Monday, August 29, 2011

Sand and Water Toys-- Terry Cloth Stuffed Starfish Tutorial

My parents got my son this awesome sand and water table for his second birthday. He's pretty much played with it everyday since he's had it. I was intrigued by the idea of soft sand and water toys, something machine washable. 

I thought terry cloth would be a good medium for water toys. I marched down to the fabric store and got some blue and yellow terry. 

I settled on some nautical themed toys and wanted to make a starfish and some sea shells. Here is a quick tutorial for making your own terry cloth starfish toy!

The Ingredients: 

-2 pieces of yellow terry cloth for the starfish
-matching thread
-polyfil stuffing (this is machine washable)

The Recipe: 

The first thing I needed to do was find a starfish to trace. I did a Google image search to find a picture I thought would make a good pattern. I found this guy on a website that sells Hawaiian treasures. I opened the picture in Picasa, scaled it to print on an 8X10 page and printed it in black and white to trace. 

I wanted my starfish to have a little personality, so I stitched a little face on the center. Nothing thing fancy, just enough to give him a little smile. 

Next, I whipped stitched around the first arm of the starfish. The terry hides the stitches really well. Keep your stitches close, though, as terry tends to fray. 

As you sew, stuff the arm as you go. If you don't it will likely be a pain getting stuffing all the way to the ends. Keep sewing and stuffing until you get back to the place you started and knot off. 

That's it! Now you have a cuddly starfishy friend, perfect for the bath or the beach!

Happy Sewing!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wordless Wednesday-Dog Sitting

My son is currently in love with our four legged house guest. Apparently, getting a two year old and a dog to stay still long enough for a picture is almost impossible, so please enjoy the one photo I managed to snap. 

Happy Wednesday!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Summertime Root Beer Float Felt Food Tutorial

Summertime will soon be waning away but there is still time for frosty cold treats before the sun disappears again. A pregnant friend of mine suggested a felt food root beer float and far be it from me to deny the whims of  a gestating lady. 

The Ingredients: 

In dark brown felt you need:
-base circle, 2 inches wide
-top circle, 2.5 inches wide with a .75 wide circle cut out from near one side. This is where the straw is going to sit in the root beer.
-body of root beer, a trapezoid shape with a base of 7 inches, sides 5 inches tall and the top side 8.5 inches long
-2.5 by 1.5 inch rectangle for the sides of the straw holder
-.75 inch wide circle for the straw holder bottom

In cream felt:
-8.5 by 1 inch scalloped piece for around the top of the root beer body
-2 inch wide wavy piece for the cream on top of the root beer. Be sure to leave a notch for the hole for the straw.
-4 inch wide wavy circle for the ice cream

-4.5 inch long by 1 inch wide piece in white felt for the straw
-scraps of red felt for the straw stripes

for the glass:
-another trapezoid shape with a 7.5 inch base, 6.5 inch sides and 10 inches long on top in either vinyl from the fabric store or I cut up a clear plastic sheet protector that goes in binders.
-2.25 inch wide clear circle for the glass base

-matching embroidery thread

As a note, when sewing side pieces around circles, I usually allow extra length in my measurements. It's easier to trim the pieces up as you sew than cut them too short in the first place.

The Recipe:

First, we'll start with the straw. I laid my red felt pieces in diagonals and running stitched them to the white straw piece. Be sure to knot off your thread after each red piece. I tried to be lazy and keep the stitch going but when you fold the straw over in the next step, the stitches are too loose.

Whip stitch the straw seams together. . .

and our old timey looking straw is complete.

Next comes the ice cream. About a half inch from the edge of the wavy  circle piece, put in a running stitch.

Add stuffing then pull your thread tight so the ice cream is closed on the underside and knot off.

Next, sew the cream piece to the top circle. Make sure to line up your pieces to not cover the hole for the straw. I just used quick running stitches for this.

To make the straw holder, sew the small dark brown rectangle to the three quarter inch dark brown circle. This will form the cavern the straw sits in. Sew up the seam so you have a little tube.

Then, attach the tube to the underside of the top circle.

Now, when I did this, I sewed the creamy part to the body of the root beer before I sewed it to the top circle.

 I ended up with some overlap, which I just tucked in as I sewed, but it would be neater to sew the top circle to the root beer body, trim as necessary, then sew on the cream part. Be sure to sew the top circle to the wider top part of the root beer body.

Once you have the top circle sewn on, stitch up the seam to make a big root beer tube.

I added stuffing as I went and pinned the seam to keep it neat. Be careful not to over stuff near the straw holder. You want to be sure the straw still fits in there.

Then, sew the bottom circle to the end of your root beer tube.

