Hello and welcome to Drawn to DIY! Today I'm pretty stoked to share with you my very first DIY mudcloth design project —
The mudcloth originates from Africa and comes from the word bogolanfini, a Bambara word whose syllables mean "earth," "with," and "cloth." As the name suggests, the textile is made by stitching up strips of cotton then painted or dyed with patterns using fermented mud.
This type of textile and design is integrated deep into the Malian culture — worn by their hunters for camouflage, the women as they transition into adulthood, and babies soon after they are born. Today, however, it has become a worldwide export, mainly used in fashion, art, and of course, the home.
Personally, I love mudcloth pillows and rugs but with the usual hefty price tag, I decided to simply add the patterns to other useful items in the home: trays.
- Flat baking sheet, tray, or cutting board (any shape)
- Base paint or spray paint
- Oil-based marker in contrasting color of the base paint
- Clear sealant spray (optional)
- Clean the tray/sheet/board then paint it with your chosen color of base paint. I used three variations for this project — first, a white tray with black markings; second, a black tray and cutting board with white markings; and last, a pink tray with white markings.
- While the base paint is drying, practice some mudcloth designs on a piece of paper. Since original mudcloth designs are unique, don't worry about making it look "perfect." If you want, feel free to copy the patterns I used.
- Draw the mudcloth designs directly onto the tray/sheet/board. Use a ruler or stencil if you prefer and while you're still drawing, be careful not to smudge the markings before it dries.
- Optional: once dry, spray some clear sealant to protect your designed tray/sheet/board.
- Important: these trays/sheets/boards will no longer be safe to be used with food.
And that's all there is to it! Easy, right?
I didn't actually plan on using pink for one tray but I had leftover chalk paint in the "ballet slipper" color and I thought, why not?!
As it turns out, my Instagram theme (and brand colors!) is a mix of white, black, blue, and pink so you'll definitely see more of these trays over there. They're pretty great for some flatlay photos, too!
Want to make time for creativity and blogging?
Share below: Do you like mudcloth or ethnic designs? Where in your home would you like to incorporate it?