Make A High Chair Mat

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How To Make A Protective High Chair Mat

How to make a protective high chair mat

After failing repeatedly at trying to catch everything thrown off the high chair and throwing out more than was getting eaten I decided it was time for a little crafty sewing... hence the creation of the high chair splatter mat!

What you will need:

42 x 32 inch piece of PUL fabric (polyurethane laminate - a coated fabric which makes it waterproof yet machine washable)

46 x 36 inch piece of cotton

11 x 9 inch piece of cotton

Scraps for applique. I used 6 x 4 inch polyester with a couple of inches square of rainbow patterned silk.

How to put it together:

First, you either need to doodle a picture of an elephant like this:

Draw your own elephant applique pattern

Or be cheeky and just press "print page" and borrow mine! Pin it to your fabric and cut around it, making a little circle for an eye and an oval for an ear in a contrasting fabric.

Materials needed for elephant applique

Although time consuming, I think that you get a much neater finish by pre-hemming all the cotton before attaching it but if you are confident you could just press and pin. However, do this at your own peril as the more mistakes you unpick on your PUL fabric, the less waterproof it becomes.

how to turn edges under

Applique the elephant to the smaller cotton piece by using a zigzag stitch at a close setting. I would recommend playing with some scrap fabric first if you are not used to appliqueing to decide what length zigzag stitch looks best and holds in the fabric best as too short a stitch wont hold easily frayed fabrics like silk, and too long a stitch will take up too much space which may make the eye look distorted. I like to hold mine in place with a temporary fabric glue. It makes the finish look so much more professional than just pinning as you don't get any movement as you twist and turn the fabric to sew. I also like to use a plastic snap on sewing machine foot so I can see exactly where I am going / where I have been. Make sure that you work slowly and only ever turn the fabric with the needle down and the foot up so you can pivot the piece without loosing your place. You also get a much better finish going around the curves if you only ever turn the fabric when the needle is down in the outer position (on cotton, not applique).

How to applique

Once done, it should look something like this:

Free Elephant Applique Design

Next all you have to do is put it together. Lay the cotton out on the floor with the pattern facing the floor and the PUL fabric with the coated side facing down. Make sure it is central then turn the edges of the cotton over the top of the edges of PUL to create the border. Pin in place. Again, fold the corners the same way as previously when hemming. I finished it off simply with a straight stitch.

High chair mat tutorial corners 1

Finishing corners high chair mat tutorial

This is what it should look like finished:

Finished high chair splatter mat

I hope you enjoy making your own as much as my baby has already enjoyed smothering it in pancake crumbs and berry juice!

How to make a high chair splatter mat free tutorial

We hope you enjoy our tutorials and love hearing what you think so please leave us a comment or send me an email to

Happy Sewing!

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