I promised a craft for this week - and here it is! The DIY Felt Sensory Book. I made this for Harrison, but Ella has played with it a few times as well. I used the left over scraps from the Spring Felt Board project (Easter Fun: Day One!) as well as some other craft supplies I had around the craft room...I mean closet.
|The finished project - 8 pages in total|
Here's a little look at the sensory book I made. Keep in mind, however, there are many many different options for a sensory book. You can put just about anything in there and it will be interesting to a baby. You will need to adjust your features based on age, though.
|Lots of pretty felt colours cut into 5 inch squares|
I started out with 6 pages in the book, but then I added two more because I really wanted to add in a zipper and I hadn't yet.
Page 1: Flower/Sun ~ whatever way you want to look at it
Cut out a felt circle for the centre and several different coloured/textured ribbons. Fold ribbons in half and place open ends under the felt circle. Pin all the pieces down and sew.
Page 2: Velcro Shapes
Cut out a few different coloured felt shapes. Pin velcro to one side of each shape as well as to the felt page. Sew velcro pieces in place. I used white thread (because it was already in my machine), but you may want to think about changing the thread colour for each shape if you are giving this as a gift. It just looks better :P
Page 3: Terry Cloth Star Power
Cut out a star shape (or whatever shape you want!) from an old towel. Pin star onto felt page and sew in place. I find it pretty tricky when sewing terry cloth. You want to pin it down pretty well and use a zig zag stitch.
|If this picture was turned the other way, it would look more like a star...oops!|
Years ago I was given a fully stocked sewing basket as a birthday gift. One of the items inside was a jar of random buttons and I still have 95% of those buttons. Well actually, now I have 94% of those buttons because I used some to make this next page. I sewed these suckers on by hand. If there is a way to sew buttons on with a sewing machine, I would love to know that trick! If you put a buttons page in your sensory book, make sure they are sewn on extremely well! Harry loves to bite them.
Page 5: Crinkle
For some reason, most of the baby toys these days have some sort of 'crinkle' feature. Meaning part of the toy is stuffed with a crunchy material that makes a funny crinkly sound when you touch it. Ew. I don't like those toys, but my kids sure do! I decided to add my own crinkle page using tissue paper. Warning, tissue paper loses its crinkle fairly quickly. I would suggest the cellophane wrap used for gifts or something else crunchy (i have no other suggestions). I sewed a large rectangular pocket on this page, which I stuffed with the tissue paper before sewing up the last side. Pretty basic stuff.
Page 6: Ripped Jeans
I had one long piece of jean scrap in my sewing basket, as well. So, I cut it into strips of varying width. The top strip is the widest and they get thinner as they go down the page. To make this page, pin these strips onto the page and sew one line down the centre of each strip (horizontally). This way the baby can feel the texture by gripping the material.
Page 7: The Zipper!
So, apparently sewing zippers onto felt is a bit tricky. I figured it out, but you can see where I had some trouble (should have used red thread to hide my mistakes!). Basically, pin and sew your zipper wherever you want it on the page - make sure to get the right size of zipper for the page. I got the shortest one at the store and, as you can see, it was still a bit too long. I'm not too concerned, though. The zipper is the highlight of this project!
Page 8: Heart on a String...in a Pocket
For the final page, I wanted to include some sort of pocket. I decided on a very simple pocket (as you can see) with a little heart on a string hidden inside. Get yourself some felt for the pocket piece, a piece of string and cut out two felt heart shapes. First, sew one end of the string in place in the middle of the page. Next, pin the two heart pieces together with the other end of the string inside. Sew around the heart pieces while sewing the string in place. Lastly, pin and sew on the pocket.
And now you have yourself a nice little felt sensory book for the babe.
|Here are the original six pages after they're sewn up all nice and neat.|
I also have to throw in this picture of Harry chowing down on his graham cracker. He looks so much like my brother here (as a baby), it's ridiculous...and a little goofy.
|Harrison - 13 months|