Oh yes. We’re in the that phase. The “me do” stage. The “I can buckle my carseat by myself, MOM!” stage. Since this is a skill he obviously wants to practice, I went on the hunt for some sort of buckle toy. The best I could come up with was this:
Don’t get me wrong, this is cute and pretty close to perfect, but at $25 + $5 shipping, it might be one of the most expensive toys we own (seriously). I thought I could probably make my own for much, much cheaper. And I did!
My sewing skills are very subpar. But this was relatively easy and quick. I used the basic “pillow sham” theory–sewing two pieces of fabric together inside out, then turning it right side out, stuffing it with some batting, and sewing the top. However, before sewing the sides, you’ll want to pin your ribbons for the buckles.
The longest part of the ribbon (the part the buckle will be attached to) gets pinned to the inside, so when it gets turned right side out they’re on the right side. Make sense? OMG, it took me a good 5 minutes staring at it to get this right. It probably didn’t help that my ribbons were patterned, so I had to get the right side of the ribbon right side up. ::sigh:: I need a sewing class.
Attaching the buckles were easy, even if my sewing lines were not so hot…I used a combination of 1″ buckles and 1/2″ buckles. I wanted to use colorful buckles, but I couldn’t find any bigger than this. This actually was a happy surprise, because Wee One loves those the most–huzzah for super-fine motor skill development!
Drumroll, please…total price: $3.50
Granted, I already had the fabric, batting, thread, and ribbon. I estimate a yard of fabric, a couple spools of ribbon, and some batting (or use an old throw pillow?) shouldn’t run more than $7-$8 dollars if you use $.99 fabric quarters from Jo Anns (or Walmart).
I also had to buy the buckles in bulk, so the upfront cost was a bit more, but I actually made a few extras that I plan on trying to sell at our upcoming community garage sale.
And of course, it’s a hit. My original plan was to keep it in the car to keep Wee One occupied during numerous drives back and forth to Lowes (hello, landscaping weather!), but as you can see, it has made its way into the house.
As he masters the buckles, I have plans to add a few more doo-dads–clips, carbiners, and rings–for even more fun!
- Ever see a toy and think, “I could make that!”.
- Anybody have a love-hate relationship with the sewing machine like I do? Grrrr…