Ocean Felt Play Mat {free pattern}

We’ve got a long car ride in our near future and I find myself sorely lacking in tricks to pull out of my sleeve to keep the bickering at bay.  One of my solutions was to make a felt play mat (or two) to help entertain our animal-loving boy.

I drew a simple pattern, which you can download below, and got to work.  Here’s what you’ll need for this project:

felt in 6 different colors–one full blue piece for the ocean background and small amounts of other colors.
embroidery floss in coordinating colors
pattern (below)
straight pins

Begin by cutting out all the pattern pieces. I pinned the pattern to the felt, but you could trace the pattern pieces onto the felt if you prefer. Keep in mind when cutting out the pieces that a typical piece of craft felt is larger than a 8.5×11″ sheet of paper.  I added length onto the right side of the sky and the rock in order to make the pattern fit on the full piece of felt.  You could always cut the felt down, too.

In a coordinating embroidery floss color, sew a running stitch around the outside of each felt piece.

I sewed only the bottom of the kelp down so Ethan can hide his animals there.
 I also left the holes in the rock open so animals can go in and out.
 (Thanks to Jason, my “hand”some assistant!)

Add a few toy animals, roll them up in the mat and off you go!

Of course, this project could get much fancier: a coordinating fabric backing, ties/velcro to fasten it, etc. I needed a simple project before we head out of town, not something to add more stress to my life.  I’m a big believer that it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.  Feel free to jazz this up if you have the time/inclination! I’d love to see what you make.