|A Hand Painted Floor Cloth|
Who says artwork is only for walls? How about using some of your handiwork on your floors? Well, a painted floor cloth is a wonderful way to bring pattern and color into a room with hard surface floorings. They are easy to clean up, and their value isn’t in the materials, but the love, time and effort involved in creating them. Matt’s over here nudging me so I mention that floor cloths can be great on a deck or covered porch too. But the caution in me says to make sure to bring them inside at night….just to be safe!
Well, let’s hit the deck! How do you make one of these things?
1. Begin by determining the size floor cloth you need. If the dimensions are under about 42”, purchase a narrower canvas. I generally like to stay within the widths of the fabric so I don’t have to sew a seam in my floor cloth.
2. Once your size is determined and enough fabric purchased, wash the canvas, dry it, and iron it down flat.
3. Now that any shrinkage has taken place, cut the fabric to the predetermined size, adding about 2” all the way around for hemming.
4. Using an iron, press in the folds of the hem as this makes it easier to hold the iron on hem tape in place. Add the hem tape inside the folds, and follow the tape’s instructions for the best results. (I sewed in a few quick stitches at the corners, to help hold the bulkier areas in place!)
5. Now the fun begins! Draw your design on the canvas using a pencil and a ruler, stencils, or even free hand. Imitate a fabric from the room it will be placed in, make stripes, checks, or all one color! (Then, you don’t have to draw a thing!)
6. Paint the design on with appropriate sized brushes, or use a sponge to create a cloud-like design. Get the kids involved, stamping hand or even foot prints. Be creative, remember, this stuff is supposed to be fun!
7. Once the paint has dried, coat the entire cloth, (front and back) with water based polyurethane. The advantage is that a water based product won’t yellow over time. This step is important, because the polyurethane give you the ability to wipe up any soiled areas of your masterpiece!
I’ve created at least half a dozen floor cloths over the years, and I’ve used the ruler method to create just borders, I’ve cut sponges into designs and stamped on a repeated pattern, and I’ve even free hand drawn in beautiful, huge poppies. Each project was a labor of love, and I have to say that they would make wonderful gifts for that very reason.
Children and adults alike will enjoy putting together these great hostess or neighborhood gifts for the holiday. They solve the problem of turkey leftovers and can become a traditional decoration!