DIY Horse Play Mat

This past Christmas I found the time to make a few gifts for my nieces and nephews. Something they might actually use but nothing to difficult to make. Today I want to share with you my favorite and the diy instruction if you have a little one that loves horses too.

For my eldest niece and nephew I made colored pencil holders that rolls up for easy travel. I had made Eden one a year or so ago and we use it all the time for field trips, car trips, waiting rooms, and eating out. These are super easy to make and take less than an hour to put together.

For my youngest niece I considered making her a similar roll up holder for crayons but didn’t think she would really use it. I wanted her to also have something that would travel and roll up so with a little more thinking I came up with a different kind of roll up activity: a roll up play mat. I had seen ideas for car play mats with roads and a place to “park” the cars to hold them when being rolled up. So I combined that idea with one of her favorite things, horses, and came up with the design of a horse play mat.

I started by looking through my fabric stash for fabric that resembled a barn, dirt, water, fencing, and grass. For the fencing and wood windows of the barn I used a faux letter that wouldn’t have to be hemmed under to save me a little work. For the outside of the play mat I decided a jean fabric had a rustic feel to it and I thought it would help give it some extra stability.

Next working off my design I cut out each section of the play mat.


I started on the barn first. I hemmed under the side of the barn that the horses would enter through and then did a zig zag stitch  over the cross part of the windows and a straight stitch around the outside of the faux leather to attach the windows to the barn. I then stitched the water triangle to the pasture piece with right sides together, opened and ironed the seam flat on the back. On the pasture piece that is going to have the opening of the fence I hemmed the edge.


Next I set up all the pieces on the the green pasture piece. I did a straight stitch over the fence to hold it and the pasture down. I lined the fences up on the bottom edge of the pasture pieces to keep from having to hem the other sides.

IMG_4421Next I stitched a straight line between each of the barn windows to make the barn stalls for the horses. Each stall was able to hold two of the horse. I used this TOOB of horses and riders from Amazon.

IMG_4426Next I put right sides together of the jean fabric and the mat sections and stitched around the outside. I left a two inch opening that I used to turn the whole thing the right way. I used a pencil to push out the corners and then I hand stitched this opening closed. In the last couple stitches I added a ribbon in the seam that will be used to tie the roll up closed.

IMG_4422To finish off I attached a fun button to the outside of the roll up. This will be used to wrap the ribbon around, an alternative for small hands instead of tying. Looks pretty cute.

IMG_4415It was a big hit as a gift. She played with it right away and I hope she is still having fun it her horse play mat.


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