My Blanken World

My world of boys, textiles and moving.

Because I felt like it March 28, 2014

Filed under: Boys,Made by me,Pets — blankenmom @ 10:49 pm
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I recently posted that I had made some felted baby rattles and a few people asked how I made them.  As I discovered when I went to make these, I found methods to make felted balls using the wet method, but no rattle and making felted rattles, using a felting tool – which I’ve used before, but have no patience for.  Granted you have more color control with the second method.  So if you feel like getting all wild and design-y, I suggest you go for the second method.  Also a good stress reliever I would imagine – STAB, STAB, STAB!

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I went for the quick and easy wet method using a cat toy inside.

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cat toy

 

This is the style I prefer for baby rattles.  No obnoxious bell and if the baby does make it to the ball inside, no choking hazard.  Plus these tend to be a bit smaller, which I like for their little hands.

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The items you’ll need for this particular demonstration are cat toys, roving, the hottest water your hands can take with a few drops of dish soap.  That’s it.

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These are the cat toys I had on hand.  Ironically, my cat doesn’t play with toys – at 19, I’ll let her have this one since she doesn’t cost me any vet bills.

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I’m going to use these to juggle with, so I’m not too worried about the choking hazard.  As a felted cat toy, I wouldn’t be worried either.  Also, depending on the mom, you may not want to let them know you used a cat toy inside their baby’s toy.  Some mom’s are so no fun!

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This is the roving I happened to find today.  I don’t know if you’ve ever been to a place called “Craft Warehouse”, but I highly suggest it!  It was pretty amazing in there!  However, my last set I got the roving from online and I preferred their roving over this since the strands were longer.  Same amount, just longer strands.  (Better for this project.)  Plus they had a ton of coordinating colors to sample.  But this worked in a pinch.

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Start heating the water.  I set mine to “Low”, your’s could be “1”.  The lowest setting is probably all you’ll need, or can stand.  You can also use boiling water with cold water if you don’t want to stand over the stove the whole time, I just didn’t want to keep rewarming the water.  Make sure to add some dish soap.  I added about 6 “squirts” to this.  It WILL NOT work without the soap.  I forgot it the first ball and it was a sad, sad mess.

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While your water is heating, lay out your roving and decide what colors you want to do and if you want to mix colors.

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WRAP, Wrap, wrap.  Then dip and smoosh.  Roll and roll.  You want the roving to completely wrap around the cat toy.  I halved the roving, wrapping in one direction and then another, making sure none of the ball showed through from the edges.  Once it’s all tucked.  Dip away from the opening first and then the opening and proceed to smoosh it.  Make sure to keep your hand on the opening of the roving until it starts to mesh and hold itself.  Think – play-dough as you roll.  Dip and smoosh, dip and smoosh.  It will be very loose, sort of “goopy” and heavy until it starts to form.  Once the fibers start to wrap around each other you can begin rolling the ball.  You can roll it in your hands like play-dough and/or on a towel.  You’ll want to keep this up until it starts to shrink and there are no visible edges.

If you see die coming off in large amounts in the water, don’t give that one to the kid.  No mom wants to turn around to see her child turned royal purple from their rattle!

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You can see the still visible edge on the lower right side on this one – keep rolling!

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This is something good to do while you’re watching t.v.

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rollingrollingrollingrollingrollingrollingrollingrollingsmooshingrollingrollingrollingrolling

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Four toys took me about an hour.

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To make the different colors, just wrap another color around the first one before you dip.  I’m not digging my two-tone ones though?

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Don’t worry when you set it on the side to dry that the rattle doesn’t seem to be working.  Give it about an hour to dry and you’ll be able to hear it again.

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I am not a “crafter”, if it’s not easy, I’m not going to do it.  That’s how easy this is!  I’ll be making more of these for the pregnancy clinic.   Worst part – the prune hands.  I will warn you however, that if you have any young (or old) boys in the house, the um….  ball jokes will be endless.

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