Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The most effective baby toy ever - Tutorial!

Behold, the best baby toy ever. At least, that's what Olive thinks. This little toy has bought me all sorts of quiet time. Dude, she is playing with it right now as I write this post. As someone who has long considered herself a toymaker, I have mixed feelings about this toy. On the one hand, it works! The baby likes it! Isn't that what it's all about? On the other hand, boy, is it ugly.
In any case, I'll let you decide. Here's a tutorial. Make it for the busy little ones in your life.

What's really cool about this toy is that you can just use whatever you have on hand. Here's what I used, though:

6" square of silky fabric
6" square of fleece
Felt in 3 colors
Various ribbons in various lengths
Needle & thread
Sewing machine (Optional, but helpful)

First, cut two circles roughly 6" across. Seriously, roughly is fine. This thing is going to get spit all over it.
Baby toy tutorial - step 1
Then cut your ribbon into various lengths. I used 9 pieces of ribbon ranging from 13" to 4". Cut your felt into three 2.5" x 2.5" squares.

Stack the pieces of felt on the right side of the fleece. I staggered them a bit, like so:
Baby toy tutorial - step 2
Now sew them in place.
Baby toy tutorial - step 3
Here's where it starts looking crazy. Arrange your ribbons on top of the fleece, wrong side up. Pin the ends in place. You may want to turn some of the longer ribbons into loops. Just pin both ends to the edge in that case.
Baby toy tutorial - step 4
See the big fat purple ribbon on top? LOOP!

Now, carefully carefully carefully sew the ribbons in place. Just sew in a circle, making sure to catch at least one end of each ribbon.
Baby toy tutorial - step 5

Place the silky circle right side down on top of the fleece piece. Pin in place, being careful that all ribbons are tucked safely in the center. Sew in a circle, leaving about a 1" opening.
Baby toy tutorial - step 6
Now, it should look like this:
Baby toy tutorial - step 7
A total mess. Anyway, turn that bad boy inside out, stuff it with polyfill, and then sew the gap closed thusly:
Baby toy tutorial - step 9
Needle, thread, pinching the raw ends in. Boom.
Really ugly baby toy
There! You're done! I hope this toy brings you and your favorite little one hours of enjoyment.

This is machine washable. Toss it in the machine cold, then hang it to dry from one of those loops you put in. Easy peasy.


Susie Brooks said...

This is a great idea! I'm going to stuff mine with an empty potato chip bag (clean) and have the sound of the crinkle as well.

Claire said...

That is totally brilliant! I wish I had done that.

Linda said...

This is fun baby toy....despite how ugly it looks!

I have a question. Are you using washable felt? Or regular felt squares? I've never tried washing anything made with regular felt because I thought it was NOT washable and the colors would bleed. If I make this toy, I'd definitely want it to be washable!

Thanks for your help!

Claire said...

Hi Linda,
For the tiny felt squares, I used Ecofelt - just the typical sheet of recycled felt that you can get at any craft store. While I wouldn't recommend it for larger washable projects, it's done ok for this - no bleeding of colors whatsoever, but it does pill a bit. I've washed the toy several times now, and it's outlived her interest in it. Yay!

Linda said...

Claire, I appreciate that you answered so quickly. That's exactly what I needed to know! Thanks!


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