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As many of you probably know first hand, the inspiration received from other shelter blogs is pretty ridic. Really, you should see the absurd amount of links I file in my Mail’s “Inspiration” folder. This past Monday, I took to my folder, and, well… got inspired. Not having a front stoop to primp and pretty for spring (our building has a maintenance crew that weeds our bitty tree lawn), I turned to our second floor door with mat decor from Restored Style – and even this more involved welcome from ReadyMade.

Here’s the ugly truth. We’ve been welcoming friends and family with the same college-day-doormat that my man’s been using for the last, oh, 8 years or so. Of course we love sporting Queen City pride, but that flimsy, soft mat had to go.

It’s not as if we’d never tried. Have you seen the doormats they stock in the stores? With most averaging around thirty dollars, we were actually happier to sticking with what we had. Too boring, too cheesy, too… ew, really? You bet we were picky.

But back to the whole inspiration thing I was feeling this week. We picked up the Ikea Trampa mat for just nine bucks – an over sized and surprisingly high quality scratchy coir with thick rubber backing. Our tiny door nook was a tight fit for the too-big dimensions, so I cut it down to a more slimming 20 x 30 inches. Tip: For anyone taking on their own cuts, I made my measurements on the non-slip back, then made at least 3 passes with a sharp razor blade. It’s easier (and much safer) to make several lighter cuts, rather than going for a single deep slice.

After running a few design ideas past Scott (he totally didn’t go for my big bunny plan), we agreed on a simple hi / bye theme – a welcome and farewell in one. Using Microsoft Word (although any program that allows you to use text would work), I printed hi and bye using a 400 pt Helvetica font. Because the paper would also act as the stencil, I used a heavy card stock to prevent any curling the paint may cause. From there, I simply cut each letter out with a knife, making sure I stayed within the lines and saving any inside pieces, such as the middle of my b.

A dry fit ensured I was on the right path (easy enough), and I used plain scotch tape to secure my stencils. Any part of the mat that was exposed was covered in old shopping bags, including the tiny edges my stencils didn’t cover. But learn from my mistake – I did all my taping inside, and you better believe that things would have been much easier if I had tackled all the stencil securing outdoors. Carrying my mat to the patio while keeping everything in place was quite the, um, unwanted challenge.

I used a few paint cans to hold everything down (since the wind was certainly not cooperating that day), and misted 3 light coats of on-hand flat black spray paint.

Once everything was good and dry (as in, I impatiently waited a whole 5 minutes to rip off the paper), I was relieved to see mostly clear, even letters. Eee! Over spray was minimal (although the edges are faintly fuzzy – let’s call that “charm”), and as I mentioned before, I’d recommend something sturdier than thin copy paper. I’d say our cover stock worked like a champ, but anything thinner would have been a near disaster (so dramatic!).

Holy heck of an improvement. (And cute, too.) Scott was as excited as any guy would be over a doormat, going so far as to eagerly volunteer and haul away the dingy Bengal. No complaints, and without so much as a last look at his team’s logo.

Not to mention that ol’ tiger never bid us farewell on our way out the door.

And for good measure, a gratuitous photo of our little man. You can’t see it from this angle (check it out above), but he’s staring right at his leash. If the door opens, you bet he’s hoping for a w-a-l-k.

Okay, so we may not have the luxury of stocking up on planters to flank the front door, but we’re really enjoying our own little version of sprucing up our so-called exterior.

What about the rest of you apartment dwellers? Any entry primping tips and tricks to share?  How do you make the most of your not-so-outdoor interior exteriors? Woah, tongue-twister.

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  • jodi4.6.11 - 8:29 AM

    super cute!!ReplyCancel

  • Such a great idea! I love the look. :)ReplyCancel

  • katie4.6.11 - 10:16 AM

    i really like that! i might have to borrow the idea… :-)ReplyCancel

  • Amanda- Hip House Girl4.6.11 - 11:00 AM

    Less truly is more here. I love the simple design! I’m about to “pin” it on my Pinterest board.ReplyCancel

  • RocketGirl754.6.11 - 11:15 AM

    That is a FANTASTIC idea, and one I would totally steal if we needed a doormat. (We have a carpeted hallway, and tracking in slush and/or mud isn’t really a problem in San Francisco.)

    Alas, I have nothing to share on the interior/exterior front. The furthest we go is hanging bells on the door knocker at Christmas. With red twisty ties.ReplyCancel

  • Sara @ House Bella4.6.11 - 11:38 AM

    I love it! So adorable.

    In our house we can’t even spell w-a-l-k because the dogs know the sound of the “w.” But then yesterday I said to Mike “How about a a-l-k-i-e and both dogs starting running around like crazy. Umm…my dogs can spell? Not normal.ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.6.11 - 11:46 AM

      Sara, I think Jack’s gotten to the point that if we spell anything, he knows it’s about him! Smartie pants.ReplyCancel

  • emily @ the happy home4.6.11 - 12:50 PM

    i love this! when we moved into our place, i splurged on pretty sisal mats for the front and patio doors… that didn’t do squat to take yuck off my shoes AND are a magnet for leaves, so you can’t even see the pretty design.

    this looks fab– might have to try!ReplyCancel

  • Andrea B4.6.11 - 1:00 PM

    Fun, fun, fun! The inspiration is spreading.ReplyCancel

  • LOVE this! What a cute idea and I definitely sympathize with your lack of an outdoor space. We try to make the most of our rental’s entryway Landing to greet guests:

  • It’s perfect!ReplyCancel

  • Megan {reFind}4.6.11 - 2:21 PM

    Holy cow! I love that. It totally looks like you could have spent a ton of money on that. Hope you dont mind if I copy you :)ReplyCancel

