Sunday, October 14, 2012

{ Studio e: Jelly Fish DIY }

I feel like my kid is already way over stimulated.  Without us even prompting it, we find Ellis turning towards the TV, reaching for our iPhones, and preferring the loudest, most obnoxious flashing/beeping/music making toys.  I feel like it's all just too much for his brain sometimes.  Babies are supposed to live simple lives.  Enjoy the basics.  Mister, you can have an iPhone when you are older.  For now you get soft, cute toys.  Okay?

Also, I think my patience level decreases with every push of the ADHD inducing exersaucer music buttons.  I have every song memorized.  And they play over and over and over in my head.

So, I'm attempting to settle down the toys.  Sort through the madness and keep all things soft or quite(er).  {don't worry - I'm keeping the exersaucer, it may drive me nuts, but I'm not ready to lose those precious hands-free moments...I'll just turn down the volume for now.}

Introducing:  DIY Jellyfish Baby Toy

{adapted from this original DIY: --- I found this awesome DIY on Pinterest, but decided to make a few changes.}

I love this because it's made of any fabric scraps you have sitting around.  Also, please note: I am not a measurer - it's not in my genes to care about the details.  So, for you type A people, it really might be best for you to just stop reading now.  You've been warned.

1. Collect your Supplies:

8 Cotton Fabric strips (legs)

2 Fabric circles - something thicker, like felt, flannel, etc... (body)

1 plastic Baby wipe refill pack

Sewing machine, pen, and scissors.

2.  Legs:

Pick out your coordinating fabrics.  You will need 8 legs, so if you want them all the same fabric, that's fine.  I did 4 different fabrics - 2 legs of each.  You will need the strips to be about 2 inches wide and somewhere between 8-10 inches long.  Don't cut them all exactly the same.

Fold each one in half (hotdog fold) and cut about the top inch off at an angle with your wrong side facing out.  Then sew it closed.
{I told you I'm not a detail person...well I'm also not a "technical name" person either.}

Once you get them all sewed, cut off the tips (don't cut your stitches, just the excess so you can turn out your corners well).  Then use a pen to turn them right side out.  This takes a little patience, but will work.

3. Body:

You will need to cut 2 circles.  The first one needs to be about a 4" circle and the other about 6".

This is where it will start to hurt your brain.  Don't think to hard about it, just do it and trust that in the end it will work, okay?

Place your legs around right-side of the 4" circle facing in.  You will need to fold them up so they don't stick out the opposite sides of the circle.  Then holding it all in place with one hand, sew the legs to the circle.  Go all the way around and try to stay pretty close to your edge.  This is a baby toy, perfect isn't necessary.

Now, take your 6" circle and place it, right-side down, on top of the other (covering the folded up legs).  Because the 6" circle is larger, it doesn't line up perfectly and will need some bunching to make it match the smaller circle. This is the time where you real-deal (smart) sewers would stop and pin it in place.  Okay, I'll be honest, that would have surely been easier.  But, I'm an unorganized mess and since I couldn't find my pins, I proceeded without.  :)  Do as you wish.  I did a few stitches on all 4 "sides" just to keep it in place and get started.  Then I bunched it up and sewed my way around.  As you can see, it was a little messy, but again, it doesn't matter once you flip in inside out.  

Make sure you leave about an inch left unsewed so that you can flip it right side out.  

4. Stuffing

Turn your jelly fish right side out.  It will seem like a tight fit, but it will turn out.  Take it easy though, you don't want to rip out any of your seams.  Take your empty baby wipe refill (the soft plastic case) and cut it into 4-5 pieces.  Crumple them up and stuff them in the opening.  This will give the toy a that little "crunchy noise" when it's played with.  Now find some random fabric scraps and push those in until you get it to a desired full-ness.  I stuffed mine pretty full.  Stuffing always breaks down, so you want to go fuller than you think you want it or it will just flatten out.  

5. Close it up

You can either hand stitch the opening closed or use your machine.  Ellis really won't be concerned if there's a bit of stitching showing, so I used my machine.  Again, whatever floats your boat.  This is also where you can add in your own personalized "tag".  If you are giving it away as a gift, or just want to feel legit, go ahead and add in a label tag.  I made mine with a simple ribbon and used my sewing machine to sew on my "studio e" label.  

Also, because babies love chewing on anything and everything, I went ahead and knotted each of the "legs" (or...shall we say, tentacles?).  Just for a little extra fun.

That's it!  All done!  And I did it all while the little one peacefully napped behind me.  Hahaha.  That's a joke.  He screamed for about 35 minutes, despite all the distractions I tried.  Yep I let my 5 month old watch veggie tales.  Judge me.  Pshh, not like he watched it.  He screamed.  And I sewed.  And then, right about the time I was done and hoping he would play with his awesome new jelly toy, he drifted off to sleep.

And then woke up 10 minutes later.  That part is not a joke.

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