3 DIY Ways to Dress Up a Basic Outdoor Rug

Give your deck or patio a stylish upgrade with a budget-friendly outdoor rug. You’ll start with a plain, inexpensive rug and then make it your own. We’ve got three easy tutorials with three different looks: colorful, monochromatic and nautical inspired.

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Look #1: Colorful Stripes

Give a drab gray rug the color treatment with paint samples and tape. With a few colors or a lot of colors, this pattern offers infinite ways to add a punch to your patio. Get step-by-step instructions for this project >>


For this project, you'll need a basic outdoor rug, painter’s tape, paintbrushes and paint samples in your chosen colors.

Create Stripes With Painter’s Tape

Start at one corner of the rug. Place strips of tape across the entire rug to create stripes.

Create Perpendicular Stripes

After you’ve taped stripes on half of the rug, add some stripes perpendicular to these on the other side of the rug.

Start Painting Stripes

Paint several stripes with your first color. Try to pick ones randomly around the rug.

Continue Painting Stripes

Fill in empty stripes with your three remaining colors. Let the paint dry overnight.

Remove Tape

Once paint is dry, pull off all of the painter’s tape.

Admire Your Work

Voila! You have a custom-made colorful geometric rug to jazz up your patio space. Get step-by-step instructions for this project >>

Look #2: Nautical Rope Border

For a nautical touch, use cotton rope to make a border on a basic rug. Add lots of plants, lanterns and bowls of seashells to create a coastal-inspired outdoor space, no matter where you live. Get step-by-step instructions for this project >>


For this project, you'll need a basic outdoor rug, cotton clothesline rope, a hot glue gun and glue sticks.

Glue Rope to Rug

Make a line of hot glue starting a few inches from the corner of the rug. Press the rope into the glue.

Keep Gluing

Continue gluing the rope onto the rug. When you get a few inches from the corner, turn the rope and continue gluing.

Start a Second Row

Glue the rope all the way around the rug. When you get to the beginning, glue the rope inside of the first row. Glue another line of rope all the way around the rug.

Finish Rope Border

Start a third row once you get to the beginning. Make your border as wide as you want; here, I did five rows of rope. The border gives the rug an easy, instant nautical update. Get step-by-step instructions for this project >>

Look #3: Mod Dots

For the modern patio, take a basic outdoor rug and give it your personal spin with simple painted dots. The fastest of the three updates, you can use any colors for the dots. I’d love to see one in all shades of blue to match the spring sky. Get step-by-step instructions for this project >>


For this project, you'll need a basic outdoor rug, white paint, black paint and two paintbrushes.

Paint White Dots

Starting in one corner of the rug, paint a round dot using white paint. Continue up the rug and add more white dots in a variety of sizes.

Paint Black Dots

Now add in a few block dots, filling in the spaces between the white dots.

Continue Painting Dots

Fill the entire rug with medium and large size dots. Use two separate brushes to avoid mixing the two paint colors. Fill in the empty spots with small dots until you’re satisfied with the design. Get step-by-step instructions for this project >>

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