When I was little, I hated picking up toys when I was done playing. I thought it was such a waste of time! Picking up 1000 little legos, mini doll furniture, etc. Total waste of time! So my mom made a big toy storage play mat with metal rings on the corners so when we were done playing, we’d pick up the corners and go hang the whole thing on the nail in the closet. Done!
The best part of the play mat, was that she drew a “Town” on it with roads and farms, etc. We all loved it. We’d play on it for hours: building houses out of legos and Lincoln Logs, driving all over town, Grocery shopping, getting dinner from the drive through… Good fun! It was a favorite in our house. (We especially loved not cleaning up toys when we were done playing!)
I wanted to make one for Madison and since I don’t have a big closet to hide it in, I backed my mat with a decorative fabric so when it is hanging up, it will be a little cuter than just the back of the white canvas with spots where the markers bled through.
This is a super easy project!
1. Cut your fabric into squares — the size you want your toy storage play mat to be. Just remember that it’s going to hang up so if you make it HUGE, it might puddle. LOL
I used a fabric I found at Walmart for $1.50/yard for the back and a white fabric I had on hand for the “town” but I think a drop cloth would be a great choice for the blank fabric as it would be very durable.
2. I drew my town with a pencil first and then went over it with Fabric Markers. You could let your kids help with this part. At least they could give input on what features to put on the mat even if they are too young to draw them.
I added a farm, park, houses, Home Improvement store, parking spaces, lots of roads, etc.
3. I put good sides together and sewed all around, leaving a small opening so I could turn it right side out.
*I zigzagged as well as straight stitched.
4. Turn right side out
5. Fold the opening under and sew it closed, stitching close to the edge.
6. I made fabric loops by folding strips of fabric in half, 3 times over to make them thin and strong.
*You could use metal rings and sew them onto the corners.
7. Then I snipped off the corners of the mat, folded both sides of the “Mat” fabric inside and inserted the loops.
8. I sewed them in place with a straight stitch across and re-inforced with several rows of zigzags.
*You don’t have to snip off the corners, you could just sew the loops on top of the mat but it looks cleaner if they are tucked inside.
Of course, if you don’t want to draw a “Town” on your play mat, you could just make a decorative fabric mat that your child can play on with whatever toys and enjoy the easy clean up!
The toy storage play mat makes clean up a breeze.
If you don’t want to hang up your play mat, pick up the corners, and then dump the toys into their storage container. It’s faster than picking up 10,000 pieces and putting them in the bin by hand! Then you can fold up your mat and store it away too.
Next time your child is ready to play, lay out the mat, dump a new set of toys onto it and let them “Go to town”!
Tags: Crafts, Play TIme, projects and tutorials, Sewing