Sunday, December 19, 2010

Homemade Recycled Rattles

I'm making a few Christmas presents for little ones this year, and I've been struggling trying to find the best way to make them rattle.  A friend suggested to put bells inside old-fashioned pill boxes, but I found these too large to fit in my cute little amigurumi guys.  Thus, I invented my own and thought I would share with you how to make free or almost-free rattles.  Disclaimer:  the rattles aren't really machine washable so that could put a damper on your hopes (if you have ideas for making them more robust, please share!)

Here is my first cute little guy who I wanted to add noise to:

To start off, you need some materials and some supplies.
  • Container for rattle - I dug through the recycle bin and chose an inhaler mouth cap and a milk bottle spout cap.  Of course, these are open on one side so we need a means of closing them...
  • Top of rattle - I dug through the recycle bin again and found some thinner flat plastic in the form of a fresh basil container from the grocery store.  Perfectly cut-able and still noisy!
  • Noisy filling - Here's the part that can or cannot be free.  Experiment with multiple objects.  I picked up some small pebbles from outside and dug through the toolbox for small metal things (like shelf pegs or nuts).  It's, ahem, preferable not to use sharp objects which the little ones might find upon aging a few years and deciding to perform their first dissection upon said amigurumi.  I also already had some small bells.
  • Sticky stuff - I picked electrical tape, but my guess is duct tape would work pretty good too (I was afraid of gummy stuff getting everywhere though).
  • Cutting device (a.k.a., scissors)
  • Sharpie

First, use the containers as a stencil for the lid material.  Draw an outline on the flat plastic, then cut out (note that Sharpie ink may smear - like mine):

Next, experiment with noisy fillings by putting into container and placing lid on top.  Hold it together with your fingers (obvious I know, but just in case you couldn't figure that part out) and shake to see which fillings you like best.  I ended up with one small bell and one pebble in each:

Finally, assemble together with your chosen sticky stuff.  I criss-crossed the electrical tape and ran it all the way around:

One final piece of advice I have for you is to make sure you put it in your amigurumi before the hole is too small to fit it though - another piece of obvious advice but let's just say a person-not-to-be-named forgot this important detail and had to undo the last row to fit the rattle in.

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