The warm weather is almost here and therefore it’s a must to have fruit themed gear! I thought of creating a simple and easy cushioned play mat to use outside for my daughter to play on. Making this mat was intimidating at first, but fun once you get over the intimidation! Read on for the full baby play mat tutorial create one of your own!
Supplies needed for baby play mat tutorial:
- Canvas Fabric
- Quilt Batting
- Muslin Fabric
- Sewing Machine
- Steel Ruler
- Hot Glue Gun
- Fabric Glue Sticks
- Acrylic Paints
- Paint Brush
- Heat Transfer Vinyl (optional)
- Pom Pom Trim
Step 1. To begin this baby play mat tutorial, cut your canvas fabric, quilt batting and muslin fabric to the same size. For mine, I did a 42 x 44 inch size as my muslin piece was only 45″ wide.
Step 2. Pin your fabric together, making sure the quilt batting is in the middle of the two outer pieces. Sew along all sides.
Step 3. Once sewn, divide the square into three sections, draw a line to mark and sew along the line. You should have two lines going across the square mat – this is to secure the fabric and batting together so the fabrics move less.
Step 4. For the edging, you can use binding to hide the edges of the quilt, or if you like an easier option, you can do as I did – fold the edge twice, making sure the raw edge is completely inside the second fold. Pin the fold and sew it down to create a puffy border. For the corners, since it was too thick, I hot glued them down with fabric glue.
You may notice I did this step before Step 3 which was a mistake on my part! It definitely is better to do step 3 first to avoid the fabric not laying correctly.
Step 5. Once your mat is finished, it’s time to decorate! I wanted a fun and imperfect watermelon print so the first thing I did was find the center of the mat. Once you find the center, draw a rough circle – I basically used string tied up to my pencil, with the other end still in the spool. Keep the spool firmly in the center of your mat while you draw a circle with the pencil. It’s not a perfect circle, which is what my goal is, but if you would like to create a perfect circle you would have to tie the other end of the string to a pin or something similar to hold it in place instead of the spool.
Step 6. Paint the outer rim of the watermelon. I used a mixture of greens to create a mid-colored green. Make sure to not load the brush too much to avoid paint seeping onto the other side of the blanket. To make the final product softer, you may want to add some fabric medium to your acrylic paints prior to painting
Step 7. Once dry, start filling in the middle color. I also went ahead and filled the gap between the center and the outer rim with a lighter green color after the center color had dried.
Step 8. Add the ‘seeds’. I used heat transfer vinyl and cut watermelon seed shapes, but you can definitely freehand it and use paint instead! I liked the idea of being able to position it where I wanted it before ironing it down better, and as such is why I chose the heat transfer option.
Step 9. Finally, attach the pom pom trim! My little loves the pom pom trim so I just had to add it on the edging! Attach it with a good amount of fabric glue with your hot glue gun. You may also sew it on for extra strength.
And that’s it for this baby play mat tutorial! While it may be a big project to tackle, the result is a cute mat that will come in handy in the summer months. Use it as a play mat, picnic blanket or even a beach blanket! What fruit would you decorate your blanket in?
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Aki is an avid DIY-er, crafter and designer. She loves trying out new craft materials, processes, and learning about new ideas. She has a passion for designing printed material as well, from free cards, wallpapers and party items. Follow her crafty adventures over at mintedstrawberry.blogspot.ca where she shares DIY tutorials and free printables.