For a while now, I wondered if this tutorial would ever get published. Not only did this take a solid week of crafting effort to complete, but this tutorial has been a doozie! It's taken several late-late nights (yes, even later than usual!), but it's finally here!
Today I want to share Little Man's new favorite place to play:
For all you glue-gun lovers, this fun car mat is 100% no-sew!
And this was created just for Little Man! As I was working on this, he started calling this his car MAP. So I took his advice. I turned this into a semi-realistic map of the streets near our home. PLUS Little Man is very, very visual. He thrives on logos, so he selected dozens of logos that would be used on this car map.
I'm happy to say that this car map/mat is very realistic.
I love this mat is HUGE, but it rolls up easily like a sleeping bag. Perfect for easy storage!
And it's perfect for his little imagination!
Now on with the tutorial...
I am lucky to have ridiculous amounts of felt. Ever since making Little Man's quiet book last summer, I have quite the collection. I am always looking for ways to use felt.
I chose to use a dark green for the background. I cut a VERY large piece that is approximately 54" x 73". It's so large that it's difficult to photograph the entire thing!
I started by hot gluing ribbon around all 4 edges of the mat so I would have nice finished edges. Can't go wrong wit polk-a-dots.
I cut long strips of road pieces out of black felt that were about 3 inches thick, and hot glued the yellow dashed on. Then I went to work cutting out buildings and scenes! I placed everything on the mat before hot-gluing. I labeled things with sticky notes as I went along.
(You have no idea how many times Little Man wanted to "play" a little prematurely, and disrupted my map layout! I guess this explains why I chose to continue work on this so late at night while he was sleeping!)
After days of cutting and laying everything out, I went to work hot gluing eveything on the mat. Can you believe this mess?! I had to chuckle around 3 AM when I took a look at the big fat mess I had created. Very unlike me. But so worth it!
Remember all those logos that Little Man selected as his favorites?? Well, I measured the buildings and sized the logos in a Word document. Then I printed them on fabric transfer paper that you can buy at your local office store.
I followed the instructions on the package to peel off the backing and iron the logos on to the buildings. (Note: I discovered the hard way that ironing over the spots I had used hot glue was NOT a great idea! Oopsey Daisy! You may want to iron the logos on the buildings before gluing them on the mat to avoid my messy mistakes!)
Not too shabby. Costco was the most important building on our entire car mat. Costco is more exciting than Disney Land at our house!
I also ironed on a picture of our family to put on our house!
Some of our favorite shops from the mall; a construction zone; a park and swimming pool; Little Man's favorite gas station and car wash.
Our red-brick church; our local lake; Little Man's favorite Southwest airplane; Denver's airport along with runways, parking, etc. (This way Little Man can play with his cars AND airplanes on the same mat!)
Do you think we shop too much?!
McDonald's; Target & the pet store; our favorite shopping centre including frozen yogurt; our lovely house!
Whew! And that's only the beginning...
This is an entire little town that Little Man can relate to personally!
So after days of asking Little Man to tiptoe around my hard work, he woke up Sunday morning. I was still recovering from staying up until 3 AM, but he came leaping down the stairs! He played for hours, bed-head and all! He was SO excited!
Even Lightning McQueen is enjoying our complimentary services at the Hilton Hotel.
Yes indeed. So even though I went through 3 glue guns and this tutorial took 6 hours to write, it was all worth it because...
The car mat is actually being played with at this very moment. Totally and completely worth the work for all the fun he's having.
Have a happy day!