Star-Spangled Welcome Mat

Follow this tutorial to dress up a plain entry rug for Independence Day with easy handmade star stencils!

outdoor mat with stenciled red stars
Project Overview
  • Working Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Skill Level: Kid-friendly

Intro: Use stencil plastic (or leftover contact paper!) and our free template to make a set of perfectly-shaped star stencils. Pick a pretty and inexpensive rug, and paint over the stencils to transfer the pattern. We love the way the red stars pop against our blue and white striped rug!

What You'll Need


  • 1 Stencil plastic
  • 1 Crafts knife
  • 1 Repositionable spray adhesive
  • 1 Woven or low-pile rug
  • 1 Latex paint
  • 1 Stencil brush


  1. Prepare stencils

    stencil for stars on welcome mat

    Use our free star template to cut star shapes from stencil plastic or contact paper. Since you'll be using the negative of the stencil, it's helpful to leave a few inches around the star—this will make it easier to paint later. If you're using stencil plastic, use a spray adhesive to secure the stencil to the rug. If you cut the shapes from contact paper, peel the top layer off and attach the adhesive side to the rug.

  2. Paint rug

    outdoor mat with stenciled red stars

    Adjust the stencils to create the perfect star pattern for your rug. Use a stencil brush and carefully paint latex paint (or outdoor acrylic paint) over the cut-out area of each stencil—be careful not to go over the stencil's edge. You may need to apply more than one coat to get the look you want; when you're done painting, let the rug dry completely before removing the stencils. Use a smaller brush and the same paint to do any touch-ups, and let the rug dry again before placing it on the front porch as a warm welcome for summer guests.

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