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Sanity. It’s something that I’d like to have a little bit more of, but it’s been hard to maintain here lately. My 15 month old daughter is the keeper of my sanity, and how she feels at any given point in the day determines the amount of it I have. If you have a toddler trying to rule your roost, I’m sure you feel me on this one.
It seems like my daughter has been trying to stake her claim on independence since she left the womb. She has never tolerated me helping her with anything. I can’t share a snack with her, I’m not allowed to play blocks with her, she wants to bathe herself and Heaven forbid I try to feed her. This child, y’all. She’s something else! But her independence is something that is valuable to her, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love watching her learn things all by herself.
However, when a toddler is doing something on their own, there’s going to be a mess. No doubt about it!
But for my type-A personality, messes = stresses. I get anxious just looking at a pile of dishes in the sink and toys on the floor! I try to combat my daughter’s toddler-tastic messes the best way that I know how, and sometimes that means I have to get a little creative. The biggest messes that I deal with on a daily basis occur during every meal. Since my daughter loves to feed herself, she always leaves a major mess behind. Sometimes I think more food winds up on the floor than in her mouth!
So I decided that in order to spare a little of my sanity (and the carpet,) I could make a DIY fabric “splat mat” to protect against spills and stains. Unfortunately, I knew that fabric all by itself really wouldn’t do the trick. I needed something tough that would actually help repel dirt and stains while protecting the fabric. That’s when Scotchgard™ Fabric & Upholstery Protector popped into my mind!
This past weekend when I was out and about buying the supplies I’d need to tackle this project, I made a pit stop at Target to pick up the Scotchgard. FYI: It’s in the household supplies section close to the laundry detergent and other cleaning products. It was hiding on the very end of the shelf at my store, so keep your eyes peeled for it! (And be sure to scroll down to the bottom for a money saving coupon!)
I then swung by the fabric and craft store to pick out the rest of the supplies.
Here’s what you’ll need to make your own DIY Splat Mat:
- 1 yard of fabric (A laminated cotton fabric works best, but flannel is also a good choice)
- Scotchgard™ Fabric & Upholstery Protector (Found at Target)
- Permanent fabric glue
- 4 yards double sided bias tape
- Measuring tape
- Scissors that are worth a flip (Just trying to keep your sanity in mind here)
I fell head over heels for this adorable flannel llama fabric. Isn’t it the cutest?! My fabric store didn’t have any laminated cotton fabric in a print that I loved, so I went with flannel because it naturally tends to repel water on its own.
Using a measuring tape, make sure the fabric you’re working with is exactly 3 feet x 3 feet, or 36 inches in each direction. (You can technically make the splat mat as big or as small as you’d like, just make sure your fabric is cut into an even square.
Using a pen and a circular object, create a rounded edge on each corner of the fabric.
Once all of the corners are trimmed, open up your double sided bias tape and apply a line of fabric glue to the bottom portion. Align the fabric with the bias tape so that it will fold over it evenly. Add another line of fabric glue to the top portion of bias tape to complete the seal.
Molding the bias tape around the rounded corners is a little tricky. Just go at it very slowly and press the bias tape as evenly as you can to prevent air bubbles from forming. The point of the bias tape is to hide the rough, un-hemmed edge of the fabric. Plus, I think it gives it a really nice finishing touch!
Once you’ve finished going around the edges of the fabric with the bias tape, spray the fabric with two thin coats of Scotchgard, being sure each coat dries before the next application. The instructions recommend making sure that all other non-fabric surfaces in the area are protected from any over-spray that may happen. It was a beautiful day outside today, so I took the splat mat outside to Scotchgard it.
If you’re unfamiliar with Scotchgard, it’s a really handy tool to help keep almost any fabric surface looking its best by repelling liquids, dirt and stains. It doesn’t change the look or feeling of the fabric at all, and it’s even safe to use on delicate fabrics! I knew the splat mat would receive a lot of juice and milk spills, so I tested it out to see how the Scotchgard handled it. As you can see in the picture above, it instantly beaded up so I could wipe it away. Instant success!
My quick and easy little DIY project has really been holding up well in shielding the messes my toddler throws at it. I’m so relieved that I’m not scrubbing food and drink spills out of the carpet any more. Thanks to the splat mat and Scotchgard, clean up is SO much easier! I’m able to hold on to my sanity a little bit longer each day, and that’s incredibly valuable to me! (Side note: I’m currently scanning my entire house to see what else I can use Scotchgard on. I’m being totally serious!) 😉
Save Big on Scotchgard:
Before you head out to Target to buy your own bottle, make sure you print out this sweet money saving coupon and take it with you!