Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What is a Floor Cloth?

This is one of four floor cloths I painted for the home school prom.  This year it had been used for four prior proms. 
Don't tell my son I used this picture....he is now 22 and has a serious girlfriend, which isn't the one in this picture. 

My floor cloth from my kitchen brought about some questions....so here it goes.

Sonja has suggested I have a business called Janette's Diamond Designs on a Dime....instead I will name this my                   Diamond Designs on a Dime post One.

  1. I painted my first floor cloth back in the early 80's during my country decorating style phase.  It was 2'x3' and went in front of our fireplace.  
  2. Floor cloths go back to the Colonial Days and are still sold and designed today...many are works of art...google floor cloth and you will be amazed.....mine have just been useful
  3. When the prom needed a floor covering to transform an area into a garden courtyard I began painting 10'x10' pebble-looking floor cloths.  1000's of prom attenders walked across these for years...I didn't seal any of them
  4. Another time when we had a home with a very large bathroom with cold ceramic flooring I painted a floor cloth to bring color to the room and cover the cold floor
  5. You can lay them on ceramic, no-wake floors...I would not suggest on wood or carpet

How to:
The following is how I have made floor cloths.  You can find  more extensive processes.  I have never needed mine to survive for decades...even though mine never worn out I did finally get tired of them and threw them away.
  • Purchase a drop cloth - the quality of drop cloths vary.  I bought cheap ones for the prom...$10.00 a piece...I bought a better quality for my kitchen - Lowe's Blue Hawk, Canvas Drop Cloth
  • I washed, dried and ironed my drop cloth before starting the project

  • You seal the floor cloth - for the prom I didn't do this step...we were going for fast and cheap...now remember it still lasted for years.  For my kitchen I didn't omit this step.  You seal the whole size of the floor cloth with Gesso.  Start in the middle and work out...the floor cloth will stretch some
  • Draw your design on the dried Gesso - you can do complicated or easy

  • Paint your design with Acrylic Paint
  • I paint the back of my floor cloths with left over paint of any color...this seals the back of the floor cloth...again I didn't do this step for the prom...temporary floor cloth
  • Turn over your edges and glue or sew down

  • Seal the dried, finished floor cloth with clear Polyurethane - I paint a couple of coats
  • You can use different items to keep the floor cloth from slipping on your floor...I have never had any problem with this and haven't added anything on the back of the floor cloth.
    That is all, now enjoy your new transformed floor.
    I am off to make one for in front of our fire place....may show you soon.

    27 Joining in with more words:

    JillAileenJones said...

    Oh this looks like so much fun! Thanks for sharing-I can't wait to try this. Not sure what I would paint on it yet but I can see one in the kitchen in front of the sink or in the entry way to the house-a long hallway that I have a hard time finding a runner that is long enough and wide enough and yet not too wide to fit it right-and I don't want a carpet there. Yay! I am so excited. I will just have to decide what design to paint on it now. Thanks for sharing this. I am really thrilled to try this.
    Happy Thursday Friend.
    Love ya

    Debbie said...

    I am so glad you posted this! I have wanted to do a floor cloth for my kitchen because I think it sounds cool and umm cheap. Plus, it seems to be perfect for easy clean up.

    Where do you buy Gesso? I know I should not be so ignorant,but alas... I am.

    Sonja said...

    honest to pete! I would not have thought of painting a floor cloth in a million years! SEE... you are already adding floor cloths to your design business. I'm through talking about this, I'm going to start praying that Janette's diamonds on a dime will become more than just a project in your own home. There are so many people who would LOVE your creative ideas, and SOMEONE has to do it!! Why not you?? :)

    I thought it was just diamonds on a wall, you are the whole package... you design, paint, sew and create. Why not???


    Vee said...

    Love the look! I'd really like one for my deck and am wondering how well it would hold up.

    Debbie said...

    Oh Janette I agree with Sonja...this could make a wonderful business! I will tell you honestly. I LOVE this and they look wonderful but I just know I would never do it myself...BUT!! would I BUY one or hire someone to make it for me??!? YES!! I still want the diamonds behind my counter....LOVED that too. Soo talented and creative...Oh, and I loved the one you did for the prom too...Have a good day my friend! HUGS

    Trisha said...

