How to Make an Easy Nap Mat

By Rosenya Faith
Make several different nap mat covers to coordinate with your young diva's outfit.

You can make nap time at daycare, at home or on vacation as comfortable as possible for your youngster by crafting a cushiony nap mat with a soft, minky blanket. Let your child help with customization by picking out the colored or patterned fabric. Make it extra special by monogramming her initials or name in the fabric when you’re done. This nap mat will last through a multitude of sweet dreams because you don’t even have to worry about spills and stains -- toss the soiled fabric in the wash for a fresh and stain-free nap time every day.

Cut a 20-inch by 50-inch piece of 1-inch-thick foam padding. Alternatively, you can use a yoga mat in place of the foam and cut the fabric according to the yoga mat’s measurements.

Cut one large piece of fabric, making it 43 1/2 inches wide by 53 inches long. If you don't have a single, large piece of fabric, use two pieces instead. Make each one 22 inches wide by 53 inches long. Lay the pieces side by side, pin the adjacent sides together and sew a straight stitch, leaving a 1/2-inch seam allowance to join the two pieces.

Fold over 1/4-inch of fabric along each of the 53-inch-long sides and use an iron to press the folds. Sew a straight stitch along each fold.

Fold the fabric in half lengthwise with the good sides of the fabric facing inward. Pin the short ends together to begin closing the mat cover. Sew along each end, leaving 1/4-inch seam allowance. Flip the fabric right side out.

Cut coordinating pieces of hook and loop fastener, making each 50 inches long. Pin one strip along the good side of one 53-inch-long side. Pin the other strip along the wrong side of the other 53-inch-long side. Sew the hook and loop fasteners to the fabric.

Slide the foam padding into the fabric cover and seal it inside with the hook and loop fastener. Now you can remove the foam padding from inside any time you like to wash the fabric cover.

Cut a piece of minky fabric. Make this piece 42 inches wide by 42 inches long. Fold the fabric in half with the good sides facing inward and pin the short ends together. Sew along each end and then flip the fabric right side out.

Pin the rough edge of the fabric to the fabric-covered nap mat, along the side opposite the hook and loop fastener. Remove the foam padding from inside the cover and turn the cover inside out.

Sew the minky fabric edges to the fabric cover from the inside of the fabric cover to hide the stitching. Turn the cover right side out when you’re finished, slide the foam padding back inside and close the hook and loop fastener.

Cut two more pieces of the cover fabric, making each one 8 inches long by 6 1/2 inches wide. These will become tabs to hold the mat closed when it is rolled. Fold each piece in half with the good side facing inward and sew a straight stitch down the long edge and one short edge of each piece. Flip the fabric pieces right side out and sew the remaining edge closed on each piece.

Pin one short end of each piece to the bottom, underside of the nap mat and sew each one in place. Cut two pieces of hook fastener, each 3 inches in length, and sew a piece to the end of each of the fabric tabs.

Roll up the mat from the opposite end and mark on the mat cover where the tabs touch the fabric. Cut two pieces of loop fastener and sew each one to the fabric cover. Roll up the nap mat and secure it closed by pressing on the hook and loop fastener tabs.

Tip

To make the nap mat easy to carry around, cut a 30-inch-long piece of 2-inch-wide ribbon. Pin each end to the rolled up mat and sew the ends in place to create a shoulder strap for the nap mat.

About the Author

Rosenya Faith has been working with children since the age of 16 as a swimming instructor and dance instructor. For more than 14 years she has worked as a recreation and skill development leader, an early childhood educator and a teaching assistant, working in elementary schools and with special needs children between 4 and 11 years of age.