lucy's ability to roll coincided with the need to protect her from our hardwood floors during the all-important tummy time. i saw a bit of information online about turning a crib bumper into a playmat, but there weren't any directions on how to do so. so i set off on my own, determined to make it work. i didn't take pictures along the way, so this will be an illustrate-your-own tutorial (sorry about that!).
i started by cutting off all of the bumper ties. then i cut the bumper in half, and then cut each half in half, so that i was left with 4 identical sections. i paired 2 section together, right sides facing, and stitched all the way down the side, backstiching at each end. i then repeated with the other pair, and then sewed the 2 pairs together. this wasn't anywhere near easy, since the bumper batting was very thick. i must have broken at least 10 needles--no exaggeration--and muttered every curse word in the book. but finally i was left with a 3.5 ft. x 4 ft. rectangle, which was already functional as a playmat and had some nice finished edges. unfortunately though, some of the edges were raw (from cutting in the middle of the bumper when making those 4 sections).
to pretty up the look of my playmat, i took 2" wide satin ribbon that matched the color of the bumper, and cut long 2 pieces, each the length of the perimeter of the mat. i pinned the ribbon together, right sides facing, and stitched down the length of it with a 1/4" allowance. pressed open the seams and pinned the ribbon to the mat, with the right side facing out. then i stitched the ribbon down all the way around the bumper. on the very last side, for fun, i pinned down 4 of the crib ties into loops, and stitched the ribbon over the raw ends. this left me with sturdy loops (shown below) for attaching toys so that they can't get away from my girl while she's playing around.
this mat is a great size, nice and big, and yet it folds up easily lengthwise because of how it's constructed. with all the sitting lucy's been doing lately, it's nice to know that when she does take the occasional just-out-of-mommy's-reach tumble, she's protected. and it looks nice, too!