About a week ago I moved into a brand spanking new and completely unfinished artist studio. After painting the walls a nice shiny white, I turned my eye towards the floor. At first, I considered leaving it as plywood, but then I realized unfinished plywood floors were going to become very noisy and a nuisance to all those around me. I began to consider what would look good on the floor, absorb the noise and, most importantly, what would be cheap. I resolved upon a rug, but didn't really feel like shelling out for one. Instead, I began to consider cheap ways to make a nice and unique rug. This particular idea just kind of leaped out at me. Everyone was skeptical of my t-shirt rug at first, but I think I am beginning to win the battle of hearts and minds.
Keep in mind, as the t-shirts are layered, this rug results in a somewhat uneven floor surface and is not well-suited for people that are accident prone or generally have trouble walking.
Step 1: The idea
The idea is simple. The rug will consist in a whole bunch of colorful t-shirts laid out on the floor in an aesthetically pleasing manner.
(I drew this diagram to sell my very skeptical girlfriend on the idea)
Step 2: Collect T-shirts
Gather up all of the t-shirts that you will never, ever, wear. Ask your friends to do that same and donate them to you.
If you still don't have enough shirts, you may want to see if the regional Goodwill Store has a "last chance" outlet. The shirts found at the Goodwill "last chance" processing depot will be remarkably cheap and are usually moments short of making their way into a dumpster. You may as well put these shirts to use.
And so you ask, "How many shirts will I need?"
My space was 9 x 12. I used roughly 20 - 30 t-shirts.
Step 3: Start Laying them out
To begin with, arrange 5 or 6 t-shirts in the center of your floor. Keep moving them around until you get an arrangement that you are happy with.