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It’s become a bit of a tradition that when one of my friends has a first baby, I make a couple of these crinkly taggie baby toys. It’s a known fact that babies frequently prefer playing with non-playthings, so you’ll find them having fun with the toy’s packaging instead of the toy or the tag on the toy instead of the toy’s other features, which is why the Taggie is so popular. Today I’m going to show you how to make a crinkle taggie baby toy just like that brand with your fabric and ribbon scraps that feel great for little hands to touch, and a surprising upcycled material that makes that wonderful crinkling and crackling sound that is just fascinating for big and little ears alike!
These sensorial toys are really so simple to make and only take about 15 minutes to make a couple of them. What do you say? Want to learn how to make a crinkle taggie baby toy for all the sweet little ones in your life? Well, then, let’s get started!
For two of these toys you’ll need:
- four 20 cm x 20 cm (8″ x 8″) squares of fabric
- one washed and dried plastic cereal bag
- scraps of ribbon, ric rac, t-shirt yarn, etc.
The fabric can be bigger or smaller or even completely different shapes, but I find this size to fit well onto half of a cereal bag. I like to use cotton flannel, but you could use whatever you want (though I’d stick with natural fibers, as babies put *everything* into their mouths). You could use velour or corduroy for extra tactile enjoyment or upcycle some fabrics from old clothing. Making a patchwork of different fabrics would be fun, too! This time I chose to make one toy with similar pastel colors on white and another with fabrics with black backgrounds.
If you have a flat label with your name or business on it, sew it in the corner of two of your squares (that will go on two separate toys) about 2 cm from each edge. If you have a side label, just use it like another ribbon when sewing.
Preparing the fabric, ribbons and plastic
Then start picking out your ribbons, ric rac, etc. Try to pick colors that will look nice with your fabric colors as well as a variety of textures, which makes it more interesting for baby. Don’t use yarn because the fibers could come off in baby’s mouth.
Cut off pieces between 8 and 15 cm long and iron them in half. I left mine relatively long so that the baby’s hand can fit in them, but usually they’re shorter. Most ribbons are synthetic, so put an ironing cloth or other piece of fabric on top of the ribbon while ironing or else it could melt.
Take your cereal bag. Please make sure that you’ve washed and dried it thoroughly. You can use other types of plastic packaging, too. I remember having seen baby wipe packages used as a crinkly material. I use cereal bags because the plastic is food grade and hasn’t previously contained chemicals that are used in disposable wipes. Open the bag up along all the seams and cut it in half.
Place one of the fabric squares on top of each cereal bag half, right sides up. Position the ribbons on top of the fabric square with the folded end facing inwards and with the cut ends lined up more or less with the fabric square edge.
When you’re happy with the layout, pin them in place.
Place your other two fabric squares on top of the ribbons, right sides down, lining up the edges with the squares below. Pin those in place, leaving the pins holding the ribbons as well.
Sew, turn and topstitch
I suggest you read my lesson on turning and topstiching, and clipping corners, if you are not familiar with these techniques.
Sew all along the edges with a 1 cm (3/8″) seam allowance (as shown on the toy on the left). Leave a space open in the center of one side, preferably between two ribbons. The sewing machine’s feed dogs might not move the fabric sandwich along very well with the plastic on the bottom, so you might need to help it along, or use a walking foot to help you out. Don’t worry if the stitching doesn’t come out perfectly even. Nobody will see it!
Then trim the fabric and plastic around the seams, clipping around the corners (as shown on the toy on the right).
Turn the squares right side out through the opening. Iron the squares, taking care to turn the opening’s edges inwards. Then topstitch around the whole square close to the border, closing up the opening. It will be much easier to topstitch because the plastic is no longer on the outside.
And you’re done! Above you can see the fronts and backs of my two crinkly taggie toys.
And now I’d like you to just TRY to resist crinkling these things! The sound and sensation is so interesting, even for a grownup, it’s no wonder babies can’t resist playing with this type of toy!
Now that you know how to make a crinkle taggie baby toy, go and make some for all of your little friends!
If you want to make a super special gift for a baby, why not sew some fun matching bibs and burp cloths? All parents of newborns know that you can never have too many of those! My pattern has different styles and sizes and you could even make them to match these toys!
Pin this tutorial so that you’ll have it on hand next time you need to make your own gift for a newborn! And follow my DIY Gifts for Baby board on Pinterest for even more great ideas from around the web!