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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Traveling Project #2 - Car Mat

This is the second in our Traveling Project series. Be sure to check out the other posts in this series. And stay tuned for a post from Heather about traveling on an air plane with small kiddos!

My mom found this awesome Cars material about a year ago and said she wanted to make Andyroo a play mat for his cars. This was before Thomas the Train - even before Toy Story! We've gone through a few character phases since then, but he still loves driving his cars around.

Close up of the top material

I found this awesome vinyl material in the remnants at Joann's and instantly knew how I could use it!

Can you see the texture on the vinyl? It looks kind of weird. I've actually looks and looked through all the fabric at Joann's and haven't been able to find it anywhere. I had enough for the project, but I was just interested in finding out more about the material. Anyone know anything about this material?

Anyway, I used this for the back of the mat, black side out. I like that it gives the mat a little bit of grip and strength, but is still easy enough to fold and store.

Luckily, this project just involved straight lines because, at the time, my sewing machine was sewing only in reverse. Yeah. It didn't make the project any easier and resulted in a LOT of pin pokes. I was pretty desperate to get it done before our trip to Arizona, which is why I put up with the whole reverse thing. It didn't effect the project very much until I put the binding on. Binding is hard enough to do without having to reverse everything you would normally be doing. Up close, the binding looks pretty wrinkly and horrible. See? 

It's a good thing I made it for a two year old who doesn't really care if the binding is straight or not.

I decided to use binding because of the thickness of the vinyl. I didn't even want to try and double up the vinyl to do any kind of hem on it. Since I used a binding, I just sewed the top and bottom together with the right sides out. Sew on the binding and voila! T fun little play mat for your crazy car driver! The finished size is about a square yard. But you can easily adjust this to be the size you prefer. I chose this size because that's what I could get out of the vinyl remnant (I actually pieced together two big pieces of the vinyl to get this size).

The two pieces of vinyl pieced together. Sewn together, then I sewed the sides down to prevent an awkward lump.

We took this on our trip to Arizona instead of train tracks for Andyroo's trains. We could easily pull this out in the car while we were stopped and then fold and go when we were read. We even pulled it out while we were there and the kids loved it!

Be sure to check out our other articles and projects to help prepare for your vacations:

Traveling Project #1 - Neck Pillow
Traveling Project #3 - Quiet Books
Traveling on a Plane with Small Children
Road Trips with Small Children

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