Sunday, May 18, 2014

Homemade Sensory Play Mat

Hi friends!

It's time for more Ultimate Baby Blog Hop fun! Guess what...

I made a quilt! 

Let that sink in for a second.  A quilt. With a top, and a middle, and binding. Binding! It also turned out exactly like I had it in my head, which pretty much never happens. I'm pretty proud of this thing, not gonna lie.

Owen is almost 6 months old now (hold me!), and he wants to explore everything! He's not mobile yet, but he spins like a clock hand when he's laying on his tummy. I wanted him to have a play mat that would let him explore all sorts of sights and textures.

Here is what you need for a 36 x 36 inch play mat:

  • 1 1/2 yards total for top fabrics (I used quilting cotton (airplanes), flannel (stars), and minkee)
  • 1 1/4 yards backing fabric
  • 1 1/4 yards quilt batting
  • bias tape or quilt binding (I used satin)
I chose different fabrics for different reasons. I knew I wanted minkee because it's soft and dreamy, and the bumps add a nice texture. I loved the flannel because the stars stand out really well against the white background. When I saw the airplanes they were a given because my husband is a pilot, so we airplane all the things. It doesn't hurt that they're adorable!

I wanted each stripe to be a different size, so I quickly sketched out what I wanted and made sure my total added up to 36 inches. Then I added an inch to each strip to account for a 1/2 seam allowance. Cut strips. Sew strips. Easy peasy. I added ribbon loops between the center strips to add some fun texture. Owen can grab them, or we can attach toys to them.

The bottom strip has some buttons sewn onto it. I wanted to make sure they were really going to stay put, so they are stitched through both the fabric and the batting. They give Owen something else to explore, and stand out nicely on the white flannel. 

Once the top was stitched together I cut a 36x36 square of both the batting and the backing fabric. Then I sandwiched them all together and zig-zag stitched straight down the seams in the top. No fancy quilting here.

Once the whole thing is quilted together, add the binding. You can use plain bias tape, but I really like the satin binding. It added one more texture to the whole thing, and I love how the satin contrasts with all the softness of the rest of the quilt. I had never done a mitred corner before, but they're actually pretty easy! SewNews has a very easy to follow tutorial.

And you're done! Seriously, if I can do this, anyone can. All said and done it only took me a few hours. 2 naps, tops! Now you have a nice soft place for your little one to explore. Lots to look at, lots to feel, lots to learn! Since it's relatively small it is also super portable. Perfect for outings or playing in the back yard with big sister.

It is also excellent for exploring your toes.

This guy was a total grump for all of these pictures. Not a smile to be had! Apparently fussing his way through a 2 hour nap didn't do it for him today. Are you ready for the grumpiest blog model ever?


Look at that face! He just laid there like "what is happening, and why am I here?" #keepinitreal.

Go, make this play mat! It is so much easier than you think, and you will be so proud when you are done!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Today is a very fun day in the blog hop. Everything is about play! Take a look at all the goodness going on across the web!

*Sensory Play
Mirror Play for Babies - Still Playing School
Jewelry Sensory Box - Trust Me, I’m a Mom

*Gross Motor
Baby Play: Newborn Exercise - True Aim Education
Combining Gross Motor & Art - Bambini Travel
Tummy Time Entertainment - Hand Made Kids Art
Tummy Time: Why & How? - The Inspired Treehouse
Baby Play: Rolling a Ball - Wildflower Ramblings
How to Encourage Baby to Crawl- The Realistic Mama

*Busy Boxes & Baskets
5 Fun Busy Boxes for Baby - Squiggles & Bubbles
14 Treasure Bins for Baby - Wildflower Ramblings

*Outdoor Play
5 Ideas for Playing Outdoors with a Baby - Barefeet on the Dashboard
Outdoor Play Ideas for 0 - 12 Months - Winegums & Watermelons

*Arts & Crafts for Baby
9 Tips for Painting with Infants - The Stay-at-Home-Mom Survival Guide

And there's still time to enter the giveaway! Get on it!

Be blessed,


  1. Well done you! I love love your sensory play mat and your LO looks so happy on it!

    thank you for sharing your creation with the #pinitparty

  2. This is adorable! You are so skilled, I wish I could quilt (or sew at all for that matter!) My boys' grandma made them an I-Spy quilt (which we adore!)- we just posted a blog about it as well :) There's so much to learn through textiles. I'm sure your son will love his for years to come <3


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