Friday, April 12, 2013

House & Home: Painted Floor Cloth

As a dog owner, I HATE rugs. As a design obsessed home owner, I LOVE rugs because they help create living zones in an open concept house. When Louie and I moved to our new house I swore off rugs entirely because Bingley has a hard time distinguishing a rug from his "in-case-I-can't-hold-it-any-longer" pee-pee pads (my big vision of training him to go inside and out is obviously flawed but I'm too stubborn to accept it). Thus any rug we purchased ended up getting pee'd on and we all know that once a pup marks his territory, it's all over…

Introducing floor cloths! I had seen a painted floor cloth rug in a kitchen once and I got to thinking, if I painted a cloth myself and coated it with a protective layer, maybe, just maybe I could make a "rug" that would't be ruined by the occasional accident. So I looked up a few tutorials online, Martha has a good one, and decided to go full in on a painted floor cloth version of a West Elm rug I really like. I painted an oversized canvas drop cloth and cut off the excess to create smaller door mats too!

The Project:
To create a painted floor cloth, you'll first need to decide what size you want and then find a canvas drop cloth from a hardware supply store that is a bit larger than your final rug. Be careful if you are going large, as most drop cloths over 8x10 have seams down the middle as you can see from mine. I didn't mind and painted right over it, but it could cause problems down the road.

Time: 2-3 weekends
Cost: $100-150

Heavy canvas drop cloth
Tarp to protect your workspace
Artist's Gesso (this is so important!!!)
Masking Tap
Double sided carpet tape
Yard stick
Smooth foam rollers
Paint trays
Latex paint in various colors
Polyacrylic Varnish
Rug Pad

Iron or press your canvas to remove any wrinkles and to smooth out any seams. Then lay it down on a tarp in a dry safe workspace where it can remain undisturbed for a couple of weekends. I painted my in my basement.

Prepping your canvas:
You'll need to gesso both sides of your canvas. To do this use a paint brush or a scraper to cover the raw canvas in the artists gesso. This is important because gesso primes the canvas and prevents it from absorbing ridiculous amounts of paint. Plus it stiffens the fabric. I tried to skip this step on the underneath side, by just using white latex paint and the canvas just kept soaking it up. I got so frustrated and it took my 5x longer to get a coat done. Seriously, this is the most important step!

After the gesso dries, you can sand the surface lightly to smooth out the surface, but this is optional. Next, roll two coats of white latex paint over the entire surface. I painted both sides for added durability.

After your white based color has dried, use masking tape to create your design, whatever you tape over will remain white, and then you'll paint your colors, its just like paint by numbers. Working with Julia my cousin, we started from the center of the rug and taped off lines. We just eyeballed the pattern and layered strips of tape, or used a .25" roll of tape to create thick and thin lines. I wasn't too worried about the center, just made sure that all of the triangles ended in points.

Next, paint each alternating triangle in a different color using two coats. I used two shades of grey (left over wall paint we had from our house) and an accent of you guessed it, yellow! When we taped off the design, we purposely made thin triangles for the areas where I wanted the yellow accent to go.

Once dry, peel off all the masking tape and touch up any areas that may have bled. Then roll the polyacrylic varnish over the entire surface of the rug. Make sure to crack a window or use a respirator, this stuff is stinky. I did two coats just to make sure this sucker was as waterproof as possible. Martha's tutorial doesn't say to apply the varnish to the underneath side, so I didn't but if I ever make one of these again, I will because I think it will give it even more protection.

Finishing the edges:
With the varnish dry, you're now able to trim your rug to size and finish your edges. I decided I wanted the bullseye of the rug to be off centered so I cut from the top and the right side of the rug to trim the excess. Flip your rug over and using sharp scissors, a pencil and a yardstick, measure a straight line and cut the canvas leaving about 1.5" extra so you can fold over the edges all the way around.

Next, measure 1.5" from the edge and mark a line. Adhere one side of the double sided carpet tape along this line and then fold over the excess rug and adhere to the tape. This will create a nice crisp seam with weight to it so the edge of your rug doesn't curl up. Flip back over and you're done!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

House & Home: $100 Entryway Project

As you know my design style for the new house has been hard to define. But this weekend I feel like I made some serious headway and all for just about $100 bucks! I finally finished the front entryway project I've been dreaming up for awhile. I'm so in love with it that it has fueled my inspiration for a lot of the other projects around the house, more posts to come on that! But check it out the final product and scroll down to read how it all came about. Best of all, Louie & Bingley both approve!

The Project:
I picked up this great metal shop cart with two drawers at an estate sale a few months ago for just $15! It's perfect because its grey and has that industrial look I wanted. Plus it has a shelf on the bottom to hold winter boots and a drawer to hold Bingley's leashes and accessories, when I brought it home Louie didn't get my "vision" but couldn't really complain, I mean it was $15! After scrubbing with bleach and grease remover, I cleaned it up and put in the front area by our door and there it sat for a few months because I didn't know what else to do.

I've been toying with using yellow as my accent color since we moved in and aside from some pillows my mom made for our grey couch, I haven't done anything. So earlier this month when my aunt scored this great mirror (I forgot to take a picture of the original!) from another estate sale for us for $45, I finally got my diy-ish vision! I knew the mirror would look great above my entryway table and help "finish" the look of my little nook. I decided to spray paint the wood frame with a marigold yellow color. Julia, my cousin, helped me paint it while I was working on another diy-ish project. The paint only cost about $4 from Home Depot and after just one coat the mirror was done! 

While pulling the look together in my head, I decided that the metal cart really needed a some warm rustic wood to not only fill the tray top, but also give the table a softer feel while keeping the integrity of the raw material's concept I have for the design of the house. So I set off to Chicago's Rebuilder's Exchange with my friend Jaclyn to find something to fit the top. I ended up spending $16 on a 2x6" board of cyprus. They helped me cut it to length and I was able to lay down three lengths to fill the tray, with a little notch chiseled out of the corner to clear the bolts. I probably need to sand it but I was too impatient to finish my project!

While at the depot picking up the paint for the mirror, I also scored some cute little succulent plants. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with them but I had seen a ton of stuff on Pinterest and at West Elm so I decided to snatch up those $2 cuties and put them to some use.

West Elm Spring Catalog

I had these jars left over from our wedding "treat bar" and realized they'd be great to use for some terrariums for my succulents. So back to Home Depot I went! I did some quick research online and you are supposed to use soil for cactuses. So I picked up a small bag of soil for $5 and a bag of white pond rocks for about $5 and voila instant succulent terrariums!

Photo: Jaclyn Gordyan

The yellow jar I bought forever ago on One King's Lane and I had it in my office for decoration. Now we keep it on the table to store our all receipts! The little white urchin I got at Target for $10 to balance out the terrariums visually because groupings just look better in threes. 

--Mary Elisa

Weeks later I'm still loving the look of our entryway, but am already scheming about how I can tidy up the shoes. I'm thinking about picking up this $39 metal basket from West Elm to finish off the look? 

I know I could probably find something like this at an estate sale for cheaper. Sigh...the Diy-ing is never ending!