Poolside Rug

Today I made a rug for my wife. She requested a rug to go outdoors for the summer. A rug that will be for her feet as she exits the pool. So I took what she asked for and made one specifically that would make her happy.

Ever since we moved into our home with a pool, my wife has loved pink flamingos. Naturally I had to make a flamingo rug with a palm tree. After weeks of tufting, I am finally able to make the “waterfall edges” between the yarn colours more defined. A tight cut allowing an obvious transition between each shape.

I love this hobby and have been enjoying the fanart I have created. I make one or two a week currently for myself and my family. It’s given me a good opportunity to learn this skill.After about a month, I’m finally feeling confident.

Perhaps it’s time to start selling some rugs. I can only have so many rugs in our home… I’ll probably start with commission sales and custom orders. If anyone wants to contact me- direct message my Instagram: Tuftleupagus. I’ll do my best to create something that you will enjoy.

Hope you like my rugs and watching my journey to get better.

Amazon Delivered!

I was excited about getting home today after work. I had been waiting for an order from Amazon to show up. I have been eagerly awaiting since I ordered the items a couple of days ago. Today’s delivery was arriving just as I got home. I saw the truck up the street and knew it was going to head my way. And it did!

Most folks would not be excited to get what I got. But with my latest hobby- I am thrilled at what arrived for me. More tufting cloth is most important. I also got an equal amount of backing fabric with anti-slip. I got a roller to help flatten and smooth out the glue between the fabric pieces. My favorite item though is the yarn winder.

When I unboxed it, even my 16 year old son asked if it was from the 70’s. It truly looks like it is. Honestly, it’s one of those things that works exactly as it was meant to- it doesn’t need to be changed. I swear it looks like the one my mother had from… the 70’s! I remember playing with it as a kid. Or was I winding yarn for my mother? Either way- this thing looks like I could’ve dug it out of grandma’s attic.

This weekend I plan on winding some of my “pound of yarn” skeins into more manageable sized skeins. It will also allow me to not need double skeins of yarn in colours I don’t use as often.

Getting excited over mundane items feels wrong and right at the same time. I’m glad the items showed up and cannot wait to play some more with my yarn and rug making.

Beauty Made

The FAILURE I wrote about yesterday led me to try exponentially harder on my next rug. So much so that I put in around 12 hours labor to get it right. That’s a long time for a twenty eight inch round rug. But I wanted it to be perfect. And it almost is.

I traced out the image as I normally do. This time I labeled each and every color spot and worked tediously to fill them in; leaving enough space to do the black outline in the end. After each colour, I trimmed the yarn. It was easier to do it this way so that the final touches would be minimal and easier to complete.

I have wanted to do this specific image years ago, but in an different medium. I was originally going to paint it, then I was going to paint it on a window, I even thought about doing it in stained glass; but now I created it in rug form. Beauty and The Beast is my favorite Disney Princess Classic. I’ve always loved this film. Great music, good story, very vibrantly executed. A masterpiece in animation.

I’m very happy with how this rug turned out. As usual though, I can see every flaw and just want to continue trimming and cutting. But if I do that, nothing will remain of my rug. The beauty will be gone and only a beast would remain.

This Beauty is adorning our master bedroom in front of the doors to our Juliet deck. It adds a splash of color and I am totally in love with this piece and the placement.

Now I don’t know what to make. This was the pinnacle of my desires. Maybe I’ll take a week off and get back to basic images. Unless you all have a suggestion! I love this hobby!

Learning From My Mistake

I attempted something new with my rug making. And it did not turn out. In fact it was such a failure that I lost part of my rug.

I wanted to do an abstract design. That part was fine. I enjoyed designing it and mixing colours to try and fit our home. The problem I ran into was I tried using burlap instead of monks cloth. Not easy to use.

I struggled a bit at the start since the burlap had no give. I thought I had gotten past that difficulty, even with some struggles. Just as I was finishing the rug, my gun went straight through the burlap. The tear was so bad that my circular rug was a failure with no chance of repair. So I glued the rug like I normally do and let it dry.

This afternoon, I cut the lower part off and finished trimming the pattern. I still like the design and may do some more like this in the future. However, burlap is a no-go ever again. That was the biggest headache I have had to deal with in my tufting hobby.

