Gah, time, such a precious commodity! Earlier this year (like WAY earlier) I made some Berlin inspired baby rattles. I was going to share the tutorial with you ages ago, but never found the time. If you are looking for a last minute hand made Christmas gift for any littles in your life, perhaps that live in Berlin or whose parents are Berlin fans, then read on…
We spent almost four years living with a direct view from our house of Berlin’s famous TV tower, and I always thought that it’s the perfect shape for a baby rattle – long and thin for baby to easily hold on to, and with a big round circle in the middle for the rattle element to go. Then suddenly we were expecting another baby of our own, and I just love the feeling of giving your children a hand made toy to play with. So I spent a while sketching out the dimensions until a) the proportions seemed right, and b) it was about the right size, then I was off to my nearest craft supplies store for some nice fabric, some toy stuffing, and some rattle elements. It turned out they only had humungous rattle elements that wouldn’t have fit through the opening, so I ended up ordering some off Amazon instead. They only came in packs of 10, so every baby I know has been getting a TV Tower rattle this year, and I *still* have four left…
For each rattle you will need:
- Two pieces of fabric, each at least 15cm x 30cm. You can use the same fabric for both sides, or mix it up a little.
- One 15cm length of cotton ribbon, about 5mm wide
- Two 8 – 10cm lengths of cotton ribbon, about 1cm – 1.5cm wide
- A rattle element, approx. 2cm in diameter
- Toy stuffing
You will also need a sewing machine (or needle and thread), and some pins to keep things in place. Also, a thin paintbrush will come in handy!
The finished rattle is approx. 24cm high and approx 7.5cm wide.
Step 1: Print off the template (scroll down to the bottom for free download) and draw around it on the wrong side of each of your pieces of fabric, then cut out adding 1.5cm seam allowance.
Step 2: Lay the two pieces wrong sides together.
Step 3: Fold your narrow ribbon in half, and position it as shown in the photo above, with the closed end pointing inwards. When you later turn it the right side out, this will create the loop at the top of the rattle which you can use to hang it up, tie it to a pram etc. My inwards pointing ‘loop’ is approx. 5cm long.
Step 4: Repeat the previous step with your other two pieces of ribbon. This time your inwards pointing ‘loops’ should be approx. 2.5cm long. These will form so called ‘tags’ that babies love playing with, you find them on all kinds of soft toys these days. I chose to position both of mine next to each other on the same side of the TV Tower’s base, but you could put one on each side if you wanted. Or add a few extra tags (in which case you would obviously need more ribbon).
Here are some close ups (see pics above and below) to better show you how I pinned the ribbons in the place.
Step 5: Sew around the sides and round the tops of your TV Tower, ON THE LINE that you drew around your template, leaving the bottom open.
Step 6: Make a small cut at each of the four ‘corners’ of the TV towers circle, as shown in the photo above (sorry, I forgot to take a picture of this step, so I’ve reused the previous photo). DO NOT cut all the way to the line, only about half way. This will make it easier to turn your shape inside out.
Step 7: Turn your TV tower inside out (or should that be right side out?). You will find the handle of a thin paint brush a very useful tool to help you accomplish this step! It’s a bit fiddly, but don’t give up. The tip of the TV Tower is the trickiest, but if you manage to grab hold of the ribbon loop at the top and gentle pull, the tip should pop out.
Step 8: Fill the tip of the TV Tower and half of the circle with toy stuffing. Again, your paintbrush will come in handy here to help you push the stuffing in to all the corners. Then push in the rattle element, and push more stuffing around it. Keep adding stuffing until the base and the entire TV tower is filled. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the rattle element, but I used these ‘Rasseldosen‘ from Amazon,
Step 9: Turn the bottom edges in, and hand sew the TV Tower shut.
Step 10: Find a baby to gift your rattle too :)
Download: TV Tower Rattle Template (PDF)