I recently made this awesome dinosaur play mat for my son's christmas present! He's going to LOVE it!!
I took some photos and my older son and his friend got to play with it a bit! Now of course they want one! If you too, want one, I've written up a full tutorial. I'll share it here, and if you need more information you can always read the full post here:http://shoot-from-the-hips.blogspot.com/2010/12/dino-play-mat-tutorial.html
there are more step by step photos there, as i didn't want to overload this post with them! The full step by step tutorial is bat the end of this post!!
two sheets of green felt(for the base)
one sheet of tan or brown felt(for the cave and rocks)
one sheet of blue felt(for the river)
scraps of dark brown felt(for the tree trunks)
scraps of dark green felt(for the leaves)
scraps of bright coloured felt(for the fish)
bias tape or ribbon (for securing your rolled mat)
a straw or pencil
Step 1: Cut out a large circle (doesn't have to be perfect!) from your tan felt. Cut a small "U" shape for the entrance of the cave. Cut a few small circles for rocks.
Step 2: Pin the larger circle (cave) onto your base. Just use one sheet of green for the base. The other one will be used near the end! As you are pinning, pinch the circle so that it stands up to form a cave, see photo below. Do the same with the rock circles.
Step 3: Using tan thread, sew around the edge of your cave. Start and one side of the entrance, and end at the other! For the rocks, sew most of the way around, then stuff with a tiny piece of scrap felt so they keep their shape, then sew the rest of the way around the rock.
Step 4: Cut out your river so that it bends here and there. Make sure it reaches from one end of your base to the other. next cut your pond out in any shape you desire! Also cut out a few small fish to be added to your river and pond.
Step 5: Sew on your river using white or blue thread. Start by sewing down one side, then turn and make rows until you come the the other side. Hold the fish in place as your machine can push and bunch them as they are tiny! As long as there is one good row of stitches over a fish, it will stay put.
Next sew the pond. You can start at the outer edge and turn your work in a circle to form a pattern. End in the centre.
Step 6: Cut out three rectangles approx. 2" wide and 4" tall of the dark brown felt for your tree trunks. Then using your dark green cut out different leaf shapes .... you can get creative here! Place the leaves at the top of the tree trunks and sew along top with a dark thread to secure leaves in place.
Step 7: Fold tree trunks, with attached leaves, in half and sew from top to bottom, leaving a 1/2" un-sewn bit at the end. On the opposite side of the seam, clip 1/2" up to match un-sewn part of seam. At this point you can turn your trees so the seam is on the inside, or just leave it as is.
Step 8: Pull the two tabs that you have created at the bottom of the tree to form a base. Pin in place. using a straw or pencil poke down the tree trunk so that it's smooth and rounded. When you pin make sure to pull the tabs forming the base as far apart as possible so that the tree stands freely. You may need to re pin after sticking your straw or pencil in the trunk. Sew around the base of each tree using a dark thread.
If your trees still don't stand cut a straw to the hieght of your tree and place in in the trunk. You may want to hand sew the top shut so the straw does not get pulled out fall out!
Step 9: Using your second sheet of green sew on a length of bias tape or ribbon right in the centre of the sheet of felt. Sew another piece of ribbon or bias tape onto one end (the narrower end), centring it. Now pin your cave/river/ tree piece to your ribbon/bias tap piece. Make sure the ribbon in the centre is facing out and that all your cave/trees/river are also facing out as you won't be turning your work. Sew a topstitch seam all around the perimeter. Your done!