DIY Fabric-Covered Rubber Mat

Many of you have wondered about this mystery rug mat thing that I was busy making and posting about on Instagram.  Want to see how it turned out?  Come on, I’ll show you!



I went and crossed another item off of the bucket list my friends, and damn does it feel good.  I made this, and I am so proud of my new floor covering.  Even Big D complimented me on this project.  It is super easy to make.  I ended up with a pretty mat that hardly moves, unlike woven rugs that I swear take flight when you step off of them.  The best part is that it can be swept and wiped down!  No more shaking out rugs!!!

I used a tutorial from a guest post on the blog I Am Momma Hear Me Roar.  Sadly, the blog is no longer an active blog.  She did, however leave it up for readers to refer back to.

This is the part where I tell you that I followed the directions to a T.  Well, if you know me, that didn’t happen.

I made mine slightly different, and it’s okay because I am happier with the results.

First, my fabric was stretchy.  I did not care since there was a pattern on it.  I also did not lay it straight on the mat.  I was a little too eager to start.  It’s a little crooked, but I like to think it has “character” now.  The fabric was from a yard sale a couple of summers ago.  So $free-dollars, for this project.

Secondly, I bought a heavy-duty rubber mat with deep grooves.  Stretchy flowy material + deep grooves = not a smooth finish in the end.  The rubber mat was about $8 at Lowe’s.  Did I mention that it was super heavy?

Other than these two items, everything else was similar.  I had some 3M Super 77 on hand from a project I made.  (You can see the magnetic board here.)  Again, $Free-dollars for this project.

I chose a water-based Polyurethane just like they said, so that my fabric would not yellow.  Honestly, I wish I could Poly everything.  This stuff is amazing!  $15-ish, I believe at Lowe’s.

I used Duct Tape to tape down the fabric on the underside of my mat.  It looks ridiculous under there, BUT nobody will see it.  $Free-dollars!

Because my rubber mat is so heavy, I didn’t feel I needed the caulk to prevent it from shifting when someone steps off of it.  Like the dog.  He used to send our rugs flying across the floor.  So annoying.  The caulk is a good tip, if you go with a lighter weight for a mat like they did.

Make sure to allow it to dry completely, in between each coat of Poly.  I did three coats.  This actually took me a few days.  Ugh.  Life of a busy mom, I forgot it was still out on my porch. 

Here is the mat up close.  See the grooves?  The fabric stuck to every surface of the rubber mat, like it was in a wet t-shirt contest.  No good if your fabric is plain, and the mat is dark.  I could see through the fabric, but I was already looking for it to show through.  Ask anyone walking into the house and they would not be able to tell. 

You will need:
Fabric (enough to cover your mat and then overlap by 4-6 inches)
Rubber mat
Spray Adhesive
Duct Tape
Water-based Polyurethane

Here is how I made mine:

1.  Cut fabric so that there is about 4-6″ of excess around the rubber mat.
2.  Spray mat with adhesive.
3.  Carefully cover mat with your fabric, starting at one end and working your way down/up to the other end, maintaining the 4-6″ overhang.
4.  Let the adhesive do it’s thing.  I let it set overnight.  Mostly because life to in the way.  That’s okay, because I really wanted the fabric to stay put.  Forever.
5.  Poly time!  Take your polyurethane and dump some of it into a bowl or container that you want to use.  I felt this was the neatest way and I hate to have a messy can in the end.
6.  Using a wide brush (I went with a cheap one) start applying the poly to the fabric.  I placed mine right onto the floor of my porch, and went to town covering it completely.  Then let it dry all the way.
7.  Repeat #6 and let it dry all the way.
8.  Repeat #7 and let it dry all the way.
9.  Voila!  You have a beautiful customized mat.  Problem is you have fabric hanging over the edges big time.  You will need your duct tape at this point.  You will want to cover every inch of the fabric ends, so it looks like my picture up there.
10.  And now for the caulk.  This is where we part ways, because I skipped this part.  Be my guest though.  And tell me how it turns out!

Not bad for a $23 floor covering that I never have to shake out or wash.

So what do you think?
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12 thoughts on “DIY Fabric-Covered Rubber Mat

  1. I like the idea of it not moving. I never paid particular attention to that until I've had to be on crutches, now I'm super careful that I have secure flooring underneath my feet. I love the fabric…and you'd never notice that it isn't straight if you hadn't pointed it out! great project.


  2. Oh no, crutches?! Well someone needs to get busy and make you one too! See? Exactly my thoughts on the “character.” I was a tad bit upset, for maybe 2 seconds, not gonna lie. Then I realized that it doesn't have to be perfect.

    Thanks for stopping by!


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