Making stuff: A Zipper Rug

We have this dog.

He likes his antlers.

He likes his antlers.

His name is Kepler. And he likes us.

Yup.

Yup.

A lot. I mean, a lot a lot.  He’s kind of creeper in that he’s always staring at us.  This is wonderful.  Really.  Except for one thing; the dreaded separation anxiety.  These days this manifests itself as puddles in some of our favorite rugs.

After 2 incidents on our beloved brown shag that was gifted to us by my cousin Ryan (along with a brown robe and sunglasses- it really ties the room together), we had to give up on any cleaning efforts.  Nothing was sufficiently removing the smell.  Yes, I tried Nature’s Miracle.  Yes, I tried baking soda. Yup, Resolve as well.  I guess my little boobah just has potent fluids.

But never thee fear!  For I am an engineer. I surveyed the market (my brain) and discovered that what we need is a rug that easily comes apart into small sections that are easily washed.  Enter moment of brilliance. A zipper rug.  Yes, a rug made of 3 sections connected via zippers. It totals 4 ft x 6 ft.

And here is how it went.

Supplies:

  • Two 48 in zippers
  • 1 yard of a 54 in wide bolt of the lesser color, mine was white
  • 1.5 yards of a 54 in wide bolt of the greater color, mine was a velvety grey
  • 1 canvas drop cloth, or 1 old canvas Ikea curtain
  • Black thread
The supplies.

The supplies.

From your white and grey cloth, cut your pieces to the size that you need for the rug, leaving 0.5 in on all sides for seam allowance.  I split mine into 3 sections, each 48 in x 25 in.  You’ll want to cut matching pieces of the drop cloth for the bottom layer.  I found it easiest to place the cut rug pieces face down onto the drop cloth and cut these pieces to match.  This way they fit exactly. Pin the two pieces together, inside out (meaning the sides that will eventually show are together and you see the undersides).

Sew three of the sides of each grey piece, keeping one of the long sides open.  Keep the stitching 1/2 in from the edge.  Sew together the short sides of the white piece, leaving both long sides open.

Now, flip the pieces right side out and iron those edges down.  Also fold back the fabric along the un-sewn edges about 1/2 in and iron that down.

A little bit of the ol' press-er-oo

A little bit of the ol’ press-er-oo

Look at that crease!  Delic.

Look at that crease! Delic.

Here comes the potentially tricky part- aligning the zippers.  Pin in just one side of the zipper, between the drop cloth and top fabric.  Pin in the other side of the zipper to the next section.  Unzip the zipper and sew each side.  Repeat for all edges.

Nearly there.

Nearly there.

You can also finish with a top stitch all the way around all non-zipper edges to really add a clean look.  That’s it!  You’re done!

Dude's totally stoked.

Dude’s totally stoked.

Modular!

Modular!

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The stuff on the white boards in my office.

Truth be told, I have the best office mate in all the land.  She is very nearly my doppelganger in most everything but appearances.

Perhaps the first bit of evidence for this is our shared penchant for writing silly things on our white boards.  One cannot be bothered to keep real work related stuff up there.  I mean, come on.

Exhibit A: a quick rendition of the launch of the (then named) Radiation Belt Storm Probe satellites. Who needs television when you have historical records like this?

Fairly accurate

Fairly accurate

Exhibit B: A beautiful rendition of a pink flamingo, reminding us of both the shrimp-loving avian and the classy plastic lawn ornaments.

Meep

Meep

Exhibit C: A diorama of my husband’s chai recipe.

My chia-o-rama!

My chia-o-rama!

Exhibit D: A list of phrases that we have taken complete credit for inventing.

Don't be stealing our ideas now.

Don’t be stealing our ideas now.

Exhibit E: A quick little algorithm resulting from a conversation about alpha personalities versus type A personalities.  This was my suggestion, you see, Type A equals alpha.  But Rosanna says this is not true.  My math is ALL WRONG.  She also thought this said “Alpha = ichthus fish.”

Math..

Math..

Exhibit F: Our future tattoo idea. Much like a friendship necklace, this tattoo will have 2 parts divided at the zig-zag. When these powers combine they form… CAPTAIN (gonna watch a) PLANET!!!

Oh yes that is a satellite!

Oh yes that is a satellite!

Exhibit G: This is my most favorite doodle on the white board at the moment. You see, it’s a plot of Touch Count versus Volume of a booty, as described in hip hop.  You’ll clearly see that, despite John Hart’s wishful thinking, one does in fact reach an as(s)ymptote wherein, no matter how much plastic surgery one gets the booty simply cannot maintain its size.  Our data suggests that this is inconsequential because at that point, the desire to touch is overwhelmingly infinite.

We can fit a model to anything

We can fit a model to anything

Maybe one day we’ll have more technical information on the boards but at this point, this seems like the most reasonable use of the space.