I've slowed down a little with the posts these last few weeks, haven't I? A lot has been going on in real life, and I've needed a little time to let my creative juices get going again after the holidays. The good news is that I have generated lots of projects to work on (maybe too many for my own good, but that's another story), and I hope to be sharing them with you soon. They include valentines, and sewing for boys. Not many people sew for boys--have you noticed? I'm excited about getting my machine going again.
In the meantime, I thought I would share a tutorial for an easy little project that packs a big punch on your doorstep: the DIY stenciled doormat. I made this one in the fall, and for some reason never got around to sharing it with you--probably because the design has never seemed to me to be quite complete. I keep saying that I'm going to add a stripe along the bottom to make it less bare, but then I wonder if it will draw too much attention--after all, the doormat is supposed to complement the rest of the porch, not take center stage, right?
Your design, of course, is up to you. You can use your street number or your family name, or make several versions for every holiday. You can even use a silhouette of an object (I recently saw a reindeer motif at Young House Love, though I wouldn't recommend using painter's tape--see below), and paint either the silhouette itself or the space around it. The possibilities are endless, especially if you live near an IKEA, where these mats are on sale for $7.99. At that price, you can make a bunch and use them as hostess gifts.
Here is the very simple how-to:
- Basic jute or sisal doormat (mine is IKEA's Trampa; you could also try the Sindal).
- Indoor/outdoor spray paint in the color of your choice
- Duct tape
- Light-weight cardboard (I recycled an old file folder)
- Scotch tape
- Craft knife
- Disposable plastic (I used grocery bags, though garbage bags would have been more efficient)
2. Use a craft knife to carefully cut out your design, being careful to go all the way through both paper and cardboard. If you don't have a cutting mat, I suggest using an old magazine.
Be careful to keep inside pieces for the stencil--like the ovals inside the 8, in my case.
3. Use LOTS of duct tape to attach the stencil to your doormat. The duct tape should cover the stencil to the extent that it applies downward pressure on the mat. This is really important because if there is even a little airspace between the stencil and the mat, spray paint will seep into them and make the edges of your design fuzzy. (I know because I messed up my first mat this way--I used painter's tape, which doesn't push down hard enough.)
Use more duct tape to attach plastic bags or sheets to your doormat everywhere that you don't want paint.
4. Spray paint the stencil, aiming the nozzle straight down (to avoid those pesky air pockets) and holding the can about a foot away from the mat. Let dry for a few minutes, then carefully remove the stencil.
And voila--you're the owner of a fully customized, pretty doormat. I hope you enjoy yours as much as I have mine!