Floor cloths can be a stylish way of covering a large area without the expense of purchasing extra large carpets. If you are looking for a unique color theme, with a particular style in mind, custom painted floor rugs might be the way to go.

You can use large scale canvas drop cloths from Home Depot or a plain rug purchased from Ikea.  Others have used vinyl remnants to make their painted rugs.  Here are some tips for making your own rug from a canvas.

1.  Set Up In A Room That Won’t Be Disturbed– Chances are a project like this will take more than a weekend to complete.  You don’t want the kids or the family dog tracing their little  prints across the cloth.  Set up in a space that is dust-free and well-ventilated. Consider working in a garage or a room which you can close the door and open the window.

2.  Shrink The Cloth–  Canvas is made of 100 percent cotton, so needs to be preshrunk before painting. When purchasing canvas, it is suggested to allow yourself 8 extra inches in all directions for shrinkage and hemming. To shrink the canvas, soak the canvas by scrubbing hot water onto the entire surface. When the canvas has been evenly soaked, turn the canvas over, and wet the other side.  Leave the canvas flat and allow it to dry completely for a day or two.

3.  Hem The Canvas- Measure the area of your floor again, and cut your canvas leaving extra room for hemming.  This part of the process is important to take your time, as clean stitch and a great hem is imperative to stand up to daily wear and tear.

The easiest way to get clean folding lines on a large scale cloth is to use a pencil to draw four lines 1 inch in from the edges of the floor cloth. Then using an iron on the highest setting, and a spray bottle filled with water, fold the edge and press it with the iron. Water, and stem will give you that crisp edge you are looking for. Repeat this process on the other three edges.

4. Sew Your Corners, And Sew The Edge

Making mitered corners will give your floor cloth that polished look. There are several ways to sew a professional edge that looks attractive. Here are a few links that show step by step instructions to pulling this look off.  After your corners are pressed, use a straight stitch on your sewing machine and sew all the way around the perimeter of the floor cloth.

How To Sew Mitered CornersHow To Sew Mitered Corners- Here Sarai Mitnick shows us two ways to getting a mitered look.  See detailed instructions along with pictures at her website coletterie.com

Sewing Mitered Corners – YouTube

How to Sew Mitered Corners YouTube

5. Deciding On Your Graphic-  Decide on a graphic which you are confident will look crisp and clear.  Consider making your own large scale stencil using a stencil cutter, and clear stencil sheets.

Here are a few companies who make floor stencils:

Floor stencils.Cutting Edge Stencils

Wall and Floor Stencils – Stencilease.com

Stencils- Royal Design Studio

Designs that have straight edges might allow you to use masking tape instead of a stencil.  Clean lines will give the appearance that your rug isn’t painted.  Purchase stencil spray adhesive to keep your stencils in place, or consider using an airbrush to get the ideal amount of coverage without leakage.

Floor Cloths, Katrin Cargill, Shannon Bowers

Here are my all time favorite rugs featured in Katrin Cargill’s designs and Shannon Bowers home

If you like this simple design, consider this stencilLinen Stripes Wall and Floor Stencil -20″ x 20″ Stencil Sheet – here

6.  Apply Your Paint- Decide on the color of your base coat.  Use that color to paint the hem of the cloth.  By painting the hem, it will ensure your stitches remain intact, and prevents fraying.

Tip: Purchase latex enamel paint, as the plastics keep the cloth flexible.  Latex paint can take up to a week to dry completely, so give yourself enough time to allow the paint to cure.  Even though the paint may be dry to the touch after an hour, the  longer you allow the latex to dry, the less cracking you will see at a later date.

When the hem is completely dry, turn over the floor cloth, and with a lint remover, lift off any debris from the canvas before painting.  Using a paint brush, paint the entire surface of the floor cloth and allow it to dry overnight.  Apply a second coat and allow the cloth to dry overnight.   When sealing your cloth, always allow 24 hours of drying time before applying another coat of clear polyurethane finish

Sophie Sarin Architectural Digest 2000

I was taken with this feature in an older Architectural Digest magazine from 2000, featuring the talented artist Sophie Sarin, who created this one of a kind floor cloth for this English estate.

