How-To: A Doormat Inspired by The Seventh Doctor

CRAFT: Geek Crafts
By Jessica Wilson
I’m a fairly new convert to the world of Doctor Who. Trying to wrap my head around all the mythology has me spinning like a top. If there is one thing I have learned, it’s that The Doctor, no matter the face, is a man with style. From the Fourth Doctor’s seemingly never-ending scarf, to the Fifth Doctor’s celery stick, or the Tenth Doctor’s Converse and suits, them Doctors sure knew how to mix things up.
Recently I have discovered the awesomeness of the Seventh Doctor’s sweater vest. Have you seen it? It is a mishmash of garishness at its best, with a multitude of red question marks patterned about a bright yellow background complete with pale-blueish green zigs that zag about. So inspired, I conjured up this easy-peasy Doctor Who doormat just for you. After all, I am a sucker for off-kilter primary colors.


Average doormat, recycled or new
1 yard of painter’s cloth or heavy canvas
1 can fast-drying spray paint in creamy yellow; I used Rustoleum Ultra-Cover in Satin Summer Squash
Small bottle of red acrylic paint
Small bottle of aqua acrylic paint
Cardboard from cereal box
or other box
X-Acto knife or similar blade cutter
Ruler/tape measure
Blue painter’s tape
Hot melt glue and glue gun
or clamps
Medium-sized paintbrush or sponge brush
Large sheet of cardboard, optional
4 push pins or tacks, optional


Step 1: Lay out your painter’s cloth or canvas and drop your doormat on top. I picked up this oh-so-lovely number for $4 at Ross. You will want to use a doormat for its weight. Otherwise your painter’s cloth might blow away. The painter’s cloth I used was of the on-hand variety so it has a number of marks on it. Its previous life was that of a hammock in our garden – waste-not-want-not, and all that jazz.
Step 2: Use scissors to cut all the way around the doormat with a 2″ or more edge allowance. Snip off corners at a diagonal.
Step 3: Get to spray painting your cloth. We find it is easier to paint on a vertical surface than a horizontal surface, so this is where the large piece of cardboard would come in handy. Simply pin your cloth to the cardboard with a pushpin or tack at each corner. The background of the design is a bit of a cream yellow. There aren’t a heck of a lot of photos to see the vest well, but I did find a reference from a Doctor Who fan who lists the Pantone and Behr equivalents to the colors in the sweater. They also have a nifty DIY to make the vest if you are of the knitty-crafty kind.
Shake that can up and begin spraying using horizontal strokes and then moving on to vertical strokes. I used Rust-Oleum Smooth Satin Finish in Summer Squash, as the lid of the can looked a lot like the Behr sample for Warm Cocoon. Allow to dry, and repeat if you need more coverage.
Step 4: Flip your painted-and-now-dry cloth over, painted-side down, and lay your doormat on top, also top-side down. Center it as you will and plug in your glue gun.
Step 5: Depending on the type of glue you are using and how hot or cold the temps are where you are working, apply a line of dots along both the edge of your doormat AND the edge of the cloth, quickly folding over the cloth and securing until glue sets with a clothes pin or clamp. It was pretty chilly where I was working and I found my glue dried quicker than I could get the edge folded over, so I ended up working in small sections, gluing a little as I went along.
Step 6: Repeat for all sides, folding over and securing tightly. Allow to cure and dry.
Step 7: To create your question mark stencil, pull up Word or another word-processing program on your computer, and type in a ?, switching it to Rockwell at a size of about 500 pt. Set your margins as small as you can so that your ? will print on one sheet of paper. Print.
Step 8: Trim paper around question mark and tape to your recycled cardboard using your painter’s tape. I used a cake mix box. With the help of a ruler, use your cutting blade to cut out around the edges of the question mark. Make sure you do this on a surface suited for cutting and not the pretty kitchen table.
Step 9: Determine the center of your doormat and position your stencil in place. Tape it down with the painter’s tape, and then add a length of painter’s tape along the top and bottom of the cardboard so that it travels the entire length of your doormat. This will help you keep the other two question marks in line with the center one for a nice, neat row.
Step 10: Use your red paint to paint in the question mark. I used Michael’s brand in Crimson. I would recommend using a sponge brush. Two coats will probably be needed as well. Allow to dry. (I painted my question marks in with a paint-brush and this simply took far too long and made for choppy results.)
Step 11: Once dry, carefully remove stencil and determine where the next question mark should go. Make sure the back-side of the stencil is free of wet paint before you do this.
To determine placement of your side question marks, place your stencil to the left or right side of your center question mark, keeping it within the taped lines. Eyeball it first, then use your ruler to determine an equal distance from the edge of the question-mark-to-be to the edge of the one already painted. Mine ended up being just shy of 3″ from each edge. Tape into place and paint.
Repeat for the third and final mark. Remove the stencil once everything is dry.
Step 12: The zig-zags were created by using the painter’s tape in an eyeballing-it kind of way. Beginning with the bottom row, create a downward point using the dot of the question mark as your guide. Each dot should hover above a downward point in a chevron, with the upward points in between each question mark. The top row will be done in the same manner. It makes more sense when you look at the picture.
Step 13: Using your blue paint, paint in between the zig-zags you taped out. This is where I realized a sponge-brush would be better and since I had none, I utilized an old foam curler. I did! Dip it into the paint and dab, dab, dab away! I used the Michael’s Craft Smart paint in Ocean Breeze; two coats covers pretty well.
Step 14: Once everything is dry, remove tape, plop it down in front of your door of choice, and wait for the bell to ring. Guess “Who” is coming to dinner!

About the Author:
Author Jessica Wilson 2
Jessica Wilson is most happily known as ‘jek in the box’ and spends most of her time crafting it up and taking pictures. She can often be found standing on benches over on Flickr and creating all sorts of kiddie crafts on her blog scrumdilly-do! She lives a life of scrumdillydilly and loves to share.

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