Dress Up Your Front Entry with This DIY Punch-Needle Doormat

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.

welcome mat with bonjour
Photo: Jason Donnelly
Project Overview
  • Working Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Skill Level: Beginner

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.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • 1 Pencil
  • 1 Printer
  • 1 2.2-mm punch needle
  • 1 Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • 1 Scissors


  • 1 Acetone
  • 1 Woven rug
  • 1 Embroidery floss


  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

Updated by
Kate Malo

Kate Malo is a skilled graphic designer with over 15 years of experience.

As a writer, graphic designer, and art director, Kate has worked with Better Homes & Gardens' niche titles and publications, like Storage and Beautiful Kitchen and Baths magazines.

She founded her own photo styling and art direction company, Kate Malo Design and Creative, and her clients included Meredith Corporation, Yoga Journal, Heart of Iowa Wine Trail, and others.

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