a work in progress ... car playmat

Last night before bed, I couldn't get a project out of my mind.  I've been wanting to make a playmat for Oscar to drive his cars on for quite a while.  I even bought the fabric for it last fall, and have been stewing over it ever since.

We had a playmat in the house when I was a kid, and it was awesome.  We played with it all the time!  I was always under the impression that my mom made it for us, but turns out it was made by my Aunt Kathy.  Mom was nice enough to email me some photos:



It had all familiar places on it, like the church, school, bank, etc.  Most importantly, it had a Jack in the Box (my dad worked for the company for many years).


I still have a long way to go, but I thought I'd share some of my sketches for buildings I'm planning for Oscar's playmat.  It will include all the important places, like Grandma and Grandpa's house, daddy's office, our playground, Trader Joe's, In-N-Out, etc.  :)



I also hunted around online for some playmat ideas and came across this very cute and simple tutorial for a portable playmat on the Fiskars Craft blog:

 (photo from Fiskars)

I love the little flaps on the car wash and the shoelace gas pump.  Cute, no?

38 comments:

Sonya said...

Wow! That is such a great idea! I am bookmarking this right away.
Now that I have a baby boy I will have to learn to speak cars language ;)

I'm a full-time mummy said...

Thanks for sharing this! I'm also bookmarking this! :)

Peggy said...

That is adorable Jill-- I can't wait to try that for a small friend.

Jen@Notes From the Heartland said...

I have added this to my project list for my little guys. They would absolutely love this!! And what a terrific example from Fiskars..I love the little buttom flower on the lilypad! Can't wait to see your finished product!!

Jessica said...

What a great idea! It's lovely you have memories sewn into you childhood playmat, a nice idea to carry on for our kids. I like how the fiskars mat has pockets for the cars.

clare's craftroom said...

Oh wow what a great idea !

Lyn Dwyer said...

glad you liked the project on our Fiskars Blog Jill....love what you are doing....

xoxo
Lyn Dwyer

Lead Fiskars Ambassador

Gwen said...

This gets all sorts of creative juices flowing. So clever. I can't wait to see your final project!

The Robinsons said...

Oh, how fun! I can't wait to see what you come up with. (And yes, the shoelace and car wash are out of sight!)

Annette said...

What a great idea.. good luck with it...

The Stringham 5 said...

Holy cuteness! What a neat idea. I love that darling little pond. And the carwash with the button bubbles? I'm dying over here! Can't wait to see what you come up with!

Liz @ LivingMySweetLife said...

i am in love with this! Thank you. I love finding sewing projects for boys!!

Phoenix Rising said...

My mom made a "matchbox" blanket for my brother when he was little - it was pretty big. She put in parking lots, a helipad (for the single matchbox helicopter he had), a park & police station... and she made sure the roads "extended" off the blanket... when the next little brother came along he got his own matchbox blanket that could hook up with the original one! This brought back TONS of memories!! Those blankets were always being spread out and used on the dining room floor. Your son is going to LOVE playing with this!!

Lettie said...

I'm excited to see how it turns out and love the Fiskars link. I've been wanting to make one of these for my boys too (complete with some slots to carry the cars). We have one I bought from Alex toys that also becomes a bin to store the cars in, but they never use it the way it was intended to. I might still make them one anyway - probably especially after I see your finished product. I love you site.

Tracie Carlton said...

Very cute idea - wish my little guy was little again, I'd be ALL OVER this project with you! It is one of those projects that needs to be "pre-planned"... I'm sure yours will turn out awesome - once you get around to it!

LeAnne said...

My mom made one of those for us too back in the day. But seriously we must be on the same wave-length. I am wanting to make a new version as well and am trying to think up what to do. Too funny...

What are you using for your base material? My mom used duck cloth, but today's duck cloth seems more heavy than what she used.

Brynn said...

What great inspiration!

The Wohlleb Family said...

