Monday, April 25, 2011

Fabulous Floorcloths Part 3 and a Style file Segment!

Happy Monday all! Things have been silent here at Design Share for a little bit. One of the things I read about starting a new blog is to be consistent with your posting, and I have tried to post at least once a week, but sometimes life just gets in the way, ya know?! I have had some major upheavals and life changing events these past few weeks and boy let me tell you, the wind just doesn't seem to fill my sails most days. But, I'm trying to be positive and like the saying I posted about here, "Keep Calm and Carry On."  On that note, I'd like to finish out the series I have been posting about floorcloths. If you missed the first two posts you can see them here and here. The previous were examples of how to make a traditional floorcloth, but for today I wanted to show you guys a cool way to make a floorcloth that doesn't require any painting or designing of any kind on your part. All you need is a good eye and some bargain hunting skills, and I know ya'll have those in abundance. So lets get started!

I was shopping at my beloved Target and saw some GREAT printed tablecloths from the DwellStudio Line on the clearance endcap. Already reasonably priced at full price, they were clearanced out to$8.98! I don't normally use tablecloths, but couldn't pass up this bargain! I started wondering what other things I could do with them...Wall hanging? Foot-of-the-bed pop of color? Curtains? Slipcover fabric? Then I spotted a round one with a Suzani print, and got an idea!

Some clear, satin finish WATER BASED polyurethane....

And the aforementioned, fabulous, Suzani Print tablecloth.....
......combined, would make a great floorcloth!  No painting, no measuring, no planning, just roll on a few coats of poly and you have a durable, easy care and GEORGEOUS floorcloth! Already hemmed and everything! I think the round shape is what triggered the idea for me, as I have been a long time looking for a round rug that I liked.  
Straight out of the package (I didn't wash it first since I was going to be coating with poly anyway, I wasn't worried about shrinkage) I laid the cloth out on my garage floor. I didn't, but you would probably want to use a dropcloth or some protective layer so you work surface doesn't get coated with poly. I smoothed it as best I could, and started to roll the poly on with a foam roller.
About 10 minutes after the first coat, I lifted the whole cloth off the floor so it wouldn't dry stuck to the floor and laid it back down lightly where it was. Water based Poly dries fast, so you want to make sure to do this step BEFORE it dries enough to stick to the floor. I did this step twice, at ten minute intervals, just to be sure it didn't stick. Once the first coat was completely dry, I rolled on a second coat, and again lifted the whole cloth after ten minutes.
Some wrinkling occurs, but don't let it worry you. It will smooth out when you lift it off the floor and lay it back down. After it dried, I rolled on a third and final coat of poly. I felt three coats was sufficient to give the cloth good 'body' and protection from spills and wear and tear. If you want, you can also coat the backside of the cloth just for extra protection.  The last step is to back it with a rug pad. I used a cheapie walmart rug pad that I cut to fit my circle. I attached it with double stick tape all around the circumference and at several interior points. You could also use a spray adhesive, but will want to choose a rug pad with a tight 'weave' to make sure the adhesive doesn't come through and stick to your floor! Finally, you will want to place your beautiful floorcloth, step back and admire your handiwork!!
I used mine in my daughters room, where it fits the space perfectly and adds a beautiful pattern I am hard pressed to find in any traditional area rug! And... shhhh...*whispering* our dog even peed on this and it damp mopped right up. Because it's coated with poly, nothing sinks in, it all sits on the surface and wipes right off!
The culprit!

Edit: I have had many people ask questions regarding this project. I will try to answer some questions readers have had....

It is VERY IMPORTANT that you use WATER BASED Polyurethane. I don't think I clarified that before and hope it didn't cause any confusion.This floor cloth works best on hard floor surfaces such as hardwoods, tile or concrete floors (what I have in my home) It is a 'floorcloth' NOT a carpet, so has no cushion to it other than the rug pad you add underneath. If you added a really thick pad or a piece of carpeting foam under it, it would be more 'comfortable' I am used to walking on concrete floors all day, so the lack of cushion has no effect on me.

This works best with natural fibers, like cotton or linen. To be sure, I would stick with 100% Cotton, which is what the tablecloth I used was made from. I really don't think this will work on synthetic fibers, but if any brave souls want to experiment and let me know what your results are, that would be great! This WILL NOT work on a tablecloth already coated with vinyl...It may be stating the obvious, but just want to be clear. Additionally, any fabric with a 'plush pile' will not work....velvet, chenille etc. This is a *floor cloth* we are not trying to simulate *carpet*!

The polyurethane coating is pretty flexible once dry so it doesn't feel 'crunchy', as some people were concerned about. Some have asked if it would work to layer the cloth over existing carpeting...I think it would be fine, but go ahead and try it! My motto: if in doubt, try it out! If it doesn't work, hang it on the wall as a 'tapestry!'

If you intend to use this outdoors, such as a patio, go ahead and coat BOTH sides of the cloth to really ensure a good protective layer and I probably wouldn't leave in direct sun for any serious length of time. A covered outdoor space would be ideal.

I have taken mine outside and hosed it off when the surface gets grungy (from normal wear) and used a mild soap. It cleaned right up. Of course mopping also works.

Good luck and thanks again for all the great questions! Hope this helps....

To follow up, I'll share my most recent segment on KVOA channel 4 here in Tucson, talking about floorcloths. I hope you enjoyed the series and I hope you will try making a floorcloth using one of the methods I talked about. If you do, I would love for you to share them with me. Thanks for visiting!

**UPDATE** Hi everybody! Well, it seems that KVOA doesn't have that video segment "Laura's Style File" up on their website anymore, but I'm working on getting a copy of it to re-post so stay tuned!


