Sunday, July 01, 2012

DIY: Bead & Wire Toy Tutorial

Hey knitters,
Here's a fun & quick DIY product for those of you who are more adventurous when it comes to knitting baby/toddler toys. If you're sick of knitting clothing and stuffies, try this out.

Bead & Wire Toy Tutorial:

Note: this project isn't rocket science...the wire gauge, wood size, beads, etc. are all relative to what yarn thickness you use, and how durable you want to make this toy. Mine isn't too extremely durable, it was more a trial version, so keep that in mind when picking out your'll probably want thicker wire, bigger beads, etc.

 -leftover sock yarn (fingering weight), 20 yds or less for each wire puzzle. The more colors, the more stimulating.
-Wire: the thicker, the better. Just make sure you can bend it. You can find it in the beading section of a craft store.
- Beads. Make sure it is a lot bigger than the wire. It should slide easily around the i-cord that you knit around the wire. (The bigger the better.) The amount is based on how many puzzles you do, and how many you want per puzzle. I did about 4 each.
-Wood base: this depends on how big you want your toy. Just make sure it's not too flimbsy. You'll want the base to be at least 1 inch thick.
-Power drill: I used a 1/4'' drill-bit for my medium-thick wire. The bit you need depends on the size of the wire.
-2 Dpns: size 4's seems to work out well.
-Darning needle.

1. Cut the wire the size you would like the "puzzle" (each i-cord activity) size to be, adding about 6-8 inches extra for "binding off and threading through the wood holes" allowance. If you want, you don't really have to cut the wire yet, but it makes for a more difficult knitting experience.

2. Cast on 3-4 stitches (depending on how thick your wire is. I casted on 3, but my wire wasn't too incredibly thick) and knit an i-cord around the wire for your desired length. Make sure you leave a tail of a few inches on each end of the wire. If you've never done this, you can watch THIS tutorial on knitted earphones (essentially the same thing as wire), or google tutorials on i-cords if you haven't done that either!

3. Once you're done, BO and secure the wire in the bind-off edge. i just wrapped the wire through that last stitch a couple of times. Weave your dangling threads through the i-cord.

-OPTIONAL: you can stain the wood something darker if you want...but I didn't because who knows if my toddlers find that wood tasty!
4. Figure out what shape you want your puzzles to be, and draw dots on your wooden board to mark where you will drill.

5. Drill holes. 

6. Thread your beads onto the i-cords.

7. Do the bulk of your puzzle-shaping now, or forever hold your peace.

8. Thread the wire through the holes, and bend the wire so it's laying flush against the base of the wood.

9. Duck tape the entire bottom of the toy a few times so that everything is secure. Smooth it out so that the little ones don't pick at it.

10. Finish shaping the puzzles if they were bend out of shape in the process of doing #9.

Enjoy! Let me know if you end of making it. I'd love to see photos.

 P.S- I finished another dress! Check out my latest Dress on my sewing blog. Another success!


Florence said...

What a neat idea! The dress is lovely!

Hind DP said...

Great idea for a project. Thank you for sharing.

knittingdragonflies said...

This is so cute! Thanks! Love the dress!