Many people asked me about our gym mat. I used it so much for pictures and decoration. I was smitten with some mats online, but I didn’t have the budget to buy them, and they didn’t quite have the color I wanted. So I decided to make myself one. It was quite easy to make. You can use a sewing machine, but you can make it by hand as well.
You will need:
Leather or vegan leather
Thread on the color of your leather
Thread in another color
Sewing machine (optional)
Start looking for foam. You can buy it in hobby stores or on Amazon. The size and thickness it is your choice. For my mat, I went for an 80cm square and a 3 cm thick foam pad. I wanted to have a small one. But you can choose a bigger one or even a smaller one. After this, you need to get the leather. I went to Frau Tulpe in Berlin and got some vegan leather in cognac color to fit my flat decor. Any leather will work. But the thicker the leather is, the harder it will be to sew.
Start marking your leather from the back of the fabric. You will need two round pieces and a long stripe to make this mat. The size of the round pieces is the size of the mat you want plus 1cm. That means for an 80 cm diameter mat, you will make an 82 cm diameter piece. Cut to of them
and set aside.
Cut your foam. You can make it a square, rectangle, or any form you want, but I love circle mats. So I cut my foam in the size
I wanted: 80cm. You can use regular scissors or a carpet knife. Don’t worry if the edges aren’t perfect... this won’t be visible later.
For the stripe width, cut the thickness of your foam plus 1 cm per side. We are leaving this extra cm for sewing later. So if your foam is 3cm, cut this piece 5 cm wide. To know the length of it, use a regular math formula (and you thought you wouldn’t use math after school)
The formula is: π x diameter= circumference so on my case 3.1416 times 80 would be the length I need plus 1cm per side equals 251,3 + 2 =253,3cm.
Ergo: your stripe will be 253,3 x 5cm.
If you don’t have a piece as long as the diameter, just cut 2 pieces and sew them together until it reaches the length you need. Now you have three parts: the two round ones and the stripe.
Now we start assembling. First, we join the two ends of the stripe with a pin and sew them together 1 cm away from the edge. Sew inside out, please! Now you have a belt-like loop. You can sew them like in the picture, so it will look tidier.
Now take one of the round pieces and secure the belt with pins, so it is easier to baste (baste means temporary stitching). Using a thread color that is different than your leather, baste the whole round so it won’t move when you are sewing them together.
Now using a sewing machine or just by hand, sew with the same color of your leather 1.5cm away from the edge. And secure the ends with a knot.
Iron the hem, so it looks flat like in the picture. This will help when you introduce the foam at the end. You can use a hot gun for this is your leather won’t bend.
Now test with the foam to see if it fits appropriately on size before you continue. If it fits, do the same with the other side. Don’t forget we are sewing inside out. Add pins, then baste and sew, leaving a space to introduce the foam. I went 20 cm open for that.
Turn it to the right side, roll the foam, and put it inside. It is such an annoying process if you are using vegan leather as I did as the foam won’t slide easily. But don’t give up hope! Once you have the foam in place, proceed to sew the hole until its closed. Add a knot, and don’t cut the thread; just leave it inside of the mat.
Now you have yourself a mat that looks good just hanging around or laying on a wall.
But if you really like the mat and have no spare time to make it, you can buy yourself one at Lille Svend KBH or Gathre. I don’t know where you can get one with vegan leather, though. I hope this helped you guys! Don’t forget to tag me when you make this DIY. It would make me so happy! Happy sewing!
Some time ago, I remembered seeing some Insta-posts about origami-style mobiles. I can't remember in which account I saw them...sorry. So this isn't original-original but "Instagram-Inspired." If you follow me on Instagram, you would know that I am trying to make a beautiful kid's room. (There is a severe lack of playgrounds in this village). I am doing as much as I cant to make it Pinterest Pretty by myself and on a budget.
I have been looking for a mobile for Otis, but most of them aren't quite what I want. Herz & Blut made one that I like, but it seemed too hard for me to replicate it. So I made this one. Here is how can you make it yourself. It is pretty easy, but time-consuming, though it took me a couple of weeks to finish it.
First is the origami. I am a total newbie on this so actually anyone can do it. I found this tutorial on youtube on how to make diamonds with paper. You can use any form, from cranes to paper boats. But these look so beautiful, and I can make them later for Christmas-tree decorations too.
The next step is practice, practice, practice. And shop the supplies. You will need the following:
PAPER: Colored paper over 100 gr. Heavy. You can buy them in size A4 or a bigger one. I got big sheets at the drugstore, to be honest. I used three colors, but two would work as well. You can get them in scheme colors at Modulor like this winter pack here.
WOOD: Wooden beads, you can buy them here in Amazon or places like Etsy or Dawanda. You will need some wood stain if you don't want to leave it in natural color.
THREAD: A roll of thread in a color that fits your scheme colors.
GLUE: I used regular glue as it takes time to dry, so you have time to adjust stuff. I tried the hot glue gun, but it was a disaster as it dries so fast you can't correct it at all.
NEEDLE: I used a knit needle, the bigger and thicker the better.
HANGER: Stick, log, or hook to hang your work of art at the end.
When you are testing with regular copy paper, you should check the sizes you would like to make. I made the big ones in 20 cm, the medium ones 15 cm, and the small one is 11cm. I think I made one on 16cm too. Cut them all and don't forget you need pairs. So pair them always and keep them that way, so you don't get confused and end up with a mess.
