Design your own concrete rug with a Cricut stencil

July 7, 2020 | Contributor: Lauren, Cricut Blog Team

My husband and I bought our first house two years ago. At only 1,200 square feet, I was focused on making every inch count when it came to furniture and decor.

As our family grew (we welcomed our first daughter in 2019), I realized my living space could be doubled by sprucing up the backyard. The back patio had great bones with a (fairly) new concrete slab, wood pergola, and large grass space.

My goal was to create a comfortable living space without spending too much money (outdoor patio furniture is expensive!). I purchased consignment furniture but knew something just wasn’t quite right: the concrete slab! The cracks and rust stains throughout the slab didn’t make the space as inviting, so I thought, maybe a rug would help?

concrete slab with cracks
Before view of the concrete patio.

With the unpredictable weather in Utah, I realized outdoor rugs may not last. That’s when I discovered the idea of a concrete rug, a stencil painted directly onto concrete to give the illusion of a rug. So, I decided to tackle it… and I’m so glad I did. Keep reading for a full tutorial or skip to the video tutorial.

After view of the finished patio.

Here’s what you’ll need:

*Only needed if you have cracks in your concrete that you would like to fill.

supplies needed for a concrete rug using a Cricut stencil
Some of the key supplies you’ll need.

Step 1: Find a design and test it out

I researched (literally) hundreds of different floor patterns until I decided on a repeating pattern in art deco style. After searching “stencil” and “tile” in Design Space®, I found a pattern I absolutely loved: a bit art deco with softer lines. It is image number #M2358107, “ceramic tile.” I sliced the image into four pieces because I had such a large patio to fill.

  • Here’s my community project in Design Space.
  • If you don’t have a machine, download the SVG pattern and size it to your project. You can print and use it as a template.
Design Space project showing the tile sliced into four shapes to make a larger pattern.

Each piece fit on to a 12″ x 12″ mat. All I had to do was to cut on two 12″ x 24″ mats to get my stencils, but you can also use a regular 12″ x 12″ mat too. I recommend using a brand new or green Cricut mat with your machine.

Step 2: Prep your concrete patio

It’s very important that you have a freshly cleaned surface. You don’t want to paint over dirt and rust. That’s why a power washer is key to this process. While you could clean the surface by hand, I wouldn’t recommend it. A power washer cleans your surface more efficiently and with much more ease.

We bought a gas power washer but they are also available to rent at your local home improvement store. Make sure that your patio is completely dry before you start painting. I let the patio dry overnight before putting the first paint layer on.

power washing the concrete slab to prep it for paint

I also wanted to fill the cracks. This isn’t totally necessary, but I wanted to fill areas I knew would be problematic when painting. A caulk gun is useful with the concrete filler to help dispense it more easily into the cracks.

concrete filler in a caulk gun
This is a concrete caulk gun for dispensing cement filler.

Step 3: Paint your base layer on patio

After testing a painted stencil on bare concrete, I decided I didn’t like that look and opted to paint a base layer first. With my paint roller, I proceeded to roll the paint on in three layers. Concrete paint dries really fast, but I still suggest at least one hour of dry-time between layers.

base layer of paint on concrete slab

Step 4: Prep for your stencil

Once your base layer is completely dry, you’ll outline your stencil area. Since I didn’t want to take the stencil all the way to the edges of the patio, I used a chalkline to create an outline. A chalkline drops a perfectly straight line across your surface so your stencil stays even all the way across. To apply the chalkline, pull the string out (it will have chalk on it), attach the edge of it to the edge of your patio, and snap it down to create the line on your surface.

Step 5: Start your stencil

This step definitely takes the longest because you want to be careful as you’re painting each stencil. Take each piece of the stencil and lay painter’s tape around the edges. Grab your large stencil brush and blot the paint on slowly across the full stencil. Blotting is an important technique so you’re not pushing the paint too hard where it will bleed over the lines of the stencil.

blotting paint on a Cricut stencil

Let your stencil dry for 5-10 minutes before moving on to the next stencil.

one row of concrete rug created with Cricut stencil completed

Repeat this process for multiple rows. My stencil had 4.5 rows by 6.5 rows. I reused the same four stencil pieces all the way across the patio. However, in hindsight, I would highly suggest cutting more than one full stencil shape to help the process go faster.

Step 6: Seal your stencil

I would suggest using a sealant on your stencil, especially if you live in a place with changing weather patterns. I used a polyurethane spray sealant across the entire patio. There are a lot of different options but the spray seemed really convenient to me. I sprayed two coats and let each coat dry for thirty minutes.

polyurethane spray for concrete rug

Now you’re done and can enjoy a beautifully designed patio that you did yourself! I learned a LOT during the making of this project. Overall, it took me 3-4 days to complete (you could likely do it faster if you block out an entire day for the stencil part).

If I had to give three tips, I’d say:

  1. Make sure to really clean your surface before starting
  2. Choose an appropriate paint and test the colors before deciding
  3. Cut out multiple stencils to make the process go faster

Also, I should add, it helps to have a best friend who is a DIY superstar! A huge thanks goes to my best friend, Chelsea Hentkowski, who gave me a ton of tips and tricks along the way. You may recognize her project from the DIY fireplace mantel.

