Tuesday, January 12, 2010

How to make a City Play Mat for toy cars

Here is another gift I made this Christmas. I ended up making 3 of them and only used scraps that I had on hand. Well almost, I did end up having to buy one spool of yellow thread since I ran out after I finished the 1st one.
First I drew out a plan on a piece of paper. Then transferred the road on to one of the base fabrics. I then went through all my scraps and found what would work. I cut out pieces for all 3 at the same time so I could sew all 3 in a production line and not have to keep switching thread.
I was thinking of using fusible web to place everything down but I didn't feel like wasting all that web and time. So I just pinned when needed.

I first sewed on the windows and doors to buildings. I used adhesive felt for the doors and letters since it was easier to cut out and stick in place, the only problem with this is my sewing machines didn't like the white adhesive felt. The needle got really sticky and gunky and the thread would break, so I can to do those pieces by hand - I am not a hand sewer so this was a pain. Thankfully the other colours weren't as bad, a few skipped stitches and had to wipe down the needle but otherwise I could use my machine and avoid hand sewing everything.
I used a small zig zag to sew the road down. Then started on the buildings. If fabric was a woven like some of the houses - I zig zagged around them. If they were just felt, like the school and fire hall, I just straight stitched around them.

The lines on the road were just yellow thread in a wide zig zag. To speed things up I didn't measure them out, just eyeballed them, using my presser foot as a gauge for length and distance between them. To avoid having to back stitch each line I just started each line with a couple straight stitches and ended the same way and since the stitch length is so short it keeps it from coming apart. I also didn't cut anything threads between lines while sewing, I waited and did it all at the end.
To finish off the mat, I just cut another piece of fabric the same side and sewed around leaving a space to flip and then pressed and top stitched all around, closing the hole.

Since I gave 2 away as gifts I printed out the photography I took of play mat set up with other toys we have and then folded with a ribbon. I like how it looks very professional.
It was a lot of work but I think they turned out fun, my girls are enjoying the one we kept.
The one set I gave with a set of cars, the other I gave to a boy who I knew had a ton of cars so I gave a set of animals for the zoo.


leilalou said...

Wow, that is fantastic.Thanks for sharing the idea. I may attempt one though don't know if will look as professional as yours. Happy playing.

Eddie said...

If you made several different ones, you could put them together to make a big city. More ideas at Road Play Mats.

GianneCurry said...

This is awesome! Seems like a lot of work, but so worth it. Totally something kids would play with over and over. =)

Gianne from cowsgomooandducksgoquack.blogspot.com

Vone said...

It was a lot of work but my girls still pull it out to play with it. It worked well with the Little People playsets.

Liz Taylor said...

This is exactly what I'm looking for to make for my nephew. You did a great job!

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