Sunday, April 22, 2012

Painted Floorcloth Class

Painted canvas rugs had their beginnings as cloth game boards, playing cards, and table covers as far back as the 1400s.  Until the 1700s textiles were considered too precious to be used on floors.  Indeed, most homes had floors of either tamped earth or unvarnished wood and were generally left bare.  In the 18th century, “floorcloth” was a generic term that referred to a carpet substitute of wool, flax linen, or cotton and went by many names.  By the middle of the 19th century, floorcloths were referred to as oil cloths.  Linoleum and a growing taste for area rugs caused floorcloths to fall from favor.  In the 1920s they were advertised as stove oil cloths for use where ashes and grease could damage other floor coverings. 

I’ve had a floorcloth at the entrance to my home for several years with no maintenance except for vacuuming.  With three large dogs who rush the door multiple times a day, it has held up surprisingly well.  Although it could now use a replacement if only I could decide upon the design I'd like to use LOL 

Yesterday we had a class here and had so much fun!  We took the size back down to the table and completed a small rug that may be used as a placemat, table mat for the center of a table, or game board.  The key to a floorcloth is thinking layers and thinking from the bottom up. 

Here are Laura, Jennie, and Kristen trying to decide on the background color for their rugs.  So many colors - which one shall I pick?


And Jennie hard at work trying to figure out her new camera.


Jennie’s beautiful basket floorcloth before she finished antiquing it.


Kristen looking well satisfied with her fabulous mod design.


Laura antiquing her wonderful birdie in a nest folkart floorcloth.


And here is mine – it hasn’t told me yet that it is finished…and yes, of course it’s out of the box – I don’t know how to do IN the box LOLOLOL 


What a fun day!


  1. Great projects Jill - looks like everyone had a great time!

  2. OH, that looks like a GREAT day, Jill! Love the fun results and would love to take a floor cloth class one day.

  3. Jill,
    I love these floorcloth projects. My sister made a big one for her kitchen, years ago. It's something I would like to try. Looks like a fun class.

  4. Fun project ~ I would have loved to have played!

  5. What fun, Jillybean! Is that a bird plane on Kristen's rug?! Run over to my Blog and get the graphic I just loaded on my post yesterday....perfect for YOU, my Queen! Luv n Hugs, Kit

  6. It was a great class and a great day! Thanks Jill!!

  7. Thank you for your comment on my blog :-) very interesting post, I have seen a vintage one of those cloths before but at the time I didn't know its function. Now I do :-D

  8. How wonderful for you ladies to have all this talent. I am sooo impressed.
    Being from "the other side" bearing NO talents at all, I am always so impressed with those that have it. I couldn't paint my way out of a paper bag but my mama surely could. I didn't get a drop of her talents.

    O, and that egg, spinach muffin cup thingy....that recipe is in my diet book and I made them the other evening. Very good. I used Egg Beaters but it did say we could use real eggs. Thanks so much for passing along any recipe you love that is low in calories, fat and .....and.....I WANT A BAKED POTATO WITH LOTS OF BUTTER.......oh, no, forgive me, my mind wandered there for a Lack of sugar, gravy, biscuits, butter and etc will do that to a body, ya know. lol


I'd love to hear what you think.