Sunday, July 8, 2012

Happy Cloud Baby Toy Tutorial

Finally!  A tutorial!  (And a cute one, at that!)  I like this little plush cloud and rainbow because it can be a toy, a teether, or even a nursery decoration for boys or girls.  It's easy to make, and great for using up little scraps of fabric!  I made this one from 100% stash fabrics and scraps.


Let's get started!

You'll need:

  • pattern (free download!)
  • felt, fleece or minky fabric for the cloud - 10" x 14"  (25.4 cm x 35.6 cm)
  • fabric scraps* for rainbow strips
  • fabric marker
  • embroidery thread
  • needle and thread
  • sewing machine
  • stick for turning
  • iron
  • stuffing (I prefer Premium Poly-fil, as it's non-allergenic and made from recycled materials)
* You can also use ribbons cut to 8" (20.3 cm) lengths, or bias tape, or rick rack....
~ Seam allowance - 1/4" (.6 cm)

Print. . . .

~ Print and cut out pattern pieces.  Be sure to print pattern at "actual size," and allow for printing outside printer area.

Prepare. . . .

~ Trace and cut out pattern from fabrics.
 

~ On one of the cloud pieces, mark the circles for the stuffing opening, and mark where you want the face features to go.


Embroider. . . .

~ On the right side of one of the cloud pieces, embroider your cloud's face.  I used 6 stands of embroidery thread.

 
I backstitched the mouth and eye outlines, and filled the eyes with a satin stitch.  Set aside for now.
 

Make the rainbow. . . .

~ Fold one strip of the rainbow's fabric in half lengthwise.
~ Stitch along that long edge, using a 1/4" seam allowance. . .


. . . and at the end, turn and sewing along the short edge.  You'll now have a tube with one end open, and one end closed. 


~ Clip the corners close to the stitching for nice, crisp corners. 


~ Turn the tube right-side out, using your turning stick (I use a skinny paintbrush, since all of my turning sticks / chopsticks have somehow become little boy drumsticks or weapons.) 
~ Press.
~ Repeat for the 5 remaining fabric strips.

Connect. . . .


~ Now take your embroidered cloud piece, and place the rainbow strips on the face, matching the raw edges of the strips with the bottom edge of the cloud.
 

~ Space them evenly if you like, leaving ~1" of cloud fabric on either side of the strips.

~ Pin the strips in place.


~ Sew the strips to the cloud, sewing very close to the edge. (~1/8")


~ Remove pins.
~ Now, fold the attached strips down, and pin them away from all other edges of the cloud.  (This is so the strips don't get caught in the seams when we sew the cloud pieces together.)


~ Place the remaining cloud, right side down, on the cloud-and-strip assemblage.


~ Pin in place.  Be sure to remember (and re-mark, if needed) the opening between the circles!


Sew. . . .

~ Sew the two cloud pieces together, starting at one circle (with a few reinforcing /back-and-forth stitches,) and stitching 1/4" from the edge. 
~ Go slowly around the curves and pivot carefully at the indentations and corners. 
~ Stop at the other circle, with a few reinforcing stitches here, too.


~ Stitch once more along the flat edge of the cloud, to reinforce the strips.


Clip. . . .

~ Clip notches inside the seam allowance along the curves, being careful not to clip the seam threads.  Cut notches into the deeper cloud indentations, and clip the corners along the cloud's bottom edge.  This will make all the difference in your cloud being bunchy and wrinkled, or smooth and properly puffy!


Turn. . . .

~ Reach inside -- carefully! -- and remove the pins from the strips.


~ Now, turn the cloud right-side out.  Take your time, as it's a little bit of a squeeze to get it all out of the opening. 
~ Run your turning stick gently along the inside of the cloud along the seams, pushing out stubborn corners and edges.


Stuff. . . .

~ Stuff your cloud with stuffing.  I used a lot of poly-fil to make it firm, but you can have it as squishy or plump as you like.  I meant to add a little core of lavender, but forgot... and that would have been a nice addition, I think!


Close. . . .

~ Pin the opening closed, making sure to tuck all the stuffing nicely inside.


~ Hand-stitch the opening closed with your needle and thread.  I use a ladder stitch, as it's pretty much invisible, but any stitch you're comfortable with will do.


Knot. . . or not. . . .


~ You can knot the ends of the strips of you'd like.  I think a teething baby would probably prefer it this way.  Donovan didn't care one way or the other.  He just wanted to roll around and chew on it. . . .


