1. a child, group of children, or actions of a child/group of children that elicits actions or emotions or creativity in adults 
2. an event or visual reminder that stimulates youthful creativity 
3. a creation or action specifically designed for the purpose of entertaining and inspiring youth
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Saturday, February 4, 2012

DIY: [Almost] No-Sew Personalized Car Mat

I am on a hand-made present kick this year.  Well, it started around Christmas time, but it's carried on into the new year.  Tomorrow we are headed to celebrate our buddy Broden's 4th birthday!

When choosing a gift for Broden, I thought, "What would my 4 year old son like?"  I ventured up and down the craft aisle at Wal-Mart until I brainstormed this super fun idea that my son is now dying for me to make for him!

I bought 2 yards of green felt (which was way too much), 1 yard of black felt, and 1/4 yard of Cars print material (my boys picked it out, of course).  You will need some super thin yellow ribbon for your dashed road line.  I bought a roll and have a lot left over.  We also found some super fun Cars print ribbon that I figured I'd just find a use for.

Because I was making this up as I was going along, I didn't use standard forms of measurement.  For example:

Step #1:  Find the nearest large Raisins box, or object that just so happens to be the perfect width for your letters.  Lucky for me, that is what I first caught sight of, so bingo!  Step #1 complete!

Step #2:  Use the object to make sure all of your letters are the same width and trace/draw your letters out using a white colored pencil or piece of chalk onto your black felt.  Make sure they are all connecting in some way because otherwise, how are your cars going to drive from letter to letter?  See?  I'm thinking like a 4-year-old.

Step #3:  Iron your material.  Ok... that should have been Step #1 because my chalk line disappeared when I ironed.  Lesson learned.

Step #4:  Cut your letters out and lay them on your green felt.

Step #5:  I used a spray-on adhesive to attach the letters/road to the green felt to ensure that the sides and corners would not come up easily.  Please do this outside, this stuff is stinky!  Oh, and p.s. it's REALLY tacky so you're going to get little felt fibers stuck all over your hands.  It's a lot easier to wash off if you wait for it to dry first.  Second lesson learned :-)

Step #6:  Cut small 1/2" strips of the thin yellow ribbon for your dashed road lines.

Step #7:  Use fabric glue to stick all of your dashes in the middle of your road.  I suggest laying them out first and then gluing to make sure the spacing looks right.

Step #8:  It's pocket time!  My boys picked out a pack of 3 cars for Broden so I decided to make a pocket large enough to hold them.  I used the cars to figure out how large my pockets needed to be, then assumed they would need another inch on either side of them.

Step #9: "Hem" the edges using the fabric glue (or if you're cool and have a sewing machine and even COOLER if you know how to use it, then by all means, do that).

Step #10:  Attach the bottom of your pocket to your green felt (once again, using the fabric glue).

Step #11:  Space the cars out evenly.  Between each of the cars pour a line of fabric glue which will create individual pockets.  Do not seal the top of the pocket!  It will no longer be a pocket if you do so!

Helpful Hint:  Do this project when your 2 year old is sleeping.  However, if my godzilla monster had not come through and yanked the cars out of the pockets, I would not have realized it is best to sew the pocket onto the felt.

Step #12:  Thanks to the above helpful hint, there is a step #12.  HAND SEW the pockets to the felt.  By all means, if you're cooler than me and have a machine, please don't hesitate to use that instead.

Look at that fine stitching job!  

Ok now stop here, take a break, go do a few things around the house for a few hours to allow the glue to dry.

Admire your work :-)
Step #13:  Once your mat is completely dry, roll it up starting at the end opposite of your storage pocket.  Take your super cute Cars print ribbon and decide how much you will need to wrap around your roll and tie in a knot (or bow).  See how nice and compact our mat is now?

Step #14:  Find the center of your ribbon and SEW the center of the ribbon to the edge of your mat on the underside.
Congratulations!  We did it!  Now, I guess I better go get started on one for each of my boys since they can't stop talking about Broden's.

Happy Birthday, Broden!

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Hi, this is Casey! Thank you for your interest in Kidspired Creations! Please leave a message below so I know that you stopped by and please, e-mail me at if you have any questions about my art.

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