Meet Edith the Elephant, Geoff the Giraffe and Winston the Whale! They’re one of my favourite things to make for friends/family when they have babies… soft toy rattles just the perfect size for little hands.
I’ve included the pattern free (Click Here) so that you can make them too!
I’ll show you how I made Edith here (the process is the same for the other animals they’re just different shapes). You don’t need very many materials; a few small bells (to make it rattle), toy stuffing, a small amount of ribbon (optional) and scraps of fabric. I use either cotton or poplin scraps from my scrap box, the best ones to use are those with geometric contrasting prints as when babies are tiny their eyesight is limited so a really contrasting design is clearer for them to see. Although anything bright and colourful is always fun to use.
First things first, cut out the pattern, then cut it out of 2 pieces of fabric (right sides together so you end up with a pair).
I like to add some ribbon onto the rattles as it adds another texture for it’s unsuspecting owner (optional) so to do this cut 3 pieces of ribbon approx 7cm long.
(They could all be the same or all different types of ribbon, or in fairness more than 3… the choice is yours!)
Then pin them in place folded in half (wrong sides together if it’s ribbon with a one sided design) with the raw edges of the ribbon against the raw edge of the right side of the fabric. Baste in place.
Place the other elephant piece right sides together matching raw edges all around and sew using a 1/4” or 5mm seam allowance. (If you struggle to sew with small seam allowances you could draw the design with a bigger allowance before you cut it out). Remember to leave a gap for turning and stuffing, I find it’s easiest to leave the gap on one of the straighter edges and about 3 fingers wide.
Before turning it, because of all the curved seams they need clipping in order to avoid puckering, I do this using my pinking shears as it’s so much quicker to do and does exactly what’s needed. I use this technique on anything small that I’m sewing where there are curves that need clipping.
Now ru rn it right sides out. I like to use a pencil/crotchet hook to help me push out the smaller bits, although anything long and thin will do the job. Just be cautious of sharpened pencils as they can easily pierce your fabric. Then stuff, again using something to help push the stuffing to the ends of the legs and trunk. Once it is halfway stuffed I place 2/3 bells in different spots and then finish stuffing it.
Once it’s nice and plump using a matching thread hand stitch the opening closed. I use a ladder stitch as it is nice and discreet, just make sure however you sew it closed that it’s pulled tight and is secure so no stuffing comes out.
And Taaaa Daaa… you have yourself a super cute animal rattle ready for a tiny person to enjoy! (Or yourself, if that’s what floats your boat)
There are lots of extras you could do to make these more intricate, sometimes I like to add an eye to each side to give it a bit of character. Be wary of adding any small parts such as buttons/beads in case an overzealous baby managed to bite them off, but an embroidered bit of detail can look fab.
Please share your creations on Instagram/Facebook and tag me in them so I can see.
I do request that you only use this pattern for your own personal use and don’t use it for selling. Thanks.