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   Make a football field rug Posted by Chica 
December 29, 2007 
Chica
 

Toolbox

  • indoor/outdoor "fake grass" carpet
  • white duct tape
  • craft knife
  • self-healing cutting mat

When my favorite NFL team (the Chicago Bears!) made it to the Super Bowl last year, I decided to host a party to celebrate the event. I had to do something special to decorate, and the idea I came up with was to make a large rug that looked like a football field.

I started with a giant piece of indoor/outdoor “fake grass” carpet, which I purchased it at the local home improvement store in the flooring section for about $20. They sell several kinds of carpet in giant rolls, and you can get them to cut off any length you want. The carpet I purchased came in a 12-foot-wide roll, so I got a 6-foot length of it, which was a good proportional size for a football field, and just right for my kitchen floor. (You can also find grass carpet online.) I also picked up a roll of white duct tape while I was at the store.

When I got home, I spent quite a bit of time calculating my measurements. I first laid the carpet out on the floor and trimmed it a bit to fit the room. Then I measured the length of the field and figured out how far apart my lines should be to allow for all of the field measurements as well as two endzones. I then cut the duct tape into 1″ wide strips and used them to mark a full line for every five yards on the field. I also added short strips of tape to mark the 1-yard hash marks that appear on each side of the field and then again a third of the way in from each side of the field.

The next step was to make some numbers to mark every 10 yards. This was the trickiest part of the project for me. I began by printing out some giant numbers (about 3″ tall) on paper to serve as a pattern. I then laid three strips of duct tape across a self-healing cutting mat to make a “sheet” of tape. I placed the number pattern paper on top of the tape and then cut out the numbers with a craft knife, cutting through both the paper and the tape at once. When the cutting was done, I could then peel the numbers off the board and then apply them directly to the carpet. I also cut some little arrows for the 10, 20, 30, and 40 yard lines that pointed to the respective end zones.

The final touch was to put duct tape around all four edges of the carpet, to seal it up so that it wouldn’t fray over time. By doing the edges last, I was also able to cover up all of the ends of the tape from the yard marking lines, and it made a very nice finish. I pressed all the duct tape firmly in place and walked over it to make sure it had made full contact with the carpet, and it was definitely secure. I really loved the glossy look the white tape gave to the finished product, and I especially loved how well it held up — it didn’t even budge after two days of foot traffic!

Everyone loved the rug during the party and it had a huge impact, especially considering it only cost about $25 in supplies! The best part is that I could roll it up after the party and store it (under the couch!) to use again next year. If only my favorite team would make it to the championship again :)

This would also be a great idea for tailgating at the stadium or as a decoration in any sports themed bedroom or birthday party. You could easily use the same basic ideas to make a soccer field or baseball diamond, too.

football field table runnerUpdate!

I’ve since revisited this project, but in miniature. Using the same techniques described here, but simplified, I made a smaller version of this rug that’s suitable for a table runner. It’s a great way to decorate a table top for a party. If you don’t have room for the big rug or want a simpler project , try making a football field table runner instead!

Planning a big party for Super Bowl XLVII and need more ideas? Bring it all together with a Super Bowl XLVII party pack, keep your drinks chilled in a 6′ inflatable goal post cooler, and let the armchair quarterbacks in your group have fun during the game with their own penalty flags!

Penalty Flag

17 comments so far:

  1. BuggyDriver said: (January 3rd, 2008 at 6:28 pm)

    Your rug is awesome! I want to have a Superbowl party just so I can make one!!! Absolutely FABULOUS!!! I don’t even have a place to put one, but I must make one! Though, I think it would be easier to use white electrical tape – but wonder if it would be as sticky? Way too cool, kudos Chica!

  2. Chica said: (January 4th, 2008 at 7:58 am)

    Thanks, BuggyDriver!

    Electric tape would give you an easier width and save some cutting, but I don’t think it would be as sticky or as durable as duct tape. The duct tape bonded with the plastic in the rug quite well, and I know it’s not going anywhere.

    If you don’t have room for a rug, consider making a smaller field and using it as a tablecloth :)

  3. Rosy said: (April 27th, 2009 at 12:50 pm)

    Hey! love the football field carpet!
    Where did you buy the grass carpet?…I need one that’s pretty big…like 30×20…maybe bigger…

    I’ll appreciate you’re response.!

