If you're looking for an heirloom quality baby gift, consider sewing stuffed toys. The Internet is a great resource for stuffed toy projects that range from simple to challenging.
Easy Stuffed Jingle Block
If you're a beginning seamstress, this is the toy project for you. Making this simple block will help you strengthen your sewing skills, and it makes a cute and practical baby gift. Choose fabrics that are easy to wash and that offer exciting textures for baby. Consider washable satin, soft cotton flannel, corduroy, and other fun-feeling options.
Things You'll Need
- Six seven-by-seven-inch squares of fabric, each in a different texture and color
- Fiberfill stuffing
- One large craft jingle bell
- One small empty plastic container
- Sewing machine and thread
- Scissors, hand needle, and pins
What to Do
- Pin two fabric squares together, and make a seam half an inch from the raw edge. Add two more squares to create a row of four squares.
- Pin another square to the bottom edge of all four squares in the row. This will create an open-topped block. Sew the seam.
- Repeat with the top of the block. There should be only one open seam remaining. Turn the block right side out through the seam.
- Place the jingle bell inside the small plastic container, and use the tape to seal in closed.
- Add some stuffing to the block, and then insert the jingle bell in the container. Add more stuffing to fill up the block.
- Hand stitch the remaining side closed.
To make your block even more exciting for the little recipient, try these fun embellishment ideas:
- Add appliqués of cute baby shapes like ducks, cars, or flowers.
- Embroider the baby's name or birth date on one square of the block.
- Cut out felt letters and numbers, and sew them on to each side of the block.
- Sew eyes, a nose, and a mouth on the block to give it a cute animal look.
If you choose to embellish your toy, be sure the attachments are sewn on securely. Babies are surprisingly good at removing loose pieces from their toys, and anything that comes off can become a choking hazard.
More Patterns for Sewing Stuffed Toys
Some of the most popular choices for stuffed toys are dolls and various types of animals. The following websites offer great patterns for all kinds of stuffed sewing projects:
- AllCrafts has patterns for everything from a beanbag cat to a felt toy truck. All the patterns are free, and there's something for seamstresses of any level.
- The Etsy Blog has a great free pattern for making a donkey softy. This adorable stuffed donkey would be a perfect project for an intermediate-level seamstress.
- Urban Threads has an easy-to-follow tutorial for making a sock monkey. This project is very simple and would be an ideal introduction to sewing stuffed animals.
- Craftsy.com has a downloadable free pattern for making an eight-inch stuffed doll. This is a challenging project that would be good for an intermediate-level seamstress.
- Sewing.org offers a free pattern for a toddler touchy worm that helps teach kids how to open and close various fasteners. This project is a good choice if you're just learning to sew.
- The Etsy Blog also offers a great pattern for making a stuffed chipmunk toy out of an old glove. This project involves hand sewing, so it's a great choice if you don't have a sewing machine.
- Dollmaker's Journey has an extensive listing of free patterns for stuffed animals and dolls. The patterns vary in complexity, but there's something for every skill level.
Things to Keep in Mind
Before selecting a pattern or choosing your materials, keep the following tips in mind:
- If you're making this toy for a baby or young child, choose a fabric that can be washed. If your toy becomes a favorite, it's sure to get dirty.
- Sew all seams securely. Well-loved toys take a lot of abuse.
- Consider choosing organic cotton fabrics or all natural materials for children's toys. Many parents prefer these products.
- Use your imagination when creating the toy's face. Kids love unique designs, as long as they aren't too scary.
Show How Much You Care
Creating a stuffed toy is a great way to show a special child how much you care. There's nothing quite like a homemade toy to bring comfort and joy. With all the great patterns on the Internet, your options are virtually unlimited. There's surely a toy project out there that's perfect for you.