We love Tom Baker. And we needed a new runner carpet for our hallway. Enter this easy DIY Doctor Who rug (for under $30). Our first project in our new house!
Some of you guys saw this last week on our Instagram. We planned on posting it here a few days ago, but wanted to wait and make sure that it wore well and that the paint didn’t chip/peel/etc. So far it’s looking good as new! And that’s with two VERY sheddy black dogs.
Oh, and that’s right, I said PAINT. This is a plain ol’ cheap beige runner carpet from Home Depot, painted to look like Tom Baker’s iconic Doctor Who scarf. Want to make your own? You’ll need:
Light colored runner carpet ($13 at Home Depot)
Paint (we used some acrylic craft paint, and some latex paint samples)
Textile Medium (aka Fabric Medium)
Tiny crochet hook
A few shades of yarn
This project actually only ended up costing us $13 (for the plain runner), since we already had the yarn from our DIY Doctor Who Tom Baker cowl scarf, we had the Textile Medium from our DIY geek pillows, and we always have a stash of super glue, painters tape, and sponge brushes on hand.
Anyway, first we rolled out the runner carpet. Obviously. Then we started taping stripes on the carpet, with painters tape. We just made up the stripe pattern as we went, basing it on several different Tom Baker scarves.
We used a ruler to make sure the space between the tape was even (that’s a level in the photo, but the side you can’t see has a ruler on it).
Once it was all taped, we mixed up our FABRIC PAINT (using textile medium). Yep, adding textile/fabric medium to your acrylic or latex paint essentially turns it into fabric paint, if you follow manufacturer instructions. So it won’t peel/chip, stays softer, and can even be washed. We did this for our DIY geek pillows, and those have held up great for months now.
When painting, make sure to stipple the paint on, instead of brushing it on. You want to really get the paint into the fabric. We used our fingers too, to help work it in.
For paint colors, we just picked whatever colors from our paint stash said “Tom Baker” to us. The carpet was already beige/tan, so that helped. We also used yellow, blue, green, red, purple, and brown.
We had to do the stripes in a couple of different stages, since most of the painted stripes are right next to another painted stripe. If that makes sense. Basically we painted every other stripe, pulled the tape off, let everything dry for an hour or two, then taped OVER the previously painted stripe to paint the stripe next to it.
Once everything was painted, we decided that to really feel like a Tom Baker scarf rug, we would need fringe.
For this, we cut a bunch of yarn colors that match the rug into pieces of the same length (however long you want your fringe, x2). Then we just stuck a small crochet hook right through the rubber backing on the runner, to do a basic fringe. Once the fringe was done, we put a tiny tab of superglue on each little fringe-knot, to make sure it stays put.
That’s it! It took about 4 hours total for painting, including dry time, and 1-2 hours for fringe (with breaks). For scale, here it is against a 70 pound very happy black lab.
What do you think of the DIY Doctor Who rug? The grain of the fabric stayed exactly the same, but the texture did change to a more stiff kind of feeling. Not a carpet you’d want to lie down on, but for a hallway runner, it’s fine for us.