quick fix: splat mat
Have a messy kid? I sure do. I guess it could be a lot worse, but I feel like I'm constantly scrubbing that section of floor underneath his high chair. Even if my kid loves the food I give him, some of it still finds its way onto the floor. And you know what happens if I don't wipe it up right away; it becomes that much harder to scrape off later.
Around the first of the year, I found a huge rectangular plastic-coated tablecloth on clearance at Ross for $3. I cut it in half and put one section of it underneath the highchair; the plastic coating made the food a lot easier to clean up, even if it had been given time to become fossilized. :o)
Here's the problem, though. My kid learned to walk. That tablecloth became a hazard for him (and, let's face it, for Mommy too) since the other side of it was slick. Plus it was kind of flimsy so it was difficult to pick up and move around anyway. I ended up trashing it last week because it was pretty much beyond help.
Today during naptime I fixed the problem using the other half of the tablecloth. Caleb's "splat mat" is now thicker, more durable, and (most importantly) completely slip-proof. Wanna know how I did it? Sure you do. :o)
First I took the remains of the tablecloth and laid it out to see what I had to work with.
Then I folded it in half, right sides together, to make a long rectangle. My kid's messes tend to fall on either side of his chair, so I wanted more coverage on the sides for sure. I pinned everything and then sewed along three of the four sides.
Then I turned the whole thing right-side-out through the side I had left open, and then smoothed everything out the best that I could. I also pinned that open side shut so I could sew it closed when I went back to top-stitch everything. But before the top-stitching, I wanted to add another feature:
Grippy shelf liner! This stuff is great for more than just lining shelves; in fact, we use this to keep our son's diaper changing pad on the changing table. It provides just enough friction to keep stuff in its place, and with a very cheap pricetag at that. The dollar store sells five-foot rolls of this stuff, so I got two rolls and got to it.
I unrolled both rolls of shelf liner and cut them in half lengthwise. Then I just started pinning the shelf liner along all four sides sides of the mat, trimming and overlapping as needed. I sewed the liner down, about 1/4 inch from the edge. Then I went back and sewed all along the inside edges of the liner to completely secure it to the bottom of the mat. I was a little concerned about how the shelf liner would fare under the sewing machine needle, but it worked great; the only thing that slowed me down was getting the pins out as I sewed, since some of them really needed a strong tug to get loose from the shelf liner. So when I was done, the mat had a border of shelf liner all along the outside edges.
Then I flipped it over and tested it. I walked all over it and it didn't move at all! No more slipping or sliding around! Plus by sewing the tablecloth in half first, I made a double-layer mat so it's much sturdier and easier to pick up for cleaning if needed. Ha, "if needed." That's a laugh. I'm sure my son will be glad to christen this latest creation at his very next meal. :o) Linking up at Creations by Kara and A Little Tipsy!