I got this little doormat at IKEA. It cost €2.99. After about 6 months of use (indoors) the edges started to do this:
We all started to trip over it.
At €2.99 I admit my first thought was to throw it out and buy another, which is a pretty crappy thought and indicative of the wasteful and overindulgent Generation X attitude that will lead to the ruin and eventual destruction of the earth.
I repaired the mat and saved the earth. I thought I’d show you how in case you want to repair a mat and save the earth too. Plus the mat turns out prettier, so wins all ’round.
The first step is the most painful – cut off and remove the old edging.
Cut yourself four 10cm (5 in) lengths of wire, 18 gauge or fatter*, and bend them to right angles.
Plug in your hot glue gun and get that sucker firing.
Cut yourself four lengths of bias tape to fit the edges of your mat with at least at least 3cm (an inch) overhang on each side for you to fold over.
As you can see above I didn’t leave myself enough overhang but was saved by being able to stretch my bias tape.
I used 20mm (3/4 in) binding as it was what I had on hand (but I would’ve liked it to be a little wider – go for a 25mm (1 in) if you can).
Check that your wire fits the angle of your mat corners and then glue it in place. The wire will enable you to turn down the dog-eared corners, letting your mat live another day.
Then glue down your bias tape, starting on the top side of your mat (the side that faces up). Try to line it up so that it sits just under the holes from the old edging (so you can reuse the holes for sewing).
And wrap your cut ends over the sides of the mat to keep it tidy.
Once you have all the top sides of your binding glued, give it a moment to cool. If you start pulling the tape around to the back before the glue has set your binding will shift and look most unattractive.
Then you can flip the mat over, wrap your binding over the edge (and the wire) and glue it down.
Now the fun part – blanket stitching the edge. You’re gonna need a big strong needle of some sort:
Your first stitch should go in from the back and pop out on the edge (I just used a dab of hot glue to secure the thread tail).
Then you can carry on blanket stitching along the straight edge, using the old holes if you like (much easier).
Then you might decide that your mat is looking way too Christmassy for this time of year so you might pull it all out and start again with another colour (I used DMC perle cotton No. 5 but would’ve loved to do this with kitchen twine).
With the corners, I took a stitch at the very point, which worked out nicely.
Continue around the mat to where you started and there you have it. I can’t tell you how strong the urge was to go on embellishing (cross stitching alongside that chevron) but I made myself stop because I really wasn’t sure how well the whole thing was going to hold up. After all, folks were going to be wiping their feet on this puppy.
Here it is complete and after 2 months of use. It’s stood up pretty well. Every time a corner gets out of shape you just fold your wire to fix it up.
Sometimes the stitches get scuffed and this happens:
All you have to do is push them back out to the edge and it looks great again.
If you really wanted to make it super hardy you could make your own bias tape out of canvas and use something more durable (such as sharpie pen-coloured fishing wire) to sew it up.
It’s only a small act, but I felt pretty good about repairing this doormat. By using odds and ends I had lying around the house I kept it out of landfill and saved the resources that would’ve been needed to produce a replacement.
Think of the children: save your doormats!
*Wire is sized such that the smaller the number the larger the wire. So the sizes thicker than 18 gauge are 16, 14, etc, not larger numbers as you might expect. I’ve been caught out on that before.