Saturday, January 2, 2010

Homemade car-mat for Christmas (nat)

*Just making a note that we are linking up over at the DIY showoff today! So fun to check out everyone elses craftiness! Go check it out!

I decided to get ambitious and make a car-mat for my son this year. I originally just bought a car-mat from ikea but then before I opened it I looked online to remember what kind of images were on it- and realized it is not as cool as I thought. I am sure it would have worked just fine but what's the fun in something that's not homemade right? The problem is I get super excited about something, go buy all the supplies, then have to buy a million more things because I didn't think through everything the way I should have, and then I get half way through and am totally burned out and wish I never started. Live and learn, live and learn. I think overall I am happy with how it turned out and the fact that he was actually really excited about it on Christmas morning, made all the effort totally worth it.

The main goals of this project were
-center the mat around places and things that he knows from his daily life- including... walmart, target, the mall, church, temple, community pool, football stadium, basketball court, our house, grammy's house(complete with hottub in the the backyard), grandma's house, a construction site etc. That means that not everything matches up perfectly and is not all to scale but who's counting!?
-make it last past Christmas Day- the mat itself is all just fabric and can be thrown in the washer if needs be and just folds up to be stored wherever. Any problems can be fixed with a little stitch or two. The places can be changed over time as life changes.
-make it 3-D (2-D? uh pop up? you get the point...) so he can actually play with everything instead of just driving over it all. Everything can be moved around so if he gets bored with the same old set-up he can just create his own.

sooo... here it is!

Once again, adding all the details is what's really fun for me. I experimented with all different ways of making all the buildings and places then at Michaels one day I found the perfect solution! They have these wood cut-outs of different things so I just got a few that I knew I could transform to look like different places, colored them in, attached small blocks of wood I had on hand on the back with hot glue to make them stand up etc. This church and temple were castles that had big flags on top of all the piers, i just cut them off then had fun adding the church name, angel moroni etc. (oh and notice the "G" on the mtn in the background, totally not to scale but i wasn't gonna make enormous mtns. there is a Y by the football stadium too)
After several attempts I ended up making Walmart and target out of recipe boxes. They were the only thing the right size that would hold up with the beatings I'm sure they'll endure. I just used spray paint then printed out the logos from my computer, laminated them with my laminator (something everyone one should own!) and used sticky velcro I had on hand to attach it.
Since he's been to several BYU football and basketball games I thought that would be fun to include. I loved it when he saw the logos and started chanting GO COUGARS! The goal posts just about put me over the edge with excitement- another find at Michaels for 2 bucks!
I could go on and on but you get the jist. I think it's something the boys will really get into over time, if not- i still had a ton of fun making it!


Jill said...

How cool! I am actually making a car mat right now as well. I love your idea to make 3-d buildings. That looks like a lot of fun.

Clay and Katy said...

that looks great nat!!! i love all the thought you put into it...the 3-d buildings are a nice touch! you did a great job...i bet carson and blake will love playing with it!!!!!!

Sharla@mylittlegems said...

Very cute! I have one of these in the works too- if I can ever get time to finish it. Yours is very cute!

2sisters said...

It is darling! What a great present, but so much work, I'm impressed!

mommabear said...

This is really cute! I love the 3-D fun!


Kim said...

I'm laughing at myself - I thought your son was driving a car and you were making him a mat! Very cute, I'm sure he loves the trips to Walmart, etc.