Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A-B-C Fun

For the past few months The Little Princess has been in love with Leap Frog's Phonics Farm. In fact as I am typing this she is watching it. Again. (sigh)

It has been all about letters in our house. She loves looking at letters, telling us what the letters are and even some of their sounds! (I'm in trouble!)

So, I decided to make The Little Princess her own alphabet to play with. To Pinterest! I found a bunch of ideas that I liked.

This one from Fowl Single File will be great for
her to do in a year or two!
This one from Nic and Kate is great, but I
don't have a place to put it.
I love the idea of a sensory bin like this one from
Playing House.
But what I finally decided to do was to make plush letters similar to these ones from Chez Beeper Bebe.

I loved her idea, but I wanted them to be bigger.

I have a plethora of scrap fabric and I loved the idea of The Little Princess being able to hold and manipulate the letters.  I also wanted to make lower case letters, since in the video she loves ~ oh so much ~ always shows the letters together. As I was making them, I decided to go all out. I made the numbers 0-9 as well. Bubba kept insisting that I make the numbers through 20, but I had to remind him that I can't make double digit numbers. Now to turn on the thinking cap.

I began by pulling out my tub tote of fabric. After careful consideration I picked thirty different fabrics. Why thirty you ask? Twenty six letters each got their own fabric. Upper and lower case letters shared fabric so The Little Princess could recognize which letter goes with which. I also chose one fabric for all of the numbers, so that she can tell the difference between the letters and numbers at a glance. That makes twenty seven fabrics. I also chose three more solid fabrics for the backs of the letters and numbers. That makes a grand total of thirty fabrics. Lucky for me I have a HUGE stash of scraps!

I began at my computer. after fiddling around with the fonts I found that "Century Gothic" had the correct type of lower case letters I wanted. I wanted a font with the "a" and "g" looking like handwriting and not type. After more fiddling I decided to use the font in bold and in 400 points. This only allows one set of letters per page and sometimes not even that because the letters are too wide. (I'm looking at you Ww!)

After printing all the letters and numbers onto printer paper I cut them out and traced them onto freezer paper and then cut them from the freezer paper.

Then, using a hot, dry iron I fused the freezer paper onto the fabrics I chose for the letters. I tried to match the letters to the fabrics when I could. For example the w's are on watermelon fabric. If I couldn't get a match though, I didn't worry about it. (I am using scraps after all. I could have gone out and bought new fabric to match every letter. And don't think I didn't consider it, but I wanted to spend as little as possible on this project.)

Next, I sandwiched the solid fabric, high loft batting and the fused fabric together and trimmed it down to a manageable size.

After pinning all three pieces together, I headed to my sewing machine and stitched around the freezer paper.
After removing the pins and freezer paper I took out (and dusted off) my pinking sheers and cut all around the stitching. On the reverse side of the letters and numbers is a solid fabric. The numbers have blue on the back and the letters have purple. This way The Little Princess knows which way the letter faces. The final step was to send Hubby to the store to pick up some Fabric Fray Stop. I covered the edges with the fray stop so they won't fray and get all nasty looking.

Here are the final products.

Happy crafting!

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