It’s my mission to make my back patio reminiscent of the Shire! Earthy colors, green plants, and cozy furniture… I think it sounds absolutely perfect.
To achieve my very own Hobbit-Hole, I have several LOTR-inspired DIY projects in mind. And the first is a Lord of the Rings DIY welcome mat.
While I debated between several Lord of the Rings phrases, I decided to use “Speak Friend and Enter” which is known from the Walls of Moria scene in The Fellowship of the Ring.
I absolutely love how it turned out! And I can’t wait to build out my Hobbit Hole even further!
Make Your Own Lord of the Rings Welcome Mat: Speak Friend and Enter
What You Need:
- Plain coir rug
- Outdoor acrylic black paint
- Foam paint brush
- Two pieces of 12×12 cardstock paper
- Straight pins
- Masking tape
- Cricut Explore Air II and cutting accessories (mat, weeder)
- Speak Friend and Enter Phrase File — DOWNLOAD (left side and right side)
First thing first, let’s talk rugs. I buy all of my plain rugs from IKEA. They are WAY more affordable than if you buy them off of Amazon or even from craft stores. IKEA sells their plain coir rugs in two sizes. To fit my porch, I chose the smaller size which is roughly 23.5 inches wide by 15.5 inches tall.
To start, download the file(s) found in the list above and cut them out using your Cricut Explore Air II (or by hand). Since I did not have a long enough Cricut mat, I split my phrase into two halves in order to cut at the size I wanted. After loading both files into Cricut Design Space, select both layers and resize them to 18 inches in length total. By selecting both layers at once, you will ensure that the file proportions stay intact.
Weed the letters off of your cutting mat and place the larger piece of remaining paper on your rug.
After confirming the spacing you’re after, use straight pins to secure your template in place. Next, add the smaller cutout pieces from within the letters and secure them in place with straight pins.
Once you’re ready to paint, pour your outdoor acrylic paint into a painting dish and get your sponge paint brush ready. For the next step, you may want to wear gloves, as it is helpful to hold down the pieces of paper while you are painting to keep them in place.
Now it’s time to begin painting. Dip your sponge paint brush in the paint (you’ll want to have a good coating of paint on your sponge) and dab the sponge on the area you are trying to cover. Be careful to only dab up and down so that you do not accidentally move or paint under the pieces of your stencil. Take your time painting and, if needed, add a second coat of paint to get your desired color on your mat.
NOTE — Let me add that for each painted rug I’ve made, I’ve always feared that I might have to scrap the entire project and start over. My smaller pieces would shift while I was painting, the paint wasn’t as thick as I wanted, and I could not imagine it coming out legible at all. However, each time it has worked out! Moral of the story, if you feel like you’re doing a bad job, finish the project and then decide at the end if it turned out or not.
Okay, now back to the instructions!
After painting over your entire stencil, let your mat dry. Once the paint is no longer wet (or earlier if you’re impatient like I am), slowly and carefully lift off your stencils.
If needed, feel free to go back and clean up any edges or light spots with extra paint.
Let your rug dry entirely, then display it with pride on your doorstep!
My supervisor kept me in line during this DIY afternoon…
My little Hobbit-hole is starting to come together!
(p.s. I really wanted to glue fake hair to the top of my feet for this photo, you know, to resemble Hobbit feet…. but my husband said that would be taking it a little too far…)