So I (as you know) have been working a lot on Christmas and this is a present that I am doing for one of my nephews who will be two years old at Christmas time. Basically I wanted something that was cheap, but fun for him to drive his little cars on. I saw this idea on Pinterest and thought it would be easy enough and I have had a lot of fun with it although it was a lot of work. Here is a short tutorial on what to do (and what not to do) when making one of these.
First I went to the dollar store (my favorite place) and bought a white plastic shower curtain liner.
Next I opened it and cut it a little smaller. I wasn’t too scientific with this and if you wanted you can get really exact and cut it into a perfect square but I just did my best. It’s not exact but I don’t think my nephew will mind.
I also had to cut out the magnets (and I saved them of course, for future projects.) I thought I had cut it quite small but in the end it seemed a lot bigger than I intended. Just remember that the smaller you cut it, the less time the project will take you.
Next I thought I should try and get some of the wrinkles out (that were there from the packaging) and that was a waste of time. I thought if I sort of steamed it in a clean shower for a while and then smoothed it out it, the wrinkles would come out…but they didn’t. After several methods I gave up. After drawing on it though the wrinkles smoothed out quite a bit.
After that I used duct tape to tape the outside so it was a little more sturdy. I had to have my husband help me do this so that I didn’t get it stuck in places I didn’t want it stuck. I actually put the tape half way over each edge and then folded it over so that it was “sealed” and then it looked goofy so I put a straight line of tape over that on each edge on each side. It ended up like this:
Now comes the hard/fun part. I wanted it to look like one of those real carpets that you pay lots of money for that look something like this. So I actually found one on ebay that I liked, copied a picture of it and pasted into a word document. I blew it up as big as I could and then printed it in black and white. Here is the one I used:
It was really small when I printed it, but just go with it. Mine didn’t look just like this anyway when I was done drawing. I also chose a picture that didn’t have straight roads (because I can’t draw a straight line to save my life and) because I knew that my liner wasn’t exactly square and I didn’t want to have to deal with it later. Plus…what kid likes straight lines?!
Just so you know, I thought it would take me maybe an hour to draw this out and it literally took me about five hours of drawing to get the whole liner covered with roads. (I think I got my liner a little large). Be sure to use a permanent marker when doing this. Washable markers will rub off super easy.
Tips: Even when you use permanent markers, give them a few hours to dry fully and try not to rub your hand in it while you are drawing other things. I had a few smudges that I was bummed about. Wash your hands when you see you have marker on them. (I had marker on my arms and hands for two days…not cool.) But it was totally worth it! I love the way it turned out.
I did the entire thing using a black Sharpie and then I colored it with some colored Sharpies I already had. Tip: Don’t color full sections with marker even though it looks cool. I tried it on the flag first and the black still smeared on the red (but not on my hands). Just highlight it with color. Here is mine before I added a bunch of color:
Don’t look to closely…I am spatially challenged. Here is the final product with a little color:
And then here are some close ups of the drawings:
I used some extra cars I got in a package at the dollar store (that were left over from my quiet book purchases). So in the end this Christmas present cost me 1 dollar! Yay for saving money! Happy crafting!
P.S. Another idea for this craft is to give the child (an older child) a pack of markers and let them color it on the kitchen floor. Or use this as a wall mural for a little boys room. You can also get a giant piece of sheet metal and put it on the wall and then hang this up over the top of it, you can put little magnets on the cars and then they can play on the wall!…I was just thinking.