    Is there anything you can't do??? You amaze me every time I read another post. Wise. Creative. Persevering. Beautiful. Smart. Encouraging. God-honoring.

    Lovely work, Janette!!

    Marla and Steve said...

    I've never seen this done or even heard about Floor Cloths. Amazing, just amazing!!

    bp said...

    Thanks for sharing this, it doesn't look to hard. Makes a nice addition to the floor! I will look forward to others you share.

    Kathryn Ross said...

    Hmmm . . . clever. Never thought of this - always went for the conventional rugs and mats. Inexpensive floor coverings and art all in one! Diamonds to be sure!


    Christine said...

    Not only do you show us how to make a Floor Cloth, but you give us the history of them.
    Great job on all of them!

    A multi-dimensional life said...

    What a great floor cloth! That looks like such fun! I've never made one, but you inspired me to try! The photo of your son is so sweet...promise not to tell ;)
    I do love that prom floor cloth too!

    Farm Girl said...

    Wow so easy too. I thought there would be so much to do to make it looks so good.I think I am going to have to try that. I need something in my dining room and I have a rug that needs to go and I don't have the money to replace what is there.

    Carol said...

    What you can do with paint is truly amazing! The floorcloth looks terrific....as do the other projects you've shown in your house.

    Sandy said...

    Gee, Janette, you're so talented
    and smart.
    I agree with Sonja. This is a
    business calling your name.

    Petra said...

    You absolutely amaze me! Is there one thing you cannot do? :-) Do you have a tutorial on painting plywood floors to keep from having to buy hardwood? I'm so ready to pull up this wall-to-wall. You're my decorating remodeling heroine.

    Sally said...

    I have never thought of a floor cloth, what a neat idea. How easy to change the look of a room. I'll file this idea away.

    Joluise said...

    You are one creative lady, how clever. I have never seen this done so thanks for the step by step instructions.

    PⒿ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

    I loved that you shared the steps with us! You were a trailblazer, Janette. These have only grown in popularity!

    Karen said...

    a great job! Love the black & white checkerboard. When can you come my way?

    Stephanie said...

    I have never ever heard of doing this before! What an inexpensive solution when you don't have the money to replace your carpet or have chipped tile and linoleum. I doubt I would have the painting skills to achieve any of this, but my sister does, and I think I may have to recruit her. Definitely going to put this on my DYI list. Really excited to put this to use. I agree with Sonja, a new career path maybe?

    Shelley said...

    Brillant - thank you for the how too - I cannot believe how square your squares are lol - well done! And who knew there were such things - really who knew? .... well obviously you did - lol Great job lady!

    Shelley said...

    PS I really want to do one for back back deck - but that will be next summer x

    Shannon@Cozy Home Scenes said...

    Hi Janette, your floor cloth tutorial is very instructive. If I were to try one, I probably would do a small one so I wouldn't have to throw out the whole cloth if (when) I mess
    up. You did a great job painting yours. ------Shannon

    e-Mom said...

    Very, very cool!!! Methinks you've taken some painting classes?

    I'm thinking about painting in acrylics on canvas to fill up all our blank walls. (A 14' vaulted ceiling in the living room makes a lot of empty wallspace!)

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    Cecilia Marie Pulliam said...

    I think your own decorating business is a great idea. You are so talented! I had never heard of floor cloths before, what a beautiful and practical solution to some decorating issues.

    One question, why wouldn't you use them on wood or carpet? A possible transference of residue from the paint materials?

    Debbie said...

    You ought to open an Etsy shop online and sell your floor cloths. You are so creative!

    Love you,

    LeeAnn@Encouragement Is Contagious said...

    Awesome! I finally got over here to check out your tutorial. We had a leak in our plumbing and then it leaked over into our bedroom closet. Been busy with and Insurance adjuster and plumber this week. Thank you for posting how you've made your floor cloth. Your black and white checked floor cloth is gorgeous! I love black and white on just about anything. When things slow down, I am going to try making one.

    ♥Lee Ann

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