Even though you may not think about it much, the welcome mat to your home is pretty important. Do you consider your home a fun house, a family house, or an obsessed pet owner house? The tone of your welcome mat can let people know what kind of a place they are entering. A personalized mat can also let your guests know they are at the right house. I recently went to the wrong apartment when visiting my friend Hillary because I didn't pay attention to the fact that, although the apartment looked the same, the welcome mat was all wrong. That should have been my first clue. To ensure that people know they are in the right spot, you can make a cute personalized welcome mat with your last name and keep any confused guests to a minimum. I already have my welcome mat needs met, so I'm going to make a "Larson" one for Elsie and Jeremy.
First you'll want to cut a piece of contact paper that is just a little bigger than your welcome mat. Mark where the edges of the mat are on your contact paper so you know your boundaries when writing out the name. In big bold letters, write the last name on the bottom half of the contact paper. Make sure to draw on the top of the contact paper and not the peel-off bottom. I drew on the bottom side and had to make a new template halfway through. Doh! When trying to center a word, I usually start with the middle letter(s) and work out from there so I can center the name correctly. Make a simple house shape with your ruler around the middle 2 letters (or if you have a longer name and smaller letters, you may want to do it around the middle 4 letters instead).
If you are concerned about your free-hand letter making ability, you can always print your name in the size and font you want, and then use those letters as a guide to trace around. Sometimes I like the perfect-as-possible look, but this is a project that can look a little more hand drawn and still be really cute.
Peel back the contact paper and place your design onto your mat. The contact paper isn't really sticky enough to stay on the textured mat, so I taped the edges to the underside of the mat so it would stay put. Dab the porch paint on the exposed mat with a stiff, small brush. You'll have to hold any loose letters or letter parts in place with your fingers while you stencil. Even though the mat is very textured, the contact paper does a really good job of keeping the paint off the covered areas. You can really work the brush down into the bristles to make sure you get an even coat of color, just do so carefully as you get closer to the edges of the letters so you don't go outside the lines.
This is actually a pretty quick afternoon project, but it's one that you'll get to enjoy everyday as you go in and out of your house. If you have a super long last name (I hear you on that one…), you can modify the name part with another word or a shorter nickname for yourself. Sometimes we use "GMAN" because GUMMERMAN doesn't always fit on things. And our nickname also makes us sound like cool FBI agents from the 1930s, so that's a bonus, right? xo. Laura
Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman, Photos edited with Stella from The Signature Collection.