A Little Crafty... Make a Playmat

by Somer
The inspiration for this project was a little boy, a birthday party, and a pack of dinosaurs.
I love imaginative play as much as the next girl, but all the little pieces sometimes get to me. So to give a gift full of little pieces, without a home for those little pieces just didn't seem right. This little bag unfolds to reveal a home and a place to play, and really the posibilities are endless.
It could have a track for race cars or skate boards, you could make the top patchwork with rooms for dolls or Littlest Pets. Or once dinosaurs are so yesterday, the same playmat can hold army men or animals.

To make it, you need: 2/3 yard main color fleece, 2/3 yard exterior fabric, scraps of fleece for environment, 2/3 yard webbing, a 7"zipper, and toys.

From main fleece and exterior fabric, cut rectangles 24 1/2" x 21". From exterior fabric cut a rectangle 9 3/4" x 25". Cut environment pieces from scrap fabrics.
Pin shapes to the main piece of fleece and using a zig zag stitch, sew the pieces in place.Finish (either serge, zig zag, or fold) short edges of 9 3/4" x 25" rectangle, and fold over 1/2". Pin folded edge to zipper and stitch 1/4" from zipper on both sides.
Turn bag inside out with zipper about 1 1/2" - 2" from top fold and pin on both sides.
Sew both sides and finish edges.
Unzip zipper and turn bag right side out.
Pin bag to fleece about three inches from the edge on the 21" side.  Cut webbing in half and pin to both 21" side of fleece as shown, about 4" from corner and with a 2" space between pieces. You want the handles to be placed opposite each other so that you can fold it as shown above.
Pin exterior fabric, right side of fabric facing right side of playmat fleece. Sew around all four sides, catching all the pieces together, leaving a 5" opening for turning. For extra strength I backstitched over the handles. Turn right side out.  Without catching bag in stitching,  topstitch 1/4" from edge all the way around playmat, folding opening to the inside and sewing it closed. (The handles in the picture below were sewn a different way, so just ignore the two squares of stitching in the picture below.)
Fill bag with toys and you're ready to play.


Betsy said...

What a fantastic idea! I love it...and I actually think I might even be able to do it myself!

Miryam (mama o' the matrices) said...

Oh, too cute! And I bet my boys would love planning their landscapes...which is rather unlikely to simplify the project. Hm.

thanks for the idea - and instructions!

Tami H. said...

Yes, we are the lucky ones that got this treasure! The birthday boy absolutely LOVES it! There is nothing like a Somer original! Thanks again!

Hall of Fame said...

Love this! I think this is a project I will absolutely do and enjoy. Especially, since my two boys just got farm and safari animals from their grandparents. Good-bye ziplock. Thanks Somer!

Katie said...

Genius. I love this! Nice Work

katie@ www.hipposanddinosaurs.blogspot.com

Jocelyn Christensen said...

This is fantastic and very sweet!

Kim @ seven thirty three said...

Such a great idea! I love it and I know several little men (including mine) that would love getting that as a gift!

Thanks for linking up with What are little boys made of?

seven thirty three - - - a creative blog

casserole said...

LOVE IT!!! I'm particularly fond of the zippered pocket to keep all the little toys corralled. (sp?) I linked to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:



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