An Amazing Race party needs a pit stop mat. And although you could take the pit stop mat page from my Amazing Race printable set and get it enlarged and printed on canvas, I just didn’t want to go through the expense.
So I came up with a good and inexpensive way to make our own Amazing Race pit stop mat. As a bonus, we used the same method to make the backdrop for our dessert table.
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Amazing Race Pit Stop Mat Materials:
I wanted a mat that we could walk all over. Though I’d thought about using a big piece of black foam board, I didn’t think it could take the abuse that 20 teenagers would give it. So I went to the fabric store and ended up making a really durable homemade pit stop mat with some black vinyl.
- Black Vinyl fabric. I used a 40″x50″ piece of black vinyl, which made a rather large mat. The size doesn’t matter so much as long as it’s a rectangle.
- Red and Yellow duct tape for the edges.
- Lime green acrylic craft paint
- A simple map of the world (I have a free one in the Free Downloads Library, see the bottom of this post for access).
How to make your Pit Stop Mat
Lay your piece of black vinyl on the floor and tape the edges with the red and yellow duct tape. First the red on the outside, then the yellow.
Enlarge and Print the map of the world. You can use my map, available in the Free Downloads Library (see bottom of post for access), or find your own.
Depending on the size of your piece of fabric you may have to adjust the scale of your print. But the idea is to use the “Poster” feature available in Adobe Reader and print on several pieces of paper that you then tape together to create the full map.
Of course, printing on large engineering paper at the office store is also a great option. I just didn’t want to spend the money or get in the car.
So I just printed on letter-sized paper, taped the pages together, and cut around the continents which I then taped on the mat. (And for all the cartographers out there…. Yes, I know I’m missing a continent. There are so few people on it and the map looks a bit cleaner without it. So I omitted it. My apologies to the penguins.)
Once the continents are taped on the mat, the idea is to trace the outlines of each landmass. I did it with chalk just in case I messed up.
I removed the paper and my daughter painted the countries lime green with acrylic paint.
Our mat got really dirty and trampled on during the party but faired really well. The paint didn’t peal and the duct tape stayed put.
How to Make a Pit Stop Backdrop
For the backdrop for our dessert table, I used a large piece of wood (you could use a large piece of black foam board) and painted it with black chalkboard paint.
The edges are red and yellow duct tape and I used nearly the same method with the map to trace and color the continents. This time I used green chalk because I liked the effect. I ended up using the same printout. I made the mistake of drawing the map before I laid out the border so the Aleutian Islands and the Bering Strait got cut off. But otherwise, it worked great.
I hope I have inspired you to DIY your own homemade Amazing Race pit stop mat. Unless you need a permanent mat, this one is fast, easy, durable, and cheap to make.
Go check out the Amazing Race decorations ideas with more to come.
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If you’ve already subscribed, you can get the password from the bottom of any email I send and go directly to the Free Downloads Library.