The basic puzzle mat is useful and simple. So simple in fact that the stock velcro straps came apart in the first use. I'm pretty handy with a sewing machine so I figured I'd just upgrade my mat. Grab your mat, some extra fabric you may have around the house, some matchy thread, new velcro and your sewing gear. Let's make this mat awesome!
Step 1: Planning and Getting Started.
Make a plan of attack. Not all puzzle mats are the same size, so I will not be including any measurements. The fabric I chose was too short to cover the end of the mat, easy enough to fix. Frankenstein your fabric if need be, a little imperfection in hand-crafting is cool and totally acceptable, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
Step 2: Bump in the Road Or, Groove in the Record?
Extending my scraps. Doesn't that bubblegum pink look lovely with this fabric?
Step 3: Clean Up the Edges.
Tuck in and iron your seams on the fabric. Sew the seams to your liking. Get creative with it if you like. (If you want to save thread, pin after you iron and attach the fabric without making a seam.)
Step 4: Buttonholes and Velcro.
Measure out the length of velcro needed and cut. I used one sided velcro. One sided velcro is nice to use here because this mat is felt and could easily stick all over the mat when it shouldn't. At the end of your length of soft velcro, attach the clingy side of the velcro facing the opposite direction of course.
Then, get ready to use your buttonhole making settings on your machine. If this is your first time using that setting I suggest you test run on another similar thickness of fabric. Nobody makes the first jump. Sew on some beautiful buttonholes large enough to slide in your velcro, but not so large that it can twist up and ruin your day.
Step 5: Secure Your Strap, Ignore the Cat.
Slide in your velcro strap (make sure it faces the correct way first) and sew it up.