Thomas the Tank Engine – DIY Play Mat

My son loves Thomas the Tank Engine and we have been collecting tracks and trains for a little while now. In fact, the set-up is starting to take over the basement.

We have several boats and a crane that can load and unload crates from a freighter. I wanted to make it look more authentic so I added some blue felt for the water and some green for Misty Island.

It looks great but the felt would always buckle while my son played. I wasn’t sure what to do about that but I came up with a great idea.

I bought a 6 x 9 foot carpet mat and some fabric paint and got to work. The mat was only $35 and I got discounted paint from the local craft store.

I painted a red section to compliment the base of Cranky the Crane. This is now Brendam Docks. And instead of just having a lake, I added a river that runs under a bridge and meets the waterfall on the other side. Two of the three boats actually fit under the bridges too.

We have two engine sheds and I made sure they could both utilize the turntable.

I’m pretty proud of this playset. My son loves it and uses it every day. It didn’t cost a lot of money, and it keeps everything, slightly, contained. The grey tracks are the quarry and we might expand that at some point. I will also be adding a road to the playmat soon with a few railroad crossings.

It’s a work in progress but it’s quite easy to do and so much better than the little train table that will costs a lot more than the $50 I spent on this project.