DIY Floor Mat || Upcycled Carpet Squares

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So, I have a confession – I think most welcome/floor mats are ugly and I fully understand how ridiculous that sounds. Why should something intended to remove dirt be visually appealing? I can only counter with “why not?”

I scored carpet squares when I visited Zerolandfill (ZLF) Seattle’s annual event. I knew if I snagged some interesting colors, I’d find a way to cut them up and reassemble them into visually appealing designs or fun color schemes. Before diving into the deep end, I decided to make this test run using two of the duller squares.

While settling on a test design, I knew I needed to try adhering shapes of varying sizes. I was mostly curious if smaller shapes would hold their adhesive when you wipe your feet. I imagined larger pieces would be fine, so if these smaller bits didn’t hold, I’d just magnify my pattern.

Next I used sharpie to trace pattern pieces on the back of my carpet squares. I wasn’t certain I’d cut clean edges (almost splurged on a carpet knife) but my rotary cutter got the job done. Disclaimer: There was a decent amount of dust produced from this. I don’t imagine it’s safe to inhale, so I vacuumed and wiped down surfaces with a damp paper towel for a quick and dirty clean up.

From here, it was fairly straight forward. I took a piece, generously applied gorilla glue to an edge and held it against another. The gorilla glue worked as expected and before I knew it, I’d assembled the entire mat. Oh and here’s a few pro-tips from an amateur when using gorilla glue:

  1. Cover any surfaces when using gorilla glue. Our kitchen counter tops wish I’d laid cardboard from the start, however, it’s nothing a razor knife can’t fix.
  2. Always use gloves when working with gorilla glue.
  3. If/when you inevitably skip the gloves, you can wash your hands with a skin exfoliant to help your body shed your Gorilla Glue-fused skin faster. I used Neutragena Face Wash (not a sponsor) which had tiny scrubbing bits that helped a lot. Just wear gloves.

With my mat assembled, I applied a layer of duck tape horizontally (strip-by-strip from top to bottom) and then a layer vertically (strip-by-strip from left to right). These layers of duck tape help to lock pieces in place and excess edges were trimmed so the duck tape remains invisible.

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Overall, this actually turned out better than expected. The finished product functions just as well as a floor mat. We’ve used ours for about a month and it’s still holding up. I’m curious to see how it will respond to dirt, mud, or water.

Carpet Squares

I have a fun build video in mind for three more designs and color schemes in mind. Excited to use all my fun carpet squares. Stay tuned!

Author: Viliamu

Seattle-based fashion, costume, cosplay, and upcycling enthusiast.

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