Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sensory box for babies

Are you familiar with remnants at your local fabric store? I bet your store has them just like our Jo Ann Fabrics. Remnants are little pieces of fabric left over when the bolt is nearly empty. They're less than a yard. They come in little bundles and, at our store at least, they're half off the price of the fabric. If the fabric is on sale, they're half off the sale price. I am drawn to this bin because the prices are so cheap. I bought 3/4 of a yard of felt for 75 cents! However, it bothers me slightly to buy all these little pieces without a use for them.

On pinterest (of course!) I saw this idea for a sensory box for babies. Developmentally speaking, babies are ALL about senses but many sensory activities are a bit too advanced for "mouthers" like mine (sand, rice, oobleck, etc.) Well this sensory box is all fabric so it's perfect for my little 1-year-old

Here's the box:

It's a wipes tub! I bought a fancy one just for this and put the wipes into my boring white one but if you have one lying around, decorate it with contact paper instead of buying one. I didn't have any spares. 

Inside the box is a long chain of fabrics. I sewed them together. Yep, this one requires you to sew. I know that in the past if I'd read that I'd likely walk away right now. Forget it, sewing is a pain. No! Wait! Stay with me here... it's not that bad!

Actually, this is a great project for novice sewers or if you just bought a new machine and you want to try out all the features. Just sew together lots of strips of fabric! That's it! When you're dealing with tulle and silky materials you need to use a zig-zag stitch to make sure the fabric stays. When you're dealing with cotton you have a choice if you'd prefer a zig-zag or straight stitch and when you're working with really thick fabric you need to use a straight stitch, preferably one with a bit of space between each stitch, so your machine doesn't get bogged down.

I hemmed the rectangles inside out, leaving a little space, flipped them then sewed on top to close the hole. Then I sewed them end-to-end. Here are the fabrics I chose (pardon the poor photography, it's dark and I'm too lazy to move to a well-lit room)

This is a gold linen material with a bit of black tulle sewn on the center:

 Next is cotton black and white polka dots. I chose this pattern because experts say that high contrast black-and-white is more visually appealing to babies.

Attached is hot pink felt (my super cheap find of the day in the remnant bins)

 This picture really doesn't show you how cool this next fabric is, unfortunately. The gold fabric is silky polyester that feels very soft. The white-ish one is a thicker tulle material with tiny rhinestones and silver beads attached. I tried, using my teeth and fingers, to remove the beads and they wouldn't budge. Also, they are smaller than the head of a pin so even if they were to come off they're not a choking hazard because they'd be swallowed without a problem. This material reminds me of a high school prom dress. The beads feel bumpy. Addison was playing with the remnant while we shopped and she kept running her hand up it to feel the texture.

Here is a piece of the same felt but this time I added pompom yarn. This yarn has pompoms attached! I pinned the yarn on the felt then sewed 4 straight lines down the fabric, hitting the yarn vertically.

 I sewed about 8 layers of pink tulle together for a light layer. The tulle was only about 89 cents, by the way. I got 5 colors!

Last, I found this red printed material that is canvas, I think it's intended for outdoor furniture. It's really thick and coarse feeling.

After all the fabrics are sewn together in a long strip, kind of like the handkerchiefs a magician pulls from his sleeve, you just accordion-fold them and stuff them into the empty wipes tub. I pulled one end out a little bit to catch my baby's attention. The fabrics come out of the wipe dispenser easily.

The whole project only cost me about 8 dollars, but you could do it with scraps you have at home and it would be very inexpensive or free if you have a variety of material in your sewing stuff. It was so easy too! Dust off you sewing machine (or get it out of the box if you're new!) and craft today!

Pictures to come of miss Addi playing with her new toy, I finished it after she was in bed

No comments:

Post a Comment