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Create Your Own Labyrinth
by Helene Jacobs

Create Your Own Labyrinth

Copyright Helene Jacobs 2020.  All Rights Reserved.
Leaf and flower purchased from Vectorstock.com

This article will show you how to create a rectangular labyrinth from a drop cloth pretty easily.  

If you want to find out more about labyrinths and how to walk them please visit About Labyrinths or Labyrinth Resources.

Why create a drop cloth labyrinth?  
@ It can be used outdoors (Yay Sunshine!)

@ It can be used indoors (No snow!  No rain!)

@ You don’t need to mow or weed around it!

@ You can take it with you to share with others.

Why follow this guide and not one of the others?

@ This guide makes it much easier!  

@ Straight lines instead of arcs!  
@ You only need a 1 foot ruler, or 1 foot square!

For tools you need a 1 foot ruler, or better yet a 1 foot square (plastic, wood, cardboard – any should work), and a permanent marker (Sharpie), preferably a new one.  Optional – a template for what to draw at the starting location and the center, and maybe a different color permanent marker.  

You also need a large clear area.  With these instructions, you don’t need a full sized area to draw in.  You can scoot the drop cloth around so that you are working in the flat area that you have.

For my labyrinth, I used a 9’ x 12’ drop cloth from Harbor Freight.  You probably won’t enjoy using the plastic tarps – they make crackly noises when you walk on them - you want a canvas drop cloth.  A 9’ x 12’ labyrinth has a one way path length of about 100 feet.

Warning – The drop cloth from Harbor Freight is about $15, which is an excellent deal for that amount of fabric.  However – It is probably not exactly 9’ x 12’, and probably not exactly square on the corners.  

If this will trigger your OCD turn back now!

Still with me? Great!

You will have a nice labyrinth in a couple of hours.  Mine took 2 hours to draw out and I took lots of breaks.

Take a deep breath.

Please look through the instructions before you begin drawing.

Lay out your drop cloth in a large area.   
Do not draw on the outside edge yet.  Do not draw in any of the 4 corners.  

Use the 1 foot square ruler and the permanent marker to draw a line 1 foot in from each of the short sides and one of the long sides.  

It should look like this:

Next draw a line 1 foot in from the line you just drew.  Don’t draw in the corners and start 1 foot up from the lower edge.  Like this:

Do that again.  Like this:

And one last time like this:

At the end of each line, draw a line one foot long in towards the right or left.  

The line from the bottom right corner should be 3 feet long instead of one foot long.

Here begins where you need to pay a bit more attention to what you are doing.

Connect the 3 foot line on the right to the one straight above it with a 2 foot line.  

Also, one foot to the left of that, connect the end of the line of the center portion to the edge of the drop cloth with a 4 foot line.

Draw a 3 foot line down from the end of the center line.  This will end 1 foot away from the edge of the drop cloth.

See that T that you have in the center now?  In theory the top part of the T is 4 feet wide and the body of the T is 2 feet wide.  If the drop cloth was off to begin with, or your lines are a little off, the measurements will not be exact.

Don’t Panic

Mark the center between the top two corners of the body of the T, and mark the center between the lower legs of the T.  

Draw a 4 foot line from the top mark, through the lower mark, all the way to the edge of the drop cloth.

Note the place where your journey through the labyrinth will begin.  I have marked mine with a leaf and stem.  You don’t have to stencil it yet, but tape or pin a piece of paper over the area so that you don’t draw through it when drawing the outer border in the next step.  

Yay!  The hard part is over!  

Now draw a line around the outer edges of your drop cloth EXCEPT for where you marked the start of your journey.  

Where is the center of your labyrinth?

You have choices.

There can be one at the edge and / or 2 in the middle at the ends of the top of the T.

Having 3 “centers” for this small labyrinth can be useful if there will be more than one person using it at a time.  
I have marked the “official” center with a flower here:

You can also mark centers here:

Some guidelines for walking on a canvas labyrinth:

@ Take off your shoes.

@ Pick up your feet with each step, do not slide or shuffle your feet.

@ Do not spin on one foot when you turn corners.