Fabric Rug: Felt Gymnasts Performing for Parents

My granddaughter was visiting and looking through a craft book for children. She saw a pillow project made with burlap and felt. As I had no burlap in my fabric stash, we made a "rug" from pieces of cotton fabric layered with some left over iron-on decorative fabric used years ago for the white fleece part of some homemade Christmas stockings. The project evolved into a scene of several gymnasts performing before an audience of two adults. This is what we arrived at after several crafting visits.


Approximate Time: We worked on this over three different visits. So this will vary with the complexity of the project.


  • fabric scraps
  • bias tape
  • batting or substitute
  • sewing machine
  • thread
  • felt in a variety of colors
  • pen or pencil for drawing shapes
  • paper for patterns
  • embroidery floss
  • embroidery needles
  • hole punch
  • pins, optional
  • glue, if you choose to not sew felt shapes onto background fabric
  • fabric flower for mom and a piece of sparkly yarn for the bow


  1. Cut your cotton fabric (2 pieces) and batting to desired size.
  2. Layer the cotton with the batting sandwiched in between.
  3. Baste.
  4. Cut two pieces of bias tape the length of the long sides of the rectangle and two pieces the length of the short sides of the rectangle.
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  6. Sew bias tape on the four sides. I did this for her on the sewing machine to hasten the actual creative part of the project.
  7. Allow your child to create the drawings you will use as the patterns for the felt scene on your "rug". You can also sketch directly onto the felt, if desired.
  8. Cut out the felt. In our case it was the two large adult heads (the parents), who make up the audience for the performers. We also cut out the balance beam and gymnasts.
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  10. We added glasses and a cap on dad and a bow with a small fabric flower on mom. The leotards have contrasting stripes and small dots at the neckline, made with a hole punch.
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  12. Construct your scene elements. We either did a running stitch, or in some cases used a French knot to connect eyes, arms, legs, etc. This step will vary, depending on the age of the child and sewing skills of the crafters.
  13. Arrange the pieces until you are pleased with the layout.
  14. Here you can pin the pieces to the rug if desired. She did not want to use pins, because she kept getting stuck, so we held the pieces in place while sewing.
  15. Begin sewing the felt pieces on as per your initial layout. Here again we used either a running stitch or French knots to attach the pieces to the rug. (Note: You could use glue to make the project go quicker and easier for the child. We chose to sew it together instead, because she is trying to learn to sew. Glue also often shows through felt and she did not what that to happen.
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  17. Once all of the pieces are attached. Take photos of the artist/crafter.
    1. By R Barbara from Bremerton, WA


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July 7, 20120 found this helpful

I love it ! And look how proud your granddaughter looks! Great job. =)

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
July 12, 20120 found this helpful

Good job, Avery and Barbara! Looks great!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

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