Toddler Dry Erase Coloring Placemat

Make a wipe clean dry erase coloring placemat for toddlers using Iron on Vinyl.


I'm so excited because a friend of mine is having a baby!  That might not usually be such an event, but here in the Cayman Islands, we all have to have a work permit to be able to live here, and children usually aren't allowed on your visa except under certain limited circumstances.  Everyone is single or childless couples so babies are uncommon.  My friend/ ex-work colleague/ yoga instructor already has a little boy and now another little one is on the way.  It gives me the perfect reason to start thinking about sewing for the little ones and the challenges that might bring by working in miniature.

For now, while the bun is still in the oven, I thought I'd start putting together a few ideas so I've just opened a new Pinterest Board – Sewing for Babies. Not much on it just yet, but I'll be adding more content as I scour the web for the best ideas, tutorials and inspiration.  You'll see me trying to recreate some of these ideas over the coming months.

Sew waterproof coasters, made using iron on vinyl.Today, something for her son Harvey.  Do you remember I had a go with sewing with the Iron on Vinyl when I made my husband some Waterproof Can Coasters for his dripping cans out of the fridge?

I asked if you all had any other ideas for how it could be used and there were so many good ones.  Then when I was in my local Pizza Hut, there were some particularly obnoxious screaming children spoiling the ‘fine dining experience'  for the rest of us and the staff brought them over some coloring sheets and crayons to keep them occupied / shut them up!  And inspiration struck.  Another chance to try out the Iron on Vinyl!

How to make a dry erase coloring placemat

A quick inquiry to Mom revealed that Harvey likes both Postman Pat and Thomas the Tank Engine.  I downloaded coloring sheets from this site, and then printed them in reverse on Avery T-Shirt Transfer sheets.  I added in some text to make it personal.  Remember to mirror image your picture and text when you print it because it will be reversed when you fuse it onto the fabric.

Make a wipe clean dry erase coloring placemat for toddlers using Iron on Vinyl.

A word of warning.  If it's your first time using the transfer paper, practice first on some small pictures like I did with the Postman Pat before attempting to do the full page like Thomas the Tank Engine.  Once you get the hang of the heat and pressure needed, you'll be fine.  My iron did spit out some black stuff which made some marks on the fabric, but that was my silly fault for having a crappy old iron.

Make a wipe clean dry erase coloring placemat for toddlers using Iron on Vinyl.

Once I had the graphics in place, I ironed on the sheet of Heat N Bond Iron on Vinyl.  It's easy to apply and makes a nice smooth surface.

Make a wipe clean dry erase coloring placemat for toddlers using Iron on Vinyl.

Then I trimmed the pieces to the same size and spray basted a piece of batting in between.  I couldn't use pins because it would leave holes in the vinyl.  Thank goodness for the Clover Wonder Clips.Make a wipe clean dry erase coloring placemat for toddlers using Iron on Vinyl.

I cut a length of binding and sewed that around the edge and it's finished.  Works beautifully with dry erase markers, he can color and scribble as much as he likes and then just wipe it off again. Perfect to use at the table.  I hope he likes it.

Make a wipe clean dry erase coloring placemat for toddlers using Iron on Vinyl.

Make a wipe clean dry erase coloring placemat for toddlers using Iron on Vinyl.

The vinyl might also be great for making wipe-clean baby bibs.  Perhaps this can be a future project for the little one on the way.  We're still waiting to learn if it's a boy or girl so I've not made any plans or bought fabric yet – but soon.  I'm really quite excited to have a go at sewing some cute stuff.

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27 Responses to Toddler Dry Erase Coloring Placemat

  1. p.c. b. says:

    i like all their shares..I am so doing this for my toddler nephew! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Carolina da Selva Morinaga says:

    I love your tutorials, thank you for sharing. But it made me really sad when I read “particularly obnoxious screaming children spoiling the ‘fine dining experience’ for the rest of us”.
    It makes me think how sad it is for a mom to judge another child as obnoxious instead of empathizing with the parents that probably all they wanted was also to have a fine dining experience, and now they are just embarrassed by the judgmental looks of other people and thinking they are terrible parents. When in fact, they are not– kids throw tantrums and it’s our job as parents to empathize with other parents, it’s our duty to help them if we can.
    How about looking deeply into that mom’s eyes as if you were saying “I know what you’re going through”. Or how about distracting the obnoxious kids so fellow mom there can have five minutes to finish her food?
    I hope I made my point about how powerful our words can be, especially when they are publicly posted on the internet, and also how powerful our empathy and reaching out a helping hand can be.
    Keep it up!

