At Christmas our family exchanged gifts and one of the gifts was wrapped up in a coffee sack. My daughter worked in a coffee roastery and these sacks are onsold for $2 or given to staff for free. As we sat there in the afterglow, I eyed up the coffee sack “wrapping” and thought, “Hmmm, that could make a really awesome door mat”. So Rach and I sat outside and unravelled the opposite ends, before tying up the loose strings into tassels. Voila! Her door mat was born! Since then, I have been thinking about making one for myself……but how to improve on the original design?
I realised I needed mine to be more padded, so in winter it would absorb some of the wetness of winter rainfall-soaked footwear entering our home. Scouring out the local charity shop, I asked the lady at the counter for an old towel. She took me to the back and handed me one for free. She said it wasn’t good enough to resell and so it was going into the “rags” pile. Beaming a wide smile, I left with my towel, eager to get started.
I first pulled 12cm of the weft strands out of the sack, top and bottom. I then chopped the free towel in half (the other was edged and given away to our very happy Japanese visitor as it had an NZ All Blacks emblem just like the one I used for my mat) and sewed it onto the inside of one of the sack sides. It was a little tricky, as you have to work around the other side and not sew it in the process. That was truly the most difficult part of this project and can just as easily be left out of the process.
Next, I tied knots in the warp (top to bottom) threads, making tassels on both top and bottom pieces of the sacking. I used the weft threads I had pulled out, to sew both top and bottom ends closed with a great big darning needle.
I realised the top was printed with the coffee company logo, but the bottom was plain hessian and needed some zhoushing up. So a quick printing block job did the trick. I printed a row of elephants all along the top and bottom on the bottom side of the sack mat. If you don’t have printing blocks (I bought mine in India), then you could fashion your own basic printing block out of kitchen sponge cut into shapes.
Now I have an absorbent double-sided door mat. The cost….zero dollars and about an hour and a half of my time. As I always say, Frugal is the new Wealth! It looks like something one could buy at an ethnic rustic store. Love it!