Saturday, September 1, 2012

Nap Mat Tutorial

Some of you might remember me blogging about making this mat for Uriyah here. At the time this was one of my first blog posts and I wasn't really aware of how a tutorial post might be laid out. Over the past year I've decided to actively take my blog to the next level by including tutorials, projects & recipes. Being that Aaliyah is starting Kindergarten this year I had to make another mat. This marks my FIRST TUTORIAL!

I use laminated fabric as it's extremely durable and wipes clean with a wet cloth which should cut down on cleaning time. Velcro will make the insertion of the foam cushion super easy and the sturdy fabric used for the pillow, strap & button tabs will hold up to lots of use. If you're going to take the time to make it you might as well get the most use out of it right?!

Once again just so proper credit it given, this tutorial is altered from this original tutorial from Jenny Garland.

You will need:
  • 1 yard of Laminated Fabric
  • 1/2 yard of Coordinating Sturdy Fabric (Cotton Twill, Corduroy, Denim...)
  • 2 Coordinating Buttons (About 1" in diameter)
  • Fiberfill to stuff the pillow
  • All purpose thread
  • Embroidery thread (for attaching buttons)
  • A piece of 1" thick foam cut to 16" width by 40" length. (This foam is usually green and can be found by the batting/fiberfill at a sewing store like Joann's).
  • 40 inches of sew-on or adhesive Velcro
  • (Optional) 1 embroidered name patch

Step One: Cut Your Pieces
**please note all measurements are width x length!**
  • Cut two 18" x 42" rectangles from your laminated fabric for the front & back of the mat.
  • Cut two 18" x 10" rectangles from your sturdy fabric for the pillow.
  • Cut four 4" x 6" rectangles from your sturdy fabric for the button tabs.
  • Cut two 2" x 35" rectangles from your sturdy fabric for the shoulder strap.

Step Two: Make & Attach Shoulder Strap & Button Tabs

Make Shoulder Strap:
Take your two shoulder strap pieces and sew them together right sides together along the two long sides. Turn your tube right side out. I highly recommend this magic tube trick to accomplish this unless you like spending hours bruising your fingers and crying to the point where you need an alcoholic drink. Press your turned tube out with an iron.

Attach Shoulder Strap:
Pick a back piece from your laminated fabric & lay right side up. Measure up 10" from the bottom left and right corners and mark (I use the new Crayola Whiteboard Crayons...they are AMAZING!)Pin the ends of the strap tube to these marks. Sew the ends of the tube with a 1/2" seam allowance on each mark just enough to attach them to the main fabric. If you want to do some back stitches here I won't be mad at you.

Make Button Tabs:
Stitch two of the 4" x 6" rectangles right sides together along both long sides and one short side, using a 1/4" seam allowance. Clip corners & turn right side out. Press with an iron & top stitch around the three edges you just stitched. I like to use a decorative stitch for this top stitch. Repeat with the other set of 4" x 6" rectangles.

Use your sewing machine to stitch a vertical buttonhole 2 1/2 inches from the top of the button tab. If you have a buttonhole foot for your sewing machine, now is the time to use it!

Attach Button Tabs:
On the same piece you just attached the shoulder strap to pin the open side of the button tabs on the bottom 3" in from the outside. Please make sure you point the button tabs upward toward the top of the mat or you wont have tabs facing the right way when you sew this thing together later on. Stitch the tabs in place with a 1/4" seam allowance just enough to attach them to the main fabric. Again some back stitches at the beginning and end won't hurt here. 

This is how your back piece should look when it's done:

Step Three: Attach Optional Name Patch

Attach Name Patch:
Pick a front piece (the one that doesn't have the strap & tabs attached) from your laminated fabric. Center name patch with bottom of patch being 2 inches from the bottom of the fabric piece. Pin in place with a single pin through the center. Sew around the patch using an applique stitch.

Step Four: Attach Pillow Pieces
Lay main fabric front piece right side up. Lay one of the 18"x 10" pillow pieces right side down on top making sure it's the opposite side of your name patch. Align & pin. Sew with a 1/4" seam allowance. Do the same for the back piece. Apologies for the super blurry photo.

Step Five: Connect Front & Back Pieces 

Lay the front piece right side up. On top of this place the back piece right side down. Make sure the name patch side is aligned with the button tab side and pin the pieces together. Stitch the top, bottom and ONLY one of the long sides. Leave the other long side open, this is where we will sew/attach the Velcro.

Step Six: Making & Stuffing The Pillow 
Make the pillow space:
Turn your newly sewed mat to the right side. Align your two pillow pieces, pin & stitch a line right down where your pillow fabric meets your laminated fabric. This will join your two pillow pieces and make the space to fill your pillow.

Fill the pillow & stitch close:
Stuff your pillow through the opening on the side. You'll want enough stuffing to make a comfy pillow but not a lot as this baby still needs to roll up for storage/travel. Hand stitch this seam closed.

Step Seven: Add The Velcro

Sew or stick on your Velcro to the open long edge of your mat. Because we are using laminated fabric you will not have to worry about fraying. If you are type-A you may fold the fabric edge over 1/2" before you sew/attach but it's not necessary.

Step Eight: Insert Foam & Attach Buttons

Put your foam in & close the Velcro. Yep, it's that easy. Roll up your mat pillow side first and mark where your button tabs hit. Remove the foam. Sew the buttons on where you placed your marks. I highly recommend sewing these buttons on with embroidery thread as these will be pulled on heavily and need to be strong. Inset the foam back into the mat and re close the Velcro.

Step Nine: You're Done!

Celebrate with a nice glass of wine or gloat with a massive picture upload to Instagram or Facebook! 


I hope you have enjoyed my first tutorial. Please feel free to leave comments, share and follow. I would love to see the mats you make with this tutorial. Thanks for your support!


  1. Wonderful tutorial. But i need more pictures for understand well.

  2. It was really insightful.
    Thanks for such a nice content.
    BTW if anyone interested more have a look Find more thanks

  3. I enjoy this! Such clever work and exposure! Keep up the amazing woorks guys I’ve included you guys too blogroll.
    Thank you very much for description of your toddler nap mat!


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