Bunny Rug - Transferring an Image to Any Surface With a Projector




About: I've worked for Instructables off and on since 2006 building and documenting just about everything I enjoy doing. I am now the Creative Programs founder and manager for Autodesk and just finished building o...

I used an LCD projector to trace a giant bunny outline onto an old shag carpet. Once the shape was cut out, I dyed it black to hide some of the stains and used a remnant of the original white carpet to make an eye. I used this process to make a bunny rug, but you can do the same thing to transfer just about any outline or shape onto a surface.

Step 1: Gather Materials

The bunny rug didn't require too many materials to make...

I found this one at a rummage sale - but often carpet store dumpsters are overflowing with carpet remnants (which can sometimes be quite large) or slightly stained carpets.

Fabric Dye
I used RIT fabric dye and followed the instructions for "washing machine" dyeing. Even after a double dose of black dye the off white color carpet still was like a really dark purple or grey, and not quite black. Art supply stores sell concentrated dyes that have to be mixed with soda ash to work - I have a suspicion that these dyes may have produced a darker black. Also, its important to note that the rug I used was synthetic, which doesn't dye quite as easily as cotton.

Image File
You need the shape you want to cut out of your rug. I used a cool wire frame bunny picture I found online which I have attached below.

Additional Materials
-hammer and nails to hang carpet on wall
-black magic marker to trace outline
-good pair of scissors - I highly recommend a pair of large sheet metal scissors shown in the picture below - they cut through anything!
- LCD projector (you can use an overhead projector with a printed acetate if you don't have access to an LCD projector)
- ladder to reach top of carpet
-needle and thread to sew on the eye
-washing machine or large tub to dye in
-bleach to rinse your washing machine with once you dye the fabric so it doesn't get stained

Step 2: Outline the Bunny

The first step was to attach the bunny to a wall. I used a hammer and nails to do this - we have so many holes in our walls what's a few more.

Once it was on the wall I projected the image of the bunny onto the back of the rug using the LCD projector.

I set up a ladder to reach the top of the pattern and traced the outline of the bunny onto the back of the rug using a black sharpie.

Step 3: Cut Out the Bunny

With the outline traced, I took the bunny down from the wall and cut along the line. The material frayed only slightly at the edge and I felt no need to sew on a hem. Other materials may require some kind of step here to keep the edge from fraying away.

Included below is a photo of the bunny in its original off white color. I didn't like it too much like this and wanted to get rid of the stains so I decided to dye it black.

Step 4: Dye the Rug

I picked up some RIT brand black dye at the drug store. It only costs a few dollars and comes in a concentrated powder that has to be mixed with water. You can also get in a liquid form that can just be poured right into the washing machine. I followed the directions on the dye for "washing machine dyeing".

I put the rug into the washing machine and started to fill the tank with enough hot water to cover the rug. I then mixed two packets of the dye into four cups of water and then dumped that into the machine. Following the directions, I added in one cup of salt and some laundry detergent and then started the wash cycle.

I interrupted the wash cycle just before it emptied the hot soapy water several times and set it back to the beginning so that the rug could soak in the dye for at least half an hour. After it had soaked sufficiently I allowed the cycle to finish and then washed it again with hot water and just a little bit of detergent to get out any extra dye.

Once I was done dyeing the rug I ran the machine one more time with a couple cups of bleach to clean out any residual black dye.

The rug came out of the dryer as a dark purple - not quite black, but since all of the stains were hidden, and I didn't mind the color, I let it be and moved on.

Step 5: Sew on the Eye and You've Got a Bunny Rug

I used a cup to trace a circle onto the back of a leftover piece of rug from the cutting process to make a bunny eye.

I cut it out and then took a needle and thread and sewed the eye onto the rug.

I thought about using yarn to highlight the bunny ears and put some claws on the paws, but decided to leave it just with the eye because I liked the way it looked.

This process can be used to make a rug into just about any shape.



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    20 Discussions


    4 years ago on Step 3

    Love it! I think I'd try( fray check) on the edges available at any sewing crafting shop. Did you back cut it at an angle/undercut it ? I was thinking it would be less scratchy this way as the rug would be larger then the backing this way. I'll have to give this a try Thanks!!


    9 years ago on Introduction

     Great idea!!! Edit this and put under RECYCLE of old carpeting! That is the biggest claim to fame here..this is awesome looking new here.. Use lots of salt to set that dye..I dunno on a manmade fibers like carpet are not cotton so how the heck to you walk on it without getting black feet??


    10 years ago on Step 5

    Cool idea. I think I would inlay the eye though, Maybe the whole rabbit. The eye would be easy, as you just cut the same size circle from the back of the rug. Then sew the eye in with nylon thread. Like the idea.


    10 years ago on Step 2

    I think this is a GREAT Idea!


    12 years ago on Step 2

    That is an awesome idea. Oh the ideas it brings up. The title of this instructable really doesn't convey the amazing idea within it I almost didn't look at it. Why not rename it "Transferring an image to any surface with a projector"? PS, did you make 3d computer model of a bunny for this? Why not just use a photo?

    2 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I think the 3d bunny model is that of the Stanford Bunny of computer graphics fame. One of these rugs with the appropriate cutout; probably the bunny or the teapot could be a great gift for a graphics geek.


    Reply 12 years ago on Step 2

    I didn't make that bunny wire frame. I found it online and it suited my needs. The bunny that the rug was supposed to be modeled after was the little guy pictured below - a rabbit named Diller, who apparently starred in a German art film sometime last year. Now he is just a regular pet. Well, I guess not really regular since he has a rug that is modeled after him...

    I didn't use this the photo I had of Diller because it was very small and would not have produced the outline I wanted. The rug was a surprise, so I couldn't get another photo of the bunny. While there are some differences of course between Diller and the rug, the rug recipient reported that it looked "exactly like him". But I think perhaps she embellished because she was really excited to receive the rug.

    A new picture of Diller sitting on the actual rug now exists. If I can get a copy of it, I will post it as another comment.

    Thanks for the tip about changing the title - I will do that now.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I like this idea and I already have a couple images in mind to use.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Wow that is such a smart idea but is there a way to do it faster or easier?


    12 years ago

    ooh what a great idea!


    12 years ago

    Hey, this really cool (and resourceful). I would have just thrown the old rug out, but man, this is way better!

    Tool Using Animal

    12 years ago

    That is so very very cute, I want one for my bathroom.