That is such a great idea!!! You have a Trader Joes-I am so jealous!

Rebecca said...

I just made a Car Playmat for my son and it has been a HUGE hit! Yours is way more personal than mine. Such a cute idea!

My tutorial is at http://happybabydesigns.blogspot.com/2010/04/car-playmat.html

EvaBabeDesigns said...

How funny! I just recognized all my local hometown places: courthouse, trader joe's etc. and realized that we're both in SB!!

Carlie and Trent & Co. said...

That's the cutest little car mat I have ever seen! I just made some for my twins recently, but this is so much better! Love the car wash!!

the Spartan said...

Precious! Have fun with it!

Field Notes said...

Shoelace gas pump is genius.

sharla@mylittlegems said...

I saw this one from the internet too- and loved the car wash idea. Love that you have the one from your childhood. so cute! I have my quiet book from my childhood. And like you, my car mat is a work in progress. ... haven't touched it for months but each week right down "make boys car playmat..." sigh. so little time. :)

inday_adin said...

Oh my goodness, that is so cute! Very creative. I don't know if I can do that. Hmmmmm... maybe I should try. Have fun and share us the finished project! :)

Micah C said...

I love the applique! I just painted mine. You can see it at
www.micahcmicahdo.blogspot.com

Thanks for great ideas!

Sandee said...

my grandma made one similar to this for my older brother, but it was an actual quilt complete with prairie point edges. we referred to it as the "village quilt". I'd love to get my hands on that thing now. :)

Maria said...

I have been wanting to make one too since I had one my mom made growing up. I am sooo excited to see your version. I am sure it will be amazing!

Michelle said...

Hey Jill!
My mom found some really awesome fabric playmat similar to this and added backing to it. I'll see if I can get it and send you a pic

Sharon said...

I made one using the same tutorial! I changed it up a bit...you can check it out here: http://mamasamess.blogspot.com/2009/12/roll-up-car-mat.html

Can't wait to see how yours turns out!

Heather said...

What a cute idea. I used your car pouch pattern in December (not sure when you posted it). My 18 month old son LOVES cars!!! I need to do something like this for him.

Adrienne said...

My sister-in-law made one for my nephew and he loves it! Here it is pictured on my other sister-in-laws blog: http://thewomanwhocouldntsitstill.blogspot.com/2010/02/car-playmat.html
It was painted on, I like how the one you show is all fabric.

Jennifer DeDonato said...

That is very cute...I need to make this for my friends little boy!

julie said...

Brilliant idea! I've got some fleece in my UFO stash for a no-sew playmat for my girlies--map of the USA on one side, and city map on the other side--but I NEVER thought to create my own playmat like that! It may turn into a dinosaur playscape, but I'm DEF going to try this.

jill said...

Your sketches made me smile today! We lived in SB for a while and it was so fun to recognize the courthouse, kidsworld, and the sb building! :)
It sent me daydreaming..."What would I do for a SB car playmat?" I'd have to throw in Cottage Hospital, the beach, one of the Brooks buildings, the laundry mat and the chicken place we'd eat when were at the laundry mat (oh, that is going to bug me until I remember the name of that restaurant!). Looks like it's time to wander back to SB for a visit!
What a great way to make it personal--and the Fiskars playmat is just too cool.
I really love your site. I don't know how you do it, but I really love it. :)

Anna Crowe said...

My mom made one of these (very similar to this) when I was a little girl. It had familiar places in our community like the D.I., the post office, our house, my grandma's house. I just got a "warm fuzzy" in my heart when I looked at this and remembered playing on that with cars. Adorable.

Diana said...

So cute !!
I'm sure you'll do a similar piece !!

Kiss kiss, EnolyCrafts

lolataylor1988 said...

Oh wow I never thought about actually making my kids play mats. I usually just buy elaborate ones from Constructive Play Things. They have really good quality play mats and I would recommend it to any of my friends who are moms. I have to say though, you did an awesome job. He is going to love it!