Painted Carpets

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Painted Carpets
Total Time weekend projects Ages preschooler

Made from fray-proof canvas cloth, these vibrant hand-painted mats are easily fashioned in whatever size or shape fits the purpose -- be it a doorside rug, a pet place mat, or even a portable game board. Plus, they provide a great opportunity for your kids to wet -- make that dry -- their feet as interior decorators.

What you'll need

  • Fray-proof canvas (We recommend Roc-lon Multi-Purpose Cloth, sold in large fabric stores; find out more about it at roc-lon.com)
  • White interior latex or acrylic paint
  • Acrylic paints (assorted colors for your design)
  • Paint pens or permanent markers
  • Paintbrushes and a small foam roller
  • Water-based fast-drying polycrylic finish

How to make it

  1. Cut the cloth to the size and shape desired. There's no need to hem the edges, since this material won't unravel.

  2. Prime the top of the mat with the white paint and let it dry. Then use the acrylic paints and paint pens or permanent markers to decorate your mat however you like. A bristle brush works best for painting small areas, while a small foam roller is effective for large ones. But avoid using a black foam brush -- tiny bits of sponge may get caught in the weave of the canvas.

  3. Painted Carpets-Step 3

    Once your design is thoroughly dry, seal it with 3 or more coats of finish, allowing each coat to dry between applications. Apply 3 coats to the underside of the cloth too, to protect it from moisture.

    Durable Doorway Decor A fast-drying protective finish ensures that these lightweight mats really stand up -- soil and spills can be quickly wiped away with a sponge.

  4. Painted Carpets-Step 4

    Allow the mat several days to a week to stiffen before using it.

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