Tubside Mat

Give your knees a break with the Rub-A-Dub Tubside Mat! Features a comfy cushion and a pocket that gives you easy access to your tot’s toiletries.  Velcro tabs allow it to fold up when not in use, while suction cups keep it place.


You’ll need a plastic shower curtain. This one was $10 at Wal-Mart, but there were cheaper ones available as well.

You’ll also need a foam cushion. If your shower curtain is transparent, be sure to select a white cushion. This piece of foam is 1x15x17 inches, and cost $5 at JoAnn’s. Make sure the foam you use is wide enough for you to kneel on comfortably, and not taller than the side of your tub.

You’ll need 3 suction cups, either medium or large sized. You can find these in the craft section, they’re sold next to the plastic suncatchers. This package was $2 at Wal-Mart.

How to:

Begin by measuring the side and rim of your tub. Next we’ll cut two large rectangles that will become the front and back of the Tubside Mat. Here’s the formula for figuring out how long to make these pieces.  On the right side, I’ve included the measurements for my tub and cushion.


Height of tub +                              15.0

Width of rim of tub +                      3.5

Length of cushion +                       15.0

Thickness of cushion +                    1.0

6 in.  (seams & overhang)             + 6.0



Here’s the formula for figuring out how wide to make these pieces:


Thickness of cushion x 2 +       2.0

Width of cushion                      17.0



We’re also going to cut a pocket piece. It will need to be the same width as the other two pieces, plus another 3 inches so it will have some give. The height should be 15 inches.

Fold the pocket piece in half so that it is now 7.5 inches tall. Right sides should be together. Pin the long bottom edge. Sew with a 1/2 inch seam, then turn right side out. Insert your hand into the tube and poke out the seams.

Topstitch the long folded edge of the pocket piece.

Now we’ll add the pocket piece to the main rectangle. Measure from the bottom edge of the mat, so you’ll know where to place the bottom of the pocket. Add the thickness of your cushion x2, plus the length of your cushion, and pin the pocket there.  It should be on the  right side of the mat, and the topstitched edge will become the top of the pocket.

Pin the short sides of the pocket first, aligning with the edges of the mat. The pocket piece is wider than the mat, so that the pockets will hold more. You’ll need to make a series of tiny folds, or pleats, as you pin the bottom edge of the pocket to the mat. Make the pocket fit the mat in this manner.

Sew the pocket to the mat along the bottom edge of the pocket.

Next we’ll divide the pocket panel by adding two rows of stitches side-by-side down the center. Having two rows will make the pocket more durable.

You could add your rough Velcro strips in the bottom corners right now, about 2 inches in from the edges. I added mine a little later, but it probably would have been easier to do it now… it’s up to you.

Layer the back mat piece on top of your front mat piece, right sides together, and pin. Sew the long sides and bottom with a 1/2 inch seam, leaving the top edge open.

Clip the two corners, being careful not to cut your stitches. Turn right side out and poke out the seams. This is when I added my Velcro to the bottom corners. If you’re adding it now, be careful that you are sewing through only the top layer of the mat!

Now slide the cushion into the mat. Be sure to push it all the way to the bottom. Sew alongside the top edge of the cushion to secure.

It’s time to add the coordinating pieces of Velcro. To get the proper placement, fold the cushion up on top of the mat. Note where the Velcro touches, and pin the matching Velcro tabs there. Sew in place. I only sewed through the top layer, but realized later that it didn’t matter whether I sewed through both. Either way is fine.

Finally, we’ll add the ribbon loops for the suction cups. Fold the top open edge of the mat inward a 1/2 inch. Add one ribbon loop to each corner, and one to the center. Pin the edge shut, and sew. Add two rows of stitches for durability: one at 1/4 inch, and another at 1/8 inch.

Add one suction cup to each loop. Depending on the type of hook your suction cups have, you may want to remove the hook provided and instead wrap a piece of wire around the ribbon and cup so it won’t slide off.

Click to check out Made By Marzipan’s other sewing projects for baby.

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18 thoughts on “Tubside Mat

  1. Amy in TX says

    This would make an awesome baby shower gift! Thanks for the tutorial.

  2. Tammy says

    This is great! I sure could have used something like this back when I was bathing little ones!

  3. Michelle Clancy says

    Are you kidding me!?!? I love this idea! I am never going to throw away an old plastic shower curtain again! Thank you for posting this!

  4. Anonymous says

    I cut off the top of the shower curtain that has the grommets & inserted that into the top instead of the ribbon.

    • Anonymous says

      I love that idea!

  5. Nichole says

    Have you thought about adding a cushion part to the lip of the tub? Padding on the knees is great, but the elbows might like the special treatment, too :)

    • says

      Great idea, Nichole!

  6. Robin says

    What size needle should I use?

  7. Kayla says

    Do you ever make these to sell? I would love one but cannot sew to save my life!

    • says

      Sorry, I don’t :(

  8. Chassity says

    You should definitely sell these! I would love one.

  9. Amanda says

    I got a ‘PEVA’ curtain instead of ‘plastic’ I have no idea what the difference is but when I sew it, it almost rips it. I know that using it only a couple times and it would rip for sure. Do you know if I got the complete wrong one or is that how yours turned out too??

  10. Amanda says

    Do you know if a ‘PEVA’ shower curtain would work?? I am not even sure the difference but that is what mine was and it kept ripping the curtain when I would sew it. Please help!!!

    • says

      I’m not sure of the difference either. Is it very thin? One thing you might try is adjusting your tension and stitch length. Longer, slightly looser stitches might help.

  11. Anonymous says

    I’m going to try making a bag made of net to hang on the inside for toy storage!!

    • says

      Great idea!

  12. I love this site very much. i think i will visit ur site again soon!

  13. Ann L says

    I really like this. Thanks for showing me how to do it.
    This is also good for bathing animals.

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