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look what everybody got for Christmas!
i was shocked with how much doormats cost, so decided to decorate my own. it turned out so well, i made them for my mom, and other family.

i designed the stencils in adobe illustrator, and used acrylic house paint for durability & UV resistence. for the squid mat, i used a small paint roller, then touched up with a brush. the others were done with a foam brush. they dried overnight, so it can be a pretty quick gift.

ours (the squid) has lasted for months- better than i'd expected- and looks as good as when i first painted it. i'm hoping it'll last for at least a few years!

Posted by kage j. from San Francisco, California, United States • Published See kage j.'s 16 projects »
  • Step 1

    First, find a plain doormat that you like. I hate those coir ones that are always shedding, so i went for the charcoal "Mohawk" doormat from Target ($4.99!).

  • Step 2

    Design your stencil. I did the owl by hand, the others in Adobe Illustrator. Keep in mind during your design process, that unless you have a Cricut, you will be cutting it by hand.

    Use whatever stencil process works for you (including just using masking tape to create a line design). Mine is as follows:
    1.) Print out the image, tiled onto multiple sheets if necessary. Tape together to form your image.
    2.) Cover the paper in clear packing tape front and back of entire design (including white space, so the paper doesn't fall apart when you paint it). Careful not to layer it too much- it makes the cutting really difficult!
    3.) Cut out your design with an exacto blade.

  • Step 3

    Tack the stencil down to the mat. I used spray "easy tack" glue for a temporary stick. If your image is simple, you can skip this step- just be careful while painting!

  • Step 4

    Paint! I used several techniques, that both seemed to work fine.

    option #1: use a small paint roller to spread the paint (this is especially good if you have large blocks of color- but be careful of the edges)

    option #2: use a stiff or foam brush to apply paint

    Either way, you want to get maximum paint penetration, or the details will get lost- i did at least 2 coats of paint. I used acrylic house paint for durability & UV resistence. I tried spray paint initially, but it couldn't penetrate my mat, so the color was muted and fuzzy.

    For multiple colors- either carefully apply different areas with a brush, or wait until 1st coat is dry, then apply 2nd coat.
    For dark colors on dark background- consider a light undercoat OR use a lighter color for the top coat (as seen in the squid mat)

  • Step 5

    Let dry for rec'd time for your paint, then add a day- you really don't want to be tracking paint everywhere!

    Presto, beauteous door mat for all to enjoy!

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