4/8 Update: I’m linking up this project now on Creating with the Stars!
During our first Restore shop about a month ago we found 16 rolls of red tennis towel grip retailing for .50 cents each. We knew these will made a statement in the room… but we weren’t just quite sure how we were going to use them – but, when you see things like this in the thrift store you gotta pick them up because they won’t be there when you go back the next day. I’m still dreaming of a bird cage I passed up at Care and Share a couple months back. I went back to purchase it and it was gone. It haunts my dreams still and every time I go shop there I still look for it. Here are the grips:
We opened a package of the grips as soon as we got home and immediately said “wow, they are soft.” Our minds got thinking what we could use them for – a pillow was our first thought – but through some brainstorming we found a better way to up cycle them. We’ll walk you through how we have turned them into a lovely FLOR-type carpet tile for our room for under $10.00. The rug looks really cool and is one-of-a-kind and will surely brighten up our room.
Here are the supplies we used to make our tennis grip FLOR-type tile rug:
– Black Sharpie marker
– Tennis towel grips
– Small amount of paint the same color as the towel grips
– Scrap piece of rubber backed carpet foam padding (shown below)
– Glue (as a backup in case the towel grips have lost some of their stickiness)
Using the piece of rubber backed felt carpet padding, we first cut it to the size that we wanted our rug to be. This can vary based on the size of your carpet padding and the materials you are working with. Next, rubber side up, we squared off the padding into blocks, using a black Sharpie fine point marker. Afraid that the carpet padding color would show through, we painted the padding (using red, the color of our tennis grips) over the marker lines, and on the border. We also painted the ends of the padding to disguise them and to help them blend in with the grips just in case there was a chance you’d see it or it would show through.
As an added bonus our grips had built-in tape on their backside so this made the project go a little quicker. Just like a puzzle, we peeled off the backings from the grip tape, and placed on top of the padding using the lines as your guide. Start from the inside and work your way out, you can go vertical, diagonal or horizontal. We decided to go diagonal from the center outward for our tile.
Once you get a section completed start cutting the excess grip tape that hangs over your carpet foam padding.
If you have ever seen FLOR tiles you can see it is starting to look like one. Next, continue onto the other sections of the padding.
Nearing the end of the project, we realized there wasn’t enough grip tapes to complete all the squares diagonally so we changed the design a bit making the other squares vertical and horizontal. The rug still came out looking like an awesome Flor-like tile square rug.
One of the fun parts about this project is that you can make the size any size you’d like or you can even make a rug into a different shape, you just want to make sure you cut out the rubber carpet padding beforehand, that will help as a nice guide when you are trimming the grip tape.
Here’s the completed “FLOR” tile knock off rug:
Here’s a closer photo so you can see the stripes going different ways and the beautiful texture that the tennis racket towel grips provided:
Now finding spare tennis racket grips may not be something you’d come across in your local thrift store, but maybe something else will catch your eye and sometimes when you think outside of the box the end results will amaze you! This was a fun and easy project to do for under $10.00 and will surely make a statement in our Upcycle Challenge room.
p.s. And I’m still in the market for a vintage bird cage if anyone has one.