I imagine little kids must get confused this time of year. Suddenly there's a tree growing in their living room covered in toys, but every time they go near it someone yells "Don't touch!" As long as he's safe, we try to be a little less concerned about what Abe plays with (wooden candy canes - sure, glass balls - not so much). Although we hung all the breakable ornaments out of his reach, most of the kid friendly ones we had, like the felt figures made by my grandma when I was a baby, were a little too precious to let him
chew on play with. Needless to say, the bottom of our tree would have been a little sparse. To fill the gaps, I decided to make him some plush ornaments using characters from one of his favorite books.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do you See? is quite possibly the first book I ever read to him. He's loved it since he was a tiny baby, and now that he's old enough to make animal sounds and say their names, he loves it even more. So here's what I did...
1. I ordered one yard of this cotton flannel that I found on Etsy. One yard was enough to make at least two of almost every animal (there was only one fish). If you can't find Eric Carle fabric, try something else your child loves. Joann has a whole section of licensed fabric with characters from Disney, popular cartoons, and comic books (FYI licensed means you can't sell these), but any fabric will work as long as you can cut around the characters and still have a small seam allowance.
2. Cut out characters leaving a ½ - 1 inch seam allowance.
3. Use your cut characters as pattern pieces to cut back pieces from plain fabric. I used plain white flannel on the back of my ornaments.
4. Pin front to back with right sides together...
...adding a small loop of ribbon between pieces of fabric if you want to be able to hang these.
5. Using a machine, sew all the way around the edges leaving a 2 inch opening at the bottom. If possible, back stitch at the beginning and end of your stitching to prevent the seam from opening when you turn it. Trim excess seam allowance if needed.
6. Turn your animals right side out, stuff with polyfil, and sew the seam shut. I found a great tutorial on how to sew invisible seams at Fern and Freckle.
7. Thread an ornament hook or piece of string through the ribbon loop to hang from the tree.
Once Christmas is over I'll probably hang these in Abe's bedroom or playroom. They're too cute to keep packed away all year!