Years ago I made my living as a decorative artist. Ok, I’ll clarify and say with my husband working a full time job, I was able to pursue a career in my “spare time” as a decorative artist. By spare time I mean that we had three kids so it was something I could do on my schedule. Sounds complicated, but like many families out there, we made it work.
At one point, I discovered floorcloths. Canvas primed and painted to match any decor, polyurethaned for durability and ease of clean-up.
I sold them at craft fairs, art galleries, gift stores, on line – any way I could think of. I once sent photos of some to Home Decorating magazines in hopes of being picked up by just one. It did happen, and my floorcloth was photographed in a minor celebrity’s home for a major magazine, and also was seen on a Home Decorating TV program (which is no longer on the air waves – so you’ll just have to take my word for it…).
Experimenting with things in a more simplified way I discovered I could make a floorcloth without all the hassle of cutting, gluing edges and priming by just using vinyl flooring!
To show you what I mean, I picked up some scrap vinyl flooring – I tried to find the cushiest flooring possible – something like Fibre Floor would be ideal. ( I used that brand once to replace a bathroom floor and it’s kind of spongy and cuts like butta.) No such luck this time, but the one I chose is still pretty good, UGLY, but good.
flip it over, ( you need to do this step if it has a shiny finish, using the other side could cause paint adherence problems with the finish on the vinyl – but you could prime it with a plastic primer. Sometimes the edges refuse to stay flat when you turn it over. You can test it and see, if it tends to curl up when on the reverse side, just paint the right side with the plastic primer and you should be good to go).
For the design, look for inspiration around your house – a pattern you love, a colour combo you’ve wanted to try, as simple or as intricate as you want or think you can handle.
These are beautiful little coasters daughter number #1 made for me.
and in the end, I prefer the KISS method – (keep it simple, stupid)….
I used dollar store craft paint and left-over latex house paint. It doesn’t really matter what paint you use, you will probably want to brush or roll water based polyurethane on it when you’re done, if for no other reason but to keep any white paint, well, white! It makes it easier for wiping up spills etc. Since I will be using this by my kitchen sink, garbage will for sure hit that mat no less than 80 times a day. (You probably think I’m exaggerating, but sadly if anything, I am being gracious.) I don’t recommend oil based polyurethane, it tends to yellow over time.
And there you have it! Cheap like borsht, pretty like a pony, durable like the Rock of Gibraltar and you made it yourself – or at least you should!