"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine!" This adorable handmade baby rattle makes me think of that song every time I look at it!
So cute and sort of rustic in it's own way. I just love creating things with felt. One of my favorite mediums to make homemade baby toys. And this DIY baby rattle project is seriously easy to make! You can practice and make a tons of felt baby toys and rattles with the super inexpensive felt sheets you can find in most craft stores. They are made with acrylic and only cost about 30 cents per sheet. So it's a very economical project to take on as well. But once you get really good at making baby toys you can use gorgeous 100% wool felt and make a rustic Waldorf toy to last. Those are the type of toys that you will keep on display for years after baby is done playing!
So onward and upward! To the project...
The materials needed to make these baby toys can be found in most any craft store. Look for sheets of felt in different colors. They are usually in sheets measuring 8 1/2" by 11".
Felt is really easy to work with too. Look for some loose bells or rattles to place in the middle of the homemade baby rattles. Just make sure that any small pieces are actually sewn into the fabric or filling so that if the stitching happens to break they are held firmly in place - meaning waaay less choking hazard! Especially if you're using bells. Rattles are better but harder to come by. OR just use crinkle plastic sewn into the layers!
Materials and Supplies:
First thing to do is choose and print one of these DIY rattle patterns. Yep, I was super kind and even created cute stars and flowers to go with the sunshine. Hmmm... what's next? Perhaps a moon? Maybe a spoon and a cow to follow!
You know, you don't actually even have to print out one of my patterns. Maybe you have ideas of your own? You can even just get creative and draw out a few shapes on paper and make your own pattern. I like the idea of a fish baby rattle, or a little teddy bear. Just go for it!
For this tutorial I chose to make the sun pattern, but they are all made pretty much the same way.
Cut out the shapes using our the homemade baby toy patterns. I used three different colored felts to make my sun baby rattle toy. I made the shapes for the sun's "beams" out of two darker golden colors, and a light yellow for the sun's "face".
Start by sewing on the bells or rattle. For a really safe homemade baby toy I sew them on so that in the event that your baby somehow got this toy open, the bells would not be swallowed.
Place both "sun beam" pieces together so that the bells are in the middle. I like to place them slightly askew so that the beams do not match up, but are opposite each other.
Here is an optional step; adding a face to the sun. I created the face on my sun by first using a black marker to draw a light little face onto the felt. I then went back with some embroidery floss and sewed on a little face by tracing the lines I drew. Another even easier option would be to use some fabric paint and simply paint a little face onto the felt.
Place the circular pieces (face) on both the front and back of the sun. You may want to pin them in place. Now simply start sewing on the outside edge of the circular "face" shape. I made my stitches about 1/8" in from the edge. Sew all the way around leaving about an inch opening in the seam.
Use some cotton or poly filling to fill the insides of the toy. I inserted filling to both sides of the toy. Stitch the opening shut and you've got yourself nice, simple homemade baby toy to use as a rattle, or even a hanging baby crib toy or baby car seat toy.
More tips for these homemade baby toys...
* Turn these toys into a hanging toy by sewing on a little strip of felt and placing a bit of velcro or snaps on the ends. You can secure it in place hanging from the side of a crib or car seat. You can even turn the strap into a wrist strap to make a over-sized wrist rattle.
* You can make any shape of rattle that you might like. I have provided the baby toy patterns above but don't be shy to try and experiment with drawing your own shapes. Birds, bears, fish, are just a few that come to mind.
* insert crinkle plastic instead of bells and rattles. You can even do both! Place crinkle plastic in the flowers petals, or double up on the sun beams and sew it in between. Place a rattle or bell into the middle of the toy. You'll have an colorful and interesting felt baby toy.
* You can make these into great hanging infant toys by making them in black and white felt and maybe even adding a few red accents here and there.