So, I have a bit of an obsession with DIY doormats. I change them out with the seasons or just whenever I feel like my front entrance needs a refresh.
I made my first doormat over a year ago and since then I’ve cranked out upwards of 100 mats for customers. Along the way I’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks for making the process easy and successful.
(1) Here’s what I use:
- Blank Coir Mat (target has them for $9.99)
- Paint ( I use outdoor acrylic)
- Oracal 613 (for the stencil)
- Old paint brushes and/or foam daubers
- Cricut Explore Air II or similar
(2) Design Set Up
In Design Space you can pretty much create whatever you want. However, I like to create my designs in Illustrator then import them into DS and resize.
You can’t cut anything larger than 11.5 x 23.5 in Design Space. So I always adjust my height to 11.5 and allow the width to adjust accordingly.
Keep in mind a standard doormat is 18 x 30, so you’ll have a bit of room on either side of your design but you can always cut separate stencils and create a design around the edge.
(3) Cut Settings
When I first started making doormats I used Oracal 651. It worked well but it felt like such a waste of my quality vinyl so I looked around and found Oracal 613 which is a thicker vinyl created solely for the purpose of stenciling. I set my dial to the dot right after the vinyl setting. It cuts perfectly that way.
I wrote a guest post on the Expressions Vinyl Blog all about using 613 to stencil a doormat.
(4) Transferring Stencil
This is honestly the most painstaking part of making a doormat and it’s probably why a lot of people choose to use paper and pins instead. I promise you though, once you’ve done it a few times it becomes second nature. Plus, you can reuse the stencil 4-5 times and with each application it becomes easier to place on the mat.
I’ve cranked out 10 in a couple of hours by using the same 2 stencils. Trust me, it works well once you get good at it.
I don’t use transfer tape to move my stencil from the paper backing onto my doormat. I used to, but that changed when I switched to stencil vinyl. I literally just pick it up by hand and place it on my mat. Thankfully it is VERY forgiving.
I think a lot of people mess up at this step. The choice of paint and brushes can pretty much make or break you. Personally, I would never recommend spray paint. I’m sure there are people that have had great success with it but those are few and far between. Outdoor acrylic paint is cheaper and easier.
Avoid using a stroking motion when you’re painting over a stencil. Always, always pounce. I use the crappiest old brush I can find because the harder the bristles, the better.
When you’re working with multiple colors make sure you save the lightest colors for the top layer. Build from the bottom up. If you have any questions just leave a comment below and I’ll help you out.