Thursday, 18 August 2016

Travelling with kids part 3 - travel tray

Final part of travelling with kids is travel tray. Super useful during long car trips when the kids can play with their small toys on their laps without them getting lost all the time. It keeps them entertained and happy for a long time, especially together with the toy bag and dry erase book.

First, the idea of travel tray isn't mine and for the pillow I used the tutorial by Two Sisters Crafting. Their tray is bigger and I have to admit it is much more neat than mine! They used new cookie tray that was painted nicely. Apparently from somewhere you can buy cookie sheets for 1$ per piece. Not here though. They would be perfect for crafting purposes for the kids but I highly suspect that you won't get an for a price like that here!

As my last post wasn't anything upcycled but a tutorial about getting best result with twin needle and the one previous that new clothes for my kids, I promised the next post would be something upcycled. This one is through and through. Here is what I used:

One plastic tray that was cut half. Plastic is near impossible to cut by hand and I was wondering how to cut it when my brother happened to visit. He said that our dad has that kind of saw that can cut it nice and neatly. Too bad he tried some other saw first and the plastic broke a bit. It was quite neat though after finished with the correct saw but the halves had some sharp points and I used duct tape to fix that (only thing here that isn't upcycled). Not pretty but it gets the job done and stays on. Why cut it half then? I was asked that and my answer was that it is too big. That's true! I asked for ideas how to cut a tray and I'm asked why I want to cut it? Don't you usually want to cut something that is too big to make it smaller? Yes, the tray was too big to fit on the kids' laps with the toy bags resting on the car tables in front of them. I think it would have been too big even without the car tables so it was better this way. And before you ask, the car tables are fixed on the front seat, they can't really be used for playing or drawing as they are too far away for that and if they were close enough, the kids' feet wouldn't fit.

I got this fabric from a relative of mine with words "do you have any use for this?". I didn't at the time but of course I took it. Since then I have used it to make pockets for advent calendars and couple wizard hats:

The material is felt like and it is from a couch. Can you get anything more upcycled than some fabric that is from old couch when the couch was ripped and thrown away? I don't know what it was used for but it has been very useful after that. Only proves that you should always check and re-check what you are throwing away. It is rather big piece and it didn't cost a single cent, hard to find better deal.

But.. the problem with unknown fabrics is that you don't know what material is it. So, when you try to attach something with bondaweb by ironing it, this might happen:

As usual, I was in a hurry to get these ready so I was pretty annoyed when that happened. Of course, I should have realized to check, so it was just my own fault.

Different fabric scraps and patterns for cutting them.

These formed the bottom pillow. There is no need for the tutorial about that, just look at the Two Sisters Crafting link above. Couple changes though. First, I used oat to fill the pillow, second I added some padding so the oat won't poke through. Oat is from old warm/cold pillows that weren't needed anymore and the outer fabric is from crib padding that I ripped here. Like I said, upcycled through and through.

I cut two rectangulars just like Two Sisters Crafting advised to, the outer fabric bigger than the inner fabric and padding same size as the outer fabric. When you use padding like this, it is good idea to cut out the corners, the padding isn't needed there and it will just make the seam too thick.

Everything went well until I attached the pillow to the tray. I only had one type of glue that I could even think would work and that didn't. The glue stuck to the fabric but not to the plastic. There wasn't anything that would have been more suitable in our household and the shops aren't exactly around the corner so I had to use what I already had. Have you noticed that you really have to get creative when you can't just go to the shop and buy what you want? I think it is actually an advantage not to live next to all shops, I have to find new solutions quite often.

The new solution was this:

Small drill-made holes and yarn worked. It is just a yarn that goes through the holes and below is attached to the pillow with small hand-made stitches:

It was impossible to get the yarn tight but it doesn't matter really, it stays put when used on lap and stays on when carried.

Our kids like to play with small figures and they usually don't need much to trigger their imagination. A pillow or blanket can be mountain, stripes in the carpet a river and so on. They usually invent their own plays also in the car but I wanted to help a bit by making a small play mat for the tray. The pictures are appliqued, the cave was their favourite:

It has been used a lot, fits nicely on their laps and can be played on and they can also use it for drawing in the car. It is one of the best things you can have in a car! Overall I'm happy with it but it needs one improvement; the play mat doesn't stay on. Of course it doesn't, I don't understand how I didn't see it before. The felt-like fabric is quite stiff but there is no preventing that the plastic is slippery. For the next play mat I will sew some velcro on it and self adhesive velcro on the tray. I think we will be using these a lot in the future and they will never get bored as I can make more different play mats!

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