DIY Project Idea: How to Customize a Plain Welcome Mat

Apartment Therapy Tutorials

I was working on my own outdoor patio space recently and thought I would share an easy DIY project with you. I was looking for a small outdoor mat, but because of the high sun exposure all those beautiful patterned straw-like designer ones just don't hold up. I needed something basic and hardy, but unfortunately that usually equals boring and unattractive. So I decided to give this $10 mat from Walmart a friendly little makeover.

What you need:

• "hello" stencil (instructions below)
• outdoor mat of your choice
• cutting knife or blade
• spray paint in the color of your choice
• painters tape
• newspaper or scrap paper
• spray glue


1. First you need to make the "hello" template. If you have a design program like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, then feel free to play around with choosing a font. If not, you can use this one (font: Sacramento) and just blow it up to the size you need. I suggest printing it out on a thicker paper if you have it, but regular paper will do if that's all you have. You'll have to print on a few pages and piece them together.

2. Carefully cut out the stencil with your knife. Be sure to keep the middle parts in the letters "l", "e," and "o".

3. Once you're done cutting out the stencil, spray the back with glue and place it where you want it on the mat.

4. Then carefully stick in those middle pieces to complete the word.

5. Cover any exposed area with newspaper or scrap paper.

6. Then carefully give the word a coat of spray paint.

7. Wait about 5-10 minutes and give it another coat of spray.

8. Once it's dry, remove the stencil and voila! You have your super cute and welcoming outdoor mat.

(Image credits: Melissa DiRenzo)