Little Lion must be workin’ on some chompers, because the poor thing has been chewing on his fingers as if his life depends on it. In my search to find him some teething toys, I came across some beautiful wooden ring teethers on Etsy. These sell for about $12 per ring. This momma is on a budget (and that seemed expensive for a wooden ring and some ribbon), so, I decided to make some of my own! Turns out, this was one of the easiest projects I have ever attempted, and I ended up with five for a little over $5.
Things you will need:
2 inch unfinished wooden cabone ring - The hardest part of this whole project was finding the wooden rings. I ended up getting mine in the knitting section of Michaels, on the same aisle as the knitting needles (they were close to the floor and hard to see). I got a set of 5 for about $2.50. Walmart and Joann Fabrics also sell them, but only online. You can also find other websites that sell them in different sizes. I chose unfinished wood so that I knew it would be safe for LL to chew on.
Ribbon – I went with satin ribbon from the bargain bins. Choose coordinating colors, and make sure that the ribbon you choose does not have parts that could come off in baby’s mouth. I had some pieces at home already, so I only spent about $3 on ribbon, and have tons left over for future projects.
Sharp Scissors – I tried using my regular craft scissors and got a lot of fraying. I have a pair I keep just for fabric, and those worked the best for cutting the ribbon, especially the wide pieces.
Sewing Machine, iron, and matching thread (optional) – If you use wide ribbon you will want to hem and stitch around the cut so that it doesn’t fray.
Scrap Fabric (for the fabric ones only, optional)
Mineral Oil and Beeswax (optional) - I skipped this step, but if you want your teether to have a finished look, these are both safe to use to add some shine to the wood. I found this tutorial, but I haven’t tried it myself.
Once you have decided on your style, you want to cut lengths of ribbon, about 12-15 inches long, depending on how long you want the strands.
If you are using wide ribbon, you may want to hem and sew the end so that it does not fray. You can do this by folding over the end twice, ironing it flat, and then sewing a straight stitch across the width. Do this before you tie it on. For the thin ribbons (mine are 1/4 inch) I decided not to sew them. I may end up burning the ends later if they start to unravel.
If you are choosing to finish the wood, you should prepare the rings before tying the ribbons on.
Once you have your ribbons cut, you need to decide how you want to tie them. One option is to loop the ribbon through the ring and then pull the ends through, like this.
Ta-Da! (Ignore the extra/not straight stitching…. I thought I would reverse and stitch over the original line, but I am really not excellent with a sewing machine. One stitch looks much better!)
Another option is to put one end of the ribbon through, and tie around, like this.
The different methods look different, so you can decide which way will work best for what you are trying to create. I think the best part about this project is that you can easily start over if you don’t like what you have created by removing the ribbon from the ring.
After creating these three beauties, I decided to go for a challenge and attempt to make one out of fabric.
I found some scrap pieces that were left over from another project. I cut two rectangular strips so that they were about the same length as the ribbon had been (about 13 inches). I ironed them so they would be flat (they were crumpled in my fabric bin), and then laid them together, right sides in. I folded the strips in half and then cut the ends to round out the shape.
By folding them before cutting, I created symmetrical pieces.
Then, I sewed around the outside edge of the two pieces (makes sure your fabric lines up and that the pretty sides are on the inside).
I started sewing in the middle of the long edge, so that I could leave a gap large enough to pull the finished piece right side out (kind of like when sewing a pillow).
If you look closely you can see the gap in the stitching, in the middle of the top. (You can also see that I am REALLY not skilled at sewing. Check out that wobbly stitching!)
To turn it right side out, I stuck my thumb through the opening into one of the ends, and then scrunched it up so that I could pull the end through.
Then I did the same thing with the other side.
I decided not to sew up the opening, since it would be a part of the knot and you wouldn’t be able to see it.
Finally, I tied it onto the wooden ring the same way I did with the wide ribbons.
I was so excited about how this one turned out, that I made another one! This one I made longer.
And there you have it! Five unique teething toys for about $5. I can’t really see how LL will need all of these, so I may need to share.
If you give it a try, feel free to share your suggestions in the comments!