I made a nap mat a couple weeks ago for my son, when he started pre-school, and then a friend needed one for her son. I totally copied one made for me by MY friend, but she didn't have a tutorial. This is a really simple mat. No pillow, just a cushioned mat with an attached fleece blanket. Velcro on one side so the cushion can come out of the cover for laundering. An attached single strap. Easy Peasy!
I swear, except for the photography and note-taking, this went together in less than an hour.
Here's what you need: if you plan, you get all this on sale or w/ coupon at JoAnn Fabrics for a good price!
1" thick foam, 1 1/3 yards (24w x 48l)
flannel 3 yds, cut to 100" x 27" (prewashed!!!!)
fleece, 1 yd, cut to 1 yd square
nylon or cotton webbing, 1" wide, 1 yd
1/2" wide sew in hook/loop tape (velcro...NOT the sticky kind!!) 1 1/4yd
1" wide snap buckle
sewing machine and notions
I found this at JoAnn the last time they had flannel on sale. So cute!!
I open the flannel all the way up, then fold in half the other way. The selvages are on the left and right of this picture.
The fold of the fabric are on the left of this picture. Place the foam on the fabric to establish your seam allowances. The measurements I gave above should have this just the right size, but if your foam is different, you'll need to measure this out.
Leave at least one inch seam allowance around the foam on the two short sides of the flannel, one inch on one long side, and TWO inches on the other long side. This gives enough allowance for sewing on the velcro.
Fold one long side edge over 1/2 inch. You can press if you need to.
Leaving an inch from the end, start pinning down one side of the velcro. Pin it the whole length.
Do the same thing to the other side. The length of the velcro strips should leave about an inch from the fold all the way to the left, at the end.
Sew down the velcro. I've had best luck with zig zag stitch here, but use what you like.
Open the fabric back up at the fold. Place one edge of the fleece along the edge with no velcro. make sure to leave some space at the edge to the right, for seam allowance.
Pin closed the side to include the fleece blanket edge, and the remaining open edge on the right.
See? all pinned up. fold is all the way to the right, velcro on bottom, pins at top and right.
sew the seams you pinned, and finish the seams. You can serge this seam, too, of course.
Now, put the foam inside! Leave the cover inside out, put your hands in all the way to the sewn corners, grasp the foam and pull the cover over! Just like putting a cover on a comforter.
Have your three year old try it out!
I started with a blue strap then realized I already had enough red, which I preferred, so that's what I ultimately used.
Run both ends of the strap through the appropriate ends of the buckle.
It should make a big loop!
Since this isn't an adjustable strap (unnecessary), you'll be sewing down the ends of the straps.
More illustration of how the straps go through the buckle. If you bought your buckle in a package (like Dritz or some other brand) it will also have instructions with it.
Take one strap and fold it under like this, then pin it down.
Use your sewing machine to sew over the folded part, onto the main strap, with a box shape. Shown below in blue thread.
Nice strong box! Roll up the mat as tightly a possible, and fit the strap around. Tighten it up to the right size, adjusting the loose end of the strap. Fold the end over as you did for the first one, pin down, take off of the mat and sew down with another box, so both ends of the buckle are now secured
Finished strap with both ends of the buckle sewn on.
Place the rolled up mat on top of the finished strap, then fasten the buckles. Put the seam end of the rolled mat facing down, onto the strap.
Use a measuring tape to determine the middle of the mat, on the seam side (the end of the mat, as it's rolled up)
Pin the strap down, then unbuckle the strap.
Reach inside the mat to make sure the foam is pulled well away from where the strap is pinned.
Sew the strap down with two parallel stitch lines, about 1/4" apart.
To roll up the mat neatly, fold the fleece blanket over. Begin rolling up tightly at the end opposite of the straps. Buckle closed.
Nice and neat!