How to Paint Your Yoga Mat and Create a Totally Custom Design

Reason No. 486 to get your namaste on? So you can make — and use! — a personally painted yoga mat. This project is a great way to express yourself, creating a cool piece of art that makes exercise fun.

Painted Yoga Mat

Level: Easy

What You Need

  • Yoga mat
  • Acrylic paint
  • Washable marker
  • Paint brushes
  • Paint palette
  • Palette knife
  • Water

Good to Know

The slightly nubbly-textured, non-slip yoga mats work great for this project and are available at most major retailers for less than $30. Yoga mats that are completely smooth or have a cloth-like coating won't work well. Also, high-opacity tube acrylics work better than the liquid acrylics that come in bottles.


1. Make a Plan

Make a quick sketch of your design on paper before heading to the mat.

Pro Tip

The paint will make your yoga mat a little stickier than normal. If you think this will be distracting, avoid designs on the highest-traffic portions of your mat, where your hands and feet will be positioned during downward facing dog.

2. Outline

Once you have your ideas fleshed out on paper, recreate the sketch on your mat with a washable marker.

3. Start Painting

Mix the paint colors you want to use, being careful not to over-dilute them. Yoga mats are a lot less porous than canvas, so the paint may not stick well if it's too watery.

Once your paint is ready, color in your design however you see fit.

4. Let It Dry

Let your yoga mat dry for a full 24 hours before rolling or using. Even if it feels dry to the touch after a few hours, the paint may not be completely set.

Pro Tip

Acrylic paint can make your yoga mat extra sticky for the first week or so of use. To reduce the stickiness, gently run very fine sandpaper over the paint.

The next time you downward dog, you'll be staring at your custom piece of art!

Good to Know

Whenever your mat needs cleaning, spot clean and avoid abrasive cleaning solutions as they can cause the paint to peel. The paint won't last forever, but this will extend your art's life significantly.

Find Your Next Project

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October 14, 2018
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How to Paint Your Yoga Mat and Create a Totally Custom Design