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In colonial times, when people did not have the money to import a nice carpet, they would make do by painting a floor cloth on canvas.  Perhaps they used the remnant of a sail.  What they needed was a piece of canvas and some paint and a brush.  Here are some photos of floor cloths like the ones used in historic period homes.

 

If you don’t feel artistic enough to paint one free hand, use a stencil.

 

As you can imagine, there is no limit to the creativity that you can use to create a floor cloth.  Once the canvas is primed with white or neutral paint, and your design is painted, just cover it with at least three, but preferably five coats of clear polyeurethane and it will withstand years of wear and tear.

When our first granddaughter was born, her mother asked me to make a floor cloth to go under her high chair.  Babies like to throw food over the edge and what better way to save the floor or the carpet than to have a floor cloth below?  Here is the one that I painted for grand child #1:

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The edges of the canvas need to be folded back to form a hem.  I just used a glue gun to secure the hem on all of the floor cloths that I made.  The dimensions are up to you, but please be sure to buy a heavy canvas.  It will cost more money but it will last much longer and there won’t be a trip hazard.  I used a Peter Rabbit theme because I thought that there might be a brother or a sister later on and Peter Rabbit could be used for boy or girl.

Next, my daughter’s friend had triplets!  She has three of the most adorable boys you could ever imagine.  They just had to have a special gift, so I made a large floor cloth for them.

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I figured that Thomas, Walker, and John would be as busy as bees, so I put little bears in a bee costume and another floor cloth was born.  As I remember, I used some note cards that I found on the internet for inspiration.

Last weekend, our second granddaughter turned one year old.  It was time to make a floor cloth for her.  The theme of the party was to be lambs so the floor cloth had to be a lamb, too.  Here is a picture that I took while I was making it.

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…and here is the finished floor cloth:

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The lamb is wearing a locket that is like one I had as a child.  I put an “A” on this one since her name is, “Amelia.”  The alphabet is in two colors.  The letters that are painted pink are the letters that are in Amelia’s first and last name.  One day, I will enjoy asking her to find the letters that are in her name.  There are four leaf clovers for good luck.  The inset border has the words to a John Denver song.  I sang it to our two daughters and now we sing it to their children.  Here are the lyrics to “For Baby for Bobbie”:

I‘ll walk in the rain by your side, I’ll cling to the warmth of your hand.
I’ll do anything to keep you satisfied, I’ll love you more than anybody can.
And the wind will whisper your name to me, little birds will sing along in time.
Leaves will bow down when you walk by and morning bells will chime.

I’ll be there when you’re feeling down to kiss away the tears that you cry.
I’ll share with you all the happiness I’ve found, a reflection of the love in your eyes.
And I’ll sing you the songs of the rainbow, a whisper of the joy that is mine.
Leaves will bow down when you walk by and morning bells will chime.

I’ll walk in the rain by your side, I’ll cling to the warmth of your tiny hand.
I’ll do anything to help you understand, and I’ll love you more than anybody can.
And the wind will whisper your name to me, little birds will sing along in time.
Leaves will bow down when you walk by and morning bells will chime.

If you are looking for a fun project and one that you can really personalize for someone special, I encourage you to try making a floor cloth.  If you cannot find the canvas that you need, try taking the wrong side of an inexpensive piece of kitchen vinyl.  I once made a floor rug by using a small roll of vinyl that had a grid pattern on the right side.  After cutting it to size along the lines, I just flipped it and primed the back, painted a design, and then used polyeurethane to protect it.  It was easy and under $10.

 

Create and be happy!

 

 

 

 

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