Fabric Medium PaintsLiquitex Professional Fabric Effects Medium

Additional Articles On Painted Floor Cloths:

Floor rugs made from remnant vinyl flooringaddicted2decorating.com

A note about painting vinyl –“This primer never dried to a completely dry finish.  I waited several days between priming and painting, and even several days later, the primer still had a tacky feeling to it.  Dirt, dust, animal fur…everything would get stuck to it.  As I was trying to mark my lines for the stripes, my hands would stick to it, and the oils from my hands would leave marks on it.  It was incredibly frustrating, but once the paint was on and dry, that tackiness went away.  So if you experience the same thing, just know that it’ll all work out in the end.  Mine did!” Read more at addicted2decorating.com

Painted Place Mats Using A Quatrefoil Pattern– Using stencil or painter’s tape, take a sharpie and outline the pattern on the canvas. Paint in the pattern using craft paint. Hem or heat ‘n bond the edges  Read more at sweetsomethingdesign.blogspot.com

How to Turn a Canvas Drop Cloth Into an Outdoor Rug See it at diynetwork.com

How to Paint a Rug — 7 Tips to Painting a Perfect Rug See it at tatertotsandjello.com

DIY Stenciled Painted Floor RugsDina at Honey and Fitz painted her living room IKEA Erslev rug a bright yellow with a stencil from Cutting Edge stencils and some leftover paint.

Where do you begin, once you have your stencil, your paint and you are ready to go?

One of her best tips is to start by finding the center of the rug and the center of the stencil and work your way out.  See more of her project at honeyandfitz.com

DIY Painted Stenciled floor rugs

Sarah from Sarah M. Dorsey Designs stenciled a white floor rug purchased from ikea in a moroccan pattern. She traced her pattern onto a piece of plywood and cut the design with a jigsaw. While firmly pressing on the plywood, she used an airbrush to get her curved edges crisp, which she later filled in the rest of the pattern with a paint brush.  See more of her project at the36thavenue.com

Stencils For Floors And Rugs

Leopard Print Floor Stencil- 16 wide x 16.4″ high on a 19.5″ x 19.5″ plastic stencil sheet – here

Linen Stripes Wall and Floor Stencil -20″ x 20″ Stencil Sheet – here

Moroccan Wall and Floor Stencil -16 wide x 16″ high on a 19.5″ x 19.5″ plastic stencil –here

Greenwich Key Floor Stencil -Actual Size: 16.4 wide x 16.4″ high plastic stencil- here

Floral Punched Tin Wall and Floor Stencil – 17 high x 17 wide-here

Acacia Ikat Wall and Floor Stencil- 16.4 wide x 16.4″ high – here

Holmby Hills Wall Painting Stencil – 17″ wide x 17.98″ high- here

Moroccan Stencils Template -12.9″ x 9.05″, Design size: 7.4″ x 12.1″ here

Floral Pattern Damask Stencil- Image size: 14.7″x 12.4″ here

Millicent Allover Geometric Stencil Design size: 18.9″ x 31.3″here

Geometric Art Deco Medallion- Actual Size: 15.6 wide x 15.6″ high here

Brant Point Wall & Floor 14.7 wide x 16″ high on a 19.5″ x 19.5″ plastic stencil sheet-here

Marrakesh Wall & Floor 17.75 wide x 17.9″ high here

Amina Wall Painting Stencil -Actual Size: 18 wide x 15.89″ high Amazon

Lobster Stencil – Small 9.9″x7.1″ Design measures 8.3″x4.5″ here

Compass bearing Stencil

Compass bearing Stencil – Entire design size: 17″x 17″ here

Design Star Season 7 Photo Highlights From Episode 2

Design Star Season 7: Photo Highlights From Episode 2 Found on hgtv.com

DIY Stenciled Painted Floor RugsNatalie Wright transformed her daughters room by taking a previous rug she had already owned and simply stenciled it.  She took a light peachy color and painted the entire rug, and then worked with a large stencil she bought from Hobby Lobby.  It took her two hours to stencil the entire rug.  See more pictures of the finished look at natalme.com

DIY Stenciled Painted Floor RugsPam from Simple Details took an Ikea rug, and cut her own stencil pattern for a rug for her entry way.  She used stencil adhesive spray found at Hobby Lobby, and a stencil brush to apply the paint. Check out pictures at her site simpledetailsblog.blogspot.com

Simply Spray Upholstery Paint

In her many tips, Sarah suggests that if you don’t have an airbrush, to consider using Simply Spray upholstery, which is a spray paint formulated to spray upholstery or textiles.

DIY Stenciled Painted Floor RugsLucy from Craftberry Bush created this beautiful rug using Cutting Edge Stencils Ikat Samarkand stencil.  She used frog tape to keep the stencil in place, and stencil adhesive spray to anchor down the stencil while painting.  See more of her project at craftberrybush.com

DIY Stenciled Painted Floor Rugs

Sarah from Diddle Dumpling made her own quatrefoil patterned rug using fabric paint and a white ERSLEV rug purchased from Ikea. She used photoshop to make her pattern, which she transferred to a plastic stencil sheet she purchased at Michael’s crafts.

