The original was made with cotton. It's great, but not as easy to keep clean because of the chalk dust. So I changed it up a little and used Laminated Cotton. It's just a quick wipe on all surfaces and it's clean!
CHALK MAT WITH STORAGE POCKET TUTORIAL
- 1/3 Yard of 48" Chalk Cloth (also called Blackboard Cloth) *1 Yard = 6 Mats
- 1/3 Yard of 45" Laminated Cotton, Oilcloth, or Cotton *2 Yards = 6 Mats
- 1/3 Yard of 20" Light or Medium Weight Fusible Fleece OR 1/3 Yard 45" Cotton Batting *2 yard Fleece = 6 Mats
- 5" wide strip of lightweight Clear Vinyl
- 12" of 1/4" Double fold Bias Tape
- 12" of 1/4"-1/2" Elastic in color of your choice
- Thread to match
- Tissue Paper
1. I don't like to have a bunch of scrap fabric, so when I purchase I like to figure out the least waste. That's why I've listed the amount you need to purchase for 6 Mats.
2. I purchased Michael Miller Laminated Cotton at a local shop; you can find it all over online if you can't get it locally. It is very easy to sew as well, light weight and the foot doesn't stick on it. The Coated Twill I used in this tutorial was really difficult to sew with, the foot kept sticking to the plastic coating (I used tissue to help) and it is a bulkier fabric. You can also make your own Laminated Cotton with Heat'n Bond Iron On Flexible Vinyl although I've never done that.
3. I prefer to use Fusible Fleece because it just irons on to the fabric and you don't have to stabilize it with basting stitches or pins!
4. You can use the scraps of laminated cotton to make your own bias tape if you prefer.
5. Clear light-weight vinyl shower curtains from the Dollar Store make for cheap vinyl!
* Links to products are for you to be able to see the product, not in any way a recommendation that you purchase that item.
1 piece 10"x13.5" Chalk Cloth
2 pieces 12"x20" Laminated Cotton (or fabric of choice)
1 piece 12"x20" Fusible Fleece
1 piece 5"x12" Clear Vinyl
1 piece 12" Bias Tape
1 piece 12" Elastic
1 piece about 5"x1" of Tissue (I just use old gift wrap tissue!)
1. If you are using Cotton Batting pin it to secure it or baste it in place. Otherwise, put the Fusible Fleece fusible side (fusible side has the bumpy dots) to wrong side of one piece of Laminated Cotton. With Laminated Cotton on the bottom, cover the Fleece with a dish towel or some extra fabric and Iron on a Medium Heat to fuse the fleece to the Laminated Cotton. (If you're worried start at a lower heat and slowly increase it.) Press down section by section, don't swipe the Iron across the fabric as you would for a shirt - it might stretch the fleece, or make it fold and iron on weird.
*I forgot to photograph this step. Sorry.
2. Pin the Bias Tape over one of the long edges of the vinyl. Sew in place with a zigzag stitch. If you use a slightly larger bias tape you can use a straight stitch if you prefer.
Here I actually made my own Bias Tape using left-over scrap fabric and sewed it on with a straight stitch.
3. Pin the Vinyl to the right side and right edge of the Laminated Cotton with Fusible Fleece. Mark the center of the edge. Place the Tissue Paper over that line and straight stitch down the center line. Tear away the Tissue Paper. *The paper makes it much easier to sew on the Vinyl because the foot will stick to the Vinyl. The stitches will look a lot better this way, trust me!
4. Align the Chalk Cloth on the same piece the Vinyl is on; 1 inch from the left and 1 inch from the bottom. Sew a zigzag stitch over the perimeter of the Chalk Cloth. *To prevent the chalk cloth from stretching, sew across the top then down one side. Then starting in the corner you began, sew down the side and across the bottom. This way you are sewing all seams in the same direction and if any stretching occurs it's all
5. Fold the elastic in half and pin the raw edges to the Mat in the center on the left edge. Point the elastic towards the Chalk Cloth, not outwards, or else the elastic will end up on the inside of the Mat. Baste to the edge if needed.
6. Pin the right side of the second piece of Laminated Cotton to the right side of the piece with the Chalk, Vinyl and Elastic on it. Sew a 1/2" seam around the outside leaving a hole about the size of your fist to turn it right-side-out. Serge the edge or zigzag stitch it to prevent fraying (this also helps in case the stitching comes loose, then there's another line of stitching to prevent your kids fingers from popping in there and ripping it right open)!
7. Trim the corners off so that once right-side-out they will lay flat.
8. Pull the fabric out through the hole turning it right side out. Flatten the edges out nicely. I roll the edge between my fingers to get it flatten nicely. Fix the corners so that they are square. I use a pin on the tricky ones, popping it in, catching the threads and pulling it out gently. Pin where necessary to stabilize. Fold under the edge of the hole to line up with the seam and pin it closed.
See what a difference that makes?
9. Top Stitch 1/4" from the edge around the entire Mat.
10. Put Chalk in 1 section and a Sponge in the other. Roll the Mat up, and wrap the elastic around it. You're done! Enjoy!
Draw on it with the chalk and wet the sponge to wipe it clean. If you're out and about and don't have a wet sponge, wet wipes work great. I've used this often!