Sunday, December 22, 2013

the muck stops here. (aka - the $5 door mat).

I love home design goodness.  I could spend hours walking through Crate & Barrel or West Elm or any number of stores filled with pretties.  Heck, some days I buy a Starbucks latte and head to Target or Home Goods just to browse.

But I'm also trying to pinch my pennies.  So, that means I'm trying to head to these stores for inspiration only.

We needed a new door mat for our front door and I thought this was a good opportunity to flex my penny pinching muscles.  So, I checked out Target for a very cheap basic door mat.  This isn't exactly the one I bought, but it is close.  Mine was cheaper (only $5!) and doesn't have the rubber edging but I can't seem to find it on the online site.   I've seen similar products other places - Lowe's had a really big one that I purchased for my basement.

The result - My "the muck stops here." door mat.  I love it.

I'm not much of an artist (pronounced ar-tiste).  I have relatives who went to art school and create amazing things with a pencil, paint and some paintbrushes.  But not me.  Me?  I'm... crafty (feel free to queue up the Beastie Boys.  Go on, I'll wait.).  I'm more of an engineer of fabric, yarn, vinyl, and the like, which is why I love, love, love my Silhouette.

Cheap doormat procured, I used my Silhouette to design my saying.  I briefly toyed with the idea of doing a huge, bright "hello" but, given the snow, sleet, and rain we currently have here, I decided to go... dirty.  And so, 'the muck stops here.' was born.

I used the font "American Typewriter", which I love, but *may* be on the verge of overusing.  I did my design in two pieces since my letters were small and vinyl ain't cheap.  I added squares around them to make aligning them easier once they were cut and on the door mat (the tops of the boxes can be aligned to get the saying straight).

Once the vinyl was cut, I found the center of my floor mat and placed my vinyl.  I added newspaper around the edges to keep the paint from spraying back.

I then used some leftover spray paint and used 2 (light) coats.  My daughter asked why I used 'dirt' colored spray paint and I told her that was kind of the point - any added dirt is just decoration (wink, wink).    

Et voila!  The $5 door mat is done.  When the weather changes, I'll do another.  The design will likely be bigger and brighter but the mat won't be any more expensive.  

In the future, I may try applying fabric paint with a brush to see how the result differs.  I might also try some designs on the background.  And, while I haven't tried it, I think a similar result could be obtained by using stickers or a ready-made stencil.  So many options for a $5 door mat.  Enjoy!