Upcycling to create baby toys!

When we were visiting my mom in Texas, I bought this book about games to play with babies: ...

When we were visiting my mom in Texas, I bought this book about games to play with babies:





Of course, like all good coffee table books, I forgot that it existed. But no worries, Daddy B was on top of it. He saw the activity on page 98, "Scarf Magic," and suggested that I try it for Baby G.

You tie fabric scraps together and roll them up on an empty paper towel roll and place them inside an empty tissue box or disposable wipes container. Lots of cool textures and fun, pulling out the fabric from the box. The best part is using long scraps of fabric that you might otherwise not use, and you can even use selvedge pieces! Baby G hasn't really been too interested yet, but I'm hoping at some point he decides to play with it. I think I just need to put it somewhere off limits and I'm sure he'll attack it then. Hah.

Here's how I put mine together.

Fabric and Tissue Box Upcycle

What you need:

  • Scrap fabric
  • Empty tissue box
  • Empty paper towel/toilet paper roll (optional)
Here's some fabric scraps and my empty tissue box.
You can opt to use an empty paper towel/toilet paper roll too.
Works fine without, in my opinion.
You can just tie the two pieces of fabric together, or you can do it like I did (which is better for some types of fabric that don't tie together as easily). I cut horizontal slits in both ends of the strip of fabric.
Pull scrap #2 through the slit on scrap #1
Pull the other end of scrap #2 through the slit on scrap #2 (man, I hope this makes sense).  
Pull tight.
I made another knot over it.
Paper towel roll. Only one I had in the house, "downfall" of unpaper towels. No good stuff to upcycle, lol. 
Cut off the end so it wasn't too big for the tissue box. Rolled the fabric over it.
Stuffed it into the tissue box.
Or you can put it in an empty wipes case. Only had one of these too.
It kind of excites me that I have so much less waste!
I think that not using a paper towel/toilet paper roll might be better. It just seems harder to pull out when the fabric is all wrapped up on it. Baby G isn't super interested in this yet, but I think it'll be fun for him eventually... he may be turned off by the fact that I'm not "no, no, no"'ing him every time he gets near it. But I think the different fabric pieces are fun textures to touch and play with. I remember when I was a girl that I loved playing in my Grandma's scrap boxes because there were always fun textures.

Plastic Container and Metal Lids/Bottle Caps Upcycle

What you need:
  • Plastic container with a lid. Preferably something hard to take off. 
  • Metal lids or bottle caps 
I wanted to use some of the plastic containers that I have been saving to upcycle. I put jar lids inside a plastic container and now Baby G can roll, shake and bang it to make lots of great noises! I ended up replacing the lids with bottle caps because I needed the lids for the glass jars... the bottle caps make even COOLER noises!

I think it'd also work as a toy for dogs or horses (using a bigger container). I know we used to fill used detergent containers with rocks and shake them to perk the horses up when I rode saddleseat. If I recall, the horses liked playing with those same containers when they were turned out in the arena.

Cats wouldn't like the noise probably- but one tip that I used to "punish" my cats (before they relocated to my mom's) is to set off loud noises whenever they did something they shouldn't. They begin to associate the loud noise with the behavior (ie. scratching the couch) if you're consistent with it. Cats generally respond better to positive reinforcement, but this toy would probably function as a noisy punishment if you wanted to go that way.

Empty Thread Spool Upcycle
What you need:
  • Empty thread spool

And for those who sew, those empty plastic spools make for a good time... Baby G loves to crawl around with one in his mouth. No clue why he loves it so much, but he does! I put them in his water table.
Tip Junkie handmade projects


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DIY Danielle: Upcycling to create baby toys!
Upcycling to create baby toys!
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