How to sew a quilted Snakes and Ladders playmat

Have you been following along with Sew Ready to Play at I'm Feelin' Crafty? It's a fun series with sewing projects inspired by board games (and other childhood games).

Sew Ready to Play 2016

Pokemon has been a popular one in the series this year, but I'm going old school - back to basics - the classic board game...

How to sew a quilted Snakes and Ladders playmat - great handmade gift idea for kids (boys and girls - woo hoo). I might have to sew a few for Christmas and birthdays! Easy to follow sewing tutorial.

Snakes and Ladders!

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I was going to leave the snakes and ladders loose, so they could be placed somewhere different for each game. Then I remembered what my brother and I were like playing board games as kids. I pictured snakes getting moved when other contestants weren't looking, pieces getting lost and general fighting over where the snakes and ladders should go.

So I decided to tack them into position. I can still unpick them and restitch if I want to change things up down the track.

For a brief moment, I considered sewing the games pieces and a die (dice) but then I ran out of time! Lucky we've got plenty of ponies and dice to use around the house!

The fabric I used was fun  Minions fabric from I bought it to use for another project, but decided it would make a fun game board. I love how bright and happy it is!

How to sew a Snakes & Ladders Quilted Playmat


4 x 5 inch strips of quilting cotton (from selvedge to selvedge)
2 x 2 1/4 inch strips of orange fabric (for binding)
55cm square piece of quilt batting
A small piece of aqua fabric (for arrows, less than a fat quarter)
1 sheet of brown felt
1 sheet of green felt
Scrap of red felt
Scrap of yellow felt
Small piece of Heat'n'Bond Ultra
Thread, scissors, needle, sewing machine


1. Cut 2 x 2.5" inch strips from each of the four quilting cotton fabrics, giving you a total of 8 strips (that are the width of the fabric from selvedge to selvedge).

2. Decide the colour order you want the squares, and sew the strips together in pairs with a 1/4 inch seam.

3. Then sew the pairs of strips together into fours with a 1/4 inch seam, taking care to keep the colour order the same.

4. Then sew the fours together to make eight strips of fabric sewn together, using a 1/4 inch seam.

5. Press all the seams. (Note, I pressed the seams open - mostly out of habit since I usually sew clothes, but also to reduce the bulk at the intersections.)

6. Cut the sewn fabric into 2.5 inch strips to create squares.

7. Layout the squares in your preferred pattern.

8. Create a 10x10 game board by rearranging the squares. You'll need to unpick a few seams to rejig the layout.

9. Sew the seams necessary to create 10 strips.

10. Sew the 10 strips together to complete the game board background. Once again, I sewed the strips in pairs:

Then two sets of four plus one set of two:

And finally, the completed game board:

11. Since I'm too lazy to put numbers in each square, I added arrows at the end of each row to show which way you need to move along the board. Following the instructions, I ironed the Heat'n'Bond Ultra to the wrong side of my arrow fabric. I then drew the arrow shape onto the Heat'n'Bond paper:

12. Cut out the arrows, place onto game board and iron into place (following the Heat'n'Bond instructions).

13. Cut out ladders from brown felt, with different lengths. I made 6 ladders. The easiest way to cut is by folding the fabric in half and making snips for the inside rungs, and then opening it up  and snipping the edges of the ladder.

14. Cut strips of green felt for the snakes, about an inch wide and with different lengths. I sketched a wiggly snake in chalk pen and cut out the shape.

15. Cut out tiny snake tongues from red felt.

16. Handstitch the snakes and ladders into position.

17. Cut out the batting and backing fabric for the game, and pin to game board.

18. I decided not to quilt the main game area, and just sewed around the outside of the game board with a 1/4 inch seam.

19. Trim the edges and bind the game board.

20. I wasn't sure if it was obvious to my kids where the start and finish was, so I attached an S for start for the first square and a trophy for the last square with Heat'n'Bond Lite.

How to sew a quilted Snakes and Ladders playmat - great handmade gift idea for kids (boys and girls - woo hoo). I might have to sew a few for Christmas and birthdays! Easy to follow sewing tutorial.