Last month I put up my new All Seasons Wreath, and it inspired me to do a spring refresh of my front porch. I started by painting my somewhat beat-up front door. This month I decorated my first doormat; it did not go according to plan. I read different tutorials, watched a few videos, and thought, "I got this!". I did not have it, but it ultimately turned out okay-ish.
First of All, Don't Trust Walmart's Online Inventory
I searched for the coir mat and found a plain 18x30 one from Walmart for $6. I checked online to see which Walmart had it in stock; of course, the store 5 minutes from my house didn't have it. After driving the 30 minutes to the store that was supposed to have it, it turned out they, in fact, did not have it (thankfully, I had other errands I needed to take care of, so it was not a wasted trip).
I was super bummed I would have to get the $20 coir mat from Amazon; I didn't even want to get groceries from that Walmart. So on my way home, I stopped at the Walmart by my house. As I was finishing up my shopping, I thought, "Well, if the online inventory was wrong, maybe this location does have it." It took a minute, but I found the aisle I needed, and sure enough, there was a stack of plain coir mats in the wrong spot!
That was my first misadventure in my quest to make this mat.
I Did It The Hard Way
For better or worse, I like to try new things and not necessarily follow directions. It's a blessing and curse; sometimes, it works out, but this time it did not.
I mentioned previously I did read and watch different tutorials, and they all had different advice. Some said to use spray paint, some used contact paper, some used stencils, and some used tape. I wanted to make this something that anyone could do without all the fancy equipment that I have. I regretted that instantly.
Yes, you can do this by printing a design on computer paper and using an x-acto knife to cut that design out of tape or contact paper. I went way too intricate and small for this project. It was the worst, most tedious, and time-consuming idea, and I quickly gave up on it. Can it be done? Absolutely, but I highly recommend large, simple designs that are easy to cut out. In a nutshell, don't do what I did the pictures!
If You're Still Interested, This is How You Should Do It
- coir mat (this is the one I picked up at Walmart)
- freezer paper (aka wax paper)
- an iron (nothing fancy, low temp setting; no steam)
- paint of your choice (spray paint, flex seal, or craft paint doesn't matter)
- pain brushes if you're using craft paint
- X-acto knife (if you don't have a cutting machine)
- printer and paper or stencil if you don't have a cutting machine
- outdoor fabric
- Pick your design. You'll want to choose a large and simple design, especially if you don't have a cutting machine. You can also purchase a stencil to use. Again, pick something easy. The more intricate the design is, the longer it will take to cut it out by hand.
- Cover your mat with freezer paper and iron it down. This is the magical trick that I did not do when I started this project. Nothing really sticks to this type of mat; I tried everything: tape, contact paper, and permanent vinyl! The freezer paper's wax melts when you iron it to the mat—making it the only thing that will stick to the mat and give you nice clean, crisp lines. If you're going to use spray paint, cover the whole mat. Spray paint goes everywhere!
- If you have a cutting machine, you can run your freezer paper through the machine and save yourself some time cutting by hand. A super sticky mat is needed.
- Place your design/stencil where you want it. You can try taping it in place, but tape and wax don't really work. A few dabs of glue should do the trick.
- Using your x-acto knife, cut out your design/stencil. Then remove the cut pieces from your design, leaving the word or outline to be painted.
- Paint! Simple enough, right? Nope, you're going to need a lot of paint. Coir mats are a weird material, and they soak up everything. Be generous when applying your paint to get a nice saturated look. With spray paint, you may only get one attempt at it, so be
- Time to dry. If you remove the paper while the paint is still wet, do so cautiously so you don't smudge your awesome new mat. Otherwise, you can remove the freezer paper after the paint has dried.
I repeated these steps multiple times, painting over my original design. This project can be very forgiving.
If this is too much for you, I completely understand. I was not a fan of the project; I could have done better, but I'm stubborn. There are a bunch of cute pre-made coir mats you can order. You can even find a place that will make you a custom mat!
Moving on to my favorite part, the faux rug!
No-Sew Faux Rug With Tasseled Border
I would see all these cute mat and rug combos in pictures, but I didn't want to spend very much money on an outdoor rug. Since I would need a weird size in front of my door, I probably wouldn't find what I needed anyway. So here is how to make a no-sew faux rug that is relatively cheap, and you can customize it to your needs. The best part, it can be thrown in the washing machine when needed!
- Measure first! Take measurements of your coir mat and how much coverage you want in front of your door. You can have your rug a few inches larger on all sides of your coir mat. Or, if you like to have several decorative items around your front door, you can choose to cover a much larger area.
- Select your outdoor fabric. JoAnn's Fabric has a large selection of outdoor fabrics, and they usually have a sale or a coupon you can use to get it at a much lower price. You'll need to order more than your measurements to accommodate the border. It also takes me a few tries to get a perfectly straight cut.
- Cut to size. My coir mat is 18x30, and I want my rug to be 3 inches larger than my mat on all sides; plus, I also needed 3 inches to tie the knots, so I cut the fabric to measure 24x36.
- Fray the edges. You can knot your rug horizontally, vertically, or all the way around. I went with just horizontal knots on this rug, so I pulled out 3 inches of horizontal strands. Also, I saved the strands I pulled out to make tassels for next month's No-Sew Pillow Cases project—just a heads up in case you want to do the same.
- Tie the knots. I tied a knot every inch. You want to stay somewhat narrow; otherwise, your rug will bunch up. It doesn't have to be exact; no one will notice if it's slightly over or under an inch. Measure out an inch on your thumb, then use a sharpie to mark the inch. When finished, wash the marker off your thumb; it'll save you time by giving you a quick inch measurement when tying your knots.
- Run a bead of glue down the edges. I ran a thin glue line along the backside of those edges to ensure my rug wouldn't fray on the unknotted sides and allow it to dry. Elmer's glue, rubber cement, and super glue are great options. I didn't want to risk using hot glue, the glue melting, and my rug getting stuck to my porch.
- Put out your new doormat and rug!
If tassels aren't your thing, don't worry, you can simply fold the edges over, hit them with a warm iron, and glue. It's an easier option that will look great!
Hopefully, you've had a good little giggle at my frustrations. I don't mind; I know I messed up. It turned out to be a blurry hot mess that no one could read after the first attempt. The good thing is I don't give up easily, and ultimately the second attempt turned out okay-ish. It really does not photograph well. It's all starting to tie in well with my All Seasons Wreath.
Next month, I'll show you how to use the extra fabric for no-sew pillow covers! It will go much better!