"The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land."
-Abraham Lincoln

Feeling Better

Swine flu seems to be flying out of the building...soo I've been able to do a little crafting.

First up on the list, I made a neat little nesting baby toy.

This is a super easy craft that requires a little bit of straight stitching and some hot glue.

First, gather you're supplies.  You'll need a clean coffee can.
A hot glue gun. A bag of dry beans (I used navy beans). Scissors.
Several different colored pieces of felt or fabric (2 of each color).
A washable marker or fabric pen.

The first step is to wrap your coffee can with some felt or fabric. 
Start by wrapping the fabric around the can and marking the fabric at the top of the can with a washable marker or fabric pen.
Then unwrap and cut at the line you just marked.
Get your hot glue gun and attach the larger piece of fabric to the can with a strip of hot glue.
Continue to attach the fabric around the can with the hot glue until it completely covers the outside of the can.

Next, onto the shapes.
You'll want to pick out 2 of the same color fabric for each shape.
I drew these basic shapes onto the felt free hand, but you could use a template and create any kind of shape or combination you would like.
You could even use two different fabrics depending on how you wanted the completed pieces to look.
Make sure to mark a space on your shapes about 1 1/2 inches across to leave open for turning and stuffing.

Next, sew along the outline of the shape, leaving the space between your markers open.
Be sure to back tack at the start and finish points of your shape so that you can turn inside out without popping the stitches.
Then cut the shape out with your scissors..

Turn the shape inside out.

Repeat the process for each of your other shapes.

Now comes the fun part.
Get your beans ready and begin to pour your beans (very carefully...those things go all over) into the opening in your shapes.
Fill the shape until you are happy with the weight and feel.
Then hand sew the opening closed SECURELY. 
Remember that this is for a baby or young child and small beans and little mouths don't mix so you want to make sure that everything is sewn up securely.

You can embelish the can with more little bits of fabric cut into shapes and then hot glued on or you could sew them on before you attach it to the can.

Then sit back and watch the little ones enjoy your handy work.

This is a cool little project because the possibilities with it are almost endless.  You can embelish the coffee can any way you like.  You could use ribbon, buttons, etc (as long as everything is attached securely).
You can use different fabrics, appliques, ribbons on the bean bag shapes.  You could even insert a bell or crinkle plastic. It's a really great project to flex those creative muscles and become an awesome sensory experience for your baby.
It also serves as it's own toy box.  When the fun is done, put the bags in the can, snap the lid back on and you're good to go.
All at a price tag under $5.   Can't beat that.