Friday, May 24, 2013

Wooden Slatted Doormats

This project was pre-blog so I am lacking in pics, sorry about that. I have been wanting to make these wooden doormats from Martha Stewart for years. 

Only I have always lived in apartments where my front door was in a carpeted hallway, so it never made sense to make the mat then. Now I live in a town home and this was one of the first projects I completed when we moved in. I actually made two of these mats, one for the front door and a matching one for the back patio. 

First, I measured my front door (I figured I would just do the back patio to match). I decided on how wide and how long I wanted the door mat to be. I came up with roughly 36 inches wide (3 feet) and 20 inches long. Next, I headed down to my local hardware store. Usually, I buy super cheap wood such as pine, poplar, or douglas fir. But seeing as this project would be sitting outside in the elements I decided to go with red oak. Thus making this project a lot more expensive but to me it was worth the added expense. 

I found the red oak 2x2’s pre-cut to 18 inches long, this was just two inches shorter than I had estimated I wanted the mats to be. I was ok with the missing 2 inches to save me from cutting larger pieces of wood down to size. I laid the 2x2 pieces of red oak directly on the floor in the store. Knowing that they would be tied with rope I left a tiny bit of space in between. I just kept adding pieces until I came to three feet. 
After getting home I drilled holes into each piece on both ends about 2 inches in from the end. And I drilled holes in the middle of each piece. 

Next, I stained each piece with Rustoleum’s Kona. I think this is one of the prettier colors I’ve ever used. After staining I used 4 coats of poly-coat. Since the mats would be outside I wanted the mats as protected as possible, especially in the rain. 

Now came the tedious part, tying all the pieces of wood together. I sat down with my rope (I used sisal rope) and all my pieces of wood and thread each piece of wood onto the rope. Between each piece I made a knot. I did the middle section last on each door mat. This process took about two hours and my fingers hurt afterwards, this was definitely the sit down in front of the t.v. and watch your favorite show portion of the project. 

When I first went to thread the rope into each hole I realized the rope was too big. But not to worry, after investigating the rope further I realized it was actually three pieces of rope intertwined into one. So I first untwined the rope into each individual piece, which ended up being the perfect width for the holes. I also want to mention the sisal rope made a big mess on my carpet because little pieces of the rope kept falling off, this is nothing to worry about, it’s just the nature of sisal rope, but be sure to have the vacuum handy after finishing with the rope. 

I finally have my Martha Stewart door mats, that I waited for all these years. I can also tell you that they’ve held up outside for about a year now. The only thing is because I used such a dark rich color you can see dust on the mats and from time to time I have to wipe them down with a wet rag. I think if you were to use a more medium to lighter brown you won’t have this issue. It’s kinda like having a dark colored car, it shows all the dirt. 

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