I wrote a lovely post about kids’ art spaces/corners, so the next logical thing to think about is how to keep the floor clean. I was rapping with Twisterfish the other day about this very subject, because she is in the planning stages of moving her son’s art space from the kitchen into the unused front office. (Perfect use for an office.)
Here are my ideas for keeping that gorgeous hardwood floor all beautiful so you aren’t scraping up dried glue globs in 5 years when you want to move:
You can buy splat mats for exactly this purpose. I have one from Land of Nod, and this one I found on Amazon. They tend to run on the small side, so they’re perfect for a younger kid who won’t be in his Jackson Pollock phase yet.
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If you’re a crafty sort, you can make your own floor mat by painting a big old piece of canvas and then applying polyurethane to it. Here are the Martha Stewart directions. And some slightly easier looking directions here. If I’m ever not lazy enough someday, I will make a fantastic striped one.
Normally these are made with canvas or duck cloth, but I’ve seen them painted on the back side of a big piece of linoleum flooring. Sometimes they sell remnants at Home Depot or flooring stores.
A rather easier version would be to slap clear, satin finish water based polyurethane on top of a tablecloth. You don’t have to design or paint your own canvas- only roll the poly over the cloth. I found this project on Design Share. She says it wrinkles when you roll the polyurethane on, but straightens out again when you lift up the tablecloth.
Outdoor rugs are a great option for art room floors. They’re hose-offable and relatively inexpensive. They’re also lightweight and these are reversible!
Interlocking foam mats are everywhere now, and would work great in an art space, because they are easy to clean and cushy. I found these cool wood grain pieces from One Step Ahead, and you can buy as many or as few as you need for your space.
And then there’s always Flor. Are you familiar with them? I’m sure you’ve stood on their carpets even if you didn’t know it at the time. They make carpet tiles that stick together to form a rug as large or as small as you desire, in zillions of different color and pattern combinations. The tiles are easy to clean (or replace), and they are tres stylish.
What did I forget? Sand on the floor? This might be an option…. Just don’t make the horrendous mistake like I once did of laying down a plastic drop cloth and trying to not trip all over it. Doesn’t make for a fun creating experience.