A DIY Holiday Doormat Project: The Results!


I had a high school teacher and a college professor describe me as having “moments of pure brilliance.” A nice way of saying those moments were bookended by long periods of pure blunder.

I would like to think that the moment I furiously cut out a santa-and-reindeer stencil, applied it to my mat, and without hesitating to read the directions, shook the can of paint and sprayed away–as a moment of pure brilliance. And the moment shortly thereafter where I inhaled enough fumes to coat my lungs in American Accents smooth finish midnight blue, sadly, one of blunder.

Oh the sacrifices* one must make in order to create great art:

As soon as the spray dust settled in my lungs and caused me to begin to feel high dizzy, I swooped up my beloved cat Tigerlily and booked it outdoors. Then, thinking I was surely dying–I called my Dad, who has a way about him of downplaying any serious situation I may find myself in until I think I’m no longer in any peril. Have a flat tire in skid row right across from a drug deal? No problem! By the time I’ve listened to my Dad talk (and he loves to talk) about everything he has possibly heard on the news or on NPR about skid row, I start to feel as safe and confident in myself as if out for an afternoon stroll in Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.

Dr. Dad suggested a brisk walk to open up the capillaries in my lungs and unclog the paint that has surely hardened there. I like that about my Dad. Good exercise that makes you sweat is his cure-all remedy. Like the Dad from My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Windex spray.

Do I recommend the project? Yes. It’s cute and if done in a well-ventilated area with a dust mask, non-hazardous.

I do, however, recommend doing it Martha’s way with paper cut outs. I ended up having a hard time cutting out my design from tape a la Young House Love’s way because all the pieces were flopping around trying to stick to each other. The paper die cut snowflakes (made on a Cricut) simply placed on the mat worked just as well as the designs made out of tape stuck to the mat.

Process of creating my doormat:

1. Draw your design on tape or paper placed on your mat (in order to get the right size/positioning). Doesn’t have to be perfect, just get the right size for your mat and a good outline going on.

2. Cut out the design using scissors. There might be circles of negative space that need cutting out, I used a utility knife to poke a hole in those sections and then small scissors to cut out the rest.

3. Place the design back on the mat in the desired position.

4. Put the mat on a protected area like plastic, cardboard, newspapers. Put on a dust mask. Turn on fans and open windows, or take the whole thing outdoors.

5. Apply two coats of spray paint. (You can wait in between coats or just do two at once like I did.)

6. Wait a few minutes for paint to dry then pull off the stencil eagerly–disregarding Martha’s instructions to wait two hours for paint to dry.

Here are some close-up shots:

For next time, I think any tiny, straight lines would be better achieved by just lying some string down on the mat, rather than cutting out tiny lines from paper or tape (hard!)

Like I said, your rough sketch doesn’t have to be perfect. As you are cutting out, you can make adjustments and follow the lines you like best:

Tinier than one-inch, those little paper snowflakes didn’t come out so well:

Close-up of the reindeer:

For part I of this DIY mat-making adventure, click here.

(*Sarcasm. My mat is unfortunately not great art. Unfortunately, I cannot afford to hire a fine artist to do my door mat designs or my swiss buttercream cake designs like Martha does.)

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