Felted Rattle . . . It resembles a silly little flower!

This felt flower rattle is so much fun to make and play with.  The green stem is constructed around a pipe cleaner and the flower rattles as you move the toy from side to side, up and down, or around.
Felt Flower Rattle Face
I wanted my littlest baby to be the model for showing the rattle in action; but she is way to squirmy for that.  Plus, she was covered in food from breakfast this morning.  A bath and pretty dress just to get a cute picture?  Come on! Below, you can see her egg coated hand reaching for the flower rattle as I attempted to take a shot.  At least, she is intrigued by the happy little flower.
Felted Flower Rattle

Back of Felt Flower Rattle
So, my 6 year old helped me with the outside photos.  She really seemed to enjoy this toy.  The wind blew through her hair as she vigorously shook the rattle to and fro.  It was such a cute sight.   Rattles aren’t just for babies anymore. The flower stem is slightly bendy.  So if you hold it near the top of the stem it stays upright, and if you hold it near the base of the stem the heavy flower head flops right over.  It’s so cute!
Felt Flower Rattle
And of course, I couldn’t resist taking a photo of it amidst my blooming mums.  It is shaped nothing like a mum and mums don’t have silly faces, but the color fit perfectly and the outdoorsy setting definitely suits this natural wool toy!

Needle Felt Flower Rattle

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Making Felt Acorns. . . A Great Fall Activity!

Needle Felt Acorn Garland?

I just love fall; it is by far the best season for everything!!!  Today, in celebration of this wonderful season, my kids and I made some brightly colored felted acorns.  It’s a really great matching game for younger ones and for older kids it’s still lots of fun!

To be fair, I must admit that this is not my original idea.  I tried to discover the originator of this craft, but it is so widespread that I couldn’t locate the artist who began it all.  This is a pretty straightforward project, but I will tell you the step by step process in order to make it super clear.

First things first, get out there and visit your local park, find an oak tree and scour the ground for acorns.  Even my youngest child enjoyed collecting the acorns(she’s 2).  If the acorns are still attached the the top, just pry the suckers off.  Now, you have a collection of acorn tops.  To make the acorn tops last longer, you can shellac or paint with a gloss.  I skipped this step as I didn’t have this supply on hand.  But I highly suggest it, if these are intended to be keepsakes!
Acorn Tops
While you were looking for acorn tops, hopefully you noticed the beautiful colors that adorn the acorns themselves.  Use this as inspiration for the colors you choose to felt with.  I chose green, mauve, dark blue, dark purple, and brown.  Now with your acorn caps resting nearby, begin to make a few different size needle felted balls.  I simply rested an average cap nearby and made some larger, some the perfect size for the cap, and some a little smaller.
small needle felt balls
Now match them up.  This is also fun for children, let them match the correct sized cap to the needle felted ball.  It’s a great sorting activity and all natural.  The textures and colors are sure to please.

Acorn Tops and Felted Balls

Kids matching the acorn tops to the correct size felt ball.
Now fire up that hot glue gun.  You could use Elmer’s, but it doesn’t set as fast.  Put a little drop of glue in the acorn cap, position the matched felted ball inside it and keep pressure on it until the glue sets.

Hot Glue Gun is Ready!

Acorn Cap with a drop of Glue

Applying Pressure
The felted acorns are now complete, but what do I do with them?  I have an activity planned with my children, but they are also great fall decorations.  Place them in a pretty bowl, or hang them in a row as festive garland.  I’m sure there are more, but I’m going to let you use your imagination for more decorating ideas.  Get outside and do something with your loved ones; it’s a beautiful season!  Happy Fall!

Pair of Felt Acorns

Felt Acorns

Caterpillar. . .Soft Fuzzy Felt Balls on a String!

I followed my imagination and made a colorful felted caterpillar.  This colorful creature is unlike my previous creations because I used a few different materials to construct his wiggly body.  This toy design used wool, pony beads, buttons, and wool yarn.  I think he turned out just adorable.  If only real caterpillars had such a friendly face!
colorful caterpillar toy
I made 6 individual balls, put a face and antennae on one, and then strung them together with some wool yarn.  I wanted the caterpillar to be able to curve just a little; which is why I strung them together rather than felting them together.  I really like his pony bead antennae, but I think wood instead of plastic would have really complimented the natural wool construction.  Also, felted beads would look fantastic as antennae.  I haven’t really got into the felt jewelry craze; but if tiny felted beads could compliment my little felt toys I’m going to have to give it a try!  I haven’t attempted such miniscule needle felting tasks yet, mostly for fear of poking myself while working in a tiny area.  But I can’t stop imagining this little guy with felt bead antennae, so I will probably make him again in the future when I have mastered the technique of felting beads!

soft felt caterpillar toy
The tiny pieces make it inappropriate as a crib toy, but I think under adult supervision this toy would intrigue even the littlest baby!  Even my eleven year old was impressed with this one; and it’s hard to impress her!  All in all this little toy was a joy to make.  It’s bright, colorful, happy, wiggly and so adorable.  It’s a really simple concept and hopefully I’ve inspired someone to try a felt caterpillar of their very own!

soft felt caterpillar toy

Felt Saturn . . . perfect for imaginative play!

Saturn is complete; it’s time to celebrate!  This felted Saturn was quite a challenge.  I just kept at it and fiddled around with the rings and the density of the fibers until it was just right.  I tried to somewhat maintain a color scheme that resembled that of the actual planet.
A Toy Felt Saturn
While I was creating this planet, I had some ideas for future projects.  The first idea was inspired by the rings of the planet: a felted chain.  I thought why not leave the planetary body out completely and just felt a long soft chain of rings; you could then hang a toy on them or simply turn one ring on the chain over and over again.  So be expecting a multi-colored felted chain in the future!
Rings of a Felt Saturn
Also,  I realized that my children were very intrigued at the extra ring around this toy ball.  So, I might use this ringed ball as a prototype for some more colorful and imaginative balls in the future.  Maybe instead of rather dull planetary colors, I can use some bright vivid primary colors.

And last but not least, this toy can move.  I was trying to create a little toy Saturn and I did; but I also created my first felted top.  Just watch it spin.  You can also roll it on the edge of its rings as a wheel down the hallway floor.  The point is:  this was one of my most challenging and unforgiving projects, yet I walked away with much more than a felted Saturn.  I walked away with some great ideas.  What more could you ask for?

A spinning felt top.