DIY Play Mat

First of all… sorry I have been a little MIA. I was back at my parents for a little over a week doing some projects with my mom. I will post about them soon, don’t worry!

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while now… so here goes.

I have wanted to make a play mat similar to the mat I made before. My friends are having their first baby, a boy, in October, so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to try one out. Plus, what a perfect baby shower gift right?

I used a 4 foot by 4 foot piece of sheet vinyl for this one. Here it is primed and ready to go:

I got my paint at Home Depot in the “oops” section. I just paid a couple of dollars for the grey and a green. Then, I used some old samples that I had for the rest.

I painted the entire mat grey first.

Then, I taped out my roads. I used the biggest tape I could find for the cheapest $$. It was 1.5″ or 2″, I can’t remember.

After I taped my roads, I painted over them again with the grey so that there would be less paint bleeding.

Then, I filled in my sections with different colors. I wanted it to look like an aerial view… like out of an airplane.

More colors.

Then, I taped out an painted a “river” in blue.

Here it is after I took all of the initial tape off. I wanted the river to go under the roads and so of course there are pretend bridges.

I wanted to add interest, so I taped off different areas to make it look like fields of crops.

I used this stencil to make the lines for my roads. You can get stencil making “paper” at Michaels.

I added in the lines, added some parking spaces, and some shrubbery.

Then, I thought it needed a dock, so I added that. I also added a few more details that I forgot to take a picture of before I gave it away. When I was completely finished painting, I added a few coats of poly to seal it in place and make it waterproof. I use the water based stuff and not the oil based. Less smelly and easier to clean up. Make sure you let it dry for 12-24 hours before you use it so the poly has lots of time to dry.

At first, I considered adding buildings, but then I thought he may want to build/make/add his own one day. So, I left that part up to creative minds.

And, here they are, opening it at the baby shower. It was a big hit!!! And, as an added bonus, her mom ended up buying some little trucks and things that will be perfect with it!! I can’t wait for him to arrive so he can use it. Obviously, he will be too young to play cars on it right away, but because it is waterproof and can clean up, it could also go under a high chair or something. They just moved into their new house, so I am expecting photos of it there!!! Hint, hint.

 

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