If you have a baby that’s eating solid foods, you probably have a mess as well at each mealtime. We started giving Lola solid foods at 6 months and it’s amazing how much food can accidentally end up on the floor while they are learning to eat (and then purposefully on the floor later on!). A splash mat under your baby’s high chair can be a great way to help keep floors clean (especially if you have carpet) and you can easily move them from room to room if your baby eats in different spots during the day. Our contributor Kara makes these amazing confetti-filled pillows (so pretty!) and the overall fun vibe it creates seemed like it would perfect for a splash mat as well!Supplies:
-medium weight clear vinyl fabric big enough to cut your desired mat size
vinyl fabric in your color choice big enough to cut your desired mat size
-vinyl or faux leather bias tape (about 20 mm wide); I found the gold color at JoAnns
-hot glue gun
-large and medium loose sequins (I also used 2 packs each of these gold and iridescent stars)
-fabric scissors, marker, and yardstick
-sewing clips (optional)

Ok! First step is to measure out how big you want your splash mat to be. You can basically go as big as your fabric will allow, but we have a bit of space restriction with where her high chair sits at dinner, so I made a 36″ wide circle for mine. Place your vinyl fabric face down on the floor. Trace your desired mat shape onto the back of your vinyl fabric (here are some good tips for drawing a large circle).Place your clear fabric on top of the marked vinyl (you can leave the paper layer on for now if your clear vinyl has one—it will help keep that side clean from dust) and place books on top to keep the layers together. Since you should be able to see your marked line under the clear vinyl, cut through both layers at once to cut out your mat pieces. 
Turn your white or colored vinyl right side up and place your clear vinyl on top (remove your paper layer from the clear vinyl if you have one). Make sure that the side of the clear vinyl facing inward is totally clean or you’ll be trapping that piece of dirt or hair in there for you to see forever! Use your glue gun to go around the edge of your mat, gluing the edges of your clear vinyl to the layer underneath (a piece of wax paper under your mat will help keep glue off your floor or table). Go almost all the way around, leaving a 5-6″ gap big enough for you to get your arm though in the next step. Mix all your sequins together so they distribute evenly (I should have done that first but didn’t!) and then add them into your mat through the hole you left around the edge. Since they will all go in together and sit in one clump, you’ll have to take your arm and put it through the hole to manually move them all around the mat so they spread out a bit. Once your sequins are all in, use your glue gun to close up the hole and then attach your bias tape with the glue gun all around the edge of your mat. I found it worked best to work in 6″ sections by applying the glue on both sides of the tape, attaching it to the mat, and then leaving a heavy book on the tape for 10 seconds or so while the glue sets so that the trimming would dry flat.When you get all the way around, you can just trim the tape and overlap where you started by 1/2″ or so to finish the trim. You can make this mat a no-sew project and leave it as is, or you can sew around the edges of the bias tape for a more finished look like I did (try a 1/4″ seam allowance). The only thing I would suggest if you want to sew the trim on is to use a fabric glue instead of hot glue in the previous step and just use it sparingly to keep the tape from moving around while sewing (or you can use fabric clips too). Too much glue run through your sewing machine may gunk up your machine parts, so try and keep the glue as minimal as you can. Whichever way you decide to finish your mat, it’s now ready for mealtime! So simple but so cute, right? This is something you can roll up and put away whenever you need to, but I wanted to make one that was pretty enough to leave out all the time since we use it so many times throughout the day (that highchair is part of this set FYI and this one is a similar look). The vinyl components of the mat should help keep your floors clean and be wipeable after every meal to help protect whatever rugs or flooring lie underneath. I’ll probably scoot mine up a bit to cover more of what’s in front of Lola’s chair since that’s where she tends to drop food, so maybe scoot yours to one side a bit if they have a preferred “drop zone” as well. Hope this helps make mealtime a little easier for you as well! xo. Laura

Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.



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