TIPP: Fold them all like this before starting and make a small hole in the middle with your needle.. this will make it SOOOOOO much easier for you later.
Once you finished folding the parts, start staining the beads, use gloves! Let them dry overnight. I didn't add a finish to it, but you can do it. I find it too messy to paint balls.
The beads are done, the two parts of the diamonds as well, and you are just so ready to make this happen.
And this is how we roll: Cut a piece of thread about 2x lengths of your arm. Double thread your needle. Take one bead or 2 or three and knot it at the end of your thread. Pierce or string the lower part of the diamond and then the top, as you can see in the picture. Add glue on one side and paste together. Repeat until all diamonds are done and with thread.
I made an ombre effect here, using the darker color at the top and the lighter color at the bottom. But you can work your creativity here. Grab all the diamonds by its string and place them as you would like them at the end. Then make a knot at the very top of them.
TIP: It is easier to pull down a diamond than up, so start with all of them pretty close and start pulling one by one lower.
I found this wood beauty in my old backyard in Berlin, but you can use a regular hook on the ceiling, a log, a stick... anything you can fix over the baby cot. Please be sure to attach it correctly, and please be safe!
I used 4 yarn pieces, double thread tied to two hooks on the ceiling, but there are very good glues that would do the work, be sure to weight the whole thing and ask the specialist at your hardware store... always ask.
Placing the mobile: You don't need to put it in the middle of one side.. just check where exactly your baby's head will be and that is the place. Leave at least 50 cm space between your baby's nose and the last bead.
Tie the mobile really good. I went over the log 2 times, and the third was a knot, and I added tape at the back to fix it. Now you can turn your mobile like a carrousel many times, pushing one diamond with one finger and let it go. Otis gets hypnotized every time I do that.
You will be cutting loads of paper while making the diamonds. Save all pieces and keep them for later. You can do some other projects with them or even use it to create fun things like this porcupine I made with Pepa. Always try to use all the material instead of throwing them away...
I hope you guys like this DIY! If you have any questions, just ask away. It is effortless to make, and the cost is almost nothing compared to regular mobiles on the market. Not to mention how proud you will feel when you see your baby admiring it and being entertained by it.
There is that time when you need to buy big toys for your kids, and let's face it, if you don't have a big kids room, then you are doomed to have toys everywhere in the house. I am super annoying when it comes to my flat. I worked my ass off to make it look pretty, and I was so afraid it will get filled with different kinds of wood and crazy colors. So when Pepa asked to have a Kitchen for her second birthday, I started planning the "partner look" with my kitchen.
I looked for every kitchen possible and checked the possibilities of "hacking it," and the best one was IKEA Duktig. It is already pure and mostly white like the kitchen at home. But it has a lot of greys and a different kind of wood. But that isn't too hard to change.
First things first, Open the box and decide which colors you need. Separate the parts and plan what will you do with every piece. Doing this will make it easier to work. I finish this in several days, and I took each part out when needed - this avoids unnecessary chaos.
You need to find a varnish that is kids friendly; I found the ALPINA Weißlack für Innen that is made for toys and can get licked without being worried about poisoning. Please check this! Don't forget it is a children's toy and need to be children safe. The color that matched my kitchen fronts was Cremeweiss and silk matt finish.
The working surface of the Duktig is already varnished. If you are good varnishing, you can buy a colored varnish, and after some small sanding, you can add layers of it until achieving the right color. On my case, I wanted it to seem like oiled wood. For this, you use a sanding machine like my BOSCH PMS 160A or just sand off the old vanish by hand. When you are varnish free, clean and change the wood color with wood stain. I used CLOU water-based stain in the same color as the surface of the kitchen: OAK. You can add many layers of it. Every layer will get darker than the one before. Don't forget to use gloves and a sponge for better results and cleaner fingers.
I added a coat of varnish in super matte as I am sure that Pepa will use water on hers. you can add some wood oil as well.
My kitchen sink and tap are black, so it was just intelligent to make them black as well. These parts are plastic. Use a base spray to avoid flaking and then using a kid's safe varnish spray. Cover the area you are working over as you don't want to ruin your floors. Let it dry and repeat until it is all covered.
The DUKTIG kitchen doesn't come with a wall. And that makes it easier for a kid to drop things through that gap, ergo, chaos. I measured the back of the kitchen and bought a cheap MDF/wood thin plate. Then, nail from the back. Then I bought some "tile stickers" and pasted them. You can paint it in color, or use any folie as well.
To finalize the kitchen partner look, I needed leather grips. I made my kitchen grips last time. But it would have been too expensive and time-consuming to recreate them. I found IKEA makes leather grips but not in black. I always have leather stain or dye for Pepas shoes. I just dyed the grips to black and achieved the same look.
This was a very subtle DIY hack, but I am so in love with the results. It fits my kitchen. It doesn't look like I have a toy laying around. It is like a mini-me partner look kitchen standing there. I bought plastic baskets at Superbazaro (from Maedchenitalienber) in the Mulackstraße in green for Pepa to store all the toys she uses in the kitchen. Don't they look fantastic? Add a little plant, some, and you will be ready to do some cook-offs with your toddler.
I hope this was helpful for you guys and if you have any questions, shoot!
I am Andrea, or as my friends call me, Jinx. I am a foodie living in Berlin, eating my way through life. Here are my recipes, cooking events, dining experiences and more...