Use a projector to capture classic decorative designs, then turn them into a floor mat that pops
Simple to make and surprisingly durable, painted canvas used as a floor mat adds graphic punch to a room.
We started by choosing printed designs and photocopying them. The decorative patterns were reflected onto the canvases with a projector (available from art-supply and crafts stores) then each design was traced and painted.
We found that simple, high-contrast patterns worked best.
Click through to see how to make one yourself.
1. Lay out a preprimed canvas with a 1-inch allowance on all sides for finishing the edges. We started with 3- by 5-foot canvases
(about $8-$10 each at an art-supply store).
2. With a foam paint roller, apply one coat of acrylic latex paint for your background color. Be sure to cover the entire front of the canvas. Allow to dry completely.
3. Using a sturdy, nonmarring tape, hang your canvas on a flat, vertical surface in a room that can be darkened, so the projected image will be easier to see.
4. Place the projector, with the photocopied pattern beneath it, on a flat surface approximately 8 feet from the canvas. Move
the projector forward or back until the pattern on the canvas is the desired size.
We used an Artograph Tracer projector (available at crafts stores; $80) to transfer our designs onto canvas. The Tracer will enlarge images up to 14 times their actual size. The Tracer Jr. ($50) will enlarge an image up to 10 times the original. We needed the stronger projector to enlarge an image in one step to fit a 3- by 5-foot canvas.
5. Use a pencil to trace the pattern onto your canvas.
6. Once you have completed the tracing, use a paintbrush with a flat, rounded tip (called a cat's tongue) to paint within the
lines with your second paint color. If you are painting a light color onto a dark color, you may have to use two coats. Allow
to dry completely.
7. To make the surface durable, apply matte varnish according to the manufacturer's instructions with a foam roller.
8. To finish the edges of the canvas, fold under 1 inch on all sides. For a mitered edge, use scissors to cut a triangle out
of each corner. Use fabric glue to secure the folds.