I like to have small yet thoughtful gifts on hand for when we visit friends with kids. I know I don't need to bring a gift every time but, I like making stuff and this is as good an excuse as any! Another benefit is that sometimes a gift can distract the kiddies long enough that I might enjoy some adult conversation with their parents.
Here is a variation on Sharla's Car Cozy.
I bought the animals at a really charming independent toy store in the Pacific Palisades. It cost about $4 and has very detailed little sea creatures. I later saw a similar version at the Dollar Tree.
If this doesn't amuse the kiddies long enough for adult conversation, at least it's something I'd like to play with. As long as I get to be the shark, that is.
I'm not one for fussy little pockets. Who wants to mess with getting little animals in individual spaces when the food finally arrives? So, I made this with lots of folds and layers for the animals to "swim" in, but one big pocket for clean up.
The sandcastle was drawn on with a disappearing pen and then sewn over with my sewing machine. It came out just as I imagined-whew!
The "waves" are folded strips of fabric with the raw edges showing. I layered them and then sewed them together in the middle. This made them one big sheet.
I sandwiched the ocean layers in between the sand and the back -rights facing rights and sewed them together leaving a bit for turning. Then I hand sewed it shut and added the sandcastle embellishment. Finally, I added a hair tie for the elastic closure. I used to use ribbon, but again, I noticed that my friends really don't have time to fuss with ribbons and ties when they are wrangling the wee ones. Another advantage to using hair elastics is that they come in so many colors! My sewing machine sews right over these hair elastics with no problem.
This toy set came with a dozen sea creatures. I will most likely, make two and split the set up. Six is plenty for the space of the play mat. I am on the look out for farm animals and especially horses. There are a lot of possibilities for this kind of travel friendly toy!
Today I am linking up with "Get Your Craft On!"
Hope you are having a great week!