Roll-up games mat

What’s better to pack on a family holiday than a handy roll-up games mat to keep everyone entertained!? There are three games to pick from as well as a handful of counters to craft yourself.

Games mat

1. Draw three 30cm squares on a piece of white cotton fabric. For the snakes and ladders board, divide the square into 3cm squares (ten across). Paint each square with Santoro’s Gorjuss Fabric Paints, using six of the colours on rotation. Die cut the numbers 1-100 from Xcut adhesive cork, using the number mini dies, and adhere one to each square. Cut zigzags out of grey felt and arrows out of yellow felt and adhere to the board.

2. Draw three 30 x 30cm squares onto white cotton fabric to form the game boards. For draughts, draw two 36 x 17.8cm rectangles and paint one pink. Cut into eight vertical strips. Paint the second rectangle in contrasting diagonal 4.5cm stripes and snip into eight vertical strips. Stitch together to make two rectangles. Trim into 4.5cm striped strips and sew together. 

3. Create pockets to store the counters from Craft Planet felt sheets and Bare Basics buttons. Stitch onto the end of the roll mat once your three boards are secure. Roll up and use a button to fasten shut. 

4. Cut each board out, leaving a 1.5cm seam allowance. Place the tic tac toe and snakes and ladders boards right-sides together and stitch down the right-hand side. Open and press on the reverse. Place the remaining draughts board right-sides together with the tic tac toe board and, again, stitch and press.

3. Trim a 33 x 26cm panel of cotton and a 33 x 12cm piece of grey felt. Line them up at the bottom edge and stitch two vertical zigzag stitches through the felt to make three pockets. Cut three yellow felt rectangles for pocket flaps and zigzag the top edge. Place on top of the draughts board, right-sides together, and stitch in place. Taper and cut the top edges of the cotton to make a point. Attach buttons to the pockets and snip holes.

4. Cut a cotton panel to the same size as the boards, plus a 1.5cm seam allowance. Draw geometric shapes on the back and paint with the Santoro’s Gorjuss Fabric Paints. Trim a panel of interfacing into the shape and fuse onto the fabric. Tack the outer panel and the games boards together, and stitch to secure with a sewing machine.

5. Paint long 4cm strips of cotton blue. Position along the edge and sew all the way around. Fold to the front and tuck the edge under. Slip stitch all the way around to make a binding and enclose all the layers of fabric.

6. Make a 40cm closing strap and stitch to the end of the mat. Sew a button hole in one end and a wooden button to the other. Wrap around the rolled mat to complete the board.

Marbled counters

1. Choose your complementary colours from the FIMO selection. Darker colours have a tendency to overpower the lighter colours, so if you want an even dispersal it is recommended that you use smaller pieces of darker colours. Roll the colours into long sausage shapes, and layer them together.

2. Roll the colours together in your hands. Once the rolled-together piece becomes long and unwieldy, fold it up a few times then roll it out again. Repeat this process until the colour become marbled. Be careful you do not over-roll, as this will cause the colours to blend together and you will lose the marbled effect.

3. Once sufficiently marbled, roll the colourful piece out to a thickness of approximately 4mm, then cut out your playing pieces using a small circular cutter. 

4. Bake for 30 minutes at 110°C, allow to cool before removing from the tray. You may need to sand the edges a little before use.

Square counters

1. Using a rolling pin, roll out two colours of FIMO to a thickness of approximately 2mm. Position a layer of foam sheet either side of the clay to maintain an even thickness.

2. Cut out two or three 1.5cm squares from each colour and layer them on top of one another. Trim the edges to make sure they are neat.

3. Using a scrap piece of greaseproof paper to prevent fingerprints, gently push down on the top face of each layered square. This will help to remove air bubbles inside. You may need to trim the edges again after this step.

4. Bake for 30 minutes at 110°C, allow to cool before removing from the tray.

Ladybirds and butterflies

1. Treate the ladybirds; use a rolling pin to roll out the red and black FIMO from the Staedtler 24-piece Half Block Set to a thickness of approximately 4mm. Position three layers of foam sheet either side of the clay to act as a thickness reference.

2. Transfer the stencil from the template onto vellum. It's a good idea to number each of the smaller pieces to keep track of which one goes where on the design. After numbering, cut them out, then lay them on top of the rolled-out clay.

3. Carefully cut out all the segments with a craft knife and assemble on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Gently push the smaller pieces into position using a small piece of greaseproof paper. Bake for 30 minutes at 110°C and allow to cool.

Roll mat and how-to tutorial by Amy Surey. FIMO counters and how-to tutorial by Jason Cluitt.

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