  4. Chica said: (April 27th, 2009 at 1:18 pm)

    Hi Rosy. You can find grass carpet at your local home improvement store (like Lowe’s or Home Depot) in large rolls, sometimes 12 feet wide. They will cut as much off the roll as you need.

    To make a field that’s 20 feet by 30 feet, you’ll have to get two pieces of carpet and tape them together. I think a wide strip of duct tape on the back of the rug would work well to join the seams. If you planned it out just right, you could make one of the white stripes on the field line up with the seam, which would let you put tape on top of the seam too!

    I’d love to see this giant rug if you make it :)

  5. Gabe Randall said: (October 12th, 2009 at 11:31 pm)

    How can I transform my backyard into a football field?

  6. Chica said: (October 13th, 2009 at 7:30 am)

    Wow, Gabe, that’s quite a challenge! If you’ve got the room for a full-size field, then obviously you’ll want it to be 100 yards long, with markers every 10 yards. If that’s more than you have room for, just scale it down. Measure it out and paint the lines with either white marking spray paint or, better yet, spray landscape chalk. (Just make sure you buy the “inverted” kind that can be sprayed straight down.)

  7. Heather said: (November 14th, 2009 at 3:27 am)

    I cannot wait to make this as a gift! I am just wondering if the fake grass you used was itchy or uncomfortable to walk on, say barefoot. I am just wondering if I should try and find a softer alternative for a rug that would have a long term place in someone’s home. Thanks!

  8. Chica said: (November 14th, 2009 at 11:51 am)

    Hi Heather! There are various degrees of quality in the fake grass you can buy. I bought the cheapest stuff they had because I was just using it as party decor. If you want a more permanent placement in a home, you might want to invest in a better quality fake grass, or even a nice green carpet. Check out what they have on those giant rolls at the hardware store, or maybe go to a carpet store and look at the remnants. Good luck, and please let us know how it goes!

  9. Lauren said: (November 30th, 2009 at 10:45 pm)

    That would be great for my Dad’s “Man Cave”!

  10. Heather said: (January 14th, 2010 at 6:21 pm)

    Hello again!

    I was wondering if I could link to this tutorial? I loved your idea and I am writing a post about the one I made, tips my experiences etc…

    Thanks
    -Heather

  11. Jo said: (January 14th, 2010 at 11:07 pm)

    Heather, please feel free to link to us.

  12. Nicole said: (August 15th, 2011 at 6:09 pm)

    do you think the fake grass would be to heavy to staple to a wall for a bulletin board in a school?

  13. Chica said: (August 15th, 2011 at 7:20 pm)

    Nicole, the fake grass I’ve purchased from my local home improvement store has been very lightweight and I think would work well on a wall, but your results may vary depending on the quality and thickness of the the grass. Sounds like a fun idea, though!

  14. kim said: (March 1st, 2012 at 7:13 pm)

    WOw thanks for giving us a tutorial! It looks amazing. We are going to try to make one for our football theme spring fling booth at school…. any ideas for a stadium or bleacher type seating in about the same size.

  15. john said: (January 11th, 2013 at 11:02 pm)

    Hi Chica,
    Thanks for this great idea. I bought plastic ‘grass’ paper at Michael’s (it’s plastic paper with the entire sheet a picture of a lush, green lawn) and used it to make a much smaller version of your field. The duck tape was too big, but electric tape was just fine. I use it when listening to a live broadcast of an NFL game, using pencil topper helmets (face mask to face mask) to indicate the line of scrimmage, and two colored markers to show the ‘chains.’ Thanks again! Great idea you had. I’ll make the carpet field when I feel inspired…looks like a big job. And yours looks awesome.

  16. Susan Hamrick said: (February 1st, 2013 at 1:14 pm)

    I just came home with all the supplies to do this before I saw your AMAZING rug. Now, what I thought was my idea is going to look blah compared to yours because you did so much detail work. I am so impressed. Inspiration!!!

  17. Chica said: (February 1st, 2013 at 6:02 pm)

    Great minds think alike, Susan! I’m sure your rug will be the hit of the party, no matter how detailed you get :)

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