Thursday, May 27, 2010

Watch it!

Here’s my second attempt at a toddler wrist watch, based on this post over at MADE.  (Those originals are sold in an etsy shop called Alice in LaLaLand, if you’re interested.) Before we start with my version, I’ve got a few thoughts.  First, you’ll notice that her watches are absolutely a.dor.a.ble.  Seriously.  I know mine aren’t quite up to that level, but I still think they are kind of cute for toddler play.  I mean, cuter than THIS watch, which came in a happy meal: 

 At least I think so.  Coincidentally, this watch was the first tip-off I had of bug’s watch obsession.  When the kid wanders around the family room, surrounded by cars, dinosaurs, blocks and an array of toy goodness, pleading only for you to find his “snail watch,” it’s not like, it’s love.  Second, you’ll also notice that hers are sewn - machine and hand.  Mine are not.  Kind of because I LOVE my glue gun, and kind of because I was lazy when I made them and MOSTLY because I know my limitations and I’m just not that good at sewing.  Thirdly, notice those little embroidery details.  Yeah, I know.  Too cute.  Fourth, um... well.  There isn’t really a fourth.  I just want to make completely sure that you know that I know that my watches certainly don’t hold a candle to hers.  It’s ok, I’m not going to start selling them or anything, I mean they’re just a little dress-up item for my kids.  If you want the adorable ones, you can go to her shop!  If you want to make my not quite so adorable ones for cheap minus the headache of sewing, then read on.
OK.  First, I picked out a button for the watch face.  It had to be big enough to say “watch” without overpowering the toddler-sized wrist it was to go on (remember what happens when we overpower the wrist?  Eeee (insert a face like THIS 

here) (he’s nothing if  not honest...))
So, choose a button.  For bug’s I went plain with a wooden one, but you’ll see in later pictures it looks good with a fun patterned button, too.  
Now, choose your felt.  You’ll probably want two different colors for contrast, but you could use the same color for both felt pieces if you wanted to as well.  It’s all just a matter of preference.  OK, lay your button on the felt to see how wide you’ll need to make the band and the inner piece.  Measure across and keep this number in mind.  Or, you know, write it down if you’ve got a memory like mine.  
To make the inner piece, you’ll want to cut a shape that looks kind of like this:
Make sure that at its widest point it will be just slightly larger than the button so you can see it with the button on top of it.
Now, cut a long-ish strip of the other color for the band.  You’ll want to make it slightly wider than the widest part of the inner felt piece.  OR, if you actually took measurements, unlike me, you won’t have to eyeball it, you can be much more specific.  So, now’s the time to remember that number.  Got it?  No?  Forgot to write it down?  Luckily it isn’t that hard to do this without measurements, huh?
So, now, find the middle part of the strip and hot glue the inner felt piece to the strip.
Pick out some embroidery floss that compliments or matches the colors you’ve already used.  Or just use black because most watch hands are black.  Or you could be all crazy and use a color that doesn’t match on purpose, just cause you’re like that.  I went the complimentary route.  Not because I’m not all rebelious, but because I just happened to be in that kind of mood.  Cut a length of floss.  Cut it a little longer than you think you will need to because you will be tying several knots, and that can get tricky with short floss.  Unless you’re just better at that kind of thing than I am.  Maybe my fingers just aren’t very nimble.  Anyway, now, take your button.  Thread the floss through the button holes, so it crosses them in the back.  Now tie a double knot in the front.  Take one end of the floss and tie another double knot so that the knot falls at about the outer edge of the button.  This is the long hand.  Now take the other end of the floss and tie a double knot closer to the center of the button.  This is the short hand.  
Fumble around a bit tying these knots because you didn’t make your floss long enough.  Get really frustrated and decide to cut the whole thing off and start over with a longer piece.  Try cutting off the floss, but because you don’t have embroidery scissors, use whatever is closest.  These happen to be your large shears.  Use them anyway, even though you are familiar with the phrase “use tools for their proper job."  While you are trying to slice the floss with the huge scissors, which have now begun to feel a lot like those gargantuan ones that Alice uses in the Disney animated version of Alice in Wonderland, jab at the button and floss again and again, until of course, your shears jerk off the button and lodge - small pointed end - squarely in your thumb.  Now here’s the tricky part, WITHOUT SWEARING - pull the scissors from your thumb and assess the damage.  Just a flesh wound?  Well, you’ll have to staunch the bleeding anyway, so go get yourself a band-aid.  And wash the wound while you’re at it.  You don’t want tetanus.
Actually, I recommend skipping that last step entirely, which is why I made sure to let you know you’ll want to cut the floss long the first time around.  Or just get some nimble fingers.  Either one.  (Maybe I should buy embroidery scissors?)
OK, with the bleeding stopped, we can proceed.  Trim the ends of the floss right after the knots.  You’ll see that the hands actually sit flat against the button - which was a happy discovery for me.  bug likes to move the hands around and tell me that it’s different times... although he doesn’t say “it’s 6 o’clock” or anything normal like that.  Usually it’s “Time to play cars,” “Time to go park,” or “Time for church.”  
Now, grab your trusty sharpie and write the numbers around the button.  If you’re afraid of botching this up - and at the rate I botch very simple things up, I was - actually LOOK at a clock while you do this.  Then the 12 will end up where it is supposed to be and not where the 9 is supposed to be.  No, that didn’t happen, but it probably would have if I hadn’t been looking at a clock face.
Now, glue your button to the middle of the inner felt piece.
Add any embellishments you want - I added two teeny tiny little buttons on either side of the watch face in a complimentary green color.  I took this idea from the original super cute watch idea.
Now, add your velcro.  I recomend using a long rectangle of velcro, because you won’t have to be so precise with placement.  I didn’t have any of that at the time, so I used two little circle velcros, and the watch ended up being just a little big.  Hindsight, right?  So hot glue those babies down, too.  Now, trim the felt band if you need to.

