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Thrifty halloween door decor

To set the mood for Halloween in your home, one of the easiest things you can do is to update your front door decor with a spooky little facelift. Since it’s the first thing you see when you arrive home, a display on your doorstep instantly creates whatever tone you want for the season. And, it’s easy to have a lot of fun with doorway decoration because, in such a small space, a little bit can go a long way. Today we're the spooky secrets that added spirit to this stoop with a DIY customized door mat and a bat frenzy Halloween “wreath.”

Does it seem like all of the best looking doormats are super expensive? Sometimes it's cringey to have to spend more than $15 on something that you'll literally be wiping your feet on. So, it's always a good idea to keep an eye out for small rugs and mats when you're thrifting. Goodwill West Texas often has inexpensive, basic mats, and with a little time and paint they can be turned into something tasteful and trendy. This Halloween project, features a time-honored quote from our old friend Billy Shakespeare's Macbeth. But, you can customize your mat exactly the way you want. First, let’s gather up our supplies…

Materials for the customized mat

  • Welcome mat

  • Poster board and painter’s tape or contact paper

  • Small, coarse paintbrush

  • Porch paint (or any latex paint) – You don’t need much so ask if you can have a sample!

  • Exacto knife

  • Scissors

  • Pencil

  • Paint mixing stick

  • Access to a computer and printer

  • Scrap cardboard

Step 1: On the computer, open up typing or image editing software. Write your chosen phrase in whatever fonts you like best. Visualize the layout of the phrase on your mat. Place plain paper out on your mat so you know how many pieces will fit (standard mats will probably fit a rectangle of four full sheets of paper, 2x2 landscape orientation, with a little extra space on every side). This will give you an idea of the size font you’ll need. For example, the word “wicked” on our mat takes up about half the width of the mat (centered) so we kept increasing the size until it took up 1 ½ sheets of paper since the mat could almost fit three sheets. From there, we could estimate the other font sizes in comparison to this one. Print your text whenever it looks about right. If it looks bad when you’ve got it laid out on the mat, just adjust the size and reprint!

Note: Don’t worry if your text gets cut off slightly (like the bottom of the W in “wicked.” The printed text is just to make a template so, as long as it’s not a lot, you should be able to fix this when you’re cutting.

Step 2: Trim your poster board or contact paper as closely to the same size and shape of your mat as possible. Our poster board was a couple of inches skinnier than our mat, so we just made sure the top and bottom lined up appropriately and was careful to center the design before pulling out the paint.

Step 3: Trim the excess paper off of your text and lay it out on your poster board or contact paper in whatever way you choose. When you find the right layout, stick it in place on the poster board.

Step 4: With cardboard under your work area, cut your letters through both layers of paper with an Exacto knife. Remember that letters with holes in them (like As, Ds, etc.) will need to keep their centers so create a little bridge that attaches these to the template. You can correct it after the stencil has been removed. At this stage, you can also fix any text edges that got cut off by the printer (see the bottom of my W).