Sunday, March 20, 2011

Button Snake


Sewing buttons onto things is about the extent of my sewing abilities.  I do it well - those buttons aren't going anywhere - but it is really all I know how to do in terms of sewing! 

Anyway, I saw this idea over at Counting Coconuts and thought it was do-able, easy, inexpensive, and a cool idea.  I was honestly not sure if Bean would enjoy it; he often enjoys things I think he'll find uninteresting and is bored of things I think are so cool and age appropriate.  He just does not end up playing with things the way I expect.  Except with this, which was a welcome surprise!

I sewed large (one inch in diameter) buttons on each end of a ribbon (which is 5/8" wide and about a foot long).  Then I cut squares of felt (they're roughly square) and folded them in half to cut a button hole about the same length as the diameter of the buttons.  Constructing the entire thing took perhaps 15 minutes.

I chose to put a button at both ends, because I figured Bean would like a real stop at the end, and also that he might like to be able to get it off at either end.

I have a little box of buttons, just like my mom did when I was a kid.  She had a pretty large container of buttons, and I remember being fascinated by all the ways you could adorn or fashion such a useful little item - wood, plastic, paint, various colors, textiles, etc. 

In any case, I picked out the two biggest buttons from there.  Bean and I took a field trip to Hobby Lobby to pick up the felt (I decided on a rainbow of colors) and the ribbon.  It cost us under $3. 

I debated making the button snake into a theme (similar to the Valentine's Day button snake over at Counting Coconuts), and I briefly entertained the notion of cutting them into an airplane shape (Bean is in the midst of an airplane mania at the moment), but decided against it - 1) it would have taken a lot longer and 2) it just doesn't feel right.  I figured making this as flexible as possible was the way to go.  He can learn how buttons work, and at some point he could choose to make patterns with the colors, or he could count out colored squares, or....whatever else he can think of.  I wouldn't be surprised if he asked me to make new shapes of felt and add button holes and some hardware so that he could create a plane out of the button snake - he's very into building things out of stuff right now, as he has created airplanes out of Legos, Duplos, spoons, one of Squeak's rattles, masking tape, and almost anything else he has picked up for the last 2.5 months!

He was very into the button snake for a few days.  The first time I showed it to him, he asked me to do the whole thing.  Then he picked up the snake, put it in the container, and put it on the shelf where I told him it was going to go.  I figured it was a failure and was glad I hadn't put any more time or effort into it!  But the next day, he pulled it out and worked on it for awhile, and he has pulled it out several times since.

I'm contemplating putting it away soon (he seems to have lost interest for now), and perhaps making one with smaller buttons and button holes to bring out later - a little more of a challenge as he's becoming more dexterous.

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