A painted doormat is a great way to bring personality and colour to your front step and welcome guests in style. I’ll share two different methods to create your own one-of-a-kind doormats – one quick and easy, and another that’s more complex, but both using simple materials.
DIY Painted Doormats
I love making fun and personalized doormats for our home. Coir doormats are the perfect blank canvas, just waiting for you to exercise your creative muscles. Coir doormats are made from coconut husks, a natural fibre. They are water resistant and last a long time.
Paint will also last quite a while on a coir doormat, but it will wear off over time. A number of years ago I made two different mats with “hello” and “hello there” on them. We left them out all year round, even under layers of snow and ice, and the paint lasted a few years. I think this time I might put these painted versions inside for the winter and put out an older mat to help the painted designs last longer.
Two Different Styles to Choose From
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We have a front and back door and need two mats. Therefore I decided to try out two different methods, one for each mat. I’ll share both of them with you, as well as the pros and cons of each.
I bought 2 of the larger size of Trampa doormats from IKEA. They are 2 feet wide by 2’11” long, and $14.99 in Canada. You can use any other coir mat you can find and just adjust your design accordingly to the size.
Choose outdoor or multi-surface acrylic craft paint so that it will be more weather resistant. When I went to Michaels, those sections had been rather decimated. I ended up choosing a mishmash of sizes and brands to get the colours I wanted and the best value. I used both Folk Art Multi-Surface and Craftsmart Multi-Surface paints and liked them both.
Personally, I don’t feel the need to put any kind of sealer or varnish on top as it’s weather resistant paint and it won’t last forever anyway.
A Simple Painted Doormat
The first style of painted doormat is quick and easy to do. You should be able to finish it in an afternoon, and it takes far less time, effort, paint, and supplies than the second style. This is a great beginner project that requires less commitment and no special skills.
I decided to put the phrase, “oh, hi there.” on this doormat. The sky’s the limit on what phrase you want to use and there are lots of witty ideas other people have come up with if you search Google images or Pinterest. Or you can use your last name for example. Another idea is to forgo words altogether and use an image – such as a house silhouette, or some other simple shape.
To make my design, I used Canva.com, which you can use for free to save, create, and print your own designs. I used the font Handy Casual, font size 469, and with a hollow effect (at thickness 15) to make it an outline only. At that font size I could only fit a few letters on each landscape page. Then I printed my design out.
Materials for the Simple Painted Doormat
- A blank coir doormat, such as an IKEA Trampa, 2 ft x 2’11”
- A simple word or silhouette design printed from a site such as Canva.com
- Measuring tape or ruler
- Painter’s tape – optional, but it helps
- Sewing pins – even better if they’re old/a second set because they might get paint on them
- Outdoor or multi-surface acrylic paint – in the colour of your choice. The amount will depend on your design. I used one 2 oz bottle for this design.
- A little container for paint
- A flat craft brush
- A round stencil brush
Steps to Create the Simple Painted Doormat
First, cut out your template letters. Because I was going to trace around the outside of them with paint, they would get bigger. Therefore I chose to cut off the black outline of the letters to help make up for that increase in size. To cut out the inside of letters such as the ‘e’, make a fold, take a snip in the inside of the ‘e’, then unfold and put your scissors in the cut to cut out the centre.
Next, using a tape measure or ruler and painter’s tape, tape a guide line across the mat to help you line up the letters in a straight line. I measured down 14 inches at both ends of the mat and in the middle to make sure my tape line was straight.
Then lay out your letters evenly spaced across the line. I used my measuring tape to make sure there was an even amount of space from the letters to the left edge and from the letters to the right edge. I placed them a bit above the line to leave room for the paint outline, and remember to leave sufficient space between the letters for the outline of paint as well.
Then use sewing pins and put several in each letter to hold them in place on the mat. I broke my tape line to put the comma in place.
Shake your paint well and put some in a little container. Using a flat brush dipped in paint, and keeping it upright, pounce it slightly up and down along the paper edge of the letter to trace an outline. Continue all the way around the outside edge, including the inside of letters of like the ‘e’. If you keep the brush straight up and down, paint won’t go under the paper.
Using the pins to help, carefully pull up the paint-covered paper letter and remove the pins from it.
Using a round stencil brush, held upright, pounce the brush up and down to fill in the letter with paint. Your best chance to get good coverage is on the first coat, when the bristles of the mat are loose. Once the paint dries, it’s harder to get paint into the cracks because the bristles are attached to one another. Continue in this manner, doing all the letters, ensuring the paint coverage is a solid as you can.
After the first coat has dried, go back over with a quick second coat to fill in any areas where there are less coverage and to make sure the edges of the letters are solid and bold. Let the whole piece dry and remove the painter’s tape guide line. Once it’s fully dried, it’s ready for the front step!!