She used DecoArt Americana Mediums Fabric Painting, which when mixed with acrylic paint, produces a washable, permanent paint for fabrics. It improves penetration and bonds to the fabric while helping to prevent, cracking, peeling and fading.

She suggests when stenciling on fabric, to pounce, don’t brush on the paint.  View this post at  diddledumpling.blogspot.com

DIY Stenciled Painted Floor RugsKatie from Creatively Living Blog decided to stencil an 8 x 10 rug that she had sitting in her basement.  She used the Shipibo stencil  from Cutting Edge Stencils, a roller and a smaller stiff brush which worked well on her berber carpet.  Check out pictures of her process at creativelylivingblog.com

DIY Stenciled Painted Floor RugsKatie from Upcycled Treasures created a painted rug inspired by West Elm, for just $20!   She finds her inexpensive rugs from the remnant sales from Home Depot and Lowes.   She used the computer to create her graphic, then used a piece of cardboard, which the stencil pattern was drawn out and cut.  She lined her template on the carpet, and traced around it using a sharpie marker.  View her completed project at upcycledtreasures.com

DIY Stenciled Painted Floor RugsVinyl flooring is a popular choice for painting floor rugs.  Here, an 8′x 12′ piece of vinyl flooring was purchased from Home Depot for $50 dollars.  The vinyl was turned upside down, and painted on the opposite side which worked better for the paint to adhere to.  A fish scale was the inspired design, so a paper plate was used as an outline which was then copied on to a clear stencil sheet.  Instead of a paint brush, a 4″ foam roller was used to transfer the pattern on to the rug.  To seal the design, 3 coats of Minwax in Clear Satin Polyurethane was used.  View more of this project at lovelycraftyhome.com

DIY Stenciled Painted Floor RugsErin from DIY On The Cheap stenciled an outdoor rug found at Home Depot.  If you are looking for an attractive rug, this one costs under $20 dollars, or go with the checkmate textured rug which also costs under $20 dollars for a 6 ft. x 8 ft rug.

Erin started out with a roller, but ended up using a 2-inch stencil brush for her project.  Her tip is when you use a brush, use circular motions and do not slant the brush. Hold the brush vertically, otherwise paint will seep under the edges of the stencil. Read more at diyonthecheap.com

Cheetah Spots Wall Stencil From Royal Design StudioCheetah Spots Wall Stencil Found on royaldesignstudio.com

Large Scale StencilsJ BOUTIQUE STENCILS Lace With Blossom- Entire design size: 21.2″x 21.5″,- Amazon

Large Scale StencilsJ Boutique Stencils Trellis Allover Stencil – Amazon

DIY Stenciled Painted Floor RugsCharlotte from City Suburb Sanity also worked with a low pile outdoor rug from Home Depot.  She used two pieces of foam paper, which she cut out her design onto.  This foam paper has two pieces of paper, with foam sandwiched between.  You can find this at your local walmart, or any craft store.

She printed out her design on her computer, then taped it on to the foam board, and proceeded to cut out her design with an exacto knife.  She then spray painted the design, using the template on to the carpet.  Check out more pictures of her process at ciburbanity.com

DIY Stenciled Painted Floor Rugs

Sarah Gunn from Yummy Mommy Club started her painted rug DIY with an Ikea Egeby rug.  She taped the corners of her rug, and used the intricate stencil pattern “Lisboa tile stencil” from the Royal Design Studio.  Check out more of her project at yummymummyclub.ca

Large Scale Stencils

Geometric Stencil Madeleine- Stencil size: 39.3″x 23.6″, Entire design size: 22.5″x 31.1″ – Amazon

DIY Stenciled Painted Floor Rugs

Liz From Ela’s Smile added color to her breakfast nook by stenciling a bold pattern onto a blank rug. She cut out her own stencil and stenciled over 90+ pattern marks. Check out her painted rug at elassmiles.blogspot.com

DIY Stenciled Painted Floor Rugs

Lindsey From Better After decided to take her previous white area rug from Ikea and spray painted her rug using a stencil and gold spray paint.  Check out the finished rug at her blog betterafter.net

Large Scale Stencils

Navajo Arrows Allover Stencil – Design: 21″x22.9″ Amazon

Large Scale Stencils

Triad Allover Stencil-Stencil size 21.5″x25.9″ Amazon

Large Scale StencilsArchery Allover Stencil-Design: 21.3″x32.4″Amazon

Large Scale Stencils

Hedgehogs Allover Wall Stencil -Design: 21.75″x23.2″ Amazon