Who can we find behind the doors and windows of this little red house?
Open it up…
…and what do we see…
…and a whole little world awaits:
25x30 inch (62.5 x 75cm) piece of green craft felt
2 sheets of red felt
1 sheet of blue felt
Medium weight iron-on interfacing
Sheets/scraps of different colours of felt
Tacky craft glue
Thread, sewing machine or needle to hand sew
I started with a sketch of the layout (sorry, no fancy drafting software here ), and worked out the dimensions based on the green felt I’d bought by the metre at my local craft chain. (For some reason, I’m working in inches here although I grew up with metric system – go figure!)
Mark the layout from the sketch onto the felt with chalk and cut around the outside.
Cut out long black strips approximately 2 inches wide for the roads (I went with straight roads rather than curvy roads for simplicity, but go crazy with what suits you!). Arrange on the play mat and glue in place. Cut out 1/2 inch wide strips of white felt for the centre lines on the road, and glue in place. (Sorry, no progress photos here – I’m sure you can imagine!)
Cut out various buildings etc from different coloured felt pieces and glue in place (when you’re happy with the layout). The play mat will fold up better if you don’t have anything stuck across the fold lines (which I had marked out in chalk).
I put way too much thought in the layout – Police station as you come into town (as a warning to visitors), petrol station as you leave town, can’t have the hospital next to the construction site (although I’m not sure next to a zoo is that good!), car park across the road from the shops, farm on the edge of town and on and on I went…
Here are some photos of the details:
|Train Station and Lake||Hospital with Helipad|
|Construction Site||Fire and Petrol (Gas) Stations|
|Swimming Pool||Farm and Playground|
|Supermarket (Coles) and Hardware Store (Bunnings)||Row of houses|
I didn’t make templates for any of these, but you should be able to work them out from the pictures. If you’d like any more details or a sketch or two, let me know in the comments or send me an email. I hand cut everything with sewing shears and a craft knife (no fancy cutting machine here!). I used string for the chains on the swing and marked the clock on the train station with a regular ball point pen. Everything else I just cut straight from the felt, or drew on with a quilt chalk pen or disappearing fabric marker before cutting.
A few tips: have a container to put your felt scraps into where you are working and another container for pieces to small to use. I was constantly trimming and those little pieces went everywhere! Also, don’t trim over another piece of felt – that wonderful property of felt sticking to itself is a big nuisance if you do! (Trust me, I made both these mistakes more than once!)
Make cuts along each side of the play mat for the sections that fold up.
Sew strips of Velcro to the handle sections of the green play mat.
Cut out 2 pieces 6x7 inch and 2 pieces 6x6 inch in red felt for the outside walls. Cut out 2 pieces 4x6 inch and 2 pieces 2x6 inch in blue felt for the roof and handle. Cut out 1 piece 6x7 inch to reinforce the floor. Cut and iron on medium weight interfacing to the red wall, blue roof and green floor pieces.
Cut out pieces of felt for the door, windows and apple tree (and any other embellishments you want) for the outside of the house, and glue in place.
Cut out 16 tabs of red felt (approx. 1inch x 2 inch) for the house closures. Sew Velcro circles to the tabs – the grippy, rough ones that stick to the felt.
I didn’t have any red thread and made a mess of sewing the Velcro on, so I cut out more red felt (1 inch square) to cover my sewing. This is optional!
Glue the tabs in position on the back of the green play mat, and then glue the red walls, blue roof and green floor pieces (all with interfacing) in position.
Cut out the hole of the handle using scissors or a craft knife. I also rounded off the tabs so they weren’t as bulky.
Fold it up into a house, fill with cars and take it somewhere fun to play!
Unfold, get out the cars and start playing.
This play mat was inspired by the one at A Girl and a Glue Gun, the playhouse at Homemade By Jill and the take-along toy barn at Serving Pink Lemonade, as well as heaps of others I’ve seen in blog-land.
It’s a handy take-anywhere bag with plenty of space to carry cars and other toys. As an added bonus, it’s big enough to hold all my son’s cars, making a cute storage box in the playroom!
If you use this tutorial, please let me know in the comments or send me an email!