A Hand Painted Floor Cloth is Art for Your Floors


Who says artwork is only for walls?  How about using some of your handiwork on your floors with a hand painted floor cloth? 

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?

Materials List:

  • Tape Measure
  • Pencils
  • Yardage of 60” wide Natural 100% Cotton Canvas
  • Iron-On Hem Tape or Sewing Machine
  • Dual Duty Plus Button & Craft thread for hand stitching OR
  • Dual Duty XP Heavy thread for machine stitching
  • Washing Machine
  • Iron
  • Latex or Acrylic Craft Paints
  • Satin Finish Water Based Polyurethane


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!)

Thread Tip:
If you use only hand stitching on your floor cloth, Dual Duty Plus Button & Craft thread would work great because it is an extra strong thread and it has a glace finish that protects it and keeps it from tangling when pulling the thread through the fabric.  For machine stitching use Dual Duty XP Heavy thread.  It is a heavy weight, strong and durable thread.  Keep in mind you will need to use a large needle with the heavier threads; a size 1-5 for hand sewing and 18-20 for machine sewing.

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!

To keep your floor cloth from sliding out from underfoot, make sure to purchase a piece of rug gripping material.  You can find this at most carpet stores and many home center stores in the flooring area.  It cuts to size and is necessary to use your project safely.

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.


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