Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Splat Mat

My son is one of those kids that loves to feed himself, but really knows how to make a huge mess in the process. We started food around four months old, and now that he is almost 15 months he is loving the idea of a spoon, fork, bowl, etc. For the last few months, when he was done with something, he would toss it or throw it on the floor. A sippy cup I could deal with on the floor, but spaghetti, pasta, yogurt, fruit... not so much! I hated the end of the night when he was bathed, and put to bed and then I had to come back out and clean up everything on the floor. It required, wipes, sponges, and a vacuum (as he was on carpet). The occasional spot cleaner was on hand too! By the time I was heading to bed I smelled like everything from cleaning products to baby wipes, and old food! Now that, was NOT my ideal day!

Off to do research. What could I make to put under the high chair to catch the food. I did a little pinterest searching, a few baby site digging, and even a little facebooking. In the end I found splat mats! Oh yes, this is what I needed. I even had on hand for the time being, while i whipped one up, an old christmas table cloth! Perfect! I looked on different websites, and even etsy only to find them for purchase over $40! YIKES!!! You could buy a cheap table cloth for like $10 bucks at walmart or target, so why spend a penny more. I decided I would just make my own. I looked everywhere, and finally found vinyl. However, the back of vinyl when washed will start to seperate from its original fabric. So, i purchased some vinyl on sale, bought some cheap cotton, and sewed them together.

The cotton grey fabric with the grey vinyl chevron fabric.

Now I had vinyl, with a back, and all the vinyl was sealed! Now, I could wash it, scrub it, wipe it, and hang it up to dry! I purchased 3 yards of vinyl, which comes in very large lengths, and about 5 yards of the cotton. I did a little extra sewing with the cotton, because its shorter in length then the vinyl, but in the end I loved the finished product.

Finished splat mat.

Front view.

Front, vinyl, with back, cotton.

Side view.

To simply make one, I sewed the two fabrics right side together. I serged the edge, but if you dont have one you can straight stitch and then zig-zag around that. Make sure to use painters tape on the bottom of your sewing foot, and you might possibly need to place some on your sewing machine where the fabric will slide across it. Vinyl sticks to pretty much everything, so the painters tape will help keep it from doing so. I then left a small hole, where I flipped the entire thing inside out. My hole was about 4-5 inches. I then used my fingers, no iron, to press all the seams out (from the inside). I then top stitched the hole and then rest of the vinyl to the cotton! The finished product was perfect in size.

My son throws mostly left to right, so I didn't need to worry about the area behind him as he rarely throws in that direction. You may need to alter the size depending on your childs high chair size (as say graco, and other plastic high chairs which I know are a lot larger then my wooden one). You can purchase vinyl at most sewing stores, walmart in our area has some, as well as hobby lobby! You can find it online, but usually its more expensive and shipping is a lot these days. If you can purchase it on sale at a local store or use a % off coupon, then thats your best bet, as the vinyl can get expensive!

Now let your child splat away,

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