Is your front door looking a little lackluster? Do you wish your stoop was a bit more of a showstopper? Are you trying to find the perfect housewarming gift for the BFF that already has everything? I’ve got two words for you: custom doormat.
If you’ve been waiting for the perfect DIY project that will both spruce up your home and serve a functional purpose, look no further. Taking a boring doormat to the next level might just be the easiest thing you do this year. And the best part? All you really need is some paint. And, you know, a doormat.
If you already have a doormat that’s in decent shape but just a bit dull, you can completely transform it into something new without spending the money on a brand new one. But if you are already in the market for a new mat, you can pick up any old thing and completely customize it to your tastes!
Nothing says “welcome to my home” quite like a custom doormat. Whether you want something monogrammed, a funny quote from your favorite movie, or want to express your love for your pets both inside your home and out, painting a plain doormat is the best way to get exactly what you want without spending a fortune.
You won’t need much for this DIY project. When it comes to the staples, you will definitely want the following:
For this project, you might want to use some or all of the following, as well:
Once you’ve gathered all your supplies comes the fun part: deciding how you want to decorate it!
If you’re the artistic type, you might decide to freehand your design. In this case, you’ll definitely want to use a permanent marker to outline your design first. If you’re going for geometric designs or stripes, masking tape is helpful. Simply use the tape to create a cool pattern and paint between the lines. An asymmetrical pattern is perfect for that modern look.
If you want something more symmetrical or want to add words, stencils are a good idea. You can either use precut stencils for letters and shapes or create your own.
For creating letter stencils, print out your design (large font). You can use regular printer paper, contact paper, or thicker cardstock—whatever you have on hand and whatever works with your printer. Avoid fonts that are too thin because this will make your job harder. Cut out the inside of the letters with a utility knife or scissors to create your own stencil. Pin the letters in place and trace the outline with your permanent marker. Simply remove the pins and paper when you’re ready to paint. If your paper is thick enough, you might be able to avoid tracing and simply paint within the stencil as-in. You should still pin the paper to your doormat.
If you use contact paper, print the design and cut out the letter shapes the same as above. Separate the contact paper layers and stick it straight to your mat. You may need to use pins to secure it: concentrate them around the extra detailed spots and areas that aren’t sticking as well. Leave the contact paper stencil on your doormat when you paint.
Painting is easy once you have your design prepped. To begin, saturate your foam brush with your paint. Press it gently into the mat’s bristle surface. If you’re using a cardstock or contact paper stencil, be sure you don’t rub the brush around a lot, otherwise, you may inadvertently move your stencil around and mess up your design! If you’re filing in your sharpie outlines, be careful not to go outside the lines too much if you want crisp lines.
Continue to load your brush with paint and press it onto the doormat. Even if your design is small, you may be surprised how much paint is required to complete the project—the bristles will soak up a lot of paint!
Once your design is painted onto your doormat, carefully remove the paper. Let it dry fully before use.
Voila! Now you have your own unique doormat!
For this project, I used outdoor acrylic paint that I picked up at Michaels. You can also use multi-surface acrylic paint (check the bottle if it can be used outdoors). If your doormat is going to be exposed to the elements, look for a paint that is weather and water resistant.
Acrylic paint dries fairly quickly, but the more paint used, the longer it will take. Your paint may give you an indication of how long it will take, but don’t be surprised if it takes longer! For example, my outdoor acrylic paint recommends to not expose to moisture for 72 hours.
You can find plain doormats just about any place that sells home/outdoor decor. I found mine at Target.
Almost any paper will work for a stencil that you outline with your marker, including tracing paper and wax paper.
Custom doormats are great for using as seasonal decor year-round and also make great gifts for friends and family!
Sarah is a content writer and social media assistant with a BA in literature/creative writing from Wilkes University. When she’s not spending her days at work writing, reading, and drinking coffee, she’s usually at home reading, writing, and drinking coffee. She also devotes a fair amount of time to HGTV, drawing, and doting on her dog. As a creator, Sarah believes in emphasizing personality through design and DIY projects.