Thursday, February 2, 2017

DIY: Painted and Doodled Canvas Floor Cloth Tutorial

I created this canvas floor cloth as an alternative to area rug for my studio. I had all the materials on hand: yards of canvas that I had bought for making painted journal covers, bottles of acrylic and India inks and dozens of Sharpie pens. It seemed that this could be a project where I could put all of these to good use. Since I wanted to finish this project within a week or so, I decided that I will not overthink or overplan the design and that I would fill it with whatever doodles that popped in my head at that moment. I used a couple of doodles from the official Zentangle patterns and the rest were all my own.

The design process itself was quiet simple. I painted the canvas cloth with acrylic inks first. Then, doodled the patterns using Sharpie markers. Finally, I added white highlights where I thought the design was too dark.

Overall, I enjoyed making it very much. It was like coloring a giant page. Except for one thing: the pungent odor of the markers irritated my eyes a lot. I thought of switching to Prisma brush pens but found Sharpie to be the best tool for doodling on canvas. Next time I do something I like this, I will wear a mask.

Here are step-by-step instructions 


1. One 36" by 60" unprimed canvas cloth
2. Daler Rowney FW Acrylic Inks (I used Indian Yellow and Purple Lake)
3. Sharpie Markers (Fine or Medium Point)
4. Craft acrylic paint (white)
5. Inexpensive sponge brushes (available in any craft store)
6. Inexpensive acrylic paint brushes (available in any craft store)
7. A plastic cup
8. Water
9. Wax paper
10. Newspapers or plastic garbage liners


1. In a well ventilated room, spread the newspapers or the garbage liners on the floor. These are to protect the floor from any color seepage from the canvas cloth.
2. Spread the canvas cloth on top of the sheets and wet it thoroughly with water using a sponge brush.
3. Decide on the colors that you want to layer the canvas with. You can choose a single color or two or more complimentary colors. Pour a few drops of the acrylic ink in a cup and add 4-6 tablespoons of water to dilute the ink. The ink is highly pigmented and a few drops diluted with water can easily cover the whole cloth.
4. Paint the canvas with the ink using the sponge brush. Add one or more coats to achieve the color intensity that you want (see below). Let the canvas dry.

5. Once the canvas is dry, start doodling with the markers. I would recommend using doodles that can be scaled up. This will help you to cover large areas fairly quickly. Use different color markers for interest.

6. 6. This step is optional. If you like, you can add highlights using inexpensive craft acrylic paints. I used white paint for this step.


7. Finally, hem stitch the four sides of the canvas to keep the threads from coming loose. If you choose, you may also attach a slip resistant rug pad to keep the floor cloth from moving on the floor.

Thanks for visiting.


  1. OHhhh this is absolutely stunning. Home designers are charging huge money to make these. I think yours is the best I have seen. Have a nice weekend.

  2. Such lovely work! The size is impressive! Will be wonderful on the wall! Look forward to more if your creativity !

  3. This is really fantastic - great idea, and a beautiful piece for your studio. Happy PPF, hugs, Valerie

  4. Amazing! What fantastic colors and layers!

  5. It looks like you had fun Indira, well all apart from the eye and nose irritation.
    Great idea, beautifully created.
    Happy PPF to you

  6. oooh your painted floor cloth is gorgeous!! Thanks so much for sharing your technique and materials. Happy PPF!

  7. a labour of love surely; thanks for sharing Indira

    i'm happy you dropped in to view mine today

    much love...

  8. Wow! This is amazing. So beautiful I'd be afraid to walk on it.

  9. That floor cloth is fantastic! I love it.

    Happy PPF from Tori :-)

  10. You are extremely clever to have come up with this beautiful work.

  11. Beautiful!! Short and sweet today, lights flickering!

    Hugs Giggles

  12. How lovely! I do want to try this. Thanks! xo

  13. wow, love it! Love the idea of a painted rug. Love the colors and composition. I have a black and white marable table. It would go so well with that one :)

  14. Absolutely love the colors! Bright, cheery and inspiring, especially for a craft room! How could you not create with this in a room


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