  • Kim4.6.11 - 2:48 PM

    Please, Megan, copy!ReplyCancel

  • aleksandra4.6.11 - 3:27 PM

    i love this! and of course, it looks even better with that dapper fellow of yours peeking through the door :)ReplyCancel

  • Patti varland4.6.11 - 4:39 PM

    Love the mat, very cute idea. Reposition-able spray adhesive works well to help “seal the edges” of stencils.ReplyCancel

  • Cait @ Hernando House4.6.11 - 8:33 PM

    I love it! We have a fairly inexpensive may we got from World Market that I love, as that is about the extent of our porch primping.ReplyCancel

  • Kim4.6.11 - 8:40 PM

    Ooh, I love World Market. I’m hoping to make a stop there soon for some outdoor table linens. Fingers crossed I’ll find something bright and SPRING-y! Cold weather just won’t leave Chicago!ReplyCancel

  • Jordan4.6.11 - 10:21 PM

    simple yet so brilliant!ReplyCancel

  • kirsten4.7.11 - 1:39 AM

    Brilliant! Love how the mat turned out…and so flattered for the mention! What a difference a doormat can make:)!ReplyCancel

  • omg i love this! so simple but so so so cute. very clever!ReplyCancel

  • Cait @ Hernando House4.7.11 - 12:23 PM

    Fingers crossed for spring-y linens! :)ReplyCancel

  • Friday Link Love4.8.11 - 8:28 AM

    […] this idea for painting a doormat from Yellow Brick […]ReplyCancel

  • Emily5.3.11 - 9:57 AM

    Adorable!! Your neighbors must enjoy it too. Cute pic of doggie poking his nose out.ReplyCancel

  • […] paint color to redo it since this is all i had on hand….lol) i saw this cute idea over at yellow brick home. P has these fun animal cards that my sweet friends gave her…which she loves. so i made a […]ReplyCancel

  • Norma1.28.12 - 9:46 PM

    Love this so much! Just found this on Pinterest. What kind of paint specifically are you using?

    • Kim1.29.12 - 9:48 AM

      Hi Norma! Any spray paint should do the trick, but we used Design Master in flat black. We picked it up at the craft store (next to the Krylon brand), so it should be easy to find. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • […] Ga voor meer informatie en het stappenplan naar >> 0   […]ReplyCancel

  • Sarah3.17.12 - 4:47 PM

    We made this today! I love it! My friend just bought a house and I might make her one as a housewarming gift! Thanks for the great idea!!ReplyCancel

  • Kim3.19.12 - 10:26 AM

    Thank you, Sarah – what a great housewarming gift! So happy it worked out for you!ReplyCancel

  • […] Outfitters, or too unremarkable to justify spending any money on. Enter Yellow Brick Home’s tutorial for making a super easy, super cute […]ReplyCancel

  • Jessica11.20.12 - 8:36 AM

    Very good idea ! I’m gonna talk of that on my blog!
    So i’m gonna talk of your blog! I like a lot of idea!
    Sorry for my english i’m from Québec, Canada!

  • […] Ga voor meer informatie en het stappenplan naar >> 0   Comments commentsPowered by Facebook Comments […]ReplyCancel

  • Erin @ The Great Indoors2.18.13 - 3:25 PM

    Precious! We are in serious need of new welcome mats, and I just might have to take a page out of your book.

    Erin @ The Great IndoorsReplyCancel

  • Morgan4.9.13 - 5:39 PM

    Great Idea! Looks like it would make more sense if it were turned the other way.ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.9.13 - 6:13 PM

      Thanks, Morgan! I suppose it could work either way. We have it placed so people coming to our front door can easily read “hi,” and those leaving can read “bye”!ReplyCancel

  • […] Yellow Brick Home has the perfect pick-me-up for your porch with their easy DIY Door Mat! […]ReplyCancel

  • Kim11.27.13 - 8:36 AM

    Love the mat! It’s very cute. I’ve been looking to do a version of this for awhile, but I’m not sure what paint will hold up well. Did the flat spray paint you used last awhile on the mat? Did it bleed at all as people step on it? Did it come off on people’s shoes at all? Sorry to bombard you with questions! Love the blog. Thanks, KimReplyCancel

  • Kim11.27.13 - 8:55 AM

    Hi Kim, there is no bleed or rubbing off of the paint from people stepping on it! The spray paint has been pretty permanent, and the only reason we’ll need to replace it (soon) is because it’s seen several years of wear. Go for it!ReplyCancel

  • […] Something as simple as a “hi” when you arrive somewhere and a “bye” when you leave can make a visit that more pleasant. {found on site}. […]ReplyCancel

  • sarah2.27.14 - 12:50 PM

    I love this diy door mat, it’s so cute!

    How is the paint holding up on it? Reason I ask is I recently made one and am wondering if the paint will soon start to chip off or not (so far so good!).

    You can check my diy ombre door mat at:

  • Kim2.27.14 - 1:00 PM

    Hi Sarah, wow – that ombre mat looks amazing! They look like little turquoise stones now. Love it!

    Ours hasn’t chipped at all, in fact, the opposite. It almost seems as though the spray paint actually stained the course hairs on the mat, so it’s IN there. We’re still using it, although it could definitely be replaced just due to all the wear and tear, so I would say that the mat would need replaced before the paint would ever wear off!ReplyCancel

  • […] Something as simple as a “hi” when you arrive somewhere and a “bye” when you leave can make a visit that more pleasant. {found on site}. […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Something so simple as a “hello” once you arrive someplace and a “bye” whenever you depart could make a go to that extra nice. discovered on site. […]ReplyCancel

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