Monday, January 17, 2011

Jungle Playmat Fun

     I made this cool felt jungle playmat a while back for my kiddo, and I'm so happy with how it turned out!  She's 6 1/2, but has an imagination that won't quit and LOVES playing with all of her Schleich (and other) animal figures. She wants to be an animal rescuer and a vet. Isn't that precious?  We found that we were constantly cutting out blue construction paper for water, making toilet paper tube trees, and shredding green paper for grass ALL. THE. TIME. Yes, that was creative and fun, but after the 100th time of doing that I decided to try something more permanent. I love to make things with fabric just as much as I do with paper, and I have a total of MAYBE $5 wrapped up in this project.
     For this project you need: 
felt, needle, thread, batting, sewing machine

I started with a square of green felt and just began randomly sewing on the first jungle "parts" I could think of, using both machine and hand-stitching. The pond was the first, then the log (right corner) which I just held in place and sewed along the sides to make a tunnel. The cave was the trickiest part and it took me a while to get just the right position. I honestly couldn't describe how I did it! I just kept twisting and turning until I liked it. I still think it could be a little roomier on the inside. For the trees, I rolled the chocolate felt piece and hand-stitched together into a tube, then hand-stitched them to the green base using a blanket stitch both times. I then added a chocolate brown "top" to the trees before adding the leaves randomly around each one.  I thought both light brown and green would make good jungle grasses, so I layered a piece of each, sewed right down the middle with my machine, and snipped the edges to the seam and fluffed them up. Can you tell what the little mound is? It's a meerkat mound, with pretend holes for the tunnel openings. :)  I added batting underneath before sewing it closed all the way. Once I had the top all finished, I added a second layer of green felt to make the base sturdier and machine-stitched all the way around. I really love how it turned out!

The little red and white square of fabric in the one picture is not attached. It's just a "picnic blanket". Jungle animals DO have know this, right?
     Email me if you have any questions about making one of these for a little one YOU love. Thanks for stopping by!


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