Orange you glad the library is getting new carpeting?
April 24, 2017 10:46 AM   Subscribe

What fun souvenir can we make with old carpet?

Our library was built in the 1970s and carpeted in a very distinctive orange that everyone on campus recognizes. The library space is being torn down soon and we're moving to a new location sans carpeting. We'd like to throw a goodbye party and thought it would be fun to give away little swatches of the carpet in some way. I'm looking for something small, cheap, and easy. I was even thinking a little swatch attached to a card with a slogan of some kind would be cute, but what's the slogan?
posted by LKWorking to Grab Bag (31 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Keychain or magnet with the library logo or name on it?
posted by BoscosMom at 10:52 AM on April 24, 2017 [3 favorites]

"Orange you glad I didn't say banana".
posted by BoscosMom at 10:53 AM on April 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

Old carpet is pretty gross - once you get it up, you might not really be into touching it at all. I think you should take a closeup photo and make bookmarks.
posted by vunder at 10:55 AM on April 24, 2017 [25 favorites]

Use the less-grody parts (say, the parts under the bookshelves or in other untrafficked areas) and paste them to postcard-sized cardstock--then mail them!
posted by orrnyereg at 11:04 AM on April 24, 2017 [2 favorites]

If you have old card-catalog cards lying around, you could fasten individual cards to rectangular pieces of carpet. Kind of a combined symbol of how the library is moving forward.
posted by ism at 11:06 AM on April 24, 2017 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Frame or make art out of some of it and hang it at the new place.
posted by terretu at 11:07 AM on April 24, 2017 [6 favorites]

I used to volunteer for a gallery that was moving to a new space. At the farewell party, they cut rounds out of the old drywall with a hole saw, and sealed the rounds into 'tin' cans with an awesome hand-crank can sealer. One of the artists designed a whimsical label, and the finished sealed cans of the wall were sold as a fund-raiser.
posted by gyusan at 11:25 AM on April 24, 2017 [2 favorites]

Could you make them into coasters like this?
posted by *s at 11:35 AM on April 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

Our airport carpet has a cult following and was recently replaced. Perhaps you can find some inspiration here.
posted by TomFoolery at 11:36 AM on April 24, 2017 [2 favorites]

I think square coasters would be doable and you could sell/ auction sets of them. Seal the edges with something, like just a little polyurethane, put them in a cloth bag, put them in the washer. Or just do individual coasters and give them away at the opening.
posted by theora55 at 11:49 AM on April 24, 2017

As for the slogan, what's the name of your library? Disgraceful puns are always a crowd pleaser.
posted by orrnyereg at 12:06 PM on April 24, 2017

"Reading provides good footing."
posted by DrAstroZoom at 12:11 PM on April 24, 2017 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Old carpet is super gross. I would take a big piece of it that seems to be okay and use it on a bulletin board in the new space. You can display the bulletin board and leave some notes and push pins for people to write their goodbyes on at the party.

And use vunder's suggestion to take a picture of the carpet and make the souvenir out of the picture.

Would suggest "Carpet diem" for a pun.
posted by MadMadam at 12:20 PM on April 24, 2017 [13 favorites]

Encase squares in clear acrylic. So no one has to touch that grotty carpet :P you could commission a large sculpture of the acrylic or slice in small plastic squares for keychains.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 12:21 PM on April 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

I think it would be neat to find clean sections and make little rugs out of them. Have a few in the library as a reminder of old times, and maybe give some to people who'd appreciate them too.
posted by roll truck roll at 12:23 PM on April 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

Clean before it's pulled up. Then I would have an auction for the squares. The auction winners would have their squares donated to pet shelters with their donation in their name. Maybe a small swatch encased as a list of suggested as a token of their donation for themselves. Make sure it's clean with a pet safe cleaner of course.
posted by tilde at 12:28 PM on April 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Just to address the gross factor, there are plenty of places where the carpet hasn't seen the light of day in decades or is in a lightly used office area, so that's what I was thinking. But point taken that not everyone will be like, "Yes I DO want to handle a 43-year-old piece of carpet!"

