Sunday, 22 July 2018

A Desert Mat

Here's something I've wanted to make for a while. I did make a smaller desert mat a couple of years back but it was only 3' 3'. Besides that, I gave it away a while ago. This time, inspired by a blog I saw where a bloke made a Pacific Island mat, I decided to use the same approach.
I bought the recommended sheet of light brown 50/50 wool/polyester blend ~ 2m x 1.4m (enough for a 6' x 4' table with some overhang. This stuff is usually quite expensive but I was lucky in that it was 50% off. So I got a nice big sheet for $34.00.

I also bought a large tube of sand acrylic paint and a couple of big cheap brushes. Everything else I needed I already had.

I already had a couple of tubes of coloured caluk (brown and sand). I emptied them out into a big bowl and added plenty of water and mixed it all into a watery mud about the consistency of thick gravy. I then smeared it onto the mat and worked it in with a large plastic paint scraper and left it to dry. It made some interesting patterns.

I then got out a large 4" brush and semi-dry brushed some yellow ocher.

And then I suddenly remembered to take photos.

I tried to make the ocher uneven to make sure the dark brown showed through.

I was pretty happy with the result and the texture that came through due to the fibers in the fabric.

I then gave the whole thing a light sprinkle of sand. I wasn't expecting it to stick but I wanted it to join in on the next application of paint. Then I let the ocher dry.

Then I did some heavy brushing of the acrylic sand with a 3" brush. It did pick up the sprinkled sand and helped with the overall texture.

And that's it. It's still drying as I type (probably dry by now) and I'm pretty happy with the result. The poly/wool blend is really strong and super flexible. I was expecting the sloppy mud caulk to seep through but none of it did which got me to thinking that I might use the other side to do another green mat.

Now I need some desert scatter terrain!

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