DIY fringed play mat

Just add baby once you've made this fringed play mat.
Just add baby once you've made this fringed play mat. Photo: Houzz

The round rug is a trend that is making a big impression, even in small places. For example, this super soft jersey version, pictured below, is not only suitable as a play mat in a nursery but it can also be used as a snuggly rug in a book corner in a toddler's room. It can even be used as a throw on the bed or the sofa after the kids have grown up. 

To make this versatile, reversible fringed play mat for your own child, follow our easy 'how-to' instructions. The project is suitable for all skill levels and, from start to finish, will take under an hour to complete. Doing-it-yourself will save money and you'll have created something you and your kids will treasure forever.

What you'll need: 

2 x 1-metre lengths of jersey knit fabric in two different styles
Measuring tape
Chalk or fabric marker
Sharp haberdashery scissors
Tassel trim
Sewing machine with zig zag function
Ball-point machine needle

Step 1: Measure up 
Start by folding your fabric in half and in half again. Find the corner that has no open edges, this is the centre of the circle. Measure 50 centimetres out from the centre and mark it with chalk.

Step 2: Mark the circle
Holding the measuring tape in place at the corner with the left hand and the chalk in the right at the 50 centimetre point, keep some tension on the measuring tape while marking the fabric as you move your right hand downward in an arc.

Step 3: Cut it out
With sharp haberdashery scissors, shear through the fabric layers following your marked line.

TIP: Move the scissors up on a slight angle with every cut. Smaller snips take longer but they create less pulling on the different layers, thus giving you a more precise circle.

Step 4: Use a guide
Using your first circle as a guide, cut a second circle out of the contrast fabric.


Step 5: Order the fabric
Open the circles and lay them print side facing each other. Trim away any excess material as necessary.

Step 6: Add trim
Place the trim between the two circular pieces with the tassel pointing inwards.

Step 7: Pin it together
Pin around the entire circumference of the rug, making sure to secure all layers to keep them from slipping. Leave an 8-10 centimetre opening (we will get to why in another step).

TIP: Leave enough trim to be able to have some overlap. You can trim off any excess at the end.

Step 8: Sew it up
Use a zig zag stitch to sew all the layers together, leaving a centimetre seam edge and removing pins as you work your way round.

TIP: Make sure you have a ball point needle in your machine, as a regular needle will pull the fabric and the thread will snap with the tension. You may find, depending on the thickness of the jersey, that a walking foot attachment will be helpful to feed the material when sewing. As knit fabric has the tendency to stretch, make sure the material isn't draping over the side of your workbench when you are sewing.

Step 9: Turn it out
Find the opening and push the fabric through, using the same technique as you would to ball socks.

Step 10: Close it up
Sew, top stitch or hand stitch up the opening.

Step 11: Roll out
Lay the mat down on the floor and marvel at your handiwork.

Step 12: Just add baby
Look at this happy camper on his new play mat.

If you make one of these for yourself, show us with an uploaded photo in the Comments below.

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