My finished patio.

Concrete “rug” video tutorial

Here’s a video tutorial so you can follow along as I made my rug.

Tell me what you think of this project in the comments below, and be sure to share your Cricut home projects using the hashtag #cricutathome on Instagram.

Looking for more DIY home inspiration?

Return to the Cricut Guide to DIY Home Projects.

38 thoughts on “Design your own concrete rug with a Cricut stencil

  1. Is there anything the Cricut can’t do? What a great project. I really love how on trend it is. The results look amazing, and your tutorial really helped break down the steps. Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Can you give more information on how you actually cut the stencil? Or is there another video for just that part?

  3. I would love to try this around our small inground pool…. it would look so much nicer than that plain concrete. Hmmmm.

  4. What a great idea! I hate my concrete entrance way. The last owners put a outside rug over it. I want to pull it up buts its ugly! Don’t want to spend lots of money to fix it! I have a couple of steps going up to the area as well. It will be a beautiful entrance way! Cant wait to make it!
    Thanks for sharing!

  5. I love the idea, written instructions, and video. Thanks for sharing your amazing DIY project with us.

  6. Thank you so much for this. We just finished laying concrete and putting a roof on it. My husband wants to do something on the concrete so I will definitely show this to him.

  7. Thank you so much for sharing your project. I have been wanting to do a stencil project on my back patio as well. Your tutorial will be very helpful. I will probably wait until November when it is a bit cooler and I won’t have to worry about the daily storms since I live in Florida. I can’t wait to do this!

  8. Great demonstration. My only recommendation is an interior/exterior sealant with UV protection. Good Job! Dan

  9. I have been interested in this idea for a very long time; however, I think that after seeing your thorough tutorial, I will plan on doing this in the near future with my outside living spaces.

      • I’m new to Cricut. Is Mylar Cricut product? Does it have an adhesive on the back? Please give more information?

        • Hi Barbara,
          I have not used my Cricut to make a stencil… yet. Ha! But I have used large scale stencils multiple times to stencil full walls. Each time the stencil has been 24×24 or so and it is made out of a material similar to Mylar, which you should be able to purchase sheets of in most craft supply stores. It is not adhesive, but what I have found to work quite well, especially when stenciling a wall, is to go to the spray paint aisle and get some repositionable adhesive to spray the back of your stencil. Spray a coat on the back, position the stencil where you want it and then stencil (as with all stenciling, make sure to use WAAAAAY less paint than you think you’ll need, as it tends to get under the stencil as it builds up and then you lose your crisp edges). Once you’ve done a section, you can usually reposition the stencil 3-4 times without spraying more adhesive. It does not leave your wall sticky and keeps you from having to mess with painters tape and potentially ruin the already stenciled section that may not yet be dry. Usually, if I’m doing a large space (or if I have to stop and finish the next day) I will clean off the stencil completely once or twice through the project. That keeps the gunk level minimal and my edges nice and crisp. 🙂 I have also found that the shower and a large cleaning brush works quite well to clean off the paint and adhesive fairly quickly. A dab of dish soap helps also. Just be sure to take care of the edges of your stencil so you don’t bend or tear them when cleaning. If you need to get especially stubborn adhesive spots off your stencil, goo gone works wonders.

    • Hi Ruth,

      Lauren uses mylar to cut her stencil but you may also substitute a vinyl preference of your choice.

  10. Hello, Just a friendly note on this post. It is extremely dangerous to power wash and wear sandals. Please wear closed toed shoes if you intend to do this project.

    • Thanks for the friendly reminder, DM!

      Please do take precautions and be safe when completing projects.

  11. This is absolutely stunning. You provided outstanding instructions and tips, too. Brava! Well done, you!

  12. This has to be one of the most fabulous projects using Cricut! Your results look very professional and if I didn’t know you used a stencil, I would definitely think you purchased outdoor wall to wall olefin. I read the instructions so I have not looked at the video. Over what period of time did it take to complete your rug?

  13. This project turned out beautifully! I would think it would take lots of patience! It looks great! Thank you for sharing!

  14. Can you show the most important part which is how you lined up the various stencil pieces? You only show the first piece… but zip through the rest. Lining them up perfectly is critical. Thx

    • That’s a really good question! Lining up the stencil pieces is definitely a tricky part. To be honest, I eyeballed it but also used painter’s tape to create crisp lines. Each stencil was about 1/4″ separation from edge to edge. Does that help?

  15. Thank for this awesome tutorial! Looks fantastic! Would you share the enlarged version of your file?
    Also, please share the link for the Mylar material for stencil! Thank you!

  16. OMG this is amazing and I absolutey loved how it turned out! Thank you for the tutorial!

  17. Sandra, I too live in Florida and I agree with you….wait until November or even January, until it cools down, or the sun and heat will make you part of the patio!!! LOL. I think this is such a great idea and I can’t wait to do my drive way. Thank you LAUREN for sharing your great home improvement with us!!!! You Rock!

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