Montessori: Felt mat for the moveable alphabet

I was playing on Pinterest the other day and I came across a sweet flannel mat that someone had made to use with the Montessori Moveable Alphabet.  (MontessoriMom has a good explanation of the lesson and purpose of  the materials.  Simply Montessori also has a good post about alternatives to the more expensive Nienhuis sets for home use.)  It reminded me of the mats that I had made for my son’s primary class way back when…pre-blog!  I thought I’d post some pictures in case you would like to make your own mat.  They turned out beautifully.  They are made with wool felt.  Since felt doesn’t fray you can just sew the two pieces together without any of that sewing right sides together, turning, top-stitching, etc.

Measure your letters, and pin your ribbons to match the height of your letters (see photo).  Sew the ribbons in place along both the top and bottom edges of the ribbon.  Let the ribbons overhand the edges a bit.  Hand sew the dotted lines in place with either embroidery floss or pearl cotton (which is thicker).  Tuck the ends of the ribbons between the front and back of the mat (you might use an iron to get a nice crease), and topstitch around the entire mat.  That’s it!  So easy.  And as I’ve said before, while wool felt is expensive, it’s durable and beautiful to work with.  An alternative would be a wool blend felt (Wool Felt Central is a good source), which is still nice but significantly cheaper.

The green mat above was my first mat in a tabletop size.  Then, I made a larger, floor-size mat using cream wool (I’m not positive since it was 4 years ago, but I remember it wasn’t “felt”, it was more like wool coating, purchased at my local fabric store.)  Made using the same technique however.  The ribbon is just a standard, satin type ribbon.

Look at little J, at 3 years old, rolling up his mat to put it away!

Thanks for the trip down Memory Lane!

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