I know, I know, the economy is in crisis and not everyone can afford to invest in an heirloom play kitchen. And maybe the more affordable do-it-yourself ideas on that post are a little intimidating. Well, I was inspired by this inventive play kitchen a mama came up with that requires no wood working skills at all. I thought I could make a pretty, portable play kitchen playmat out of fabric.
And don’t worry, stay with me, there are instructions for those of you without sewing machines as well.
As usual, this is not a professional grade pattern. It’s simply some rough instructions and pattern pieces sorted out after I invented my own as I was going along. But it’s free, woo!
This pattern and the instructions are protected by a Attribution 3.0 Unported license. Which means you can share these instructions, share the pattern, create works from it, and sell the stuff you make with it. All I ask in return is that you link back to me so I know what you’ve done with it, because that’s just fun. I always enjoy seeing photos too!
Ready? Let’s go!
- A piece of wool felt 17.5″ x 9.5″. (Two pieces if you’re going to be hand sewing. Just one if you’re machine sewing.)
- A piece of cotton print fabric 17.5″ x 9.5″. (Skip this if you’re hand sewing.)
- A 23″ long length of ribbon.
- Assorted wool felt scraps for the burners, knobs, sink, and faucet pieces. See pattern for how large the pieces are.
- Matching thread.
- embroidery thread for hand sewing the kitchen items onto the playmat and/or hand sewing the playmat to its backing.
Prepare Pattern Pieces
Print the Roll-up Kitchen Playmat Pattern pieces:
The patterns are in pdf format, and should print on a regular 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper. You will want to adjust your printer settings to print without a margin, also, if your printer settings have it, uncheck the box that asks you to shrink the page to fit.
Cut out pattern pieces.
Cut and Pin
Cut the burners, knobs, faucet pieces, and sink out of your choice of wool felt colors and arrange on your 17.5″ x 9.5″ piece of wool felt. Make sure you leave enough room around the edges for sewing the playmat to its backing, you want there to be a bit of a border left after you sew, plus allow for the 1/4″ seam allowance (if you’re machine sewing).
Pin in place… I know my printed fabric is shown underneath in the photo, but ONLY pin through the wool felt. (And only pin through ONE layer of wool felt if you’re hand sewing everything.)
Sew the kitchen elements on
You can sew the kitchen pieces to the wool felt however you wish. My new sewing machine has a blanket stitch so I used that. You can just do a straight stitch or a zig zag if you’d like. Sewing wool felt pieces by hand is quite enjoyable if you like handiwork. You can use embroidery thread and stitch everything on by hand either by a running stitch or a blanket stitch, however you wish.
Stitch playmat and ribbon tie
After all the kitchen elements are sewn on, you’re going to want to stitch the playmat to its backing.
If you’re sewing with a machine:
Lay your wool felt playmat piece right sides together on top of your printed cotton fabric and square up the edges if you need to.
Pin pieces together inserting your ribbon folded in half on one short end. Most of the ribbon should be inside the playmat pieces, pin it in there if you’re afraid of accidentally catching it in the stitching.
Using a straight stitch, sew around the edge of the playmat with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Leave a 3 or 4 inch opening to turn the playmat right side out.
Clip corners and turn the playmat right side out. Use your fingers or a chopstick to poke the corners out. Iron on a warm setting if needed.
Fold the edges of the opening in, pin. Topstitch close to the edge closing the opening and going all around the edge for a neat look.
If you’re hand sewing
Lay your wool playmat piece with the kitchen elements sewn on, on top of another wool piece of the same size face up — wrong sides together. Square up if needed. Using embroidery thread, sew pieces together either with a running stitch or a blanket stitch. Your stitching will show, so if you do a running stitch, do it fairly close to the edge. Wool felt won’t fray, so don’t worry.
Don’t forget to insert your folded ribbon between the layers (folded end hidden between the layers, loose ends free to tie the roll up), on one short end of the playmat and stitch it tightly in place.
That’s it! You’ve got yourself a sweet little portable play kitchen for hours of creative play for your little ones. These would make very cute handmade Christmas gifts with a wee wooden spoon and a tiny pint-sized pan or two.
I always recommend using wool felt over the thin, acrylic stuff you can find in craft stores. It just holds up so much better folks. Wool blend felt is perfectly okay! If money is really tight, anything that won’t fray easily like polyester fleece would work as well. You could also make the whole thing out of cotton prints with some iron-on fusible webbing (like Wonder Under), easily found at fabric stores. You’ll just want to sew the edges down VERY WELL to avoid fraying.
You can also take it a bit further, and embroider “hot” and “cold” onto the faucet knobs, or maybe “on” and “off” on the burner knobs. It would be cute to do a red spiral stitch on the burners or even a red spiral bit of wool or fleece to make the burners look hot.
You could add a splash or a drip of water under the faucet… add a drain or some bubbles in the sink… embroider a little 3D sink action… there are lots of fun possibilities!