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Fabulous Floorcloths Part 2

Welcome back! If you missed part 1, you can see it here. Today, I will show the finished floorcloth in place and talk about how I made it. This is where we left off....

Again, when using graphic, simple patterns, floorcloths are pretty fast and easy to paint. I finished this one in about a day. The more intricate the design you choose and the more colors you use, the longer it will take.
For this example, I used heavy duty (12 0z.) pre-primed canvas, which will provide the easiest working surface and highest durability . I was lucky enough to find a whole bolt at a discount fabric wharehouse near me. If you don't have such luck, it can be ordered online.
http://www.danielsmith.com/Item--i-328-010-007
http://www.dickblick.com/products/fredrix-floor-cloth-canvas
These are just a couple places you can order from. There are even companies that will sell 'blanks' with the canvas measured, hemmed and ready to paint, *but* I have found the extra expense to be out of my range! On that note, I finish my edges by simply hot gluing the selvage and the ends.
Using an iron on cotton setting and a pressing cloth, fold the hem over and press in place. This gives the canvas a 'memory' of where it will fold and when you glue it down, you have a nice, crisp edge.

And as simple as that, you have a finished floorcloth!


Add a rug pad underneath to give it some cushion and you have a durable, easy to clean and inexpensive alternative to a traditional area rug. Best of all, these are lightweight and easy to roll up and store, so you can make several and switch them out as the mood strikes you! The cost of this one?  Less than $20 for the canvas, the paint I already had, and my time. Now isn't that worth it?!

Here is another example I made for a dance-a-thon party/fundraiser I recently decorated for a friend (more on that later) Hard to tell here, but this baby is 12 feet long!! It served as a portion of the dance floor,  held up beautifully and will see many more events.
The sponge paint applicator made quick work of the chunky chevron stripe pattern. and I finished this one in about 4 hours.


For those who would like step-by-step instructions and more design ideas, this is an excellent book for you.
http://www.dickblick.com/products/fantastic-floorcloths-you-can-paint-in-a-day/
or check your local library.

Be sure to check back for part 3 of Fabulous Floorcloths. I'll share a different technique for making floorcloths that might surprise you!
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Friday, April 8, 2011

Angel Food Cake and Soccer

EVERY time I go to Goodwill (which is often) I always see angel food cake pans in the pots, pans and dishes section, and they are ALWAYS missing their bottoms. Some people call them tarte pans, some quich pans, but Ima go with angel food, cause it's my favorite. I love the way these pans look, all gleaming silver and fluted, so I wondered if there was any way I could use them without the bottom (ALWAYS missing!)
Only .99 cents each, I picked up a couple.

 I just love the shape and finish of this and knew I had to find a way to re use it!

Then I spotted this cheap, plastic soccer theme mirror and got an idea!
The round mirror in this baby was *exactly* the same size as the bottom of my cake pan! Ding ding ding!!
SO................(you probably see where I'm going with this)


I turned it over, undid the four small screws and sports theme printed cardboard (cause it IS a soccer mirror after all) that held the mirror in AND...........


Covered the cardboard with some wrapping paper and spray glue. I wasn't too concerned about being neat here, because the mirror will be covering everything up.THEN.......

 
Added a few spots of hot glue to the back lip of the cake pan,
glued the prettied up cardboard to the lip........

 turned it over AND...........


This is what it looks like so far, UNTIL........

another couple of dabs of glue, and Voila! A beautiful little mirror.
It has the look of a starburst mirror, and you could use this for all sorts of things. I would probably use it on my vanity to hold bracelets or perfume bottles, but you could also hang it just by attaching a piece of ribbon to the back, like so.......



And the grand total? .99 cents for the cake pan, $2.99 for the soccer mirror (can you believe that thing cost more than the beautiful, fluted, silver cake pan....oh, I know why....NO BOTTOM!)

I would love the hear what you've re-purposed lately. 
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Monday, April 4, 2011

Fabulous Floorcloths Part 1

Browsing around the blog world, I've noticed a lot of bloggers split post topics up into several 'mini' posts, so I thought I'd give it a try and see how it goes. This would have been a pretty long post and I think people get bored if they're too long, so you'll just have to check back in if the topic interests you, and I hope it does! Now, on to floorcloths!

I have several methods of  making floorcloths. The first one I'll talk about is the easiest. Using a heavy, pre-primed canvas, you can draw a design freehand, use a stencil or just do simple graphic stripes. Anything goes! I like to use the white of the canvas as my positive or negative space, but you could fill in the entire canvas with acrylic paint in as many colors as you want. It all depends on how much work you want to put into it. Here is an example of a floorcloth I recently started, using this method.
 A close up of the canvas shows the slight surface texture.

A quick trace of the design I want to paint. Here I am using a stencil I cut to create a chevron stripe.

Look closely and you can see the faint outlines of my chevron stripe pattern.

Using acrylic paint, start brushing away! For designs with wide sections and sharp angles, like this chevron stripe, a square, flat, nylon bristle brush works best. You might be asking yourself why I didn't tape off my stripes for a nice crisp edge....NO Taping, here!! Painters tape is notorious for leaking paint underneath, so freehand is the way to go.
With bold graphics and dark on light designs, this method goes pretty fast. Of course, the more intricate your design and the more colors you use, the more time you are spending making your floorcloth. I'm impatient, so I choose bold, graphic, simplistic designs that I can finish quickly.

I'll show you the finished product, give supply info and share a brief history about floorcloths in the next installment, so be sure to check back in! You can subscribe to my blog via e-mail, become a follower or both!
Thanks for visiting!


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