Saturday, June 7, 2014

Felt Uppercase Letter Bean Bags

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

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The uppercase letters are finally done! I made them exactly like the lowercase letters, except I sized them to be bigger. The lowercase letters sit on squares that are 2 1/2" by 2 1/2". The uppercase letter squares are 3" by 3". For the letters, I used this template

I brought Bean into Jo-Ann's with me and let her pick out the colors she wanted for this set of alphabet bean bags. She already knew she wanted green and blue, and she wanted red at first, but then switched to purple, because that is Munchkin's favorite color. We grabbed a couple felt sheets for each color, but only ended up needing one sheet for vowels and one sheet for consonants. For the squares we bought a half yard of blue, but only used about half of it. We bought extra because it's such a lovely shade and we know we'll use it for other projects!

I started by cutting out all the letters. I don't use any fancy tools, just sharp scissors. I simple held the letter against the fabric and cut around it. Fabric scissors are ideal for cutting felt, so that you are left with clean lines, because felt is sometimes difficult to cut.

I think one of my next projects will be an uppercase and lowercase letter mat! What do you think? That way they can use it for matching activities using the felt bean bags. But it will also look great hanging on the wall!

I used a C-Thru Squares Template to measure out the squares and cut out the thread I would need. I used DMC embroidery floss in matching (or as close as I could get) colors. I paired the purple letters with green thread and green letters with purple thread. I did the same with the orange and yellow colors I used with the lowercase letters.

I stitched the letters on using a basic stitch and used a blanket stitch around the edge. Then I used Poly-Pellets to fill the bean bags. The 32oz bag was literally just enough for both sets of bean bags. I used 1 1/2 tablespoons for the lowercase set and a little more than 2 tablespoons for the uppercase set. The remaining pellets was enough to fill maybe one more larger bean bag, so perhaps I should have added a tiny bit more.

Each square takes about 20-30 minutes to make, between cutting everything out and sewing them up. Though I usually make them in steps. Cut out the letters (paper and then felt), cut out the squares (52 total), cut the thread (approximately 55 inches and we used 3 colors), sew the letters on, sew three sides of each square, then one by one fill them and sew the final side. Then just close off the stitch and tuck it inside. It took more than a week to make them, but I only worked on them here and there. Then they were finished!

Here's a size comparison between the two sets!

Once they are finished you can use them for simple spelling activities! That means I will most likely make additional lowercase popular letters. My ultimate goal would be to have enough to spell out short sentences. Or, you know, I could just invest in letter tiles and not be a crazy person (haha). 

These lowercase letters will also be great to use for lots of different literacy activities. Bean can use them to spell words and then write it out. Munchkin will be able to use them for letter recognition, alphabet ordering and matching uppercase to lowercase letters. 

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