Last summer I made some fancy (ahem…expensive) dog dishes for my doxies Marley and Cooper at one of those paint your pottery places. Of course the bowls are ceramic so they chip easily, especially on my tile kitchen floor. Just in case you forget, Marley will let you know when it is feeding time by pushing the bowl all around the floor, hence all the chips. Plus I hate the sound of that bowl scraping across the floor! I decided to go ceramic initially because he kept flipping over the plastic bowls. Not to mention, the dogs are always getting water all over the floor from the water bowl. So, I have been needing to get some sort of mat to go under the dog bowls.
This is what I have right now…a paper towel. I know, it’s quite classy!
The other issue is that the two dogs have to have their bowls separated because Marley will eat all of Cooper’s food before Cooper can. You can see here that Cooper’s bowl is in the far corner.
Not only do I need a mat, but I actually need 2…and one has to be really small to fit in that little corner. This is a quite complicated dilemma.
So I have searched high and low for just the right mat and they are all either cheesy, just plain ugly, or the wrong size. But a couple of months ago I saw that Home Depot had plain brown grass front door mats for $5 each…sweet! So when I was there the other night I finally remembered to pick one up. For $5, I have to say it is quite sturdy, though I find the life spans for outdoor mats seem to only be about a year.
So I placed the bowls on the mat to decide how they fit. The mat was 30″ x 18″.
From there I decided to cut off 3″ inches off the depth because I didn’t need all that extra mat. It was actually pretty easy to cut from the black with my rotary cutter (I used an old blade of course!). It made a bit of a mess though so I had to keep vacuuming up the little pieces of grass everywhere.
Then I cut a 10″ piece off (1/3 of total size) for the single bowl and left the other 20″ for the 2 bowls.
Then I went and put the bowls on the mats to see if they fit. I think it’s funny that the dogs keep buzzing through the pics as little blurs.
The big one was just right but the little one was a little too long! So I marked some tape on it to see where I needed to cut (since I didn’t have a measuring device accessible).
Now onto the decoration. This is where my series of failures for the night began. I have been stenciling flat surfaces so much that it didn’t occur to me that this mat was too rough. I started with contact paper cut by my Cricut and it didn’t stick! So I had to move to cardstock paper. But the surface didn’t take the paint easily. This is probably why it seems most people use spray paint on surfaces like this but I didn’t have the color I wanted and I honestly didn’t want to make a huge mess with it, which is why I opted for acrylic paint.
First, I tried a dark brown color first that you couldn’t see (you can spy it in a few places if you look hard), then I tried an ivory color. I was using paint from those BEHR paint sample containers (I found a bunch in the oops bin for $0.50) and I put it on with a sponge. I thought wall paint would hold up a little better than craft paint in the long run with the wear and tear from the dogs.
Yeah…that didn’t look awesome at all. So how do you get paint out of the mat? You don’t…you paint over it!
So here is where I go a little crazy and start feeling stressed because it was not at all working out like I planned.
Now I tried the brown paint again on top of the ivory and it wasn’t super legible so I used black slick puffy paint on top of it to define it better. Than I gave it some decorative dots because it looked plain. Just in case you were wondering, I only had a random assortment of puffy paints left over from a Halloween project last year. Otherwise I would have tried to match my kitchen a little more.
But the black and the brown under it kind of blended…hmmm. So the next day I went to JoAnn’s and while I was there I picked up white, yellow, and black puffy paints. I was going to try to figure out a way to highlight the black letters somehow. So I got home and was going to shadow the letters with the white. Yeah…that was an EPIC FAIL! It looked horrible (I didn’t take a pic sorry!) So I had to run and get a wet wash rag and dab out the white. Luckily I could just paint some more brown over it to cover it up!
So I resolved to paint over the black letters again with some more black and that seemed to help make it stand out a bit. Then I put yellow dots between the purple dots (might as well make it for my LSU TIGERS!!!) and called it a day. So this was my end product:
Ok, so my verdict….it came out OK. I don’t love it but I think it is because of the black with brown background. I don’t think I would do that again. I think with better colors I would love it. The slick puffy paints worked awesome though…they stuck to that grass very well but did need two coats in some areas. In the future I might try possibly just use them to fill in the stecil to begin with, rather than regular paint.
But as with anything, crafting can its learning curves and sometimes it doesn’t turn out at all what you thought it would when you started. I initially was going for something simple and understated and this isn’t really it, but it will do. In the end, the dogs bowl have mats that will serve the purpose until the mats gets too dirty. Then I can always try again and make some better ones!
Until later, happy crafting!
I’M LINKING UP TO THESE PARTIES:
Friday: Romantic Home, Lolly Jane Botique, Ooh Baby! Days of Chalk and Chocolate, At the Picket Fence, Fingerprints on the Fridge, Chic on a Shoestring Decorating, Happy Hour Projects, Tatertots and Jello, Sassy Sites, Remodelaholic; Saturday: Be Different Act Normal; Craft Envy, Kojo Designs, Six Sisters’ Stuff, Along for the Ride; Sunday: Homemaker on a Dime, I Heart Naptime, Under the Table and Dreaming, Flamingo Toes, The DIY Showoff; Monday: Craft-O-Maniac, Lines Across My Face, The Girl Creative, Skip to My Lou, Making the World Cuter, Polly Want a Crafter, Cherished Bliss, Dittle Dattle, Sew Chatty, Pinkapotamus, The Gunny Sack, Ask Anna; Tuesday: Tip Junkie, Kurtz Corner, Sugar Bee Crafts, Today’s Creative Blog, A Diamond in the Stuff, Hope Studios, Oops I Craft My Pants, Ladybug Blessings, The Blackberry Vine; Wednesday: Laugh Love and Craft, Lil’ Luna, The Trendy Treehouse, Women Who Do it All, Savvy Southern Style, Sew Much Ado, Someday Crafts, Blue Cricket Design, Ginger Snap Crafts, Polka Dots on Parade, Sew Woodsy; Thursday: Craft, Scrappy, Happy, Somewhat Simple, Passionately Artistic, House of Hepworths, Shabby Creek Cottage, My Repurposed Life