Saturday, November 20, 2010

More Fun with Felt... Fold & Button Playmats

Watching Miss S having so much fun road-testing the Felt-board Birthday Card from my previous post, I decided to make something similar to send to NZ for all the preschool-aged cousins and friends she has there.

These mini felt mats fold and button down flat and are very light.  I think they would be an wonderful travel toy - great for the chair pocket of a car or plane, or even to pop in mum's handbag to bring out while the family are waiting for dinner at a restaurant.

In addition to the fun the child can have making pictures with the felt shapes, the buttons on the front will help them practice the fine motor-skills involved in buttoning and un-buttoning.   The button wrap can also be used as a felt-mat to make pictures on.

To make one you will need:

* A large piece of mid-blue felt, about the size of a piece of printer paper
* Another piece of felt same size as the above, in red or whatever colour you like (for the button wrap)
* Felt scraps in whatever colours you like
* Scissors, or a rotary cutter and board
* Pencil and light card to make templates
* Needle and embroidery floss in white and to match the colour of your mat (in my case, blue)
* 2 largish buttons (or you could close the wrap with velcro or domes if you prefer)
* Sewing machine to make button holes

Stitch a border around your large piece of blue felt using two strands of the embroidery floss and a running stitch.

Begin to cut out shapes.  I started with the squares, rectangles and triangles, and used my rotary cutter and mat.  This was a super-quick way to do it as I needed enough shapes to make four mini felt mats.

I used the measurements on my quilter's board to cut the shapes quickly and without having to make marks with a ruler and pen.

Here's my cupcake template if you want to do cupcakes...

... and my bacon and eggs.

And here is the mat showing all of its pieces.  For instructions on how to make grass, stars, moon and trees, please refer to the instructions on my felt-board birthday card post.  I found the best way to cut multiple pieces with an irregular shape, such as the cupcake pieces, tree trunks etc, was to cut one from felt and then place that on the felt and cut around it.  This also means you don't have pen marks on any of the pieces.

Now for the buttoned wrap.  Fold your playmat in thirds as shown then take a measurement of it's height (from A to B).  You want your wrap to be about 1cm shorter at the top and the bottom.

Cut two strips of felt using this measurement as your width.  My strips were 3 & 1/2 inches wide.

Using a tight and wide zig-zag stitch, sew your two strips together as shown.

Now wrap it around the folded mat and note if any needs to be trimmed from the short edge.  I had to take 1.5 inches from either end of my wrap.

Now border the wrap with a running stitch, using two strands of your blue embroidery floss.

Now make two button holes with your sewing machine.

Wrap it around your folded mat and pin.

Removed the folded mat from the wrap.  Thread a needle with your blue embroidery floss and bring it up from the back through the button hole to mark where the button should go.

Sew on your buttons.

All done!

My road-tester gets to work...


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  1. How do you come up with these amazing ideas?!?! This is super cute and my little girl would absolutely love this. Definitely a great travel idea.

  2. Hi Margaret! I am midway through a 12-day stint without my husband, so I've become a right-old spinster up to my eyeballs in felt scraps! :)

    It's good though, it has given me time to experiment and problem solve some of my projects, but most importantly make a LOT of mess without any guilt. These were a labour of love - I went to bed a few nights feeling very dissatisfied with how they were going, but they turned out well in the end.

    Can't wait for your next post! x

  3. They are fantastic! You are just so cleaver.

  4. I neeeeed a rotary cutter and a quilters board! i love this idea :)

  5. Yes, get Santa to get you those two things for Christmas - they will change your life! :)

  6. i love this idea! coolest thing i have seen in a while! love your header too-gosh i am a sweet tooth!
    amber x

  7. These are awesome, from a south african living in new zealand for the past 12 years, so lovely to have found your blog.
    Check mine out too if you feel like it .

  8. this is so incredibly fantastic! I think I need to make one, thanks for the inspiration!

  9. Wow! I love this idea - so creative! And I am somewhat jealous of the country you live in.... would so love to go to those Christmas markets! New Years greetings!



Thanks so much for your comments - I really appreciate them!

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