Hoppo Bumpo (n): A children's game. Played by folding one's arms and hopping on one leg. Aim is to bump opponents, so that they lose their balance. Last person standing wins.

June 01, 2010

Tutorial: sew a personalised mouse mat

I recently asked the kids what they would like to give their dad for his birthday. They were quick off the mark with ideas. Bargy thought necklaces, whilst Argy was adamant it should be Star Wars. No, no ... Lego. No wait ... maybe Star Wars Lego.

While the necklace idea came and went, Argy continued incubating his Lego plan. Finally one afternoon he built a dazzling array of Lego vehicles and pronounced them all to be gifts. They were very intricate and rather good. But frankly there was no way the plastic engineering would survive more than a day or two. If Bargy found them, they'd be toast. In a rare moment of inspiration I grabbed my camera and recorded them for posterity.

Which is how the boys came to present their dad with a one-of-a-kind mouse mat depicting, amongst other things, a Lego tractor being driven by Darth Vadar.

Happy birthday, Mr HB!


A digital image
Good quality printable cotton fabric for top of mat
Contrasting quilting or decorator weight fabric for reverse of mat
Heavy weight fusible interfacing
Matching thread
Scissors, iron, sewing machine


  1. Print the image to your printable fabric, following the manufacturer's instructions.

  2. Take the printed and contrast fabrics and cut both to size - remember to include an allowance for hem turnings. (I cut mine to 24cm x 21cm [approx. 9½" x 8¼"] which included 1.5cm [approx. ⅝"] hem allowances.)

  3. Place the printed and contrast fabrics face down. Turn single fold hems on all sides. Press, then open the folds out again.

  4. Mitre the corners of the hems. (The dotted lines indicate the fold lines for the hems and the third diagram shows a trimmed corner). Press with an iron as you go.

  5. Cut two pieces of heavy-weight fusible interfacing and one or two pieces of batting to size. Their length and width should be about 2cm (approx. ¾") smaller all round, than your fabric.

  6. Fuse the pieces of heavyweight interfacing to the wrong sides of the printed and contrast fabrics. Make sure you centre the interfacing so that you have a 1cm (approx. ⅜") perimeter left clear for stitching the mat.

  7. Sandwich the batting between the printed fabric (face up) and the contrast fabric (face down). Match the edges of the fabric carefully.

  8. Staying as close as possible to the edge, machine sew around the perimeter of the mat.

    All finished!

    (And just in case there are moments at work when Darth Vadar is inappropriate, we have a flip side)


  1. Liesl, you rock my socks! This is a great idea for Father's Day...

  2. Lovely birthday present. Lucky Daddy. Does this mean the sewing machine survived your last post ?

  3. Cool tute! That looks like fun. I'm bummed your mouse is blocking vader driving. Wanted to see that!

    So, does this mean "Houston, ah never mind we fixed it"??


  4. What a flippin' fabulous idea! Ha, ha, I love the fact that Darth Vader is driving.

  5. Awesome gift.
    I love how you managed to preserve Argy's gifts in such a creative and fabulous way.
    L.O.V.E. it!!!

  6. That's brilliant, Liesl! Love it!

  7. Great idea! Thanks for sharing it, I need a new mouse mat.

  8. Wonderful idea Liesl, wonderful tute!!! xo

  9. Lucky Daddy. This is great team HB.

  10. What a great idea , thanks so much I love it !

  11. What's the verdict? Does he like it?

  12. That is very nice of you to share to everybody. It really is so sweet to be creative in giving a unique gift to your love one. However, if you are too busy to create, there is a site that offers unique personalized gifts through online shopping.

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