March 21, 2011

Plywood Rug

I've been giddy about this board - finally excited to show it off to you!!  Voila - my Plywood Rug:

I have two rolling chairs in my craft room - I roll from one spot to another, etc.  But with the carpet, I try to roll to scoot up my chair to sew, and it'd catch and I'd dump myself half-out.  I needed a rolling surface - so I looked into those floor chair mat things - you know, they're clear and have spikes on the bottom, etc.  Well I wanted 2 for the large area I needed to cover, and they were cheapest at $30, so I'd be in $60.  Seemed excessive for a craft room.  I was telling Trevor how I wish I knew someone who wanted to give me a floor mat - and he mentioned why not make a board.  One idea lead to another, and now I have my Plywood Rug - love it! - Cost $20 for the board - score!!

--Here's how to make a plywood rug - or a plywood mat for under chairs - or whatever you want to call it - - buy a 4x8ft board (this one was a nice board - you could get a cheaper one - but this one was smooth - I don't know what it was - underlayment?) - then I stained it for some added color:
--then stencil - deciding where they go is the hardest part! (FYI, I got my stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils and also used it in my kitchen HERE)
--to protect the paint I sprayed it with clear.  Then I brushed on a coat of polyurethane from a can - gave it an extra shine.
--That's it - enjoy!!  Here's an aerial view:
Now, if I just even think about scooting over, I fly so fast, whizzing around my board - it's great!

UPDATE Feb 2014:  I have had this almost 3 years, and it looks just the same as when I first made it - the paint hasn't chipped, the board hasn't cracked or broken - - it is a winner of a project for sure!!

So ditch those expensive ugly plastic mats and make yourself your own awesome custom plywood rug mat - you'll love it!!


About Author:

Mandy is a craft blogger who loves to blog and enjoys all things crafty, sewing, and DIY - she feels that if she can do something, you can too, and provides tutorials to help you along the way. She loves being a mom to 4 awesome kiddos and blogs from the Kansas City Area. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter or Google +

83 Fabulous Comments:

Wow that is so cool!! Great job!

That is such a great idea! I love it!
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I love this! I have some board in my garage and wondering if I should give this a try.

Mandy, it looks great! Do you have a source for the stencil? I love that one!

That is a great idea. When I lived at home I trashed the carpet in my bedroom from rolling on my computer chair all the time. My parents should have gotten me something like this!

I am kicking myself. I had to replace the cracked clear plastic chair mats in our office. I wanted a set of bamboo mats but my husband balked at the price. We got a more decorative black plastic mat instead. When they finally go, I'm soooooo replacing them with your idea!

What a great idea!! When I finally get to do my craft room I am going to do this! Gone to Pin this idea.

Brilliant - and oh, so cute. I love this idea.

This is so smart! I like the design and colors you choose as well!

WOW!!! That is the best idea!! And SO MUCH prettier than those mat things would've been anyway!! Love it!

I think this is super cool. Off to follow you! :)

I LOVE this idea! I also have carpet in my craft room and my two tables are across from each other so I am rolling from one side of the room to the other. I would also like to know where you got the stencils.

This is soo cool! You did an awesome job. I love it!

What a great idea!!!

Wow! This is so amazing! I love it!


Amazing Mandy. You always have the best ideas.

this would be perfect for my sewing area - a lot easier to clean up than the carpet, or find a pin when i drop it!

I am SO excited to see this!!! We are moving into our first home in about a month. It has gorgeous carpet in the basement where I've staked out my crafting area (in front of the gas fireplace cause my hubby likes it COLD). As I pack up our current house we're renting I can see how thrashed the carpeting is around my computer and craft table. And I dreaded the thought of the inevitable clear plastic mat. This is a FABULOUS option!!!!

Such a great idea! I wish I could do this to my dining room but it would really clash with the hideous apartment carpet. Who puts carpet in the dining room, seriously! But seriously, your wood rug is super clever!

Very pretty and clever way to get around the carpet problem with a rolling chair.

--Denise at Sly Needle

Pure genius AND gorgeous! What a fabulous and original idea!

What a fantastic and cute idea... I'm inspired :+)

I LOVE that! If I ever get a whole room I am so gonna make one.

Where'd you get that great stencil??
Fun idea and functional too.

this is a super cute idea! its a good alternative to those ugly clear mats! thanks for sharing!

Oh my that looks amazing! I love the idea of using smart!

Wow what a great idea!! I LOVE it!! Hope to see it at my weekend linky party :)

Mandy - I LOVE this project!! It's such a GREAT idea!!

I featured you on my blog today. Please come visit and grab a button!

Hugs ~~ Suz

Ahh!!! This is so super cute!! I think even only semi-craty me could handle it :) Next free weekend, I'm all about this - my new office is rather drab and I think this would livent it up nicely.
Thanks for the awesome idea!

I love this idea!!! I have the same problem. My craft room is carpeted, and my chair doesn't move that great. This would be a much cheaper option than a chair mat too. Those things are expensive! Thanks for the inspiration!

Yep! I love it! I need something like that because my carpet eats thread and pins. The thread gets caught in it and the pins get lost in it. (and who sews with shoes on?)

This really is brilliant and beautiful. Please, please, PLEASE tell us where you got your stencil! :)

Mandy! this is so freakin cool! Finally something new and creative in the blogging world! I'll be featuring this beautiful tutorial on BCD on April 5th! I think you should submit this to the Nate Show!

