JULY 30TH, 2008 8:11AM PST 

Today we're making a river rock doormat from collected or purchased rocks. This project can easily be adapted as a bathmat as well. All you'll need is a mat, rocks and adhesive.

For a doormat, just about anything you can spray with a hose will work. Just remember that you'll be seeing it through the spaces in the rocks so make sure it's complimentary. People have reported success with mesh wire, plastic mesh, old rubber doormats, and flexible shelf liner which is what I'll be using. Target sells this liner by the roll in a large variety of colors so you can easily match it to your rocks. I bought a large roll in black for $4.49. Shelf liner also allows you to make your mat as big as you'd like. Just remember it will be heavy with all those rocks so only make what you can lift.

If you're creating a bathmat, your mat has to allow for water to evaporate. I've heard success stories from people using plastic mesh (think tile backing) with a few rubber pads to grip the mat to the floor. The contact liner also works as long as you have good ventilation. The liner resists mold and mildew but you still want to the water to evaporate quickly.

Next you'll need your rocks. You can collect your own or buy them. If you're collecting keep in mind they won't be shiny without a coat of polyurethane. I bought mine at at Michaels for a $1.49 a bag. It took six bags to cover a 2.5 X 1.5 foot mat. If you'd rather spend less time arranging the rocks, buy larger river rocks from Home Depot.

Choose an adhesive. Since my mat will be used on an enclosed porch I used Loctite Power Grab which works for environments that aren't often wet. If your mat will be exposed to rain, or is being used in a bathroom, go with landscapers adhesive. Just be sure to use the adhesive outside with adequate ventilation and gloves.

Ready to assemble?

1. Cut your mat to your desired size. I cut mine into a 2.5 X 1.5 foot piece.

2. If your rocks are dirty, clean them and allow to dry. Sort out the rocks you want to use and lay them out on your mat until you're satisfied with the arrangement. Try to keep the rocks as flat as possible for a smooth surface.

3. Lay a plastic drop cloth under your mat to catch the glue drips, then, one at a time glue your rocks down.

4. Let dry then peel off the plastic. If any plastic stuck to your mat just peel it off, or use a stiff wire brush to scrub it loose.

4. If you'd like your mat to be sturdier, enforce the bottom with chicken wire or a finer grade wire mesh in between another piece of your mat material.

Additional Ideas:

*Small colored pebbles would also work well for this project.

*Use this same technique to create table runners, trivets and coasters. Try using cork tiles as a backing.

*Add a monogram or design using different colored rocks.

*A natural colored rock mat via BoingBoing:

*If you're interested in doing this project as a loose bath mat, Apartment Therapy has plans for a wooden framed pebble mat.

*Buy a pre-made natural river rock mat here or a polished black stone mat here. Or check them out for inspiration!

8 Responses to “River Rock Mat”

  1. please sir Says:

    Oh how lovely – so great for a bathroom!

  2. Karen Says:

    That is a GREAT idea…I love it.

  3. Sara Christine Says:

    I love the look of that for a bathroom. It would feel like a spa every time you step out of the shower!

  4. admin Says:

    It’s really nice in the bathroom as the rocks get heated up! =)

  5. adult friend Says:

    adult friend…

    Cool topic…I thought about your points and must say I agree with a lot of what you mentioned. I’m going to share your blog with my loyal readers. …

  6. Screendoorgirl 3 Says:

    Nice mat! I love anything with rocks or pebbles and I also like how they feel under my feet.

  7. mary Says:

    I was wondering how the glue held up on the mat…I am thinking about a large size one…did any of the rocks work loose

  8. admin Says:

    Hi Mary! That specific glue held up for a LONG time! Eventually (after a year at least) I took it out of my bathoom and used it outside and it started to get a bit beat up. But inside it did really well! Good luck- I hope you love the look and feel of the rocks as much as I did!

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