Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Make It. Clothespin doormat.

It's time to get out the power tools and portable vice again. This project, making a doormat from doll's head clothespins and a small-gauge wire, is probably at the intermediate level of crafting, but definitely worth the trouble.

A nice doormat really sets the tone for your house. It can be welcoming, keep your floors slightly cleaner, and be a nice accessory. This doormat says "whoever lives here cared enough to get out the power drill just to make the floor nicer for you, visitor" -- at least, that's what I imagine it saying to my guests.

I saw this in the excellent ReadyMade Magazine book "How to Make [Almost] Everything: A Do It Yourself Primer." They have pretty good directions in there, too, but this is what I did.

What you'll need:

1. A power drill -- any bit will do, but definitely not the smallest you have
2. Thin gauge wire -- cheap and accessible, you can get this for about $1.50 at any hardware store
3. wire cutter
4. Portable vice/any vice
5. 30-100 Doll's-head clothespins -- not the ones with the spring on them, but the old-fashioned type, not easy to find but I saw them at Ace Hardware (they're the one's pictured above.)

I found that every doll's-head clothespin I saw was unfinished wood. At first this didn't seem like a very big deal, but then after about two weeks on the ground, my nice, new doormat looked five years old. So you may want to paint or finish the clothespins before starting this project.

Drill two holes in each pin: One in the head portion, since it's thicker and less likely to snap, and one through the two "legs" of the pin.

After about 30, lay them out and kind of gauge how this is looking. Does it fit your stoop? I didn't need many clothespins because the area outside my kitchen is so tiny, so I probably only needed 30.

Again, for those who are not familiar with a power drill: Never stop drilling until you have pulled the drill all the way out. You will go through quite a few drill bits to figuring this out. I did, and it made my cheap, $3 mat cost about $20.

Lay out all your drilled clothespins and string them together with wire. If you stagger them right, you won't have to wrap wire sideways keeping them together because they will be held in place.

-- Lauren Williams

Photo credit: Matter's of Style

1 comment:

  1. would love to see a photo. Having a hard time envisioning how they all laid out and connected. Sounds really cool though.