I love this! Looked for the stencil and found it here:
While it increases the price it can be used over and over! :)

this is something i didn't even know i wanted, but now i need it!

this is something i didn't even know i wanted, but now i need it!

So great! Did you use the medium or large stencil? Because I'm thinking of ordering!!! thanks- Tamar,

This gives me a great idea to use in my daughter's playhouse! Oh, now my creative juices are flowing! Thanks for the inspiration!

Becky B.
Organizing Made Fun

This is WONDERFUL, such a creative idea! I'm filing this one away for later use!

I am featuring this tomorrow! I love it :)

genius! love the stencil. :D

This is absolutely BRILLIANT in every way! Marvelous job!

I really like this idea! May have to try this!

This is such a great idea! Love the stencil you used. Great job :D

This is GENIUS! I love it! Thank you for sharing! :)

I cannot wait to steal this brilliant idea! Where did you get the stencil?

I see...Cutting Edge Stencils! It's me not you:)

So clever! Perfect for rolling office chairs and it's gorgeous! I love it! :)


Awesome idea! And it looks 10 times better than those plastic things. Thanks for auditioning for American Crafter- good luck:)

There's a typo. Its aerial. Ariel is a little mermaid.

Love it, that is an awesome idea. TFS

I am in love with everything about this - the colors, the wood tone peaking through, the fact that is plywood. It would be perfect for my home office. I included this tutorial on my DIY rug roundup post at my blog.

Jessica @ SheekGeek

Your plywood rug is gorgeous! I linked it to my hardwood floors post today too, well done!

Genius! I am lucky to have wood floors in this part but if I am ever forced to have carpet again I am stealing this idea :) Thank you!

This post is amazing! I made my own plywood rug after being inspired by yours and I love it so much. Thank you so much for the great idea! You can come see my results if you want to on my blog here:

I have never seen anything like this before. Plywood! Seriously!! Talk about ingenuity. It looks great! Love the design.


My current chair mat is getting all cracked and in reading the reviews on what's available, I started wondering if there was something I could diy that'd last longer on my plush carpets--I'm so glad my searching brought me here! I do have two questions, though. How's the mat held up since you made it? And what's the thickness of the plywood you used?


Thank you for answering my questions, Mandy. It's wonderful to know that it's held up so well and that you still love it. I talked my dad into coming over to cut the plywood for me this afternoon, so I'll be giving it a try myself all because of your tutorial. Thank you very, very much.

(I tried to send this back to you by email, but it bounced, so I figured I'd post it here.)

I LOVE this project!!

I scoot around too on my chair and have often saved myself from the embarrassing dump or pulled a muscle trying to pull the chair over the floor. I share your thoughts that the carpet protectors are far too pricey, but yours is not only a great price but looks infinitely better :D I can just imagine the possibilities for making one of these into an inspiring craft-area rug.

Thank you!
Eveningsong Ink blog

Way too cool - you've done a fantastic job with that plywood rug! I've got this linked to my rugs post too today, for inspiration!

How has the plywood rug been holding up to wear and tear? I was thinking of doing this in my kitchen. Its carpeted and I was thinking of putting a plywood rug under my table and chairs. Not sure if it will with stand the weight of a table, chairs, two adults, and 3 kids though. Also I'm not sure if there is a large enough piece to fit under all that. What do you think?

Brilliant idea! I have carpet in my sewing room - yuk - I am so so tired of picking up thread, and cleaning the ones I still me off my vacuum roller. I have 2 of the ugly plastic mats. I have looked and looked for an alternative, and my most recent idea was to rip up the carpet (quite new, I'd keep the piece for when we sell the house) and put down laminate or something. Now I have another idea ..... I've seen painted canvas floor rugs too. Similar concept, but I think they'd creep across the rug. Thank you!!

Fabulous! Solves the carpet problem in a gorgeous way.

I had a bamboo mat before that basically cracked and broke up after a while of rolling over it with my chair. Any breakage issues yet with the plywood? Such an amazing idea.

it's been over a year, and it looks exactly the same as those pictures - no wear, or cracks, or anything - and I still love it!!

I was just going to ask how it was holding up- but I see your comment in May saying it's still looking great! This is a fantastic idea-so much cuter than those black rubber mats. I may have one of these in my future....

Looks great! I'm attempting to furnish my tiny (carpeted) bedroom/workspace at school and had been looking for a low-cost, customizable alternative to a plastic mat. This would work perfectly! One question: What was thickness of the plywood that you used? I found a post by someone else who had attempted this project and found that after a week or so the wood had begun to curl up a bit at the edges; I'm not sure if that was due to the size, thickness, or weight load, but I'd like to emulate your durable result as closely as possible!

Thanks! :)

I think it's around 1/4 thick - look for the "hardwood" - - mine looks the same as the day I made it, no curling or anything - I love it!

Have you ever stubbed your toe on that thing? I would bevel the edges with a router. It is a great idea.

Such a fantastic idea! I need one of these!

Wow, Mandy this is amazing! Love the colors of the stencils too. :)

So it's 2 years later, how's it holding up? Has it started to chip or does it still look as good? I'm seriously considering this but want to have lots of ammunition in order to convenience hubby dearest that this is a better idea than buying those plastic things with teeth that wear out every few months.

it looks the exact same - - no chips or cracks or wear - I'm super excited that it's help up so well!

Great! Thanks so much for letting me know!

This is great! I am going to have to reuse this idea if you don't mind. We've also used laminate or hardwood flooring, the snap and click kind, for chair mats. You can sometimes pick up a random box at a thrift store or local Habitat for Humanity store for super cheap.
Debra from

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