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DIY Wood Doormat with Mid-Century Style

Make a DIY wood doormat using wood slats, wood beads, and rope! You can also decorate with fabric. It’s easier to do than you might think.

Skills Required: Intermediate Beginner. You should have experience with a saw cutting wood slats, Mod Podge, and stringing beads and rope. It’s not hard, there are just several steps.

DIY wood doormat

My husband and I are huge fans of mid-century modern home decor items. We are especially inspired by the color palettes; greens, browns, oranges . . . shades along these lines.

For me, it’s a reminder of my grandparents’ house in Bellevue, WA, just outside of Seattle. My dad grew up in this home in the 1960s, and when I was growing up the furniture was the same.

DIY wood welcome mat

I’d like to tell you that my grandparents were stylish, but I think they just didn’t want to buy anything new. Either way, I have a fondness for Mad Men-esque furniture, and it’s the look we go for in our home, at least a version of it.

Our latest creation inspired by mid mod is this DIY wood doormat. We knew we wanted to make a wood slatted welcome mat, and I actually had the fabric from a previous project. Steve saw the fabric and like it, and then the rest just came together. Here’s how we made this DIY doormat.

Make a Wood Doormat

Gather These Supplies

  • Two 8-foot 1 x 2s – cut into fifteen 18 inch pieces (these will be your slats)
  • Mod Podge Outdoor
  • Thompson’s Water Seal – Nutmeg
  • FolkArt Multisurface paint – Pure Orange
  • Clear outdoor spray sealer – I believe we used Rustoleum
  • Fabric – pattern of your choice
  • Wood beads – 42 total, 3/4″ round
  • Nylon cord – around 13 feet (make sure it fits through your beads)
  • Paint brush
  • Brayer
  • Craft knife and mat
  • Wax paper
  • Table saw
  • Drill
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil

Cut and Drill the Wood

Cutting oak pieces with a table saw

I had “big daddy” cut the slats for our DIY wood doormat. Don’t tell my husband I called him that! Anyhoo, BD cut them using a table saw. It’s quite easy (even this non-regular tool user can do it).

Note: Steve used oak for this. He also stained the slats with Thompson’s Water Seal and a foam brush after cutting, then let dry.

The next step, which we didn’t get a photo of, was drilling into the slats. He measured holes at 2.5″, 9″, and 15.5″ inches on the side of each slat (in the center from top to bottom) – then made a pencil mark.

Use a drill bit that matches the hole in your wood beads. Not all wood beads have the same sized hole, so you’ll need to use the drill bit that works for your beads.

Prep the Fabric

Painting Mod Podge onto fabric with a brush

Your first step is to prep the fabric using Mod Podge Outdoor. Place the fabric on a piece of wax paper and brush Mod Podge on top (a medium layer) and let dry.

Mod Podge Outdoor can be REALLY thick to work with. My suggestion is to dip your brush in water and use that to stir up the Podge before application.

You can do this outside of the jar as well. You don’t want to add too much water; dipping my brush in always seems to be just enough without diluting. Let your fabric dry.

And if you’re wondering why I’m preparing the fabric with Mod Podge? You’ll see when I trim the fabric.

Paint the Beads

Painting wood beads with orange paint

While the fabric is drying, paint the beads with your multi-surface paint, or another paint made for the outdoors.

It can be hard to paint (and annoying) to paint wood beads. Using a dowel rod helps. Slide the beads onto the dowel while painting.

Attach the Fabric to the Slats

Cutting the fabric with scissors

This is part of the reason why I prepped the fabric with Mod Podge. I cut a piece of fabric slightly larger than each slat with the scissors. Your fabric won’t fray during this step because you prepared it (and there’s an even better reason coming up).

Repeat for each slat.

Adding Mod Podge to a wood slat with a paintbrush

Work one slat at a time, applying Outdoor Mod Podge . . .

Smoothing the wood slat down onto the fabric

and smoothing the fabric down onto the slat, gluing it in place. I find that it worked best when I laid the fabric down on my surface, face down, and smoothed the slat down onto the fabric.

Using a brayer to smooth down the fabric

Then I turned each slat over and used the brayer to completely smooth it out. Wipe away any Mod Podge that squeezes out the sides between the fabric and slat with a brush.

Repeat with the rest of the slats and let dry for an hour or so.

Trimming the fabric from the wood with a craft knife

NOW you’ll know why I prepared the fabric. Place each slat onto a cutting mat and trim the excess fabric off with a craft knife.

It’s a HUGE pain in the butt if you didn’t prep the fabric! It’s much easier to cut (it cuts like paper) if you do the preparation stage. At least that’s my experience.

Repeat with the rest of the slats.

Mod Podging over the top of the fabric and wood

Coat them all with Outdoor Mod Podge and let dry.

String Up the Doormat

Stringing the wood doormat with beads and rope

Now comes the super fun task of threading everything together! I made Steve do it. He started by tying a knot at one end and twisting the nylon cord through the beads . . .

Using wire wrapped around the cord as a "needle"

THEN he realized that wrapping some wire around the cord made an amazing “needle” for threading our wood doormat!

Threading the rope through the holes in the doormat slats

He threaded all of the slats together with wood beads in between . . .

Knotting the rope at the end of the slats

then pulled taut to tie knots at the end. He trimmed with scissors and then melted slightly with a lighter to seal.

Your final step is to spray the entire thing with the clear acrylic sealer, several coats, to reduce tackiness from the Mod Podge and add further protection.

DIY wood doormat

The finished DIY wood doormat looks AMAZING outside of our place. It’s a great woodworking project for beginners, so I’d love for you to try it.

What do you think of this wooden doormat? Are you a fan of mid-century inspired style? We’d love to see your projects! I’d also love for you to check out these related projects:

Georgia @ Silver Spiral Studio

Friday 10th of July 2015

I love this! Congratulations on the beautiful final result. Thanks for such a thorough tutorial.

sarah o

Thursday 9th of July 2015