Not everyone knows that you can “punch” a rug. Many punch needle enthusiasts have not looked beyond the 5” x 6,” or thereabouts, patterns for small decorative projects. I sell them on my Etsy site (PLEASE VISIT), and none are larger than a two-slice toaster.
But you can punch a rug. A big rug. And it’s just as easy as punching something small; maybe easier. I use frames for punching my small designs, so I’m not really traveling with my projects. I have a set up in my studio next to my computer and surrounded by my kitties. I listen to Ted Talks and music. I value the time of just sitting and zen punching my current design.
But I needed a solution to framing a rug for punching. I went “yardsaling” with a purpose a few years ago. I was looking for a table with a large lip and a removable tabletop, which was easily found and incredibly cheap given that the condition of the top was not an issue. I threw that out. It was the lip and the rock solid legs that were important. Once the top was tossed I tacked carpet strips onto the rim of the lip. These are thin strips of wood with sharp tiny nails protruding through at a slant. This holds the carpet, or in this case, the fabric drum tight. I have to use a protective pad on top of the rim so I don’t scratch myself. But once these were nailed on, I had myself a gigantic rug frame.
I put the table on wheels so I could move it to the window across the room when I knew it would snow or the hummingbirds were back. It’s also nice to have my big window open so that it’s almost like rug punching outside.
You don’t have to waste monks cloth by covering the entire table for a smaller than table-sized project. For one dollar, Goodwill will sell you a top bed sheet. Place your ready-to-punch rug pattern-on-monks cloth onto the middle of the sheet and machine sew it into place along the edges of the monks cloth. Then sew it again to assure it will hold tight. Then cut away to expose the pattern, leaving the sheet to bind to the carpet strips and hold everything tight. It’s just like enlarging the rug size. When you’re finished punching the rug you can fold that sheet back onto the underside of the rug for even more protection when finishing it off. Nothing will go to waste. I use Amy Oxford punch needles. I have the entire set, and I am in love with these. Check out her site. You can see two of my rugs in her “Gallery.”
Hope this whets your whistle on punching a rug. In my next post I will give you a very easy way to enlarge your small punch needle pattern into a rug size of your choice.
Please visit my Etsy site for smaller patterns, and subscribe to this blog for more tips and thoughts on punch needle.
ps: That blue and white striped sheet under the frame is to keep the kitties from pulling on the rug loops and tails, once their favorite activity.