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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My Secret Weapon, Canvas Drop Cloth

Drop cloth became my go-to secret weapon during art school. The cheapest rolled raw canvas is about $70 for 52" x 18 feet (72 square feet). And you can buy a 15' x 12' (180 square feet) Drop cloth for $30.  I used it just as the rolled canvas would have been used, and saved a LOT of money.

When this French Country/Shades of White movement started catching on, I realized again people were overpaying for cotton canvas upholstery material. 
This is why canvas drop cloth is is my secret weapon. It can be left raw, or embellished with paint.
Miss Mustard Seed
You can easily stencil or stamp any pattern you would like and use it anywhere you would use a natural colored canvas upholstery material.
I caution you though, it can look like frumpy drop cloth really easily (a quick google image search will show you plenty of examples of that). So the ways you use it must be considered carefully. 
1. FOR EVERYTHING - WASH AND IRON FIRST. That is the biggest reoccurring faux pas I see when looking at "you'd-never-guess-it-was-drop-cloth" DIY projects. Yes, I did guess it was drop cloth - because it looks like a wrinkly hot mess!
2. For curtains, bedskirts, & table cloths - consider ironing in a heavy starch. The fabric looks most professional when the lines are clean and crisp. People don't want to snuggle your curtains so they don't need fabric softener. They will look plenty casual crisply ironed - wrinkles aren't casual - wrinkles are sloppy. 
3. For bedding, pillows, and reupholstered furniture - Wash it twice and iron it really well. The pillows and upholstery should then be stretched tight so the fabric doesn't wrinkle easily. You should always wash it at least twice, preferably in hot water to remove the chemical/scotch-guard-like substance the manufacturer applied. This chemical was not intended or approved to be near your face or skin, so make sure it no longer has a chemical smell before you ever use it on your bed. (This is true for headboards & furniture, too!)
4. If you are covering more than one item and would like the fabric to look the same, buy the same brand, weight, and size cloths at the same time, preferably from the same box. Canvas colors can vary a LOT, so keep in mind that the 9'x6' may look yellow next to the 15'x12' which has more tan. It is likely not from the same production/bolt from the manufacturer. (You can even go to the lighting section and check out the colors to make sure yours look the same in different types of light).
diy showoff

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