Crafts & DIY, Parenting

How To Make A Nap Mat Easy (DIY Tips)

There comes a point in any young toddler’s life when they’re going to take their first step away from mom and dad, and going to start preschool.

When that time comes, one of the most important items that they’re going to need to bring with them is their nap mat.

Now, you can simply purchase a nap mat from a store or online. But, if you’re someone who likes to try their hand at a DIY and crafting, this can be the perfect opportunity to try and flex those skills for your little one.

That’s right! Today, we’re going to show you how you can make a nap mat for your toddler that can be taken anywhere that they go, whether it’s the park, preschool, or nana and grandpa’s place (If making a mat is not your thing, you can always buy one, we have a list of best organic nap mats here)!

Your Materials

So, if you’re going to be making your toddler’s nap mat, you’re going to need to gather the necessary materials first!

If you’re dead-set on DIYing your toddler’s nap mat, these are the items that you’re going to need:

  • 2 yards of fabric for your mat. Make sure that it is pre-washed before you start using it. If you’re unsure just how much you’ll need, always ere on the side of getting too much fabric over less.
  • Pre-washed fleece for the blanket (this needs to be double-sided). At least 36” by 40” will do the trick.
  • 9 yards of double-fold bias tape. This will be great for finishing the edges of your mat.
  • Quilt batting, for cushioning
  • 2 pieces of 1 foot by 2-foot muslin or cotton to make up the pillow
  • Poly-fill to use as pillow stuffing
  • 1 ½ feet of belting/webbing material 
  • 1-inch wide Velcro strip

Technically speaking, how much of the material that you’re going to need will largely depend on how elaborate or how many extras you want to attach to your toddler’s nap mat. 

Some mats can have extra fleece blankets attached to them, while others will come with pillows for resting your child’s head.

Making A Nap Mat

So, with your materials handy, we can finally start to make this nap mat for your little one.

Making The Fleece Blanket

We’ll start with making the fleece blanket for your nap mat.

First, you’re going to want to round off the edges of the fleece fabric. This can be done by simply placing a glass around the edges of the fabric, and cutting around them.

Then you can start pinning the edge of the open bias tape to your fleece fabric, starting at the top left of the fleece fabric.

Make sure to start with the wider edge of the fabric, and continue around the top, right and bottom sides of the fabric. The left side will be left on its own for now, so don’t worry.

Now you can start to sew the bias tape into the fleece blanket, folding up the loose edges of the tape, then sewing over them again to get a clean edge to your fleece blanket.

Making The Base

How To Make A Nap Mat Easy (DIY Tips)

We’ll leave the blanket alone for now, and start working on the actual base of the nap mat itself.

Start by laying one side of your mat fabric down on its right side, then position the batting quilt on top, with the edges aligned to the edges of the fabric beneath.

Then, you can lay the top side of the fabric on top of the batting quilt, sandwiching it between the two layers.

Don’t forget to make sure that the pattern alignment of your chosen fabrics is going in the right direction.

Start pinning the two layers of fabric together all the way around, then measure 8 inches from the bottom on the left and right side of the fabric, marking it with masking tape, followed by a line across the center from one edge to the other.

Now, you’ll need to sew along these lines, followed by folding over the edges at that 5-inch mark that you marked out, then sewing those down.

Keep going with this pattern, until you get to around 10 to 12 inches from the top and bottom, or until you hit the batting edge. By this point, you should only have batting showing at the top and bottom sides.

Making The Pillow

Starting the pillow, get two pieces of muslin or cotton that are 24.5 inches by 11.5 inches.

Sew about ¼ inch from the edges on all sides, leaving a hole for stuffing. Snip the corners, then turn inside out, stuff your pillow, then seal the edge. And that’s it!

Making The Mat

Now, we can start bringing the elements together.

Trim up the batting hanging out, then start cutting your belting to the width of your mat, however long that is, stitching up the raw end with an overclock stitch.

From there, you decide which side will be the top side, so you can start to stick the belting as it runs up the underside for easy rolling up.

On the front of the mat, start pinning bias tape along the front side, starting with an underpin tuck, then running along the right and bottom sides. Trim any excess fabric underneath once you’re done.

Now, you can add the blanket, aligning the untapped side of it to the left side of your mat. The blanket should be wider. 

In the opening for the pillow in the mat fabric, you can now place the pillow and sew shut.

After pinning and sewing the blanket to the edge, you can go around with the bias tape to finish the job.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Material Will I Need?

As we mentioned before, you’ll need at least 2 yards of your main material to make your nap mat base and blanket from.

What Should The Material Be Made From?

A cotton and polyester material will be the best for your toddler’s nap mat, as they are comfortable, and do not contain toxic chemicals.

Final Thoughts

So, as you can see, there are a lot of steps that you’ll need to follow to make sure that this nap mat comes out right for your little one.

However, when you have made it, nothing else will quite beat that sense of satisfaction as that day when your little one gets to take this nap mat with them on their first day at preschool.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab a sewing machine, get those fabric scissors, and let’s make something that our kids will adore!

Check out our DYI Braided Crib Bumper post for me crafts!

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