Clarification on the size: I'm thinking very small sections, like 1-inch squares.

Great ideas so far, thank you!
posted by LKWorking at 12:30 PM on April 24, 2017

Best answer: My high school had Fabulously Ugly 1970s Orange Carpet and gross or not, I would love to have had a chunk of it before they replaced it. But I honestly don't think I would have done anything special with it — probably just shove it in a drawer. Why not just print up little certificates of authenticity, attach the bit of carpet, and leave it at that?
posted by roger ackroyd at 12:49 PM on April 24, 2017 [5 favorites]

Thinking about it, if you seal the carpet square and the certificate in a small Ziplock bag, and you've solved the ick factor too.
posted by roger ackroyd at 12:58 PM on April 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

Slogan: something something witty about books being like a magic flying carpet ride
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:11 PM on April 24, 2017

Rather than actual carpet, you could have a Goodbye to the Carpet instagram fest like everyone in PDX (unofficially) did for their airport carpet. Caveats: very twee, might be a terrible idea.
posted by purple_bird at 1:12 PM on April 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

No ideas, but this podcast about the PDX carpet might be worth a listen.
posted by Riverine at 1:31 PM on April 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

I think the magnet idea is good - should be pretty easy and cheap to do DIY, either in advance or at an event. The question to me would be how difficult it will be to cut 1" square of carpet.
posted by maryr at 1:42 PM on April 24, 2017

The Portland Airport carpet is old and hideous but you can buy drink coasters and welcome mats made from it. I own one in the shape of Oregon and love it.
posted by mathowie at 1:49 PM on April 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

Mount it on a long rectangle of cardstock or a slice of old card catalogue to make a bookmark!
Thematically appropriate.
posted by rmless at 1:58 PM on April 24, 2017

Drink coasters. Mount the square onto a square of wood, or pick up cheap wooden coasters from the dollar store & stick it on with hot glue.

If you can't do the carpet, would getting it paint matched & painting magnets the same color work?
posted by wwax at 2:27 PM on April 24, 2017

Get some cheap kitschy plastic plates or paper plates and cut pizza-slice shaped pieces of carpet and glue one to each plate?
posted by bz at 7:20 PM on April 24, 2017

Christmas ornaments. Or jewelry!
posted by knile at 8:02 PM on April 24, 2017

I like the idea of taking a big, artwork-sized square and making a display out of it. Like framed, under glass but not smashed. Then hang in the new location with no explanation card or anything. So the newbies will have to get up the courage to ask the old-timers, "what's with the orange carpet piece?"
posted by ctmf at 8:57 PM on April 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

Save some rectangles to make winter doormats (when people track in more stuff on their shoes), in order to save the new carpet.

Without sealing this carpet into clear resin, or bonding something to the underside, I really wouldn't want to own this stuff. But once the gross side is covered, and it's clean, it could make a cool journal cover, or sew it into a quick tote bag (to auction or raffle), or let the children's area use it to designate the story circle (or whatever they do in there these days), or use a few long strips (glued to a clean cloth on the underside) as decorative runners on top of some display shelves/tables, or set out a section underneath some water dishes as an area for dogs to wait while their owners read.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:21 AM on April 25, 2017

Response by poster: I think we will make some sort of art piece with a bit of the carpet enclosed in a display frame. For the party, I'm leaning towards cutting up tiny pieces (of cleaned carpet) and putting them in little glass vials with corks. Easy enough to display on a desk or attach a screw ring to for hanging from a bulletin board or something. Thanks for all these creative suggestions!
posted by LKWorking at 9:28 AM on April 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

« Older Upcoming Cuba trip: some practical questions   |   Road trip ideas between St. Louis and Decatur Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.