Harlequin - My Hand Painted Patio Rug

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If you follow Serendipity on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/SerendipityHome), on Sunday, you saw the photo above Sunday afternoon..  If not, you haven't spent the last three days wondering what the heck I was up to. If you did, thanks for your patience.

Since we built the pergola  over part of our patio two summers ago, I've been on the lookout for a rug that would make it feel a little more like the outdoor room that I intended it to be. I found a couple that were pretty good but the $50 to $90 price tags didn't fit my budget. Last Sunday morning, I figured it out.  I could get a piece of indoor-outdoor carpet and paint on it.  HELLO HOME DEPOT!

6x8 feet, $17.87! Four "sample" sized cans of Behr exterior paint at $2.98 each, a roll of blue tape that I had at home and I'd have a painted rug for my patio for right around $30!  I wanted it to have a French feel, something harlequin, and turquoise, and ivory, with just a bit of gray. Like this image that I found on Pinterest but in a smaller scale and with diamonds instead of squares:

Things started out perfectly. I laid down the drop cloth, unrolled the rug, and put a two-inch band of blue tape around the edge of the rug that would serve as a border.

But then came "the math". Convert the feet to inches, subtract the border. Diamond width is 1/2 of diamond height, two pair of angles the total of which must equal 360 degrees.  REALLY!?!?! I spent an hour doing "math" and cutting cardboard.
Then, I did what I should have done in the first place. I did what I'm telling you to do if you EVER want to paint harlequin diamonds on ANYTHING: go to THIS WEBSITE.  It's a free harlequin diamond calculator...I kid you not.  It's so easy. Just enter the width and height of the area that you'd like to paint (mine was 68" x 92" (this is 6x8 ft minus 4 inches from the height and width for the border)). Tell it how many rows you'd like (I chose 7 because it's my favorite number and I think that odd numbers look better for things like this).
Push the "calculate" button and the tool immediately gives you the measurements. My results looked like this:

Height of each diamond: 13 2 / 16 ( 13.14286 )   inches
Width of each diamond: 6 9 / 16 ( 6.57143 )   inches
Number of rows: 7
Number of columns: 11

Once I had a diamond that I knew would fit, I measured and cut one out of cardboard to use as a guide for the tape. Then it was as simple as laying out the diamonds, masking them off and painting one diagonal row at a time. I mixed the paint with a little Fabric Medium that I had leftover from a T-shirt painting party (when my college son was in first grade...don't judge) and used a chip brush and a round stencil brush. I also tried a roller but wanted it to look more hand painted.

First the turquoise.
Then the Ivory.
 You're probably noticing by now that the turquoise diamonds have hand painted green centers and the ivory ones have hand painted white ones, right? You see, THIS is where I have trouble...knowing when to stop. From here, it seemed only logical to add gray squares between the diamonds:
I then considered yellow highlights and maybe some beige lines between the diamonds (it's a sickness, I know). But I wanted my patio to be finished by Mother's Day and I still have covers to make for the cushions. So this is how it looks (for now).

OF COURSE, it's cloudy and gray and threatening rain today so this photo is dark because it was taken in the garage. The edge of the rug looks like it's yellow, it's not, it's merely the light.
 I hope that tonight, after work, I'll get some sewing done.  I bought two printed cotton shower curtains for 50 cents each at a garage sale in Rockford a couple of weeks ago that I'm using to recover my patio cushions!



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