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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Making a floor cloth

Materials needed:
canvas, scissors, knife, straight edge,
primmer paint, acrylic paints, iron, varnish.
Big flat work surface, patients and
imagination helps.

1 The first thing to do when getting ready make a floor cloth
is buy your cloth.
It's really a thicker canvas material, that is made for floor cloths.
I usually buy mine off eBay, and get free shipping too.
It will come by UPS or Fed-Ex in a big roll.

2 Now to figure out the finished size:
if you know where it's going to be in your home,
like in front of your kitchen sink, measure that areas length and width,
that you would want the rug to be. Make sure it would fit where you want it!!
Now figure how big to cut your canvas cloth.
The finished product will have a
2" hem all the way around it.
So you have to add that hem size to the finished size before you cut the cloth!!
Say if you want the finished size to be 24" X 38",
cut your material 4 inches bigger or:
28" X 42", that's so you will have enough cloth to turn under to hem it 2" on all sides.

3 Ok, now cut your cloth. I get my hubby, Rick, to cut mine.
He measures, usually on the floor.
then he marks it with a pencil.
then lays a flat edge down and cuts with a straight edge knife.
But scissors will work as well if they are sharp.

4 The next step is to paint your cloth with a good primer paint.
let it dry between coats and paint at least 2 coats.
This will give you a good finished paint job
and makes the canvas thicker, stronger and heavier too.

5 Now turn the cloth over so the underside in up.
You will hem the under or bottom side,
then turn it back over to paint the top!!!
Hemming it is a very important step.
I measure 2 inches in, all the way around and mark it.
then have your iron hot and ready,
fold your cloth and iron it under to make a good crease.
Then I use a double sided tape,
buy it in the tape section at Lowe's or Home Depot.
put the tape in the fold and seal it good.
You should have a nice hem all the way around when finished.
It takes a while to do it right. Be patient.

6 Next is to paint the cloth.
Be sure you turn it over to have the top side
that was primed on the up side!
Now, get ready to paint it!!
You can paint it all one color,
or do stripes or anything you want!
Use your imagination.
I have painted all kinds, even Christmas cloths,
or smaller ones can be used for place mats
and runners on your dinning room table!
I have even used stencils to make designs sometimes,
that way they all turn out the same,
like if you put a design in each corner,
you want them to all be alike!!

7 OK, Now if you are completely finished painting it,
you are ready to varnish it.
I use a good water based varnish with a gloss finish.
This will hold up better under heavy foot traffic over the years.
It gives your rugs a pretty shinny finish, protects the paint and colors
from fading and extends the life of your floor cloth.
Now be sure you signed it someplace, maybe on the bottom and date it too.
That's it, hope you had fun.

One tip, let it dry really well between steps.
Also, prime it before hemming it always because it will shrink some.
See some of my floor cloths:

email me if you have questions.

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