Weekend project: Paint a floor canvas
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Used bookstores are a great place to hunt for inexpensive books containing decorative patterns.
- If you are tracing your pattern onto a dark color, use a white pencil.
- If your canvas starts to warp or wrinkle, roll it firmly around a gift-wrap tube and leave it for several hours.
- To give the floor coverings added durability, apply at least three coats of varnish.
- When finishing the edges of the canvas, use books as weights to keep edges folded under while the fabric glue dries.
- Put a thin foam pad under your finished mat to keep it from slipping.