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Highchair Floor Mats/Protectors

My oldest Jack, was and is a very tidy child. A meal with him as a toddler involved wiping down the high chair tray, and washing his hands.

Bennett is a different story. He happy smashes, drops, and tosses food. The floor around his place at the table was always covered in smeared food, and between three meals and two snacks a day, I was sweeping and wiping the floor too much. He also loooooves dropping his sippy cup off the tray, and our beautiful (and nearly marriage therapy inducing during the install wood floors) were looking like they were rode hard and put away wet.

Troy came up with the idea of laying a towel under the high chair. At the end of every meal, we simply gather up the towel and shake it off the deck. The floors are less crusty, and no new dents are showing up. After a few months though, the ugly towel was getting tiresome. That towel ain’t got not alibi. It ugly. Thankfully, in 20 minutes and with a $3 scrap of fabric, I made it more of a statement piece. And thus, the decorative high chair floor protector was born!

  1. Simply pick an old towel you have hanging around. The best one for this project would involve a towel without a band on the two short ends. In my experience at least, those towels tend to pucker over time when washed.
  2. Lay fabric over the top of the towel, making sure it covers the whole thing. The scrap fabric I used wasn’t long enough, so I had to cut some from the width, and sew an extra piece to accommodate the length.
  3. Flip the fabric over so that the patterned side of the fabric is facing the towel. Pin the fabric around the edges.
  4. Sew a seam around the entire edge of the towel, except for about three inches “open” at one end. Double back-stitch to reinforce the small gap. The finished product will look better if you snip off the corners.
  5. Starting slowly, turn the fabric and towel inside out. This is the part where you will need patience. It takes forever, and it is frustrating. At one point you’ll want to give up and you’ll hate me.
  6. Once it all turned right side out, turn in the open piece of fabric and the towel, and sew a simple seam to close the gap. 
  7. Using an iron set the highest acceptable (for your fabric) temperature and press the heck out of the edges of the mat.


May I recommend storing your drink in your soup?

And then you’re done! Simply place it where you see fit under or around your high chair. When it gets too crusty and you can no longer deal, simply toss it in the wash with the rest of your towels or bedding. Feeding kids can be complicated enough. They’re picky, they insist on having things just a certain way, and they’re messy as hell. Isn’t it nice that a simple $3 chair mat can make your life easier?

PS, can we just not do the judgey internet parenting thing where someone comments that Bennett’s food is too large? We know. The kid will not eat small pieces of food. Straight up refuses. Besides, there is a parent at Target right now buying a pacifier. Think of the nipple confusion and such; go save them!

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14 comments on “Highchair Floor Mats/Protectors”

  1. I was not phased by the large cuts of food.. I was in shock about the soup though! All 3 of mine would have likened them selves a modern Jackson Pollock and chucked that across the room!
    I was so busy with 3 in under 3years that I was naive enough to think they were fairly neat eaters.. I definitely was schooled on that issue when our large dog passed away… Then I realized I was truly raising slobs

    • I’m sorry about your dog, but the “raising slobs” comment cracked me up.

      Bennett is a lot like me in that he adores soup. LOVES it! Has yet to meet something with broth he won’t eat. He is a bit messy with it, and half ends up in his lap, but he does fairly well. We found the spoons like you see at an Asian restaurant, are the easiest for him.

  2. We’ve always use a folded piece of plastic oil cloth–it protects the floors and can be easily wiped off with a damp rag–that and I have zero sewing skills.

  3. Great idea; I love your practical projects.
    I laughed at the nipple confusion comment. When I had my first (now 23) the nurses had me concerned about nipple confusion in the hospital and I listened to them while there. About 10 minutes into our (crying) drive home I said to my husband, “he looks smart; I’m sure he’ll figure it out”, and he used a soother for the next 18 months.

  4. My baby was so much messier than yours if that little rectangle. I learned to put a shower curtain under his high chaiir and rinse it off after a meal. Worked well until he learned to turn his bottle upside down and spray milk from the nipple. We de cided it was time to break him from his bottle.

    • Bennett prefers to drop things to the side, so as long as I have side coverage, we’re good. My friend has something similar to a shower curtain and likes it.

  5. This is what dogs are for. Lol!!!

    They sure come in handy keeping the floor clean. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Orrrrrr…. I could just buy one for $14.99 at your soon to be Etsy shop, right? I like the soup storage containment unit. Makes a ton of sense.

  7. Excellent idea! And cute fabric ๐Ÿ™‚ whenever I do a simple sew like that to make easy blankets I always do a top stitch around the whole border too. It helps to keep the edges flat and to not have the seem roll around. That way when you pull your item out of the wash or dryer you always have a nice flat edge. Also you can use that top stitch to close up your turning hole! My littles don’t eat small food either ๐Ÿ˜‰ you seem like a good parent so I doubt your little guy is in harm of choking from being unattended with food!

  8. Great idea! I lol’d at the Target comment.