I only tried the burlap because I wanted to see if it would work. I wouldn’t even recommend burlap for those starting in tufting. Had I used burlap the first time around, I would have given up on tufting. But even with my big mishap- I’m still wanting to make more rugs.

Lesson learned- don’t use the wrong stuff.

Carpet Kirby

Today I made what I consider my best rug yet. I made it for our oldest kid. They requested the video game character Kirby holding a star. I found some images online and created my own design in the end.

I learned some more techniques from following other tufters on Instagram. I have been growing my abilities each week and with every rug. After each colour, I went to the other side and trimmed the edges. It was a bit more time consuming, but the results are superior to anything I have made yet.

This rug was challenging in its own ways. The pink was a different size of yarn and caused me to re-thread it repeatedly. A few curse words may have been said over and over again. But look how cute this rug turned out!

I’ll finish this rug later in the week. There’s just a bit more trimming to complete once I glue the backing on. Hopefully our 20 year old likes this one as much as I do. If not- I have an amazing pink rug!

Another Tufter In The Making

Every weekend, I have been making rugs. I have been really enjoying this hobby. Last weekend, our youngest wanted to make one of his own- so he made an 8-Ball. Today our middle child wanted to make their own rug. I went through the process of how to do it, guiding them along.

Darwin traced the image and we discussed the colors to use. I only helped with a couple of stitches, but the rest was all them. (I snuck in another soot sprite in the blank space when we had the black and white yarn set up.) I sat by Darwin’s side and continued to offer advice as well as encouraged the work being done.

The image Darwin chose is the moon from the anime- “Soul Eater”. This was a family favorite a few years ago. In fact, we did a family dress up for Halloween as the characters from the show- and then went trick or treating in Disneyland. It was a lot of fun.

Darwin wants this rug for their bedroom floor for when bedtime comes around. Tomorrow afternoon, we will finish the rug. A bit of me is selfishly enjoying the quality time that my kids wanted with me. Spending time with our kids is worth every moment of making these rugs.

How many rugs is too many rugs when I get to spend time with my growing adult kids doing something we both enjoy?

There’s never going to be enough. I’m lucky they want to do this with me.

Son Of Tuftleupagus

Like father like son I guess.

I mentioned yesterday that I may start to have a battle over who gets to tuft next. It seems my son wanted to try his hand at it. So I walked him through everything- from setting up the cloth to threading the gun, as well as how to draw the image and pretty much everything that goes along with the art of rug making.

I helped him choose his first image. He wanted to try something a bit bigger and a different shape. So he made an 8 Ball. Honestly- that would’ve been something I would have made when I was his age. I was obsessed with billiards as a teenager. I may have to steal his rug one day.

He was very meticulous and cautious in sewing the rug. It looked far superior to my first rug. I think he has a natural talent in make these rugs. He was very careful in making sure it was lined up and straight each and every time he started the tufting gun.

After he finished stitching the rug, he added the glue to the back and let it dry overnight. The next day, he cut it off the cloth and we added a backing to it. He then trimmed it to his liking.

All-in-all he did a great job. I did help a bit with some of the finishing touches around the white part- he wanted it to be perfect and was afraid to ruin it. I’m looking forward to seeing his next project. I think he can do it from start to finish without me. I’m a very proud father.

Improving My Tufting Skills

I have now made four rugs since starting my newest hobby- Tufting. Creating rugs based on our Fandoms has been fun so far. This week I made one with far more detail than my previous rugs.

I made Haku- the dragon from the anime: Spirited Away. This one had more colours, thinner segments and an attempt at blending that I hadn’t tried yet. I spent a couple of hours today trimming the image in order to make it pop more. I still have a long way to go, but I am enjoying this new hobby immensely.

Tuft working with yarn reminds me of Snuffleupagus from Sesame Street. So I finally created an Instagram account for my artwork: Tuftleupagus. (Tuftle-up-a-gus). I even had some fun making logos, but haven’t settled on any yet.

