DIY Painted Tartan Picnic Rug


For last week’s Knit in Public Day workshop, I made this fab DIY painted tartan picnic rug – one of my biggest projects to date! See, me head only just pokes out over the top of it! This rug had to seat 10+ people so we knew it had to be bigger than your average picnic blanket. And we needed it to be eye catching so the workshop guests could find us! So when I saw this hot tip on the House that Lars Built, I knew a custom drop-sheet picnic rug was the way to go!

Like more party craft? Check out my project gallery!


All you need to create your own is a canvas drop-sheet (they come in all manner of shapes and sizes), a variety of different paint colours (we went with grey, pink and red) and different sized rollers to make the stripes. I know, I know, I’m definitely breaking some design rules with the red and pink combo but I just think they go so well together! Am I crazy?!


Unless you have a surplus supply of drop-sheets you can lay down, it’s a good idea to setup somewhere you can spill a lil’ paint without getting in trouble, like your back lawn or local park!

Start by rolling out horizontal stripes with your widest roller. These stripes will be the base of the tartan pattern so I think it’s good to start with a neutral so your other colours will pop out against them. And don’t mind my leopard socks, I took my shoes off so I could step on the sheet without making any marks! :)


Once you’ve rolled all your neutral stripes in your widest roller, roll a thinner stripe in a ‘pop’ colour between each. Then take your wider neutral roller and make verticle stripes along the top. The great thing about painting on drop-sheets is that they really soak up the paint so you don’t have to wait too long for each layer to dry! And I can highly recommend this leg-out, bum-up painting technique!


Then take your second ‘pop’ colour and run thin stripes alongside each of the top neutrals. Once you’ve completed these, just leave the drop-sheet out to dry!


And voila! The finished product! I was a little worried the rug might turn out crunchy or fumey due to all the paint we applied but it was actually quite soft and really comfortable. I definitely recommend giving it a go!