Lastly, the glass. I found the sheet protector page material to be pretty thin so be careful not to tear it. If you are using a thicker grade vinyl this might not be an issue but it may be harder to get your needle through for the stitches. I put the root beer in the glass as I sewed to help keep the shape. Try to keep your stitches as neat as possible since they will be visible, but this isn't an easy task.

Lastly, sew up the seam on the glass. I started at the top and worked down. I found that pinching the seam so I had a little ridge to sew through made this easier, but I still had a few wonky stitches. Trim up the glass side piece as needed.

All done! A four piece root beer play set for serving up a cool felt food treat!

Happy Felt Fooding!


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Felt Mini Veggie Garden Giveaway Winner

Thank you to everyone who entered my felt Mini Veggie Garden Giveaway! Without further ado, the winner is. . . 

Comment 105 which belongs to Allison Lewis! Congratulations, Allison! She has 72 hours to contact me back or I will choose another winner and post it here.  

Thanks again for playing and keep an eye out for a new giveaway soon!

Happy Winning!


Friday, August 5, 2011

How Does Your Garden Grow? Felt Mini Veggie Garden Tutorial and Giveaway~Ends 8/12/11 CLOSED

I was starting to feel an itch to start a new felt food project yesterday but was lacking inspiration. I asked for suggestion on the Mama's Felt Cafe Facebook page, and my real life friend Helen responded that she would like to see a veggie garden. The wheels in my head started turning, and I envisioned the little planter box full of felt produce. I didn't take pictures to do a full photo tutorial, but I'll give a basic run down of what I did. 

I chose veggies that grew in or close to the ground and ended up with potatoes, cabbage, and carrots (the carrot tutorial is for a cut apart version. I just make a cone shape and fold in half instead of cutting into pieces). They would have given me a hankering for soup if it weren't 90 degrees outside. The potatoes are about 1.5 inches long, the cabbage a little less than 2 inches from leaf to leaf and the carrot is 4 inches from the tip of the root to the top of the greens. 

The construction of the garden box was the most challenging part of this project. 

~The top is dark brown felt, measuring 8.5X5.5 inches, as is the bottom, which is dark green felt. The sides are two 8.5X3 inch pieces and two 5.5X3 inch pieces. 
~The potato cups are .75 inch wide circles pieces with  .5 inch tall sides sewn around then attached to a .75 inch wide circle cut into the top of the dirt piece. 
~The cabbage bowls are holes 1.25 inches across, with a 2 inch wide dark brown felt circle sewn to them. Keep edges to edges so that the bigger circle pieces bows and give the cabbage a recess to sit in.
~The carrot caverns are made by cutting .5 inch wide holes (test to make sure your carrots will fit through, otherwise make them a bit bigger) in the dirt piece. Wrap a scrap of dark brown felt around the carrot, leaving a little room for the carrot to wiggle. Mine were about 2.75 inches long. Cut the scrap and sew up the seam, similar to making the root of the carrot. Sew this carrot cavern to the circles in the dirt. 
~Whip stitch the side pieces to the dirt piece and sew up the side seams. Add stuffing, being careful not to overstuff, then sew on the bottom piece of the planter box.

 The end was result was rather adorable and I decided I would like to share some felt veggie garden love. I'm giving away this mini felt veggie patch! Of course if you would like to purchase one, you can find it in my Etsy shop, otherwise enter to win below: 

Mandatory Entry: Follow Mama's Felt Cafe with Google Friend Connect (there is a handy button over to the right)  or sign up for the Mama's Felt Cafe RSS feed. Leave a comment letting me know you subscribed. Be sure to use a valid email address when you fill out the comment form. I cannot approve any additional entries if there is not a comment saying you follow the blog. 

Want a chance to enter more than once? Here are some ways to up your odds of winning. Be sure to LEAVE A SEPARATE COMMENT FOR EACH ENTRY, multiple entries in one comment will be disqualified:

1. Become a fan of Mama's Felt Cafe on Facebook (Of course you already are, right?)

2. Follow @MamaFeltCafe on Twitter

3. Post about this giveaway on your Facebook page or Tweet about it on Twitter. Be sure to link back to the giveaway in your post: Include a link to the Facebook post or Tweet in your comment.

4. Add Mama's Felt Cafe on Etsy to your Favorites.

That's all you have to do! If you already a follower/fan/subscriber of  Mama's Felt Cafe, just leave a comment saying so. Each of these actions counts as one extra entry, so each person can have up to 5 entry comments (including the mandatory entry). Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry. I'll leave this contest open for a week, until  August 12, 2011 at 11:59 PM PST. I'll use to pick the winning comment  from all the comments and contact the winner via email. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, I'll draw another winner. Contest open to residents of the USA and Canada with free shipping for the winner. If you have any questions, please email me,  Please keep in mind that these pieces are small and could pose a choking hazard if swallowed by a child who still mouths their toys

Thank you for your participation and Good Luck! 

Happy Felt Fooding!



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