In 2010 my first grand child was born. She is the most beautiful, talented, intelligent, and precious child in the whole world. Of course all of you other grandmothers feel the same way about your grandchildren. I realize that, but I just know that what I say is true. Her mother asked me to create a custom floor cloth to go below her high chair. I debated about painting in on the back side of a piece of inexpensive vinyl/linoleum, but decided that since this was to be for my granddaughter, I should do it the proper way. So, I went to my local Michael’s and bought heavy weight canvas, painted it white with gesso (be sure to do in a well ventilated area). I turned the edges back about two inches and secured them with a glue gun. You really cannot create without a glue gun!
The next step was in deciding what to paint. It did not take long to settle on the Peter Rabbit theme. I had bought a Peter Rabbit dish set for our first daughter and it had a very special place in my heart. I drew the design onto the cloth and painted it with ordinary acrylic paints, and then put four coats of clear acrylic over the top so that it could be scrubbed and scrubbed again. After all, even perfect granddaughters spill food from their high chairs. They are just trying to give their mothers something to do at nap time.
The first mat was so successful that I made a second one for my daughter’s best friend who had triplet boys! I figured that they would be as busy as bees so I dressed three little bears in bear costumes and added bees buz-z-z-z-ing overhead. I had a lot of help from some note paper. Use cards for inspiration and great ideas.
Floor cloths have been around for hundreds of years. Colonists made them in lieu of carpet because carpet was too expensive.
You can make a “cheater cloth” by buying a piece of inexpensive vinyl from your big box store. It is easier if you get one in a grid pattern so that you can use the grids to cut nice straight lines. Turn the wrong side up, prime it and add your design. Of course you can use stencils, monograms, or any design you choose. The edges do not need to be turned. These are great in front of a sink because they provide a bit of a cushion.
One of my most creative friends asked me to paint a floor cloth with the image of where her daughter was to be married. The bride and groom stood upon it for the ceremony and they hung it on the wall of their first home. Another idea is to do a floor cloth with the initials of the bride and groom…in a monogram style. The possibilities are endless. Create and be happy!