How to Make a Solar System Mat

Confession time — No. 1: I am no seamstress. I don’t have much experience with a needle and thread. No 2: My husband stepped on a needle in the process of making this mat because someone, whom shall remain nameless, may or may not have left a needle on the floor.

In the nameless person’s defense, it was attended and had a long piece of yarn threaded through it. But you live you learn and never rest your needle on the carpet. Never. Ever.

Anyway, I can literally say this mat was forged through sweat and tears and blood. Sorry hun.

So how can you make one like this without the tears and blood part? Aquire a long (two yards) of sparkle felt from Joann’s.

I found the planets online a while back and laminated them. I laid them out to get an idea of where they should go. This is obviously not to scale since that’d be nearly impossible, but for learning the order of the planets and their relative attributes, it works.

Then to make ellipses you make two points and draw around the arc. Something like that anyway. A slipknot in your string is really helpful for this stage.

Then get a needle that will handle the thickness of your yarn (or if you have embroidery floss go with that. It’s your mat. It’s your DIY. Do it your way! Be free. It’s uncharted space man, no rules).

Make sure you post way too many images on Instagram.

I cut another equal portion of felt to go on the backside to hide all my wonky stitches. I also hot glued the knots to help keep them in place. Hot glue is mah BFF y’all.

Glue it down, flip it over and step back to admire!

Originally I’d planned to make two of these mats with one set as a control mat. But this thing took a few hours to draw and sew, so I nixed that plan by the time I got to stitching Jupiter’s orbit. Instead I printed a “control chart” image from da Internets and laminated.

I bought black velcro sticky dots and added those.


Volia! Not perfect, but that’ll do pig. That’ll do.

My next post I’ll show how all these things look on our new science shelves! Yay!!

Thanks for visiting.

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