Friday, October 30, 2020

Playmat and a Halloween Craft

It was Fire Monkey's birthday earlier this month and I usually try do a homemade gift for either Christmas or birthday.  This year I had the perfect thing and I didn't want to wait for Christmas.  In his room, he has an IKEA rug with a town on it, great for setting up scenarios with his trucks.  With school being virtual, his "recess" is outside in our yard, alone.  He will frequently take some trucks out with him and play on the grass or on our deck.  I wanted to make him a playmat primarily for outside play, though it will also work as another blanket for him if that's what he wanted.


I had the perfect fabric.  Last February, I spent some time with my dad in Portland, OR and he was within walking distance of a craft thrift store called Scrap.  (You can read about my visit here.)  One of my finds there was a yard of this great building/car fabric--it was a full yard for $3.  According to the selvedge it's Connector Playmats by Deborah Edwards of Northcott.  I wanted it to stand up to being on the ground, so I bought a washable shower curtain (polyester) at a discount store and used that for the backing.  I did simple straight line quilting using the lines already on the fabric.

He loves it!  He's been taking his bin of trucks out on the deck every day.  

Yes, we have enough fire trucks to staff every fire station

Speaking of Fire Monkey, we made a really fun and simple Halloween craft over the weekend.  The idea came from Bernie of Needle and Foot--Mummy Jars!  Only supplies needed are jars, mod podge, cheesecloth, and googly eyes.  (Well, and we used paint brushes for the mod podge.)  We made three mummies.  Yes, the one-eyed mummy was intentional, and made by Fire Monkey.  You can decide if it's a cyclops or a minion.  


Bernie put candles in hers but I decided to try glow sticks instead. I bought a few packages at the dollar store.  I bought the sticks that are pendants for necklaces but I wish I bought the bracelets or necklaces that are bendy because we could have coiled them into the jars better so they didn't show.  But the glow sticks do give a nice glow.  We have been putting the glow sticks in the jars just before we leave for our after-dinner walk.  It's pretty dusky by the time we get home and the mummies glow a little on the porch.


And where do mummies live?  In a pyramid, of course!   At some point after I showed him the mummies on Bernie's page and asked if he wanted to make some, Fire Monkey started talking about mummy houses and wanting to make a mummy house.  Well, as far as my husband was concerned the only possible mummy house is a pyramid, so Husband made one out of cardboard.

I'm not sure if other people can see them when they walk by but we've had them out on the porch.  Walking past neighborhoods and looking at their Halloween decorations has been one of our favorite things to do for the past few weeks.  Thanks to Bernie for a fun idea!


  1. How fun, and so great to find a way to have some Halloween fun in this crazy year.

  2. What a grand idea, making a quilt he can use out on the deck! Love the mummies too - they look like fun to make. Bernie has some great ideas!

  3. You certainly nailed it with that play mat! It looks like Fire Monkey absolutely LOVES it!!!
    And the mummies! So cute! And with using glow sticks - pretty cool! :-)

  4. Both are terrific and fun ideas! I love the glass mummy with the glow sticks. I need to up my game next is too boring here without some fun decorations.

  5. Oh, what a fun project and fairly inexpensive! And the pyramid is the perfect touch! You've captured some sweet photos on the, what looks like a well loved, playmat!

  6. This is such a fun post. We rarely get any trick-or-treaters. Few years ago, there was a young minion and I was so thrilled to see that. Looking at your (and Fire Monkey's) handiwork with mod-podge reminded me of that Halloween night. That is such a fantastic fabric, perfect for kids' quilts' backing, making it truly double-sided. Fire Monkey's smile is so precious. I smile as I type. Be safe, Emily. Hugs to you.

  7. I love this!!! Pyramids, mummies, cyclops and soooo many fire engines. Emily, what a creative place your little guy is growing up in. The shower curtain backing is genius, you can just wipe it down. Such a crafty mama you are!