I’m back for a special pre-Christmas post! Last year I wanted to make something special for a little guy in my life. This guy was 3 years old and loved to play with his cars more than anything. I decided to look online to see what I could find in the way of roll-up felt play sets for cars. I found several cute ideas, but this little guy is super creative and imaginative, so I knew I wanted something that would help him expand his creativity.
For this mat, I simply got a large piece of green felt and edged it with some binding (is that what it’s called? I don’t know).
Incidentally, I do not sew. I did make a little bit of an exception for this project, however, just because I wanted it to have a more polished, finished look.
Anyway, I did my mat and then I started having some fun with my scissors and began cutting out all the pieces to go with it.
I did not attach any of these to the mat, and I left the roofs and signs separate from the buildings (except for one). That way the little guy could mix and match and make his town however he wanted it to be. These are the pieces I made:
- 7 buildings- just used felt, black Sharpie, and fabric paint for these
- 7 roofs- detailed with black Sharpie
- 10 signs- black Sharpie on white felt
- several road pieces, including some intersections, long straight pieces, short straight pieces, curved pieces, 3 parking lots, and a bridge- the lines were all created using white puff fabric paint (and a ruler).
- several bushes & trees
- a garden- made from brown felt with green “veggies” sewn on with a simple ‘x’ in the center of each.
- a pond and some river pieces made from blue felt
Then I made a little carrying sleeve for all the parts, including a “parking garage” for the little guy’s cars. The top folds down over the openings so nothing falls out.
I made the set so that it was its own carrying case- you just lay the “accessories sleeve” across the open mat...
...fold the mat into thirds over top of it...
....fold each end into the center so they meet...
...then fold it in half again (so the crease is on the place where the two ends meet in the middle...
...and fasten with the attached tab (also handle) and wooden button. Now it’s its own little case that’s about the size of a laptop computer.
When I was setting this up to take the photos I had so much fun building my little town. I decided that the library should be a tall, happy-looking building, the hospital a nice gray two-story, the museum was a tiny brown building with a red door...I put the garden behind the barn and the lake behind that, with a little stone cottage by the creek. The felt makes it so everything sticks and the cars can drive smoothly on the roads. Honestly, I probably had more fun than I should have.
Anyway, this is a project that certainly takes some time and effort, but it is fun to make and even more fun to play with! You can also include some extra felt scraps in with your gift to allow the recipient to create his own unique touches for his town.
Things are busy around here with 4 kiddos, but I’ll try to get back and post every now and then! Have a beautiful and thrifty Christmas, friends!
Click here for more great DIY Christmas gift ideas!