A More Complex Painted Doormat
I designed this more complex painted doormat to resemble a barn quilt, or a quilt block. I love the bold and bright geometric design. This mat took me much longer to make, but I’m very happy with how it turned out. It took me about an hour to design, a couple hours to get the template ready to go, and chunks of time over 2 days to paint. It also took a lot more paint that the simple doormat – possibly $20-25 worth. It’s not overly difficult, but it does take time and a bit of attention to detail. If this feels too intimidating, perhaps begin with the simple doormat. However, if you’re up for a unique and colourful doormat that you won’t find anywhere else – this is it!
Materials for the more complex painted doormat
- A blank coir doormat such as an IKEA Trampas, 2 ft x 2’11”
- 1/4 inch graph paper
- A design – see notes below
- Pencil crayons to plan your design
- Calculator – if you need it to find the center or plan your design
- Scotch Tape
- Painter’s Tape
- Long ruler – you could use a metre/yard stick. I used a quilting ruler.
- Sewing pins
- Outdoor or Multi-surface Acrylic Craft Paint – see notes below.
- Flat craft brush(es)
- Round stencil brush(es)
- Small containers for paint
Again, I used a mix of brands and sizes of paint based on what was available. I completely used three 2-oz Folk Art Multi-Surface bottles in Daffodil, almost all of an 8-oz Folk Art Multi-Surface bottle in Teal, and more than half of an 8-oz Craftsmart Multi-Surface bottle in Red. I was a bit surprised by how much paint it required and I had thought I would have a lot more left over.
A Quilt-like Design
To make the design, I looked at images for barn quilts and quilt blocks on Pinterest for inspiration. Then I made one completely my own on 1/4″ graph paper. Next, I coloured it in quickly with pencil crayons to plan the paint colours I wanted. The brown areas would be the natural mat. Feel free to design your own design as well – there are so many ideas to choose from if you look online. I made my scale where one 1/4″ square equals 1 inch.
If you don’t want to design your own painted doormat, and just want to use my design, you can print the image below and bring it to scale with graph paper. Here I changed the scale – each square equals 1/2″. So to bring it real life scale using 1/4″ graph paper, each square on this digital design becomes 2 squares wide and 2 squares tall. Feel free to change the colours to your own favourite colours.
Steps to Create the Quilt-like Painted Doormat
First, take about 12 sheets of 1/4 inch graph paper, lining up the edges carefully to maintain a perfect grid and tape them together with Scotch tape.
Next, measure the exact dimensions of the mat – do measure it to be sure! Then transfer those dimensions to the grid paper, making a rectangular outline the size of the mat with a ruler to help. Cut it out with scissors. My mat was 24″ x 35″.
Then transfer your design to the graph paper in scale. For example, my paper design had a scale of 1 square = 1 inch, so I multiplied it out so that on the large version it was 4 (1/4″) squares to make an inch. I would count squares, making little ticks, and then use the ruler to quickly join and draw lines across. This part didn’t take that long, once I got going. And the symmetry helped!
Then I quickly used a Sharpie to label each section on the template with a letter to represent what colour it would be painted. T=Teal, Y=Yellow, R=Red, and N=left natural.
Next, working in small sections at a time, precisely cut apart all the pieces on the lines. Then carefully realign them and lightly tape back together with painter’s tape. Repeat for the whole design. This seems tedious but it’s not so bad.
When the whole design has been cut apart and taped back together, lay it out onto the mat. (I placed the mat on top of an old sheet we use as a painting drop cloth). Then use A LOT of sewing pins and pin the design in place onto the mat.
Starting near each of the outer corners and edges, choose a few pieces (it’s helpful if they will be the same colour) and gently remove those pattern pieces. You will dislodge others – just neaten them up again. Re-pin other pieces around it if need be. (In this photo those first spaces have already been painted)
Shake your paint well and put some in a small container. Using a flat brush held upright, pounce it up and down lightly along the paper edge of a shape to make an outline. When you get to subsequent shapes you’ll also be painting a line along previously painted shapes. Outline a whole shape with paint. Repeat with other shapes of the same colour that have had their pattern pieces removed.
Then using a stencil brush held upright, pounce it up and down to fill in the shape with paint. Your best chance to get good coverage is on the first coat, when the bristles are loose. Once the paint dries, it’s harder to get paint into the cracks because the bristles are attached to one another.
When the first blocks are mostly dry, you can gently remove some other nearby template pieces. Plan out as you go so that you’ll either have paper edges or previously painted edges to paint up to. Don’t remove too many pieces at once. Paint those next shapes in the same manner. I also went back and did a second coat over each piece to make sure the coverage was as consistent as I could get it and the edges were as bold and crisp as possible.
As you remove more and more template pieces, and the pieces left pinned get smaller, they move around more. That’s ok – just simply line them back up and re-pin before painting. I usually held the edge of the paper down with my finger as I painted around it. Continue until all the shapes are painted. Once it’s dry, put it on your front step for one-of-kind curb appeal!!
Painted Doormats Two Ways
If you make your own DIY doormat from either of these tutorials, share your work on social media with #MixMeasureMakeDoormat and don’t forget to tag me @mixmeasuremake so I can see your wonderful creations!
I want to hear from you. Which of these designs is your favourite? Which one would you be more likely to try? Let me know in the comments below.
All the best,