Moonbeam's Nap Mat Tutorial
As teachers we know about all kinds of nap mats, so when it came to designing our own, we had a few ideas for making the ultimate in nap mats! Our nap mats are designed to be easy to wash and dry by having a removable pillow. And not just any pillow, a real pillow with all the cushiony goodness and support a pillow should be. Most parents don't know that the average nap mat's blankets which are only the width of the mat won't fully cover a child. So we added a little extra width on the blanket for cuddly warmth. We also designed our nap mat to be easy to carry for a small child by having velcro closures and a handle for easy transport.
- Two coordinating cotton fabrics about 2 1/4 yards in each fabric
- Minky or other cuddly fabric for blanket 2- 4 x 3 pieces *
- Blanket Binding
- Non-sticky back velcro 4"
- Coordinating thread
- Cotton quilt batting
- Small rectangle travel pillow no more than 10-11" width.
*To save time you can also buy a baby blanket instead of making one for the top. If you do so skip step 5.
Cut out your pieces!
For your bottom and top cotton fabrics you are going to cut two large rectangles. These pieces need to be the length you would like your nap mat to be, plus enough length to wrap the pillow in plus an 2" seam allowance. For width you want to measure the width of your pillow and add four extra inches.
We wanted our nap mats to last you a long time, so we made our nap mat to measure when complete 5' in length and 2' in width. Our bottom and top fabrics were cut 6' 2" X 2'4".
Minky needs to be cut in a square. This piece should be the length of your mat to the pillow line. For us this was 4 feet in length. Also it needs to be the width of your your nap mat plus one half. For us it was 3'. So my minky was cut 4' X 3".
Strap: cut a rectangle of your inside fabric. This should be about 6 inches wide x 24 inches long.
Cut two pairs of hook and loop velcro for closing velcro straps 4" in length.
Cut two-four rectangles of batting depending on how "cushy" you want your map. We used four rectangles of batting but our nap mats are on the heavier side. The rectangles needs to be the length of your nap mat to the pillow in length and the same width as your bottom and top fabric minus one inch. For us this was 3' 11" length and 1' 11" width.
Cut off a 24" section of blanket binding and a 24" strip of inside fabric for pillow case.
Make the strap. Fold your rectangle raw edges inside several times over itself until you have a thick strap like above. The strap should be around two inches in length and 2' in width.
Sew two seams for added strength.
Then attach strap (like picture above) seam side down to bottom fabric about 12" from bottom. We folded the raw edges of straps down and sewed double seams over top to attach (see above #1.).
Attach blanket binding to raw edge of top (2 feet) pillow section. I used some of my extra inside fabric to make a second decorative. If you can't understand how to do this from the picture I recommend simply using the blanket binding, it will still look just as nice!
Also your binding is going to end. You will want to tuck the end underneath itself and sew a seam as close to the edge as possible to prevent the binding from fraying.
(marked in the second picture below)
Attach the velcro straps! Locate center of nap mat. Place 4" length of hook velcro 3" from bottom as shown 12" apart, each should be 6" from center. Sew these hook side DOWN.
Here is where we place the loop side of the velcro for the bottom hook straps to attach to. Sew this loop side up on your bottom fabric. (See picture above). Our straps are about 30" from bottom and were 4" long.
At this point you could also attach letters if you want your child's name on the mat with felt, iron-on, or by embroidering. Place the letters between the strap and the velcro at the bottom that is extending past fabric (see picture between the 23"-25" mark from the bottom. Remember to center with the straps).
Sew your minky blanket. Place two minky squares right sides facing out. Pin blanket lining around 3 sides and sew all together. (See below for how to make perfect mitered corners!)
To make mitered corners, sew all the way to the corner as shown above. Take your work out of machine and cut thread, but do not cut blanket binding. Fold blanket binding around the corner so that it neatly forms a mitered pleat, pin in place and place under pressure foot of machine. Begin to sew again as before making sure to back tack at the mitered pleat.
Assemble fabrics for sewing. It is critical that you place the fabrics together as instructed.
Bottom fabric right side up.
Minky or blanket
Inside fabric right side down
Note: You want to lay these so that the inside fabric is 4 feet plus 1" from bottom and it should have 1" extra fabric on the left side.
Now pin and sew a seam on right side as close to the edge as possible or 1/4".
Flip blanket over (see above) This is what is should look like now.
Fold bottom fabric over twice, pin, sew a seam to create 1/2" binding on bottom.
Fold side fabric over to create a 1/2 " binding on side. Sew all the way to the top!
Putting the pillow case together! Preparing for closing the pillow case. Fold top fabric over pillow to create your pillow case, you'll want to tuck in the top 1/4 inch of fabric under itself and pin where the inside fabric stops. (see picture below) When pinning your Remember you'll be taking this pillow in and out, you don't want too snug a fit. Remove the pillow before sewing.
The picture is what the pillow case will look like from the side when open.
Sew batting into place. You can do this multiple ways. We simply sewed a horizontal line about every foot from the bottom. You can see some of the lines on the bottom fabric in the picture below.
Enjoy your nap mat!