On Island Time- Kids Playmat Tutorial!

Yep, another Christmas present yet to be blogged about…

Wanna know the inspiration? Well, I’ve had a plan to make my son a fishing game with magnetic fish and a magnetic fishing pole. (Unfortunately, that part hasn’t happened.) Then I thought, a play mat to go with the fishing game would be cool. And then…. A friend of ours loves playing under this big palm-like tree they have in their living room. That’s where the island play mat was born…

Now there will be a series of three of these. 2 for playmates and 1 for my son.

So here’s what it is…. And a mini tutorial….

The play mat has a pier, as well. I was about to sew the pier in place, but decided not to. Thank goodness. Becuase when our buddy started playing with it, the pier was not a pier, but a surfboard. And surfboards are anything but stationary!

And when you’re done, you just pull the ribbon, sinch the play mat and hang it away! Lovely!

And the mini tutorial (sorry, no pictures, but I think it will work for ya. I’ll add pictures when I make mat #2)…



Fabric for front. Pieces and amounts vary by your design…

An old sheet for the middle.  1 1/2 yards square

Fabric for the back, I used fleece. 1 1/2 yards square


1/2″ Ribbon, about 6 yards (or a thin rope if you don’t want to use ribbon)

1″ Ribbon, about 2 yards

Step 1: Design your playmat! It can be anything. The other one I thought about making was a road map for the hot wheels collection….

Step 2: Cut the sheet into a 54″ circle. I did this by 1. Fold the fabric into quarters,  2. Tie a 27″ string to my disappearing ink pen, 3. Hold one end of the ribbon at the corner and pull the pen around the other side to make a quarter of the circle. Cut this out.

Step 4: Cut out the back fabric. Same technique as Step 3.

Step 5: Start designing the top playmat and cut the pieces.

Step 6: Sew the top pieces to the middle, sheet piece.

Step 7: Layout the top and bottom pieces, right sides together.

Step 8: Cut tabs about 3.5″ and fold. Insert tabs between the top and bottom with cut ends sticking out. I spaced mine about 12 inches apart.

Step 9: Sew all the pieces together leaving a 8″ hole to pull the mat through.

Step 10: Pull the mat through the hole so it’s right side out.

Step 11: Topstitch around the edge.

Step 12: Add the ribbon (or a thin rope) through the tabs. Leave enough ribbon so that the mat lays flat when open.

Step 13: Make any accessories that you want to.

Step 14: Cinch up the playmat and give it to your child for some big bright smiles!


  1. Jenny Mullins says:

    this is absolutely remarkable!
    I love it!

  2. i love this, too.
    somehow simple. but really brilliant.
    fantastic for all kids.

  3. This is neat! I’ve seen something similar that you keep small toys in like legos and then cinch it up when they are done playing with them on the mat to put them away. A great DIY version!


  1. […] Another playmat! Pretty much the same as the one before, you can find the tutorial to make your own here, but with a different background and different accessories. I’m really trying to play along […]

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