It’s almost spring, time to freshen up your front porch, and that means you probably need a new doormat. I know I do! Here’s the before (I have a fluffy white dog in case you couldn’t figure that out!):
This was a relatively easy project to complete. I’d make a couple changes if I did it again, as it didn’t turn out perfectly…but part of being fearless is creating without worrying about perfection! Hopefully yours turns out awesome!
** read all the way through before starting this project! I made some improvements as I went along, and you can decide which method works best for you! **
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
- Plain coir doormat – I used a 18″x30″
- You can find these for about $6-10 at most local stores (WalMart, Target, Home Depot)
- Outdoor Paint in your desired color
- regular or spray – depending on your patience
- Hard bristled round brush if using regular paint
- Masking tape
- Permanent vinyl to make a stencil – I made mine with a Cricut & transfer tape
- Clear protective spray sealer
First thing you’ll need to do is decide what you want to put on your doormat. This took me much longer than it should have – do I want to show that I’m sweet & welcoming? Or sarcastically offended that you are at my front door? Ultimately I combined those 2 thoughts and went with this design, which I created in PicMonkey.com and uploaded each line of text to Cricut design space as 2 separate projects.
Are you wondering why I don’t design directly in Cricut Design Space? Well, there’s a monthly fee to gain access to the good fonts and graphics, and basically I’m too cheap for that. I can find everything I need on PicMonkey and use my own fonts (which are much better than the free ones on design space). So there you have it, and on to making the doormat!
I added the “welcome!” part to design space and since that’s going to be fairly big, I had to rotate it 90 degrees because the width of my Cricut cuts only to 12″ and I wanted this as big as I could get it…. I used the largest dimension I could, which was a length of 22”…this will require use of my 24” Cricut mat. (Which I got from JoAnn etc for $12.49 for a 2 pack!)
Handy tip: make sure your Cricut machine is at least 20” or so from the wall as this long mat will go almost all the way through the back of the Cricut as it makes its cuts.
Here’s the second line of my design uploaded to design space – I rotated 90 degrees, as before, and made the width slightly smaller at 19″.
After you’ve got both of your stencils cut, you’ll use transfer tape to adhere them to the mat – the tape will keep those little cut out pieces (like the center of the “o” for example) in place. I would suggest using a low tack transfer tape, or one that has been used before. Mine was a little too difficult to remove once I had my design on the mat. Due to the nature of the coir mat, the vinyl will not stick very well, so I had to hold part of it down and secure with masking tape as I removed the transfer tape. Once down, I used a heat gun to slightly “melt” the vinyl onto the mat (don’t over do it!). It still appeared a little loose, but I forged on hoping for the best.
Once I adhered the second line of my design, I got out the paint and paintbrush and got to work. Have I ever mentioned that I’m impatient? You’ll find that out as you read on…
I chose to start out using Behr black exterior paint, since I already had it on hand.
I think my bristles were too soft, because this was taking me FOR.EV.ER! I managed to get 3.5 letters done before I frantically began searching for some spray paint. Yay! I had just the perfect can, and since it was relatively warm and sunny I happily transferred the mat outside and started spraying. Make sure you block off the rest of your mat (I used the old transfer tape plus some masking tape). I sprayed straight down and went a little overboard I think. If you are going to use spray paint, I’d suggest doing a few lighter handed coats instead of one, very aggressive, impatient coat. And be sure to use proper ventilation (outside!) and follow all directions on the spray paint can!
Let your mat dry for a few hours and then carefully peel off the stencil and discard outside as it will likely still have spray paint fumes. Once it’s dry, seal with a clear spray and you’ve got a new mat!
As you can see, some of my vigorous spray painting seeped underneath my stencil. But all in all, I think it turned out “ok” enough to keep at the front door!
But I wasn’t totally satisfied, so I went and bought another plain mat and tried to be more patient using the outdoor paint and paintbrush! I also switched to a stiffer bristle paintbrush and I think that made a huge difference!
I planned on placing this new mat inside my garage, where the family typically enters the house, so I wanted a more personal message and went with “Yay! You’re home!”
So, although it might’ve taken a few minutes longer, I definitely prefer the paintbrush method over the spray paint. But…. you might be better using the spray paint than me, so do what you think will work for you! The nice thing about this project is that the mats are very inexpensive, so don’t be afraid of making a mistake. People are going to be wiping their feet on them, not hanging them on a wall! Have fun and let me know how you liked this project!