Slip it on a toddler wrist of some sort and I’m pretty sure the toddler will be thrilled.  

Just to make sure it wasn’t some weird obsession with just my toddler, I made one for K too, and she loved it just as much.  She couldn’t stop checking the time.  When Lise came to get her she kept saying, “A watch!” and holding her arm up.  

You’ll notice with K’s that I used the patterned button spoken of earlier.  And it’s just the right amount of pizzazz required for K, I think.

So if you want an easy little project for a cute “dress-up” that is boy appropriate (see mr?  He doesn’t JUST wear bracelets and wings) here you go!  Whip some up and “watch” out!

- Kimberly


Jenn @ Delicious Ambiguity said...

This is fantastic & what a great blog you have here! I host a link up party every Tuesday called Tot Tuesdays where you can link up crafts, activities, teaching resources, parenting stories or tips, recipes and things you’ve made for your toddler. I’d love it if you’d stop by sometime & link up!


Homemade Heather said...

Love this idea! I'm always looking for crafty things for my boys! TFS!

Unknown said...

Thanks, Jenn! I will. Heaven knows that toddler keeps me full of stories!! :)

Heather, I know, me too! You get to do such fun things for girls... I need some easy stuff for the little guy, too. :)

Stephanie Cameron said...

This is so adorable! I know a bunch of kids that would think that this is the coolest thing since kool-aide! Thanks!!

Unknown said...

Thanks, Stephanie! And so easy to make, too! :)

Heather said...

Awww, how much fun! I bet the kiddos love it! Thanks so much for linking up to Fabulous Friday!
Heather @

Unknown said...

Thanks for stopping by, Heather!

Jen @ said...

those are so cute! Great job Kimberly!


Unknown said...

Thanks, Jen!

I've been trying to make more stuff for the boy in my life, and not just mini... :) boys are harder.

Stephanie Cameron said...

Kimberly...I made some! And I linked to you here:

Unknown said...

Stephanie - SWEET! They look awesome. And the idea about doubling up the felt for the band? Duh. Brilliance! :) Thanks for linking to me!!

Maggie Muggins said...

I'm definitely making one of these for my son. He's always asking the day and time lately. This is adorable. Thanks!

Sell My Rolex said...

Truly a genius, thanks for sharing this stuff!

Sew Can Do said...

What a fun project to try. Thanks for linking to the Kids Can Craft party. Would love if you'd add the party button to your blog:)

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