Designer: Lisa Storms
I created this on-the-go activity mat for my 3 year old, who always wants to haul his car and tracks around with him when we leave the house. Not only is it a confined (and super cute) play area, it also comes with pockets for his matchbox cars. The whole thing rolls up into a neat, small bundle that is tied together for extra security. I don't know if my son will have more fun playing with it or if I had more fun making it! I am glad I had my versatile and high quality Fiskars sewing tools to make this project go together easily.
Instructions (Print version)
1. To keep the road structure very simple, cut out four 5" x 7" pieces of scrap paper and place them in a grid on a half yard of gray felt on a cutting mat two inches from the edges and from each other. (You can alternately draw out any road system you can imagine free-handed to cut out.)
2. Draw around each with disappearing ink fabric marker and remove. Draw in any driveways needs (I added one for the car wash).
3. Cut out all marked areas out with ruler and rotary cutter.
4. Trace roadway onto iron-on adhesive paper and trim.
5. Follow packaging instructions to iron onto roadway and iron roadway onto green base fabric.
6. Once cooled and secure, sew around all road edges with gray thread.
7. Add a running stitch of yellow embroidery floss through all roads. Note: I didn't worry about where dotted lines would be on a real road since kids this young aren't usually aware of what the lines mean and crashing is the most fun part of playing cars anyway, right?
8. Trim green base fabric 1 ¼" around top, right, and left side of roadway. Trim fabric 4 ¾" from left side of roadway.
1. Cut out felt gas pump and canopy using a rotary cutter and ruler.
2. Cut off 5" from end of black shoe string and securely (several times) sew trimmed end onto green base.
3. Sew all felt pieces onto base with gas pump covering sewn-on shoe string.
1. Cut out felt pieces for stop sign, building, roof, and washing flaps.
2. Sew on all pieces as shown being sure to add flaps first so tops are covered by building.
3. Sew on four clear button bubbles.
1. Cut out pond, lily pad, grass, and cattail.
2. Sew all pieces onto green base adding stems on cattails with thread.
2. Sew silk flowers onto lily pad with button center.
1. Cut out felt dirt mound and safety cone.
2. Sew all pieces onto green base. Sew only one line through safety cone as shown so it can be pushed up during play.
3. Add "under construction" ribbon or twill around dirt mound by sewing down with embroidery floss every couple inches.
1. Fold blue fabric in half (iron crease) and trim to 3 ¾" wide and the length of your green fabric.
2. Sew ribbon trim along folded side of fabric.
3. Lay onto left margin of green base and pin evenly approximately every 3 inches.
4. Sew line at each pin to form six compartments.
1. Fold wide checkered ribbons in half and sew down each edge to form thinner ties.
2. Lay green base over striped exterior fabric and trim to size using ruler and rotary trimmer.
3. Place fabrics right sides together and pin, adding two long ribbons folded in half pinned into the inside of the fabrics.
4. Sew around perimeter leaving 5" gap to pull mat right side out.
5. Use stuffing tool to create neat edges and corners and iron perimeter.
6. Hem and pin 5" opening and sew final stitch around entire mat.
Tip: Be sure to customize your car mat for the age of the child. For example, for a young toddler you should consider forgoing any buttons or small pieces and replacing the ribbons with a velcro closure.
Fiskars Brands: 45 mm Comfort Grip Rotary Cutter
Fiskars Brands: 24 Inch x 36 Inch Mat
Fiskars Brands: 3.5 x 18.5 Acrylic Ruler
Fiskars Brands: 12-in-1 Sewing Multi-Tool
Fiskars Brands: No. 8 Razor-Edged Scissors
Fiskars Brands: Pinking Shears
Other: Assorted felt, fabric, and ribbon, sewing machine and thread, embroidery floss, sewable iron-on fabric adhesive, disappearing ink marking pen, buttons, silk flower, shoe string