Play Mat Bag Tutorial

Play Mat Bag Tutorial - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Hi everyone!
I am so excited to share this simple Play Mat Bag tutorial with you today.
My name is Heather and I blog over at Twin Dragonfly Designs where my current obsession is sewing back to school fashions for my twin boys.

Play Mat Bag Tutorial - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

So this play mat that turns into a bag is truly the coolest thing!  When my guys started playing with Legos, a friend suggested that I lay a sheet down on the floor for them to play on.  I took it one step further to create a mat with a drawstring closure.  When the kids are all done playing we simply pull on the drawstring and all of their toys are caught up into a neat little bag!

Play Mat Bag Tutorial - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Now my boys know that Legos stay on the mat, and they can easily clean them all up themselves. 
No more stepping on tiny pieces of Lego in the dark.  Hooray!
The Ribbon Retreat kindly provided this awesome fabric that I just love.  
It’s so fun and colourful!

Are you ready to create a Play Mat Bag of your very own?  Here we go…

You will need:
1 yard of cotton material
1.5 yards of ribbon
Sewing machine
Misc. sewing supplies


1. Begin by folding the fabric into quarters.  Now measure 18 inches from the center fold to create an arc. 


2. Cut along the 18 inch measurements, creating a circle of fabric approximately 36 inches in diameter.


3. Repeat this process on the chenille so that you have two 36 inch circles.


4. Next create four button holes on the cotton fabric.  These will be the holes for the drawstring to go through.  Make two holes about 1 inch from the edge of the fabric, 1/2 inch apart.  Repeat this process directly across from the first two on the other side of the fabric.


5. Pin the two pieces of material together, right sides facing.


6. Sew the material together using a 1/4 inch seam.  Leave a 2-3 inch opening for inverting.  I would recommend sewing with the cotton side down as the chenille may stretch when being pulled through the foot.


7. Invert the circle, iron and top stitch the edge at about 1/4 inch.  Be sure to fold the opening inwards and sew it closed in this process.


8. Sew a line around the bag at about 2 inches, creating a pocket for the drawstring.


9. Cut the fabric out of the holes that you made earlier.


10. Using a safety pin, thread the ribbon through the holes and pocket that you have created around the mat.  Tie the ribbon or sew the ribbon together when completed.

Play Mat Tutorial - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Fun right!?
And seriously such a quick and easy project to make!

Play Mat Tutorial - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

 This chenille fabric from the Ribbon Retreat is uber soft and fuzzy.  My kids went gaga over it!

Play Mat Tutorial - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

A play mat bag like this would make the perfect baby shower or birthday gift!  Use it to “wrap” a gift in even!  How would you best use a Play Mat Bag?

Thanks so much for reading!
I hope that you will stop by Dragonfly Designs to say hi sometime!

xo Heather

Thank you Heather and welcome! Isn’t Heather so incredible AND incredibly talented? That play mat bag is such a FABulous idea for all those little legos that our kiddos love, and we hate to step on! I am pretty sure my boys need one…or two. Heather has so many wonderful ideas and tutorials on her fun blog, and she would love for you to stop by for a visit. You can find more innovative projects by Heather at Twin Dragonfly Designs. Thank you again Heather for sharing your fun tutorial and awesome sewing talent!!!

Do you love that adorable bag? Check out these other fun bag tutorials for kids that you are sure to love!

Take and Play Car CarrierTake and Play Car Carrier - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Snack Bag TutorialSnack Bag Tutorial - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Lego Carrier TutorialLego Carrier Tutorial - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Coloring Book and Crayon HolderColoring Book and Crayon Holder Tutorial - perfect for the little artist! {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

Happy Sewing & Happy Creating!
Signature - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

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This entry was posted in All About Boys, Bags, Bags, Bags, Just for Kids. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.


  1. Posted July 26, 2013 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Thanks for share with us this beautiful play mats bag and tutorial. I appreciate your blog.

    • The Ribbon Retreat
      Posted July 26, 2013 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Hi Mikel! Thank you for your sweet comment. We appreciate you too. 🙂

  2. Christina
    Posted September 17, 2013 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    This is such a genius idea!!! I wish I would of thought of this. I really hate getting the Legos out for my boys because they dump them all out just to find 2 or three pieces and as we all know they end up everywhere. I am definitely going to make one of these. Thanks for the step by step directions! AWESOME!!!!

    • The Ribbon Retreat
      Posted September 17, 2013 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      Hi Christina! THANK YOU so much for your awesome comment! You are awesome, and yes…I think your boys most definitely need one of these bags. Thanks again for sharing Christina! Have a wonderful rest of your day! Michelle 🙂

  3. Posted April 7, 2014 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Excellent tutorial thanks for sharing! You make it look so easy even I can sew one. Love the jungle fabric you used. Can you please tell me where you got it? Which designer is it? Cheers, Louise 🙂

    • The Ribbon Retreat
      Posted April 8, 2014 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      Hi Louise! Thank you so much for your sweet comment! This Play Mat Bag is so cute and kiddos and mamas love them! The jungle fabric can be found right here at The Ribbon Retreat. It is called Bungle Jungle by Moda, and you can find it by clicking HERE. Thank you again Louise! Have a wonderful day and thanks for stopping by! Michelle 🙂

  4. Ragpie
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Love this! I saw a similar thing advertised earlier which was selling for £25 so I googled how to make it and found your blog. Your version is inifinitely better because it’s handmade and therefore unique 🙂 Can’t wait to make my own version!

    • The Ribbon Retreat
      Posted January 27, 2015 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      Hi Ragpie! Thank you so much! I am so glad you found this tutorial! Have so much fun making it and have a wonderful day! Michelle 🙂

  5. Fenny
    Posted May 11, 2015 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Thankyou for excellent ideas & tutorial. God bless you.

    • The Ribbon Retreat
      Posted May 20, 2015 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      Hi Fenny! Thank you so much! Have a wonderful day! Michelle 🙂

  6. Lisa Neumann
    Posted January 4, 2018 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    I just made this for my boys today. It’s super cute. I had to add more length to the ribbon though. Thanks for the tutorial 😊

  7. Wendy Robertson
    Posted October 18, 2018 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    I am making a fun zoo playmat for my granddaughter for Christmas (filled with fisher price little people zoo animals). Anyway, I got the idea, I looked on pinterest for pics and made the play mat. Now I’m at the stage of how to finish it and close it up to make it a storage bag, I like your detailed instructions, and will most likely be using them for another play mat/bag project down the road. My problem now is I don’t have enough room at the edge with all the zoo land areas I made for the playmat to make a 2 inch seam. I’m considering sewing on blanket binding or something similar to give me an edge to run the ribbon/tie through. I think that would make it work similar to yours. My other idea was to add loops of ribbon around the edge of the circle play mat and then run the tie ribbon through all the loops, but I like the idea of the tie/ribbon being encased all the way around. (also I looked up the Ribbon Retreat online and found that you’re in Shelley, ID! small world! I graduated from there a million years ago!) I’d attach a picture of my playmat if I knew how.
    thanks again for your great bag directions.

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