Travel Diaper Changing and Playtime Mat Tutorial

Travel Diaper Changing Mat Sewing Tutorial

I decided that Ruby needed a changing pad the other day. One that could fit easily in my diaper bag and hold a diaper and a few things. I also wanted something that was large enough to lay out and let her play on while at friends’ homes or at church. She is at the age where she really enjoys playing and chewing on toys…and rolling around. I’d prefer that she stop growing so fast and not do those types of things, but since we are here and there is no going back, I might as well cater to her needs 🙂

My inspiration for this project originated from the patemm changing pads. I really loved their concept and execution. It was brilliant! Theirs are made from laminated cotton (like picnic table cloths) which is easy to wipe down. You can make this one from the same type of fabric, but I wanted something a bit softer since I was going to use this as a play mat too.
So I came up with a little knock off version that has worked out perfectly for Ruby’s needs. I used 3 yards of fabric, plus extra fabric to create my own bias tape, but store bought bias tape would work great too.
When buying your fabric you can just buy 1 yard of 3 coordinating fabrics & about 5 1/4 yards of  bias tape. I used a 1″ bias tape tool to make mine.
Since my fabrics were purchased on sale and with coupons, I spent a total of $6 for this project. A savings of almost $60.

Would you like to make one too?  {Darling, happy baby, not included}

First you’ll need a pattern. I used my super scientific method of taping a 15″ string to a marker and making a big circle that way. You can use whatever method you choose. You’ll just need a 30″ circle.
You will need to cut out 3 {30″} circles from your fabrics. If you’d like to add a layer of felt, you can as well for padding, but it will take up more room in your diaper bag if you do this.
You will see, below, that I have 2 solid circles and one with a hole in the center. To make that hole, fold your paper circle into fourths. Measure 8.5″ from the edges, trace your markings and cut out that cone shape. Lay the shape on your 3rd piece of {30″} fabric, which has also been folded into fourths, and cut out that section. You should now have a nice big donut shaped piece of fabric.

I was intimidated by bias tape until I saw all of the wonderful projects and posts that were shared on MADE. When I saw Dana make her own tape, I immediately added a bias tape tool to my little sewing wish list. That was MONTHS ago and it sat in my sewing box until I tried it on this project! I’m hooked! If you need help with bias tape techniques, check out her post here.

It doesn’t matter if you use store bought or make your own. I like the look of homemade bias tape because you can coordinate it perfectly with your project. You will need to sew your bias tape onto the center of the donut shape fabric. Start by pinning the opened tape to the back of your fabric. Sew along the fold line. Flip over and pin the remaining edges along the front and stitch.
When you have finished that, layer up your fabrics. Begin with your backing (right side facing the table), then your lining (right side facing you), then your donut shaped fabric on top.

Sew and finish the outer edges by using more bias tape.

To create easy fold lines and sections for your items, fold your pad in thirds. Starting with the left, then the right and mark your folds with a pin. And iron your fold so that you can see it clearly to stitch. Pin along the stitch line, if necessary, to see it better.  Stitch through all thicknesses starting at the top and going down on both lines (See illustration below) all the way to the bottom bias tape of your mat. This will create 4 sections. The top and bottom sections will be approx. 8×12″ and the sides approx. 8×24″. It is hard to see the thread in the photos, but it does create 4 nice sections and makes it easier to fold up.

Your changing pad is just about complete! Fold up the left side, then the right. Fold up the bottom until it meets the center and then the top down to the center. Then fold in half one more time.

You can add whatever fastener you would like: snaps, Velcro, a button….I just used some black elastic. I measured the length, then quickly stitched the ends together to make a band. The same kind I use for headbands for the girls. I tried to enlarge one of the photos from my inspiration to see how they did their handle closure, but wasn’t smart enough to figure it out, and this elastic band just seemed simple.

All of the items below tuck neatly inside the side pouch. I found that the mat folded better when the items were placed on the top and bottom of the mat pouches vs. along the sides. This wipe pouch is about 1/4 full. Any thicker and it wouldn’t fit as well. The plastic travel size cases would be perfect and nice and flat.

The entire mat is completely machine washable to make for a nice clean playtime & diaper change. Perfect for this darling little gal and a fun idea to keep in mind for baby shower gifts!

I think she likes it.

Feel free to Pin for future use!

travel diaper changing mat

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This is SO amazing! Pinning it right now!I want to make a bunch of these for baby gifts – my six are too old now…enjoy it while you’re in it 🙂

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I LOVE this!!! I’m actually in the process of making one for my friend who’s expecting and I had a quick question:

How big are your squares on the backside? I love the checkerboard and want to do that, too.

I love this idea! It’s so stinking cute! So many of my friends and family are knocked up, and this would be an awesome baby gift! I am so excited to see more of your blog!

P.S: I found Gluesticks by clicking the NEXT BLOG button at the top of mine!


Newest follower here! I found you through the blog hop. you have a super cute blog, I can’t wait to read more!

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-Melanie @

I needed a fast and quick baby gift and found your blog. Great instructions! It went together in a couple hours and looks great. I am so happy with it. I’m saving the pattern to make another one as it seems that there a lot of babies coming in the next year.

Wonderful! So glad it went smoothly! I love this play mat because it isn’t something that they usually receive more than one of at a baby shower. Nice and original! Have a fantastic week!

I made this & love it! Great tutorial! Took me 1 naptime & 1 evening to complete. What did you do with the inside circle fabric (that was cut out)? I’m thinking a matching taggie blanket would be nice

Hi Amy! Thanks for contacting me! I’m so glad it turned out great for you. I actually just threw the fabric in my scrap box to use for other projects, but a taggie blanket would be such a nice addition to the gift!

Hi there sooo cute… currently making this.. can this fold whilst having the nappies and wipes stored in one of the sections

thanks for this .

This is a great idea! I just have some questions:
What fabrics did you use? And does it slip on slippery surfaces such as wooden floors or tiles?

Hi! I used cotton and flannel and didn’t notice it slipping around on wood floors too much. Especially when weighted with a few toys on top. Hope that helps!

I wonder how it would turn out using fleece for the middle layer? I know it would make it thicker, but would add padding and softness for a younger child.

So after you sew the tape to circle, you do not have to sew this to the center fabric at all? In the center I mean. Seems like it might flap up a bit. I will try just sewing it at the outer edge and see. So cute!