How to Turn a Rug Into a Wall Art Tapestry

Put a cherished rug on display as handmade art with some basic lumber and these DIY tapestry instructions.

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Materials Needed:

  • 8' long plank of 1" x 4" oak
  • 8' long strip of 1" X 2" oak
  • 8' long carpet tack strip
  • hammer
  • table saw
  • 3/4" nails
  • measuring tape
  • 4" drywall screws
  • 3" metal screws
  • drill
  • ladder
  • pencil
  • level
  • stud finder
  • 1/4" drill bit
  • wood stain
  • stain pad
  • sanding block

Determine Measurements & Cut Cleat

Use measuring tape to determine the width and length of rug as well as the available wall space along which it will hang. Based on scale and proportion of rug and wall, also decide proper orientation: horizontal or vertical. Referring to these measurements and orientation, mark 8' long plank of 1" x 4" oak to size with pencil, then miter down the center at 45-degree angle, creating a cleat (Image 1). Note: Once sawed, keep in mind that the half with the upward-facing cut of the oak will be secured directly to the wall, and the half with the downward-facing cut of the oak will hold the rug with a carpet tack strip and slide down on top of and behind the wall-mounted half (Image 2).

Attach Carpet Tack Strip to Downward-Facing Half of Cleat

Use a table saw to cut the carpet tack strip to size. Next, use 3/4-inch nails and a hammer to secure the tack strip just above the 45-degree angle cut of the downward-facing piece of oak.

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Create Clasping Fascia

Mark and cut the 8' long strip of 1" x 2" oak the same width as the cleat. Place the 1" x 2" strip directly on top of the tack strip (Image 1). Next, use a 1/4-inch drill bit to add a hole through the 1" x 2" strip approximately 1/4 inch above the tack strip, then down through the downward-facing half of the cleat (Image 2). Pull back the 1" x 2" strip and place the top edge of the rug along the tack strip (Image 3). Once the rug is securely in place, reposition the clasping fascia on top of the rug, then use a drill to fasten it to the downward-facing cleat with 3-inch metal screws (Image 4). Note: This is the best point in the project to add character to the wood with stain. If the intended look is stained wood rather than a raw, unfinished style, use a sanding block to smooth the surface, then apply stain using a stain pad. Once stained, reattach the clasping fascia to the downward-facing half of the cleat with screws.

Locate & Mark Stud

Use a stud finder to locate placement of studs in the wall. Mark with pencil.

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Secure Upward-Facing Half of Cleat to Wall

Referring to marks on the wall, hold the upward-facing half of the cleat in position, then use a drill to secure into place with 4-inch drywall screws through the cleat and into the stud.

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Secure and Unfurl Rug

Once the upward-facing half of the cleat is securely fastened to the wall, use a ladder to place the downward-facing half of the cleat securely behind it (Image 1). Next, unfurl the rug slowly (Image 2), then check clasping fascia to ensure the tack strip is holding the rug in place snugly (Image 3).

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