If you have a sewing machine, some left over fabric and some time, you can make the most wonderful toys for the little ones in your life with not a lot of expensive or expertise! During this financially unsure time this is a great way to make a lovely Xmas or birthday pressie without spending a fortune. This could probably be made for about £25-30 if you didn’t make it too complicated or too big.
My sons are both car mad. Completely. So I decided to make them a car mat which they could brum their cars on for hours (and they do). To make this even more personal for them you can ask them what they would like to have on it, although of course this can be a mistake if yours, like mine, present you with a very long list of requirements.
I am by no means an expert with a sewing machine. My ‘training’ with one consisted of a few Home Economics lessons when I was 15. To be honest, unless you are a serious perfectionist or planning on selling these on, all you really need is a couple of the most basic stitches. Some of the items on the mat were hand stitched, again in a very basic stitch, but if you dont fancy doing this there is no reason which these couldn’t be machine stitched too. I hand stitched to make it a bit more interesting, and because I could sit on the sofa in the evenings watching tv doing it.
The most expensive part of the mat was the large piece of background fabric, but I saved money by buying two smaller pieces that I sewed together. Trying to find a whole piece of very large fabric is difficult, and as such often costs more. I also bought some novelty buttons in the shape of flowers on eBay to add a bit of decoration, but these were by no means massively expensive.
For the other pieces of fabric, some came from old clothes that I recycled, others from fabric ‘bargain bins’ which can be found in fabric shops and on the net. These are full of small off cuts which are often sold off for a few pence each.
I also bought a bumper pack of different coloured felt sheets for about £5 which I used all over the mat for different things. I have a box full of assorted buttons, which I used for such things like doorknobs, but these can also be bought for a couple of pounds on eBay if you don’t have any you can use.
This mat is more suited to boys (although many of the boy’s female friends love to play too) but it could just as easily be adapted to girls but making it in to a doll’s house, with lots of different rooms, or a play mat with shops, a park etc on it instead. It could also be made in to race track car mat, which is what my son’s are now begging me for so that they can race their Disney Cars on!
This post is just a general overview of what I used to make this one. In the next few posts I will go into more detail on how I made different parts of it.
Be warned, if the children you are making it for know you are doing it then you have to contend with them stealing it every time you add something on to it so they can play. By the time I had finished this my two had already had about 10 hours play on it.
The simple fact is it doesn’t matter how professional it does or doesn’t look at the end of the day, all the children will care about is that it’s theirs and you made it for them, and the enjoyment they get out of it will makes it completely worth while.