Dollhouse miniatures

A realistic way to make an “antique” scale miniature rug

To make “antique” rugs, I use iron on transfer paper, BUT let me tell you how to get an aged look that is not so rubbery as you would normally get when you use this stuff. The rugs are so much fun to make that I went a little crazy. Now I just need to build a room box for a rug store.

NOTE: I used pictures of actual antique rugs that I found on Google. I don’t believe that there is any copyright on the antiques, BUT check before you decide to sell anything that you may make that has an image that you got from the internet. You are fairly safe when using antique patterns, but please do not do this with copyrighted work IF you want to sell any of your work. 😊

Basic supplies to make a rug. You will need iron on transfer paper, peel and stick tape, or fabric glue, fray check and assorted markers.

You will also need fabric with a fairly tight weave- something that has a little texture to look like a rug, but not too much texture. I used thin-ish upholstery fabric. It’s IMPORTANT that you choose a fabric with a high content of natural fiber. Material with a lot of nylon, for instance, will melt as you try to iron on the transfer.

You will also want some ribbon and cording to add a fringe and to finish the back side of the rug. Look for ribbon that you can fray. It makes great fringe.

Choose your design, size it and print it onto iron-on transfer paper. I Googled the internet for antique rugs. 

After the print is dry, cut the paper to rug size and cut the fabric a little larger than that.

Iron according to manufacturer instructions.

BUT, don’t iron as long as they tell you too. Check the image by peeling up a little corner of the paper.

Check the image by peeling up a little corner of the paper. You want enough of a transfer to see the image, but not so much that you get a crisp, rubbery look.

Peel the paper back carefully (and fairly quickly) while the transfer paper is still hot. THIS is the secret to getting an antique look without the shiny finish of a completed decal transfer. Don’t fret if some pattern is still on the paper. That is what you want in this method of “antiquing”.

IF you went too far and you got that full on transfer and rubbery look, OR if you did not get enough transfer, carefully lay the transfer paper back down and iron until hot again. Then rip the paper off the fabric. That should leave some of the print on the paper.

If THAT doesn’t work use sand paper- Not kidding, heavy grit sandpaper will knock the shine off and antique the rug the way it should be.

Cut the rug to size and then use Fray Check to keep the edges from fraying. The edges of the fabric will shoe so you can use a matching marker to color the edges of the rug if you like.

Now you can jump on to fringing and finishing up the back side of the rug.

This unlikely looking ribbon made a perfect fringe after I cut it in half and snipped off the top edge of each side to fray it. The rug is folded over so that you can see the back side with the finishing ribbon.
I use the Peel and Stick tape to attach the ribbon to the back side of the rug and white glue to fix the tiny little cord edging to the front of the rug.

The fronts and backs of a couple rugs so that you can see that you will want to make the back pretty too.

Another cutie. You’ll see. It’s hard to stop playing around with these transfers and patterns once you get started.

10 thoughts on “A realistic way to make an “antique” scale miniature rug

  1. Wow. Once again your craftsmanship and attention to detail impresses me. This is a technique that’s within anyone’s reach but your execution of it has made something really special. I think a rug shop room box would be fantastic. It makes me think of similar rooms I’ve seen in dollhouse books that show markets or butchers or whatever made 75 or 150 years ago. So intriguing. Anyway. I love this.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Carleen, your first question made me wonder if I had done something wrong in the link to my PDFs and, sure enough, I did. If you tried to print before and the image was bad, it was probably because I did not link the correct download. It’s a bigger file and will be more crisp when you print.
        So sorry of I messed you up. 😯 The links are good now if you want to revisit the post.


      2. Oh no! Not at all. I just wanted to make sure I didn’t need to go to a FedEx store to print my chosen rugs on a laser jet printer. When I bought the transfer paper, the packaging also answered that question because it states “For ink jet printers”. I made two and they are so flipping cute!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh! Great then. I actually thought that you were asking about the Halloween printables. LOL. Aren’t the rugs adorable though? I made so many more than I will ever have rooms for, but it is hard to stop once you see the results. So glad that it worked out for you.


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