Friday, May 31, 2013

Pretty Kitties Play Set: A Fun & Felt Tutorial

Today's project is one I'm especially excited about.  Using printed shapes cut from a fabric panel & a bit of stabilizer, it's easy to make beautiful, durable pieces to work with a felt board or mat.  And, I'm sharing my tutorial for making a companion play mat to make a complete set.

I fell in love with this Little Cat Korean canvas fabric panel over at Wholeport, one of my lovely sponsors, and knew it would be fabulous to work with - adorable cats, wearing retro clothes - what's not to love?  I was even more enraptured when it came.  The kitties were so cute and the accessories and outfits so incredibly detailed.  All those features gave me the idea for this project: Pretty Kitties Felt Play Set.  

I designed the felt mat as a little street scape, so the kids could have fun decorating with the furnishings & playing with their kitty-cat friends:

And to make things practical & easy to transport, the mat folds up, has handles and a handy outside pocket to store all the little figures and their goodies:

The kitties & all their accessories are backed with some extra firm stabilizer so they have a nicer weight and durability than plain felt, but they still grip onto the felt mat.

Supplies Needed:
- Fabric panel (Mine is Little Cat from Wholeport)
- 1/2 yd pink felt for mat
- Several sheets/scraps of cream, green, brown, blue felt for details
- 1 yd extra firm stabilizer
- 1/2 yd paper backed fusible web
- 1 yd 1/4 wide double fold bias tape
- 1 yd of jumbo ric rac
- 2 plastic snaps (Mine are from
- Sewing Notions (iron, press cloth, disappearing marker, pins, shears)

I ironed some paper backed fusible webbing to the backside of the panels and peeled off the paper when cool.  Then I fused some extra-firm stabilizer to the back of the pieces.

I stitched around each shape and cut them out: 

From this one panel I got a really nice assortment of pretty kitties, furniture, knick-knacks & treats:

Making The Play Mat:

From the main felt I cut:

(2) mat pieces 15 inches high by 25 inches wide
(2) straps 3 inches high by 11 inches wide
(1) pocket 8 inches high by 13 inches wide

From the roof pieces, I cut two trapezoids 4 inches high by 8.5 inches wide at the base (6 inches wide at top)

I cut two 7.5 inch squares for the houses and two green strips 1.5 inches high by 4.25 inches wide, cut into a fringe.  I pinned them onto the mat piece as shown:

To attach the houses and add a little detailing I encased the sides in the bias tape and then stitched them onto the background felt.

Then I stitched the rooftops on and basted the ric rac along the top & bottom edges.

To make the straps I folded them lengthwise and stitched them with a 1/8 inch allowance, turned them right side out & topstitched.  

I basted them into place on the sides, 5 inches in from either end:

I folded over the top of the pocket 1 inch and hemmed in place.  Then folded the sides and bottom under 1/2 inch and stitched the pocket onto the back piece for the mat, parallel to a short side.  

To keep the pocket closed when full I attached two plastic snaps to the pocket top and the mat piece.  I gave them extra strength by using scraps of the extra firm stabilizer underneath so the felt won't be stressed when pulled.

With right sides facing, I stitched around the entire mat with a 1/2 inch allowance, but left a hand-sized gap on one end for turning.

I cut two 11 inch by 12.5 inch pieces of the extra firm stabilizer, rolled and inserted the first into the far end of the mat, flattening into place.  Then I stitched it down the middle so it would stay in place and added the second to the remaining side.  Then I topstitched all the way around to close things up and the mat was ready for play.

My daughter gave it her seal of approval by saying "It's adorable!" and couldn't wait to start playing.  I can't wait to see what adventures they get up to together!

I'm also sharing this project with my FAVE LINK PARTIES.
Click HERE to check them out!

I was not financially compensated for this post.  I chose this fabric panel as an item to review.  The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.  I am an affiliate of because I enjoy crafting with their products.  For my complete disclosure policy, click here. 


  1. Really cute, Cheryl. Any little girl will love this.

    1. I agree - and I think the boys will have fun with it too:)

  2. I LOVE this project! What a fun idea. It turned out SO cute. I don't know a little girl who wouldn't love this. It would make a great compact travel toy too. I will be pinning this for sure. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Aw, thanks Amy! I'm looking forward to using it on our next road trip to keep things quiet in the backseat.

  3. So cute! I've never thought to use fabric to make felt board pieces. What a great idea!

    1. Thanks Sarah. I hadn't either until I saw this fabric. Now I can't wait to do more of them with different looks.

  4. Cheryl, this is adorable! What a great use of fabrics and felt. There are so many possibilities with this! Thanks for sharing and linking it up to our Pattern Party!

    Get Your Crap Together

    Pattern Party Starts the 1st of each month

  5. How stinkin' cute is this?! I love it! Thank you for sharing at our Pinteresting Party!

  6. Did you see you were featured at Craftgossip??! Congrats!!

    1. I did! Thanks Amy & glad to have that ray of sunshine on an otherwise grueling day.

  7. I just wanted to let you know that I featured your wonderful project on homework. Thanks so much for sharing it on The Inspiration Board.

    homework &

  8. Featuring you tomorrow on my blog and Facebook!


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