While I await the start of my next ceiling project, the home office previously mentioned, I thought I’d come down off the ladder to talk about Floorcloths. Floorcloths have been around since the 1700’s, when people used them on their dirt floors. They go in and out of fashion, like everything else, over the years. I have not had a request for a Floorcloth in over ten years now, but they are still very much in fashion and in use in my own home. I love them for three reasons. One, they are both pieces of art and functional. Two, they are great if you have kids and/or pets. Three, they can be made in any size or shape, to custom fit your needs. Are they durable? Take a look:
This Hopscotch floorcloth has lived in this same hallway for over 12 years. I made it when my daughter Sarah was 9 or 10. It looks as good as the day I put it down and I have never resealed or touched it up. I simply clean it with a damp mop. Whenever Sarah’s friends stop by to visit, they always "hop" down this hall to the kitchen, even though they are all out of college now. Many of them recall playing Hopscotch in this hallway on rainy days after school.
I have the runner pictured below, in my kitchen, although it was in my front hall for many years. This is a fun project to do with your children. I remember when I created this with Sarah, I rolled paint on the soles of her feet, which brought on much giggling. After each step, she would hang onto me, while I re-rolled a foot. When she got to the end, I had her sit down on the floor so I could wash off the paint on her feet.
This Floorcloth was created about 5 years ago for a Trade show Marc a I participated in. I was hoping it would sell there, but since it did not, it came home with me. I had it rolled up in my basement for a 2 years and then one day after throwing out yet another rug my 2 cats had damaged beyond repair, I decided this was the answer for my living room. I don’t know why I didn’t think of using this sooner. I do like the warmth of a rug in the Winter months, but right now, with these 2 cats, it is just not practical.
The first 2 Floorcloths pictured above were done using a heavy, primed artist canvas. This last Floorcloth pictured was done on the back side of a scrap piece of linoleum I bought at Home Depot. The picture below shows the underside.
My inspiration for the Hopscotch Floorcloth came from a wonderful book by Kathy Cooper and Jan Hersey entitled, "The Complete Book of Floorcloths". This books gives an introduction to the history of Floorcloths, a step by step guide to making Floorcloths, as well as complete instructions for 8 different designs. It is very well illustrated. For more information about Floorcloths and books by Kathy Cooper, visit her website.
This has me thinking that I really would like a new, big Floorcloth to hide my ugly kitchen floor!