I’ve already properly conveyed how much Little Brother loves his hot wheels. But I was also at a loss as to what to get him for his birthday. We do not need any more toys in this house. Actually, I’ve made several trips to Goodwill this week getting rid of toys that no one plays with (in addition to other meaningless clutter).
So when I saw this idea for a car mat backpack over at A Happy Wanderer, I KNEW I had to make one for Little Brother’s birthday gift. Well, actually, I first asked Heather if I could buy one from her but she had just had a baby 2 days prior and wasn’t exactly sure she would be up to making one (rightfully so). So THEN I decided to make one. She is much more artistic than I am…and I’m sure she cuts fewer corners than I do…but I thought I would give it a shot anyway.
It is the coolest idea! It’s a backpack with zippers on both sides. The zippers unzip completely and it lays flat with a road inside! Perfect for storing cars AND playing with them!
Here’s what you’ll need:
-1/4 yard black cotton fabric (NOT knit, it stretches too much)
-1/4 yard green cotton fabric
-1/4 yard thicker fabric (I used corduroy…but you could use denim too)
-1/4 yard Iron-on webbing (I used Pellon 725 Heavy-Duty Wonder-Under Transfer Web)
-Two 12″ coat zippers (that come apart at the ends)
-2 pieces of 12″x12″ scrapbook paper
-Felt of various colors
-Threaded sewing machine
You can find complete instructions over at A Happy Wanderer, but I thought I would just give a few more details of what I did as well as a few changes I made.
I taped 2 pieces of scrapbook paper together to make the template for the road. I cut the scrapbook paper out, then ironed on the webbing to the black fabric. Using the scrapbook paper template, I traced the outline onto the black fabric and cut it out. Then I ironed it onto the green fabric.
I then sewed the road on using black thread.
I can’t paint. I’m not artistic in the least. So instead of painting on the extra buildings, ponds and trees (like at A Happy Wanderer), I chose to just sew on some felt instead and call it good.
I HAD to paint on the yellow lines on the road. But don’t look too closely. They’re unevenly shaped and spaced!
Trim the edges of the green fabric. Next, you’ll want to cut out your thicker material (corduroy, in my case) in the exact same size as car mat.
Instead of doing an adorable painting on the outside of the backpack, I again chose to use my felt. I just used 2 different-sized cups to trace circles and then cut out Little Brother’s initial and sewed all three, first on top of each other and then on the corduroy.
After this, I also sewed on the straps for the backpack. I can’t sew buttonholes (or buttons, for that matter), so I asked my sweet mother in law to do this part for me after it was all finished. There are more details for this step over (and the remaining steps) at A Happy Wanderer. I forgot to take pictures. :(
Next, you can either surge the edges of both the green fabric and corduroy (separately) or iron a cuff and sew (I have no idea if that is the correct terminology). I chose the latter because I don’t know how to surge. It’s a miracle I can semi-operate a sewing machine, really.
I then sewed on the zippers. One side zips up and the other side zips down. Finally, I sewed the flap for the drawstrings!
Again, go to A Happy Wanderer for more details on the above steps.
I can’t wait for Little Brother to open his car mat backpack tomorrow…he’s going to love it! And it’s going to be the perfect thing to take to church (and elsewhere)!