Time-Out Rug {using vinyl as a stencil}

As an experienced nanny, I’ve always had a variety of opinions on the effectiveness of ‘TIME-OUT’s’ (among other things) as a punishment for tots. But now that I’m a parent myself, all previous opinions are out… the… WINDOW. Can I get an amen?

I’m not really wanting to get into a discussion of discipline… but we do use time-outs. Not so much as a consequence, but more of an opportunity for them to calm down and think about their actions. It’s been very affective… for the most part.

We have a designated spot for time-out’s, affectionately called ‘THE CORNER’.

The Time Out Corner ~ DIY Time-Out Rug {Sawdust and Embryos}

They know that’s where they need to go to calm down and ‘reboot’. But when we go to Grandma’s for the holidays, or go on a short weekend trip… it complicates matters because they aren’t in a familiar environment and there are all kinds of new distractions.

So I decided to buy a carpet square (AKA Portable Time-out Mat) from our local hardware store for .99 cents.

Carpet Square Time-Out Mat {Sawdust and Embryos}

It stays in ‘THE CORNER’ until we travel… when we bring it with us!

But you know I couldn’t stop there. It was tooooooo PLAIN! I’m no stranger to painting rugs, so my wheels were turnin’! I told my friend Dana (who does my vinyl for all my projects!) of my plans and we brainstormed together trying to figure out a cute phrase related to time-outs that I could paint on using vinyl as a stencil. Things like ‘SHE did it!’ or ‘Out of Order’ or ‘BUSTED!’ …but the one I decided to go with is: ‘It’s all fun and games until somebody gets a TIME OUT!’


And then Dana drafted up a few amazing examples on her bad-a$$ software, and this is the one I chose!

Dana's Decals N Decor {Sawdust and Embryos}

Then she cut it with her Vinyl-cutting machine! After weeding and applying transfer paper, we peeled off the backing. (those lovely man-hands are those of my sexy man-boy assistant).

Time-Out Carpet Square ~ using vinyl as a stencil! {Sawdust and Embryos}

Next, we trimmed the edges and laid onto the carpet square… sticky side down. After confirming that it was good and centered, we pressed ‘er down good and firm-like.

Time-Out Mat ~ using vinyl as a stencil {Sawdust & Embryos}

Then we VERY carefully peeled off the transfer paper. Since we’re dealing with a soft/fibrous surface, the sticky vinyl won’t adhere as strongly as it would if you were applying it to furniture or a wall, so be careful not to lose any little pieces in the process!

Using Vinyl as a Stencil ~ Time-Out Mat! {Sawdust and Embryos}

I was planning on leaving the border around the outside to be painted as well, but Nick talked me out of it. And I’m glad he did. I taped off the edges with painters tape, and spray painted it black with some leftover spray paint we had lying around from previous projects.

Vinyl as a Stencil {Sawdust and Embryos}

I let it dry and off-gas for several days… ain’t no need for fumes around my babes. Finally it was time to haul that bad-boy in the house and start removing tape and vinyl! MY FAVE PART!

Time Out Mat {Sawdust and Embryos}

Soooo far so good!

Are you SO anxious-slash-excited? ME TOO!

Using Vinyl as a Stencil on a Rug {Sawdust and Embryos}

I’m always a little bit nervous removing vinyl after painting… but it almost never fails me. Check out how perfect it came out!

Portable Time-out Mat ~ using vinyl to stencil a carpet square! {Sawdust and Embryos}

It fits perfectly in ‘THE CORNER’ and we will definitely be taking it with us when we travel to see family this Christmas. Because the girls need a place that they’re familiar with to simmer down.

Here’s Della trying it out… shortly after she got caught jumping on the couch.

DIY Time-Out Rug... customized and portable! {using vinyl as a stencil} SAWDUST AND EMBRYOS

FINE PRINT: No babies were harmed in the making of this post. And Della got lots of snuggles after this photo because I felt guilty for photographing her distress. Please… no hate mail.

Sawdust and Embryos

This post is in no way sponsored by Dana’s Decals ‘N’ Décor… but she’s my friend and does amazing work, so you should definitely check out her shop! Here’s the link to the vinyl design I used for this project! Her vinyl can also be used for etching glass or mirrors, or simply wall décor!

Decals N Decor

Click the images below to check out some other projects I’ve done using vinyl as a stencil!

Orang End Table Using Vinyl as a STENCIL!! {Sawdust and Embryos}_thumb
Chalkboard Cubes Woodgrain Desk
Woodgrain Profile Plaques Wine Rack
Butterfly Dresser {Sawdust and Embryos} Fingerpainting Craft for Toddlers {Sawdust and Embryos}
Woodgrain Vine Coffee Table 3-Tier organization using old tins and candlesticks {Sawdust & Embryos}


  1. Aww, sweet Della. I love/hate sad faces. Sometimes it is all I can do to contain my giggles when my 18 month old gets upset over something seemingly insignificant.

    Slightly OT, are there secret locking doors on the ends of your hutch!?! I love secret compartments!

  2. I love that!! We had a chair and it worked. When I was little I had a little bench for time out and way back in the 70′s, it had a vinyl decal! Lol! It read: This little stool is mine, I use it all the time, to reach the things I couldn’t, and lots of things I shouldn’t. I may have to make one when I have grandbabys one day!

  3. Such a great idea! Is it horrible that I find that sad picture of Della extremely cute? She’ll look back at it one day and laugh :) The rug turned out perfect. Let us know how it works in a different environment. Sounds like I’ll need something of this sort in the short future.

  4. Love it! Any chance we could find these in your Etsy Shop in the future?

  5. Aww.. even when crying they are still adorable. My son responds to time outs really well..mainly he can’t stand to be still in one spot…alwyas has to be on the go go go.. This would be a great idea for him since he has the same issue of not having that familiar spot to go to when he is at grandmas.

  6. I LOVE it. My little Hurricane Isaac needs one of these, too. Or, like 4 of them.

  7. Dang, nice work with the stencil! and yes, secret doors – awesome!

  8. love this idea! and im sorry, but i always have to smile, giggle, and try to hide my laughing at small children and their crying faces~!!! lol shes so stinkin cute!! bless her!!!

  9. Well, I’m having a “time out” myself right now, eating a banana at my desk. I can’t type and do real work with sticky fingers, so I figured I catch up on Beth’s blog. What a gas! I’m laughing so hard I’m crying! I’m sure you’ll bring this little mat this weekend, Beth. Can we put candy on the mat?

  10. I love the photo of Della in time out…just adorable and tugs at the heartstrings at the same time.

  11. I’ve seen Time Out chairs, but this is awesome! I love the saying you put on, and what a perfect gift for my grandson…I mean, daughter to use with her son. lol
    Debbie :)

  12. It’s so silly that you have to give a disclaimer for putting your own child in timeout! LOL every parent does their own thing with discipline! Do your thing!! :) We have a time out bench.

  13. LOVE the disclaimer at the end! LOL

    Nice job on the stencil work!

  14. Dana Schoppe says:

    Thanks for letting me be a part of your creations!! Love it!!!!

  15. Kathy Epley says:

    Beth, Great project! And I love the phrase, too. They understand what it is for at your home, and they will be familiar with it wherever you are,

  16. Adorable. Love that face!

  17. My grandmother LOVED to photograph her grandkids crying. She used it as a reminder to herself that we were not always perfect little kids, like she wanted to think of us as! :D

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