DIY Montessori Golden Place Value / Operations Working Mats

We started using this mat for early place value, and operations work with our golden beads.
I was making Xander's golden mat for elementary work one-million, and decided to make a new mat for Miss Ava's 1-1000 work. I thought having matching mats would go over very well with her, since she is watching brother intently and wanted to do similar work.

So here is what I put together....

This is a completely no-sew method  (I am a sewer, and think this would be a fun project to sew in any case) of making this mat. I have seen many Montessori math mats that have been sewn, that are just beautiful!!

I found this vinyl-ish upholstery fabric with a felt-ish type backing at a local fabric store. I liked it because it cuts clean, and does not fray!! I was able to just cut out the mat with no further work required:) This is ribbon I found at Walmart. They did not have all three colours in the width I needed (at this store- you may have better luck, I just didn't want to drive around:) So I bought this tiny pin dot ribbon and just turned it over:) The ribbon is grosgrain.
For those who may not know Montessori math has colour coded place values families.
Green - Units, Blue- Tens, Red-Hundreds and so on...

Units-Thousands Golden Mat

 I cut out the mat and marked my columns with pencil. I also pre-cut the ribbon. I used a hot glue gun. This one is a slightly lower temperature gun than the one I used for our Hierarchical Material here. The lower temp glue does not bleed through the ribbon - though I would have used whatever I had on hand. I started the black lines at the bottom of the mat and worked my way up, to get a nice clean bottom edge - the top was covered with coloured ribbons.

I put a line of hot glue and place the edge of each ribbon first. I pressed it in against to get a little glue along the edge to get a nice join and to prevent the ribbon from fraying.

You could use a sharpie to make the black lines but the black ribbon provides a textural element that reinforces the division of the columns and changing value. 

This is the Unit - Millions Mat. This mat was made exactly the same way.

Ready for Miss Ava's introduction  to the decimal system (when she is:) !!!
At this point in Montessori math if you have a set of golden beads ready, you can borrow the beads from this stash and put together a tray for this initial demonstration to save money. If I were to do this over again I would have done it this way, and not purchased this tray.
I bought this tray from Kid advance.

We made the wooded number cards and box. If you have your number cards purchased or printed/prepared (FREE cards small and large) you could also borrow these for this demo and not purchase/make extra.

 Unit - Millions Golden Mat

This elementary golden mat is used for learning place value to the millions, as well other operation practice. Coloured bead bars are used with this mat. The beads at this point take on the value of the column in which they are placed. I will use this work as a bridge to the Multiplication Checker Board. I bought our checkerboard here though you can make a beautiful one like this.

I bought the Decanomial bead Box (you can also make all of your beads) because I thought it would serve all of our needs. We purchased a few other bead stairs to accompany other work, and to put together a small bead box for beginning work ( I wanted make sure the box stayed in tact).  You can purchase separate bead boxes for all materials if you like, but I found this a more economical  option for us.

The Cost...
Fabric for both $10.00
Ribbon $6.00
I had the glue on hand so not a bad total given the purchase price of $54.00!! This took under 1hr to complete start to finish:)

If any have made a math mat to share please leave a link below!!! I'd love to see:)

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This post is linked up at Living Montessori Now!!
Montessori Monday



  1. this is beautiful! I love it, and might just have to recreate something very similar (I like to sew, but honestly - love the no-sew, hot glue, done in minutes vs. an hour method much better!) Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks Amy!!! Ava is so intrigued by them <3
    If you make one please leave a link!! :) You know it was probably even less time than that, but thought I'd be conservative:)

  3. Thanks for the inspiration I needed to make my own Montessori Place Value Mat. I mention you in my blog post:

    1. I just paid you a visit, and I love your amazing mat!!!! I pinned it too :) Thank you for sharing your link:)

  4. I love both of these mats! Can you share the dimensions or how to come up with them? Thanks, Julienne

    1. Thanks Julienne!! The Unit - Thousand mat is 18"h x 20"w The Unit - Million mat is 12"h x 35"W they are 5" columns. These dimensions felt comfortable for us to work easily with our Golden Beads. Good luck with your mats!!


I greatly appreciate your friendly comments and feedback. I love to see what others are making, so please feel free to include a links and share your site with us!!! If you have any questions regarding any of the materials we have made...I'd love to help!!! Thank you for visiting us:)



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