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DIY drawstring car play mat (post sponsored by Volkswagen)

Do you have children, nephews, friends who love playing with cars? Why not create a DIY drawstring car play mat, perfect for storage of cars, plus play. I love how with the addition of a drawstring means the play mat pulls up into draw string bag. So easy to tidy away when the child has finished playing.

This play mat includes a zoo, park, street of houses, hospital and garage, but only your imagination is the limit! If you are making it for someone in particular you can add what appeals to them. You may remember that my son loves animals, I had to include a zoo!! If you include a zoo here is a free downloadable template for the lion, giraffe and elephant.

This is my sketched design. I found this very helpful when placing the fabric shapes to create the various areas.

My top tip is to allow time, this playmat took two solid days to make.

To make a drawstring play mat you will need:
Two circles of fabric measuring , one for the external bag and one for the play mat side
Tailors chalk
Strong, heat reactive, sheet of glue which permanently bonds one fabric to another when ironed
Fabric glue
Black fabric
White fabric paint
Scraps of fabric
sewing machine

To make
Start by measuring a circle in your fabric. Fold your fabric into quarters. Measure out in a quarter circle with tailors chalk. I added string to mine, holding it tight at the central point then drawing out and round. Once you have one circle use it as your template for the other circle. My circles are 50″across (25″ string).

Cut out fabric to create your roads.

Due to the size I suggest using fabric glue to hold them in place, then stitching along the edges in zigzag to firmly hold them in place. Paint on your central markings on the roads with fabric paint.

Now you have a frame work to start building up the different areas.

Decide on fabric choices for each building, tree, shape. Iron your sheet of glue onto the reverse. Cut out the right size in the fabric and then iron into place on the playmat. Use parchment paper to protect your iron.

Once you have finished the shape, such as a house, stitch the applique in place.

Hand stitch the details onto the animals. I used french knots for the eyes.

To make a sign for your garage use freezer paper. Cut a piece larger than A4, iron the waxy side to the wrong side of your fabric. Trim your fabric to A4 size. Place in your printer and print the design. You can download it here.

Here are some close ups of various areas.

Let’s finish the play mat. Create two small button holes on the external fabric  3/4″ in from the edge.

Place the right sides of the fabric together. Stitch round the circle except a turning gap.

Clip into the seam allowance. Press. Turn right sides out and press, including turning in the edge of the turning gap.

Top stitch round the edge. Then stitch round again 1/2″ . This creates a tube for feeding the drawstring through.

Lastly feed the drawstring through and secure with a double knot.

This post is sponsored by Volkswagen – check out other recycled and/or car related tutorials by fellow bloggers on the Volkswagen collaborative pinterest board “DIY Bloggers for Volkswagen“.


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madeline newton

Tuesday 25th of December 2018

this is so special for the boys well my grandchildren ...i think i will make in the next couple of days was to do one before Christmas but ran out of time so now it is now ....thank you for all of your great ideas for us grandma's to do for the exciting it ...


Monday 13th of March 2017

Vicky, you've nailed it! An adorable storage + DIY toy every kid would just love to have. Including mine. I've been putting off making a drawstring storage for tiny toys, but now I'm glad I have - yours is an idea as cute as it's practical - I hope it gets seen by everybody!

Pam @Threading My Way

Monday 13th of March 2017

This is awesome, Vicky! I've seen similar drawstring bags for Lego, but never a personalised one like yours. If the kids are old enough, they could even help you to design the scene. I'd love you to add this to the Drawstring Bags link party.


Saturday 11th of March 2017

What a great idea! I love how you can personalize to whatever you want to include.


Saturday 11th of March 2017

Such a fun mat. I wish they had this stuff when my boys were younger.

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