DIY Tom Baker Doctor Who Rug

DIY Doctor Who Tom Baker RugWe 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)
Sponge brushes
Painters tape
Tiny crochet hook
A few shades of yarn
Superglue (optional)


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.

DIY Doctor Who Rug

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).

DIY Tom Baker Scarf Rug

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.

Make your own DIY Doctor Who runner carpet

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.

Make your own Doctor Who Runner Carpet

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.

DIY Doctor Who rug

Once everything was painted, we decided that to really feel like a Tom Baker scarf rug, we would need fringe.

DIY Doctor Who scarf 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.

DIY Tom Baker rug

DIY Doctor Who runner carpet

DIY Tom Baker Doctor Who rug

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

Geek Home Decor - DIY Doctor Who rug

What do you think of the DIY Doctor Who rug?ย 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.

Geek Decor: DIY Doctor Who runner carpet


  1. says

    This is such a cool idea! I have really got to try out fabric medium one day. Pretty much my whole house is carpeted, but if I ever achieve wood flooring, I will definitely be making one of those! ^___^

    • says

      Thank you, Lisa! We ended up buying way too much fabric medium when it was on sale, so now are trying to come up with a lot more ideas for it. ๐Ÿ™‚ So far everything we’ve used it on has held up pretty well!

    • says

      Thank you! I rarely have a chance to wear my Tom Baker scarf (not cold enough here), so at least this way we can bring some of his style into our everyday lives. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • says

      No problem! We just eyeballed all of the measurements when we made it (since there are so many variations of the scarf), but ours breaks down approximately like this:
      Tan: 5″
      Green: 3″
      Tan: 3″
      Red: 4″
      Purple: 1.5″
      Yellow: 2.5″
      Green: 4.5″
      Brown: 1″
      Blue: 3″
      Tan: 5″
      Green: 2″
      Yellow: 4″
      Tan: 5″
      Green: 1″
      Purple: 4″
      Red: 5″
      Tan: 3″
      Brown: 1.5″
      Blue: 1″

    • says

      It’s holding up well! It’s had some fading (it’s in a very heavy use hallway), but we actually like it a little better now that it looks worn in – since now it looks more muted like the actual scarf. So far so good!

  2. says

    Thank you! After I figured out that I could not buy this, I made one. My brother saw it and requested one too. If I didn’t have the yarn on hand I would buy a heavy rug yarn, but other than that I love it. For me it is the epitome of Doctor Who, for others it is a cute rug that goes with my decor.

  3. Pam says

    My 14 year old daughter is a big fan of Tom Baker. She has been wanting a “Fourth Doctor” scarf forever so this just might become a project. Thanks so much for posting it.


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