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Carolina, as the mother of two now teenage kids, I can certainly understand what you’re saying. I know the author of this article didn’t mean any offense.

  3. cucicucicoo says:

    Oh my goodness, what a great idea! I’ve never used transfer paper (and I have a laser printer, so I’d need to use someone else’s printer), but it sounds amazing! 🙂 Lisa

  4. Kristy says:

    This is such a great idea! I am a novice sewer, so am wondering if you can explain how to properly sew on the binding?

    • Here is a tutorial on how to bind a quilt – the process is basically the same with this too. You can use a ready cut bias tape or can cut your own strips of fabric on the straight of grain to do this with. And check out my tutorial HERE on how to turn the corners. Hope it turns out well for you. Will you share a picture in the forum when you are done?

  5. sherryann112 says:

    Deby, did you put vinyl on the binding too, or just don’t worry about it?

  6. angela rowe says:

    I love this idea. Is the Heat N Bond Vinyl the GLOSS one? It doesn’t look like it’s Gloss in the photo but I am hoping it is as I can’t seem to find any Matte in it

  7. Sherry Kelly says:

    I have been searching and searching for a way to make a coloring placemat out of the Dear Stella dress me fabric. Thank you so much. This will be perfect!

  8. Rose :: says:

    Oh my goodness, baby things from you??!! Well, i have to say its a cute placemat.

  9. I LOVE this idea! I am going to have to try it too. My daughter loves to color. This would be something easy (and environmentally friendly) to take to restaurants as well! Thank you for sharing!

    I just started a “baby” board on Pinterest as well. I have some neat ideas on my “sewing” board too. Adding yours!

    Here are mine:

  10. Oh I could have used this when my children were little. Wait… I bet my kids would still love using this dry erase coloring placemat!
    Pinning to our party board!

  11. Clare Swindlehurst (@SuperMommyClub) says:

    Oh wow I love this idea so much! Need to go out and get me some iron on vinyl! This will be perfect for us to take on holiday for the flight and the restaurants!

  12. Very clever, Deby!!! It’s bound to get LOTS of use.

  13. Kristina & Millie says:

    super cool idea!! love it and think the bib idea might be cool too. Have a super sunny weekend!

  14. suzy says:

    this is a pretty cool idea! probably my 4yo daughter would disagree, though, and steal my cellphone to “color” on. maybe the baby will like it when she gets a bit older lol.

  15. I am so doing this for my toddler daughter! Thanks for sharing. Your tutes are the best!

  16. misha says:

    This is a great idea! I’ve been approved to adopt a baby here in South Africa so I’m frantically surfing the net looking for easy to sew baby stuff

    • Deby Coles says:

      That’s wonderful news Misha, congratulations. I’ll be working on things over the coming months so depending on your time line, I might have some ideas for you. It’s a whole new world of sewing now I’m thinking about others instead of just solely sewing for myself. But now the pressure is on to do a good job, more than ever before.

  17. Awbrey says:

    Do you think regular Vinyl, like a shower curtain, would work for a changeable page dry erase mat? Just making a pocket and the front would be vinyl.
    I’ve been thinking about getting some iron on vinyl to make a diaper and wipes clutch that unfolds into a changing mat.

    • Deby Coles says:

      Now that is a great idea Awbrey. If you can sneak in a marker to the store and see if it works before you buy. I’m also working on a changing mat pattern, but my first two attempts weren’t ‘right’ according to the mum-to-be so its not going to be ready soon, but I understand it has to be both small and large at the same time, roll up tiny, but hold lots of stuff. Unless I can reinvent the Tardis, I’m not sure I can create the perfect travel changing mat, but we’ll see….

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