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Have you seen tutorials on how to personalize your own door mats? Most of the tutorials will use piece of vinyl cut on a Cricut or Silhouette. The vinyl is stuck directly on the rug and used as a stencil.
You know with my obsession for screen printing, I had to try screen printing on these door mats. And, I’m so excited to report that it works!
Why Screen Printing Vs. Vinyl Stenciling Door Mats?
Vinyl stenciling is when you use an adhesive vinyl and stick it directly on your mat. Then you dab the paint over the stencil with a paint brush. This method works great if you are doing just one door mat.
What if you want to sell door mats? This is where screen printing is more beneficial. You can use one piece of vinyl and make dozens of mats. Once you finish printing the first door mat, just place the next blank under your screen and you can keep printing.
Think of how much time you will save weeding the same design over and over. If you are selling doormats in your Etsy shop or at craft fairs, this is a great item to make in bulk while keeping your expenses low and saving time.
Plus, with this method, you don’t need to peel of the vinyl from your rug. Just lift the screen and you’re done!
Creating a Hinge Frame for Large Items Like Door Mats
If you love screen printing, I always recommend investing in a 1-color or 4-color screen printing press for making t-shirts. Or, using a hinge frame when you’re screen printing on paper or similar flat items.
My Speedball hinge frame is 10×14 which wasn’t large enough for my coir door mat. Plus, that frame only works when items are fairly flat – like paper bags or cardstock.
For this project, I needed to create my own DIY hinge frame that would be sized perfectly for the TRAMPA door mat I found at IKEA.
Supplies Needed for Creating this Hinge Frame Setup:
- Speedball Hinge Clamps (1 pair)
- Piece of plywood, 1/2 inch thick and at least 3 by 14 inches
- Clamps (large enough to clamp your table + the 1/2 inch plywood)
NOTE: I found that the 1/2 inch plywood plus the height of the hinge clamps was the perfect spacing for this TRAMPA door mat. If you use different clamps or a different mat, you may need to adjust the size of your plywood.
Watch The Process on YouTube
How to Build Your Own Hinge Frame for Door Mats
Space your Speedball Hinge Clamps about 12 inches art on the plywood.
Drill a hole and screw in the screws included with your hinge clamps. These screws are just a tad bit too long, but they still work. You may want to place a piece of tape over the back so it doesn’t scratch your table. You can also use shorter screws if you prefer.
Securely clamp your plywood piece to your table.
Slide your screen printing frame into the clamps and tighten.
Place your coir door mat on the table under your screen printing frame.
Now you’re ready to use your hinge frame to screen print on your coir door mat. Keep reading for tips on that.
Screen Printing with Vinyl on Door Mats and Rugs
If you aren’t familiar with my method of screen printing using vinyl cut on your Cricut or Silhouette, start here for more details on the process.
For this 1’4″ x 2’0″ TRAMPA door mat, I am using a 16×20 Speedball screen printing frame. The size of this frame allows you to print in the middle of your mat. If you have a design that will go to the edge of your mat, you’ll want to use a larger screen.
I used Speedball acrylic ink for this project. This ink dries permanent and doesn’t require any heat setting.
Using a hinge frame for this project is very important. It took quite a few squeegees of ink to get enough coverage to fill in the groves of the door mat.
If you are screen printing without a hinge frame, you won’t be able to lift and lower the frame accurately to add more ink.
With this hinge frame setup, I was able to keep checking the ink coverage until it was filled in nicely.
There were a few spots on my mat where the shorter fibers didn’t get enough ink. I filled these spots in with a paint brush. For my mat, this was just 2 or 3 small spots, so screen printing still saved me a ton of time!
Tips for Screen Printing Personalized Door Mats
- Use a graphic squeegee. A firmer squeegee will allow you to press the ink into the mat. I used a combination of a 15 inch squeegee and a 10 inch squeegee. The 15 inches allowed me to go over the entire design in one squeegee. But, it was a little hard to handle this size while pressing firmly. I found the 10 inch size was a little easier to handle and overlapping the strokes didn’t make a noticeable difference.
- Be careful not to bump or move your mat while lifting the screen. If your mat moves, you won’t be able to place the screen back down in the right spot to add more ink.
- Don’t leave your mat on the ground to dry and then step on it (speaking from experience… tracked ink all over my carpet..haha!)
I hope this tutorial helps you create your own personalized door mats! I’d love to see your projects – be sure to tag me on Instagram @pigskinsandpigtails