Saturday, May 11, 2013

DIY - Wooden Plank Welcome Mat

Spending time outside is one of my absolute favorite things. I love nature and I'm lucky to be married to someone who is as equally enamored as I. Since we live in a townhouse surrounded by "communal" property, I wanted to make something to dress up our front porch for the Outdoor/Yard challenge at SYTYC. I've been drooling over wooden door mats for awhile now but had yet to find one in my price range that could stand up to the elements and look good doing it. That's when the glorious idea came to me -- make your own - and that is how this glorious Wooden Plank Welcome Mat came to be. {Unfortunately, I was a couple of votes short last week and got eliminated from SYTYC but I wanted share this wooden goodness with all of you!}

I got to pull out a few fun tools for this that I rarely use which was pretty exciting. I sort of felt like Superwoman... until I chickened out and asked the Mr. to help with the saw because I like all of my fingers and toes just the way they are.

The Mr. grabbed me a pack of Platta acacia decking tiles from Ikea. I used eight of the nine tiles in the pack to make the mat (4x2). The best part of these tiles is that they have a fairly invisible linking structure underneath. This keeps the wooden planks raised and allows for drainage and airflow to prevent mold growth.

The only downfall is that when you piece them together, there are little nubs hanging out (as shown below). Once the whole mat was assembled, I used some blue painters tape to mark off the sides that needed to be cut because it's really important not to cut off the wrong ones.

That's where my darling Dremel Saw Max came in handy. We just sliced right through like butter. I say we, because I chickened out and had the Mr. do it all for me. Gotta love that man!

Once all of the pieces were cut, I reassembled the mat properly. I used a printout that I designed which read "come on in" and picked the placement (I did the bottom left).

I cut it out to fit neatly over each plank, pieced it together, and taped it down. Why you ask? This is my absolute favorite transfer method -- just draw really hard over top of it with a ballpoint pen and you'll create a small indent in the wood.

See? You may remember me using this method before on one of my fave projects. 

Since this was going outside, I didn't want to paint the words on as it could easily age and chip as time passes. I decided to pull out my wood burning tool and went over the indents to practically brand the wood.

Once that was done, I once again, reassembled the mat. While it was pretty, it was missing something special... but what?

I ended up white-washing a few areas to give the illusion of a border and sealed it with a coat of polyurethane. I let it dry overnight and the next day I was able to put it outside for immediate use. 

Don't you just love it? It's so flipping awesome out there.

While I used come on in you could do "welcome," or your address, or your last name, or anything else you think  is just right for you and your family.

And since we all like a good before and after...

BEFORE - Don't judge us for it being so ugly and bland out there.... at least we have the cutest pup ever!

AFTER - Ahhhhh, so much better! Don't you agree?

This welcome mat was exactly the added bit of character our house needed. It's so nice to know that no one else in our cookie-cutter neighborhood will have the same thing outside their door. I hope you like it!

I'm linking to:


  1. Love it! Now I need a wood-burning tool, too.

    And your Quinny definitely counts as decoration ;-)


  2. Hi Jess, long time no talk...:)

    Still following you of course, just been a little out of sorts lately and trying to get back in gear...:)

    Love love your wood mat... great job. It looks so good.

    Hope all is well with your beautiful family and you had a Wonderful Happy Mother's Day...

    Bear hugs from Laura

  3. I LOVE this!!! Especially the message burned into the wood. So cool! I've never worked with a wood burning you have other projects where you have used it? I am super interested in that part of this project (can you tell I was the kid who always played with sticks in the campfire!?!) ;)

  4. It is fabulous, what a wonderful idea. I love the burned message too. I host a weekly party called Inspire Me. It will be live Monday evening. I would love for you to link up. Hope to see you there, Hugs, Marty

  5. This is so creative and looks great! I love that you used IKEA items yet still put a personal stamp on the mat. Thanks for sharing!

  6. This was an awesome project and I've received lots of compliments so far. I turned the wood pieces so it wasn't the 'matrix' pattern but was all horizontal for the outside border and all vertical for the inside. This gives a border without getting rid of the wood coloring and tone - something I really enjoy. Then I burned a pattern of paw prints and then a cat image on the top corner with the cat looking at the butterfly. I have it in the top right corner - where the door opens so it kind of looks like the cat walked across the door mat and is seated there waiting to be let in. I have 3 cats of my own and foster cats (they're all kept inside) but just had to do a cat and butterflies are a family symbol for us. Thank you so much for the inspiration. I wish I could figure out how to post a picture - it looks amazing! :)


Feel free to share your thoughts or questions. You make my day!

xo Jess

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