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Topic: Zen Room--straw mats as wallcovering  (Read 42375 times)
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« on: March 08, 2006 10:38:38 AM »

I found a cheap way to totally redo my formerly ugly side room!




So here's the scoop...I had this side room in my new house which had that FUGLY '70s fake-wood paneling...EEEeeewww! But what to do on a small budget? I considered painting, wallpapering (ick), just about everything. Then I went to a yoga retreat place (Omega Institute). There, the inside of the sanctuary temple was covered totally in grasscloth--ah, the solution!! But wait...once home, I started pricing grasscloth--almost 100 dollars a roll! NOT!! I looked a little further (and meditated on it, heh)...

I found straw mats (like those you take to the beach) from www.orientaltrading.com for under 3 dollars apiece. I ordered twenty of them. I covered the walls with them by staple-gunning them right onto the paneling. I then looked at my local craft store for ribbon to cover where the edges met. It was wicked expensive for the amount I needed, so I found the same stuff online and ordered Khaki grosgrain ribbon from www.jkmribbon.com in 1 and widths. (1" for where the mats met, 1/2" for edging around the windows, doors, and baseboard heaters.) This I applied from top to bottom with a hot glue gun.

I finished the look with rice paper shades from pearlriver.com and a bamboo bead curtain from Bed, Bath & Beyond. All the other stuff I already had.

I'm so sorry I don't have any "before" or "during' pics to convey just how gross the room was before, but I didn't know I'd be actually posting this.

Some tips: The mats (shown below as they come) are edged with a blue ribbon. You must gently rip this off before you can start stapling the mat to the wall. (Update: see posts below for alternatives.) Also, after a couple of false starts, I realized you really must hang the mats vertically, not horizontally. And it takes some playing, but at the tops & bottoms, you kind of have to roll the mat under a bit, or else it frays like fricking crazy!!! This is the only tricky part of all this, and in retrospect, maybe I would have gotten some cheap sheets and attached the mats to the sheets with spray adhesive to make a backing. The backing would have kept the mats together better as I worked. I touched up the staples--which were shiny--with a bit of paint I mixed to match the walls (tedious, as there were HUNDREDS of staples).


Also I'd recommend buying a few more mats than you need as extra, and also because there are shade variations in the different mats, and you want to try and match up similar shades at the "join" edges.

I protected the door edge with one of those plastic edges made for protecting wallpaper (stolen from another done-over room in my house and attached with thumbtacks). I protected the area around the doorknob by taking one of those clear protective "CDs" that come in the package of recordable CDs for your computer. I drilled a larger hole in it with a large-hole drill bit.

This was very cost-effective:
Mats: $60.
Ribbon: $25. (for more than I will ever use!!)
Blinds: $40.
Bead Curtain: $20.
Staples: $5.

Total: $150. and lots of sweat!

Downside: This is not an option for you if you have young kids, or cats that like to scratch the walls. It is a delicate wallcovering.

Please hit me up with any questions if I left anything out. Everyone who sees this is totally blown away and can't believe I did it myself!!!







This is roughly a 10' x 10' room, and I only had to cover 2 of the walls fully. The mats are 29 x 72. So factor this in if you are looking to duplicate this look.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2015 10:51:47 AM by kittykill - Reason: links for broken images » THIS ROCKS   Logged

Is doing the hokey-pokey and turning yourself around really what it's all about?
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2006 10:45:23 AM »

That's so cool! I've always wondered how those would look on walls. What did you use to attach them?

« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2006 11:59:53 AM »

Wow, I love this idea!  You did a great job with it, too!  I'm going to keep this in mind for the bathroom in my boyfriend's new house that has wallpaper that isn't ugly, but isn't great, either.  Thanks for the inspiration!
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2006 04:19:15 PM »

Thanks for the photos - this is such a great idea...
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2006 04:36:07 PM »

Love it!  Great job!

my spooky craft and decor blog====> http://horrorcraft.blogspot.com/
my not so spooky craft blog====> http://enduremyworld.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2006 04:41:10 PM »

That is so awesome. I actually used the same mats to redo my fishtank stand that was insanely ugly and driving me crazy. It cost me about 15 dollars for the hemp and the mat together.

Handbags, trinkets, and oddities that truly allow you to march to your own beat.

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« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2006 07:54:39 PM »

Naked Ninja, I guess I'm not the only wacko who sees a straw mat and says, "What can I cover with that??!!"

Sounds like a great thing you did with your fishtank stand. Create a post for it!

Is doing the hokey-pokey and turning yourself around really what it's all about?
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2006 08:31:08 PM »

That is totally awesome!!!  I love how you did the "trim"!  It looks like the inside of an asian restaurant or spa!  Thanks for the tutorial and all the helpful hints Smiley  Here in Hawaii, we can get those mats for $1 or under.

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« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2006 08:44:36 PM »

This looks just like a relaxing spa. you did a really good job! I love it!


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This was completely unintentional

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« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2006 08:50:09 PM »

Wow, that looks totally, absolutely amazing. I wish I was that handy.

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