as i promised when last we chatted, here is more about one of the items in elfling's sewing basket - the felt stringer. yes, i could possibly have chosen a better name for this, but i spent all of my creative energy in cutting eleventy billion wee felt squares instead.
elfling loves playing with this. it's simple really; you slip the button through the slit in the felt square, & slide it to the button at the other end of the ribbon; then repeat with the remaining squares. rather, the toddler does. or you. i am not judging.
i am told this gives them practice buttoning, & that you can control the activity by asking them to string only one color, or alternate colors, & the like. my observation? it does. better though, is that this activity also keeps my darling elfling still & quiet. le sigh.
the others who made this used a shorter ribbon than i. quite possibly i perhaps maybe did not read all the way through, or pay close enough attention to the photos, but whatever the reason, i made a freakylong ribbon. apparently it does not matter what length, because elfling does not seem to mind.
i used wool felt for this project. i strongly recommend you NOT use regular felt, as it gives. you are making a slit in the center of your small squares, which if pulled too hard, could rip the square apart. also, the slits will definitely stretch, so the button would then slip through the space too easily. i know wool is pricey, but you don't need that much for this activity. still, if the cost is a deal-breaker, if you cannot find wool felt in your area, or if wool is an allergen issue, opt for eco felt over regular. i know you can buy squares of it at the larger fabric & craft stores. eco felt is much stronger than regular.
here is the how-to:
length of ribbon
wool or eco felt
needle & strong thread (i used embroidery floss)
two medium or large buttons (they need not match)
* fold the end of the ribbon over, & over once more, then press with your iron. only joking, i did not iron it. stitch across the fold, then stitch the button in place. you want your button to be affixed firmly, so it will stay put with much toddler play. do the same at the other end of the ribbon, with the other button.
* cut eleventy billion 2-inch squares of felt. snip a slit in the center of each. measure the slit against your button. you'll want the button to ease through with only the barest of resistance.
* show your wee one how to use it, & go enjoy a quiet cuppa.
notes of note ::
in case you wanted to know the measurements of the felt stringer i made:
ribbon - just over feet
buttons - 3/4 of an inch across
felt - 2x2 inches
slit - a hair over 3/4 of an inch (see button measurement)
# of squares - 34