Thursday, May 15, 2014

Felt Alphabet Bean Bags

Update: Our Lowercase Alphabet Bean Bags are now available in our Etsy store! Customize your order by choosing your own colors!

Whew! This project took so long! Well, it likely would have been a much shorter project if I had sat down and kept at it until I was finished. But what with Mother's day weekend and all the lovely weather, I have been having too much fun playing outside with my kids and clearly not spending enough time working on my felt projects! But now we can take these awesome bean bags outside tomorrow to work on the kids' throwing arms! And, why are they so awesome? Well, not only are they adorable lowercase letter bean bags, but they are completely washable too!

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If you were to make them, you would need two sheets of different colored felt for the letters and about a half yard of felt for the squares. You would also need thread (I used 3 DMC floss colors), fabric scissors and poly-pellets (you can find them at Jo-Ann's). I decided to make the vowels yellow and the consonants orange against a light blue backing. The colors are bold and seem to pop right out!

I cut out and measured the letters and decided that a 2 1/2 inch square would be perfect. It allows just enough room to fit the letters and a blanket stitch border. The 3 inch square will likely be the measurement that I use for the uppercase letters (coming eventually soon!). 

I measured and cut out a 2 1/2 by 2 1/2 inch square out of card stock and used that as a template to trace onto the light blue felt. You'll need 52 squares if you want to make the entire alphabet.

I was originally going to use a different lowercase template until I found this one! These ones were used as a template to make sandpaper letters and the font was perfect because it matches the fonts they use in their lessons!

Days like this one, I dream of owning a Silhouette. :) It takes only a few minutes, but trying to cut out 26 small letters with little ones running around... I'm sure you can imagine.

Once the paper letters were cut out, I traced them onto the felt using a disappearing ink pen.

I cut out the felt letters. The holes were a bit smaller than on their paper copies, so you may want to make them larger.

They look so bold!

I sewed the letters on using a whip stitch.

I used yellow thread on the orange letters and orange thread on the yellow letters. Then I used a bright blue thread to stitch the two layers of light blue squares. I sewed a blanket stitch around the border. 

I sewed three sides and left the final side open so I could fill them with about a tablespoon and a half of beans (poly-pellets) and then I continued sewing the blanket stitch, tied it off and tucked the thread inside.

And here they all are! I am so in love with them!

Tomorrow we will be bringing these outside for some gross motor play! I think they will like the bean bag toss game best or perhaps they will like the alphabet scavenger hunt better! We'll have to wait and see! I'll post about our activities using these bean bags soon!

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