Update a plain cotton rug using just embroidery floss and a simple craft tool. This easy punch-needle project adds a welcome boost of style to your doorstep. 

By Amber Wagner and Kate Malo
May 10, 2021
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welcome mat with bonjour
Jason Donnelly

With just a simple craft tool and some yarn, you can turn a basic woven rug into a stylish doormat with a pretty punch-needle design. This craft involves pushing a special needle through the reverse side of the fabric to create textural loops of yarn. You'll trace the design first, then fill it in with yarn by working in rows. We used black embroidery floss ($1, Michaels) to punch a scripted greeting into our rug, but you can easily customize this project by designing your own message or pattern or by varying the yarn thickness and color. Keep in mind that punch needles come in various gauges. Match your yarn or string size to your needle, ensuring that the yarn slips easily through the tip. This project works best with woven cotton rugs because they're thin and easy to punch through. Follow the steps below to create your own DIY punch-needle doormat.

  • Working time 3 hrs
  • Start to finish 3 hrs
  • Difficulty Kind of Easy
  • Involves Threading, Gluing
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What you need

Tools
Materials
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How to do it

Part 1

Step 1

Download and print template

To create our "Bonjour" design, download the pattern template using the button below. Enlarge the pattern to suit the size of your project, then print with a laser printer. You can also create and print your own custom design to personalize the project.

Download the Template
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Step 2

Transfer design to fabric

Transfer the pattern template to the reverse side of the rug with a pencil or the acetone transfer method. To transfer using acetone, place the template facedown on the back of the fabric. Using a paper towel dampened with acetone, apply heavy pressure to rub the back of the template.

Step 3

Thread needle and begin punching

Thread a 2.2-mm punch needle with embroidery floss and begin punching along the design in a single row. Double the punches for a bold line, or vary the width for an inked look. The fabric is too bulky for embroidery hoops, so just hold the rug taut as you punch. Prevent snags by dabbing hot glue on the back of the rug to secure loose ends. 

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Step 4

Finish the punch-needle design

Check the face side of the project frequently to be sure your stitches are staying put and there are no bare spots. To finish the project, clip the embroidery floss and pull the cut end through the front side of the project. Trim the excess.

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