I think I’m obsessing too much with the 80’s lately. However, I am having fun with this hobby. No plans on making it lucrative yet. I still have a long way to go in the process of making these rugs. I’m also going to need to buy more yarn soon. My white and black are running low, plus there’s other aspects of the tufting work that I need to buy soon. Like more glue and backing for the rugs.

This is my first hobby that I have enjoyed since perler bead art almost a decade ago. That lasted for a few years mind you and I enjoyed what we made together as a family. I kind of see tufting going that route soon enough. With the potential to be a battle over who gets to make a rug.

Follow along with my rugs on my Instagram account. I’m going to keep working hard at getting better at these and hope to make a large scale rug one day.

Fandom Rug Making

Over the last couple of days I finished another two rugs. Spending about four hours on each rug seems to be average. These next two had more intricate designs in them. Both fandoms are near and dear to me, which is why I chose to make these.

Akira has been my favorite anime since I first saw it as a teenager in the late 80’s. Something a bout the style, music, and pace of the film just captivated me. I own every iteration of it on video, I owned a shirt for almost thirty years from it, and the soundtrack has been in my playlist for ages. It seemed natural to want to do something from this film as my own personal rug.

The Powerpuff Girls was something that my wife and I connected over when we first started dating. Ever since then we have been enjoying finding items, gifts, trinkets, etc from the series. (Read more about our love of PPG Here)

I was able to put both on one framing this time. The Akira one will be going on my side of the bedroom opposite the The first one I completed for my wife. The Powerpuff Girls logo is going to my wife as a soft support for her wrists while she uses her work computer.

Both turned out pretty awesome. I completed the final touches on my Akira rug, and my wife wants to do the last bit on the Powerpuff Girls one. Now that I have a better understanding of how to tuft, I am looking forward to making more challenging pieces for myself. Next week, I already have an idea of my next one to make.

Any suggestions on what I should attempt next? Keep in mind that the size is under 36” square, so no area rugs at this time. But I do love my fandoms and anime. I have a feeling those will be the majority of what I make. Once I get good enough- I may just start to sell them.

First Rug Completed

After a couple of weeks, my first rug was completed yesterday.

Now, it doesn’t take a couple of weeks to make a 16”x30” rug. But in that time I had to buy yarn, build a frame, order a power supply, figure out how to get an image projected from my iPhone, draw the image, tuft, glue, cut out, shave, shave some more, trim, shave again… in the end, the work required to do this rug took me about three to four hours.

A solid start. I learned what I need to do to be better. I also got a feel for the gun and the materials used. I’m hoping that my next few rugs will take about three to four hours but would have more details involved. The next rug I make is for me.

After a slow start on the rug My New Hobby turned out pretty good. I made it for my wife: Lee-Anne. She loves “L” from the anime “Death Note” and this was his symbol. Fitting since it’s the first letter of her name as well. Maybe after I make a few more rugs I will retry this one to perfect it. I know all the flaws I created and it will bother me for ages. But still, a solid first rug.

Day One of a New Hobby

Today I finally saw some progress in My New Hobby- Tufting. After getting My Little Corner ready the other day, I have been frothing at the mouth to try making my first rug.

It started with a design. I wanted to try something elegant and easy. I chose “L“ for my wife. Besides it being the letter of her first name, it’s also from one of her favorite anime shows- “Death Note”. I took the image, reversed it, shone it from my projector onto the back of the fabric- where I traced it out with a sharpie.

Then came the fun part! Using the tufting gun. It was a neat process and once I got going, my confidence grew. I started with the outline of the letter, then filled it in.

It wasn’t necessary to keep the lines or yarn touching as it filled out pretty good. My wife gave a couple of tries as well. I think she may want to tuft in the future as it is a very satisfying sound and feeling.

The way the yarn comes out thick a full makes me happy. The rug is already feeling very soft and looking pretty. Obviously I hope to see some progress and get better at it.

After a couple of hours, I had made quite the mess and used two full things of yarn. I had to call it quits since it was getting late and I have work in the morning. There’s still a few more steps to go in the process before I can say I have made a rug. Like gluing the back to prevent the yarn from being pulled out. Or trimming the front so that everything is smooth and even looking. The final step is giving it to my wife to have.

Stay tuned for an update by the weekend on the final results.