SUCCESS!

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial, and please - if you have any questions at all, leave them in the comments below.  I'd love to hear what you think!  :)

And the fine print stuff -- Feel free to make these for personal or charitable use.  Please do not sell my pattern, or post it without permission.  As with all toys, supervise your child during play, and look for signs of wear and tear.

ps... I haven't forgotten about the anniversary giveaway!  Stay tuned and I'll post later this week with the details!  :)

24 comments:

  1. Little Monkey is getting so big! I'm still swooning over his red hair too. ;)

    What a wonderful tutorial C! Thank you for sharing it.

    That pin cushion looks very familiar. :D

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  2. I sorted through my fabrics to pick some for this project last night. I am going to make 3, one for each of my nephews and one for my bff who is due in November. In the process of picking fabrics, I realized what an extraordinary knack you have for choosing prints that coordinate well together. You make it look easy but it was actually way hard for me! I finally settled on 5 that I think will work :)

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  3. This is adorable! Thanks for the tute, found you via pinterest! I will have to make these for baby gifts, happy cloud is too cute!

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  4. Thank you for the kind comments! I'd love to see your finished toys. Leave a link to your photo / blog, etc if you'd like!

    @Holly - I used to really agonize over picking fabrics, and it was really hard for me to choose and put them together,too. But over time it got easier for me. Practice makes perfect! (And a disgustingly huge fabric stash helps, too!) ;)

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  5. I absolutely love this! Thanks. I think I'll add a strap at the top to tie on the stroller too :)

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  6. That's a GREAT idea, Lis! I love it! :)

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  7. Wow! I love this! I'm going to share your post on my facebook page. I made one of these on the weekend for a friend's new baby! Fabulous! Great tutorial too, thanks! :)

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  8. Thank you for your kind words, Rebekah, and for sharing the link! :)

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  9. INCREDIBLE THINKING!! You did really making sense. My little baby girl like different things to do and I think this will be enjoyable for me also when I'll see she is making this.

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  10. I just made a cloud last night for a neighbor's daughter. Very cute. I used all scrap fabric. I love projects like that. Thank you for sharing.

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  11. I just made two of these tonight and they turned out so cute! Instead of putting poly-fil inside the cloud though I sewed in some crinkly paper to make it extra fun for little hands and mouths to chew on. Thanks for the tutorial!

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  12. Hello
    A big thank you for this tutorial. This was the first Christmas gift for my daughter this year. I give you the link to my blog to see what it has given (in French, sorry, because I'm French).
    http://zozor.canalblog.com/archives/2013/01/07/26087612.html
    Good luck, I love everything you do.

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  13. This is very nice tutorial you share here that really good for mother. I really like this tutorial because i want to make some handmade toys for my baby.I am happy to getting this tutorial from here.

    baby change table

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  14. Thanks for this tutorial! Found it on Pinterest. Here's my version. http://materialsandmethod.blogspot.com/2013/02/little-cloud.html -- linked back to you of course!

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  15. Thanks for the baby toy. I think the baby will try for more eating of the toy than to play with it. Giving the ideas of stitching tips is really helpful. I would surely try it out to use a decoration in my house. May be a play item for the little toddler too.
    discount baby items

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  16. This was really fun to make - great directions! Fun to make a new, little toy for Baby #3 who is to arrive in 5 weeks! Thanks for sharing your creativity with me!

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  17. Loved making this little toy. I added a loop to the top so I could hang it from her carseat, and I added bells to the strips to make noise. My 3 month old loves it!!

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  18. I can't wait to make some of these! However, I'll add a loop toward the top so it can be attached to toy links at attached to the car seat, stroller, etc. I may also use up some ribbon.

    These would make a cute companion to taggie blankets/toys.

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  19. I just made this for my new niece/nephew arriving in October, love it, thanks!

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  20. You guys have such great ideas -- the crinkly paper, the ribbon loops, straps, etc! Love it!
    And you're all most welcome. Glad you like the tutorial! :)

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  21. Thank you for the super easy to follow tutorial! I have been searching for quick projects for my baby who's due in a couple of weeks, and this totally fit the bill! I am going to link to my Wordpress blog so that people can make one of their own!

    http://hillonthehouse.wordpress.com/

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  22. This is so clever and cute! I love it!

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  23. I just made this following your superb tutorial. Thanks for the inspiration.

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