Monday, September 23, 2013

Guest Blogger - A Mouse in my Kitchen - Car Track Dropcloth Rug

     Hey all! I'm super excited about this opportunity to guest post here at Someday Crafts. Let me start off by introducing myself a little bit. My name is Markell, I am a stay at home mother of two, a boy and a girl, and a wife. I run a blog with my sister in law, Traci, called A Mouse In My Kitchen. We live 2000+ miles away from each other and like to share things on the blog to keep in touch. We share recipes, crafts, advice, reviews, whatever we feel like, really.  A little while ago, I did a post on how to make a super cheap canvas rug from painter's drop cloth. It was a huge hit, so I decided to do another project kind of like it. I used the same material (a painter's drop cloth) and some paint to create a super fun car rug for my little guy. I want to teach you guys how to make it, too! By the way, painter's drop cloth (I'm talking about the canvas kind, not the plastic kind) is great for so many things! Besides a rug, I have made a baby carrier out of it, and I have a friend who has used it to make throw pillows and even to recover furniture. It's so cheap and it's so versatile.


So here is what you need for this project:  -a painter's drop cloth rug (You can buy a HUGE one at Home Depot for $10. One of these rugs is enough to make 3 or 4 car rugs, depending on how big you want them)  - paint in lots of different colors (make sure you have black or gray for the roads) - paint brushes (the sponge kind works good)  - painter's tape - a few paint pens for details  So, the first thing that I did was wash the drop cloth. There is some oil and stuff on it, so it's a good idea to wash it real quick first.  After it was all washed, I cut the cloth down to the size I wanted. One neat thing about canvas is it rips in a straight line. It does fray the edges a little to rip it, but I planned on hemming it anyway so it didn't matter.  Like I said before, the next thing I did was hem the edge that I just cut.


After the rug was hemmed, I started taping out where I wanted the roads to be. Don't use masking tape to do this, it is a lot harder to come off. Trust me. I taped out the roads, making it wide enough so each road could have two lanes.  Let me stop right here. Before I did any of the painting or taping, I thought. I thought and thought about all the things I wanted on this map. I knew that I wanted an airport, some train tracks, and a temple. I also thought it would be fun to have houses and stores and other business buildings. I sort of mapped it out in my head a little. I wish I would have drawn it on paper, even a rough sketch, because some of it didn't turn out quite how I wanted. I'll talk more about that later.  After I had all the roads taped off, I started painting them. Be careful with this step not to stick your elbow in any wet paint or anything like that (not that I have done that....). After I painted the roads, I stopped. I let that completely dry before trying to take off the tape or paint anything else.


Once the roads were dry, I painted some houses. My houses are all weird colors because all the paint I used were paint samples that were on sale for like fifty cents a piece. I didn't have a lot of colors to choose from, but I wasn't too picky. Plus, who doesn't want a pink house, right?  So I painted houses, an airport, a temple, some stores, etc. I only painted one color at a time, and let that color completely dry to avoid putting my hand or knee or elbow down in wet paint. (note! The paint CAN soak through the rug if you paint it on too heavily. So be careful and make sure that something safe is behind it) Once all the houses were done, I used my paint pens to dry detail like the road lines and doors and windows. I realized that I forgot to draw train tracks, which is something I really wanted on the rug. The only place I could really put them was around the farm house. What? You've never seen a farm house completely enclosed in a circle of train tracks before? Where have you been hiding all your life?


The main thing to remember is that it doesn't have to be perfect. I wish I had done things different (more roads, less open space for one), but my son doesn't care. He loves it. He spends hours driving his cars along the roads. Don't spend tons of time on every little detail, because kids don't care about that kind of stuff, anyway.


Thanks for letting me share my project! I'd love to see you over at my blog, and I'd love to see any pictures of painted rugs any of you make! 

Thanks, Markell! Doesn't this fun rug look so fun! My little boy would have so much fun playing on this. Be sure to check out Markell at A Mouse in My Kitchen!

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