Sunday, February 9, 2014

Nap Mat Sewing How To

The last couple of weeks my patience and fine motor skills were put to the test. I busted out the sewing machine to make lots of gifts for the lovely little ones in our lives, and also a nap mat for the most important little one in our life.

Elijah started a "mother's day out" type program at our church. We call it school. Really, he plays with, eats with, and takes a nap with 8 other 12-24 month old toddlers two days a week. So obviously, when you start "school" you need a nap mat! Well, since I thought it was unsanitary to buy a used one, and I couldn't buy one new, I took on the challenge of making a nap mat. I found some tutorials on the web, but I pretty much just made up my own design as a hybrid of all those tutorials. (SCROLL DOWN TO THE BOTTOM IF YOU CARE NOT HOW TO MAKE A NAP MAT AND JUST WANT TO SEE THE FINAL PRODUCT).

Supplies:
queen size foam mattress pad
fabric (I used sheet sets)
blanket
sewing supplies (sewing machine, needles, thread, scissors)

I (ahem, Andrew) started by cutting the foam mattress pad into 4 pieces


1/4 of a mattress pad, then I stacked 2 quarters for extra cushion for the nap mat
 I used a fun graphic sheet set for the fabric to make a washable cover for the foam. The white printed fabric is the part a napping kid lays on. I cut 1 rectangle 39X29 inches from the white and one the same size from the dark blue. I simply pinned the white fabric to the dark blue fabric on the shorts sides (top and bottom), inside out.


I also pinned a fleece blanket to one of the long sides, toward the inside so that when I flipped everything right sides out, the blanket would fold over the kid.


Next, I sewed the pinned layers together on the top, bottom, and blanket side.




On the 4th remaining side, I sewed Velcro. Flipping the edge of the fabric over to create a clean hem, I pinned Velcro with the "soft" side facing in, and on the dark blue I pinned the "rough" side facing out.



Doesn't it look inviting? Why doesn't the adult work day include nap time with a nap mat?



After a couple weeks of toting around the nap mat to and from Elijah's school looking like this….

Cinched together using a tie-down

I decided to add something to wrap it up neatly. I simply sewed four 3 inch wide by 28 inch long strips of fabric by folding them long ways in half, then sewing the edges together with a 1/2 inch border, right sides in. Then I turned the right sides out, folded in one end and sewed it shut to make it look neat. Then I had to pick out some of the "bottom" of the hem to the original nap mat cover in order to create "holes" to stick 2 of the long strips back into the hem, about 5 inches inward from each of the sides. Next I stuck the 2 strips in the "holes" and sewed the part that I picked out. Now I can roll the mat up and tie the ends together to look like this…


I found similar nap mats on Etsy.com for $60 (and I made 2 nap mats with the listed materials). So to add to the "handmade items" of our grand total for purchases…

Year-to-Date Numbers
Secondhand Item Expenses:  $91
Would-be Cost if Purchased New:   $215
Handmade Item Material Expenses:  $30
Would-be Cost if Purchased New:  $120

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