is a photo of it in our living room, and you can see more on my Fall Home Tour:


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


Thanks for stopping by!



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  1. 1

    SPOT. ON. I honestly like yours better. This is amazing!!
    Amy @ Homey Oh My! recently posted…DIY Mirror Jewelry Wall HangersMy Profile

  2. 4

    This totally rocks! Way to go. I love it
    Amy W recently posted…Coffee Filter WreathMy Profile

  3. 6

    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.

    • 7

      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!
      Upcycled Treasures recently posted…DIY Sharpie Rug – A West Elm Rug Knockoff My Profile

  4. 8

    This is so smart! Love it! Awesome knock off :)
    Angela (Life in Velvet) recently posted…Thursday S.T.Y.L.E. #8My Profile

  5. 10

    Amazing! Now that it’s been a while, how is it wearing? Do the lines remain straight when you vaccum?
    Jeannie recently posted…Baked Fried Apple PieMy Profile

    • 11

      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 :)
      Upcycled Treasures recently posted…Spruce up {faux} Candles with ThumbtacksMy Profile

  6. 12

    Your rug looks terrific – great job!!!

  7. 14

    Great idea! Pinned!
    Erin @ DIY on the Cheap recently posted…Dwell with Dignity Project – UpdateMy Profile

  8. 16

    WOW the rug looks beautiful. Simple yet beautiful.
    Anam Salimi recently posted…Herringbone & Stripes Wall MakeoverMy Profile

  9. 18

    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!
    Ashley@Biggerthanthethreeofus recently posted…DIY Plywood House NumbersMy Profile

    • 19

      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.
      Upcycled Treasures recently posted…Spruce up {faux} Candles with ThumbtacksMy Profile

  10. 20

    Wow!! Your rug looks awesome – what a great idea!!
    Cher @ Designs by Studio C recently posted…Build a Fabulous Room DividerMy Profile

  11. 22

    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.!
    Melissa @ A Prudent Life recently posted…Upcycled Vases Part 2: From Valentine to St. Patrick’s DayMy Profile

  12. 24

    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

  13. 26

    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!

  14. 28

    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!
    Corinna Ashley [ForMyLoveOf blog] recently posted…West Elm Torres Wool Kilim Knock OffMy Profile

  15. 30

    that is insane, and awesome, and spot on. let us know how it holds up to traffic.
    the cape on the corner recently posted…Punched up dining roomMy Profile

  16. 32

    wow, this is such a fantastic idea!
    P.S. I found you through the link party on

  17. 34

    Wow! Amazing transformation!
    Emily @ My Love for Words recently posted…Financial Organizer Kit: Winner Announcement!My Profile

  18. 36

    WOW that is awesome! great idea!
    cassie recently posted…Be Bold Challenge Link PartyMy Profile

  19. 38

    I love it! Amazing. I pinned it :)

  20. 40

    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
    Sonnet @ SohoSonnet Creative Living recently posted…St. Patricks Day Cupcake Toppers – Free PrintablesMy Profile

  21. 42

    This is such an incredible knockoff!! Wow!!! So impressed Katie- and it looks stunning!! Shared:)
    Krista @thehappyhousie recently posted…Pottery Barn Kids DIY Knockoff Oar DecorMy Profile

  22. 44

    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!
    Jodie @ Sypsie Designs recently posted…Spring ShoppingMy Profile

  23. 46

    OMG! You did it again! I love this rug, I mean LOVE! Great job! I like it better than the West Elm.

  24. 48

    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!
    Melissa @ Two It Yourself recently posted…Link It or Lump It Link Party #27 {Plus Features}My Profile

  25. 50

    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!

  26. 51

    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!

  27. 52

    So so awesome. I love sharpie projects!!!

    Put A Bird On It
    Daniela Walsh recently posted…DIY His & Hers Sharpie MugsMy Profile

  28. 54

    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.
    Alexis @ Persia Lou recently posted…Back to RealityMy Profile

  29. 56

    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!
    Allison @ Dream a Little Bigger recently posted…The Easiest DIY Blinds Ever. Seriously.My Profile

  30. 58

    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?


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