I’ve been wanting to make a personalized doormat for some time, so when my son and daughter-in-law recently purchased their first house, it was the perfect opportunity for me to give it a try. And, of course, you know that my Silhouette was involved! Want to make one of your own? Today I’ll share my step-by-step process and some tips I learned along the way.
- Coir doormat
- Stencil material (more on this in Step 6)
- Straight pins
- Foam spouncer brush
- Painter’s tape
- Optional: scrapbooking tape, Sharpie marker, sealer spray
…and a healthy dose of patience 😉
Note: All screenshots are from Silhouette Studio, Version 4.1
Step 1: Measure the doormat
The tag on my doormat said it was 18 in. x 30 in., but I wanted to measure it myself just to be sure. It was spot-on!
Fun Fact: Did you know that “coir” is the fibrous material that comes from the outer husk of the coconut? It’s used for making rope, mats, brushes, mattresses, and potting compost.
Step 2: Set up the Design Page
In Silhouette Studio, set your design page to match the dimensions of your doormat. Set the cutting mat to “None” and make sure that neither the “Show Print Border” or “Show Cut Border” boxes are checked.
Need help with Design Page settings? Click here.
Step 3: Create the design
You’ll want to choose something decorative, but not so intricate that it will be hard to paint. For my design I chose Design ID 1571 from the Silhouette Design Store.
Open your file in Silhouette Studio. If you are using a design from the Silhouette Design Store, click on the Library tab, locate the file, and double-click on the thumbnail preview to open the file in Silhouette Studio.
In order to preview how the design will look on the doormat, fill it with color. When I filled this particular design with color, it became one big black square, which indicated that it wasn’t a compound path. To remedy this, select the design and either right-click and choose “Make Compound Path” or go to Object > Make Compound Path. Set the line color to none.
Resize the design as needed and place it in the area of your virtual mat that matches where you want it to go on the doormat.
Step 4: Add text
I used the Oriya MN font which is an Apple system font. If you don’t have this font, the Times Sans Serif font from dafont.com is a close match. Whatever font you choose, be sure it does not have a lot of detail that will be lost in the stenciling process.
Type your text, fill it with color, and set the line color to none. Position it as desired onto the virtual mat, just as you did with the design in Step 3.
Step 5: Prepare the design for cutting
The full 18 in. x 30 in. page we have set up in Studio is too large to cut in one pass on the Cameo. However, we can split the design into separate parts that can then be cut easily.
The monogram in my design measures just a little over 10 inches square and fits nicely onto the standard 12 in. x 12 in. Cameo mat. To set up this part of the design for cutting, I simply copied and pasted it onto a new 12 in. x 12 in design page and selected the Cameo mat as my cutting mat.
The text portion of my design is 18 in. wide, but it can be rotated by 90 degrees so that it is only about 2 in. wide and 18 in. long. Using the Draw a Rectangle tool, draw a box around the text to create the stencil. This portion can then be cut either on the 12 in. x 24 in. mat or without using a mat at all. If you don’t have the longer cutting mat and don’t feel comfortable cutting without a mat, the text can be broken up into portions that will fit on the standard 12 in. x 12 in. mat.
Step 6: Cut
I tried a few different media types for the stencil so that I could compare how each of them worked.
For the text, I used Oramask 811 Stencil Vinyl. In the past, I’ve shared with you some of the reasons I love Oramask 813 so much. The only difference between 811 and 813 is that 811 is solid white while 813 is translucent blue. I think either of them would work equally well for this project. You could also use regular adhesive vinyl such as Oracal 631 or Oracal 651.
For the monogram portion of the design, I cut stencils from both Silhouette chipboard and clear contact paper. The contact paper worked “ok” but I much preferred the stencil vinyl. I think the chipboard would be a good choice but needs to be sprayed with a temporary adhesive in order to hold it in place. You would also have to split up the text portion of the design if using chipboard, since it only comes in 12 in. by 12 in. sheets.
I also tried using a combination of painter’s tape and narrow (0.25 in.) scrapbooking tape to mask off the straight-line areas of the monogram design. I had great results with this and think it was better than using vinyl.
In the end, I think a combination of painter’s tape, scrapbooking tape, and Oramask 811/813 worked the best.
To cut the stencil vinyl, I used these settings:
Blade=2 Speed= 5 Force=10 Passes=1
Remember – always perform a test cut first!
Step 7: Weed the design
Since you’re making a stencil, remove the portions that you want to be painted. Refer to the design page in Studio if needed.
Step 8: Apply the stencil to the doormat
Here’s where it gets tricky and that “healthy dose of patience” I mentioned earlier comes in! First of all, it’s best to have the doormat in the same place you’re going to paint it before you place the stencil. If you try to move the doormat after placing the stencil, there is a good chance that the stencil will shift. (Ask me how I know!)
No matter what kind of vinyl you use for the stencil, it’s not going to adhere well to the coir fibers of the doormat. I even tried using a heat gun to help it stay in place. That worked for a bit, but once the vinyl cooled it became loose again.
There’s also no need to use transfer tape because the transfer tape will just make it harder to get the stencil into place. Instead, carefully peel the vinyl off of its backing and place it on top of the doormat in the correct position. If there are any small pieces of the design or text (such as the centers of the a’s or e’s, dots on the i’s, etc) they can be placed separately.
Once the stencil is in place, pin it down with straight pins. Lots of straight pins. Lots and LOTS of straight pins! Place the pins in such a way that they won’t interfere with painting. Use painter’s tape to mask any areas around the stencil that you don’t want to accidentally paint.
Step 9: Paint
Using a foam spouncer, dab the paint into the stenciled areas using an up-and-down motion. I had the best results when the size of the spouncer was slightly bigger than the area I was painting.
Apply a second coat of paint to fill in any areas you may have missed. When the paint is almost dry, carefully remove the stencil. Touch up any small unpainted areas with a Sharpie marker.
Step 10: Seal (optional)
Even though I used an exterior paint on my doormat, I decided to seal it as an added measure of protection. I allowed the black paint to dry for 24 hours and then sprayed the doormat with three light coats of acrylic sealer.
Voila! I think it turned out quite well and the finished result was so worth the effort! My son and daughter-in-law were thrilled when I presented their new personalized doormat to them, which made my heart happy. It looks great on the front porch of their new home where I hope it will be welcoming visitors for many years to come!
Let me know if you try this project for yourself. If you’ve had any experience with stenciling projects and have tips to share, feel free to post them in the comments below or visit me over on Facebook. I’d love to hear from you!
Until next time,
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Lycia is a lifelong crafter whose goal is to help others find value, confidence, and joy in whatever they create. She geeks out on using technology to supercharge craft projects with Silhouette Studio, Design Space, Glowforge, sublimation, etc.! Lycia teaches these skills and more through online tutorials and videos as well as in-person classes at both the local and national levels.