We’ve had a few different requests for tutorials on how to create our toys without buttons. So, for all of you who keep asking how to make up our toys without buttons- here’s a little tutorial for you! Before I begin, I must get one thing out of the way.
Our toys are not designed for babies.
There are several reasons you might be removing buttons from a toy, one being that they are a choking hazard. While I can say that removing the buttons on the toy does remove some choking hazard risk, I am not saying that once the buttons are removed our patterns are officially ‘Baby Proof’. Legally, I must stand by our original statement, that our toys are not intended for children under 3. If you create one of our toys for a younger child, please understand that it is at your own risk!
Whew. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, onto the No Button Tutorials!
Making Button Joints without Buttons
Button joints are a fun way to give your stuffed you movement. They promote imagination and interactive play. And, despite their name, they do not actually have to be made using buttons. The problem is only that they will show a big stitch (the stitch that would normally go through the button holes) that might not be super cute. So, really, all you need to do is find a way to make that stitch look like it’s supposed to be there. I did it two ways, on the dino above, I did a little hand stitched ‘X’ on each leg where the buttons would go. Then, when I sewed the legs on, the stitch left from the Button Joint was camouflaged into the hand stitching! Hear is the process step by step:
- With embroidery floss, make one large diagonal stitch on the outside of your leg. (make sure you know which side of the body the leg will go on to be sure you stitch on the correct side!)
- Make another large diagonal stitch in the opposite direction, creating an ‘X’
- Tie off your thread on the back of the leg and repeat with each leg.
- Begin to sew legs on in the same manner you would if you were using buttons. In this photo, I’ve decided where my legs will be placed and am squeezing the body together to easily get my needle through.
- I’ve pulled my needle through (leaving a tail on one side), and gone through the first leg (matching my stitches to the hand sewing I’d done previously)
- Take needle back through the animal
- Attach 2nd leg in the same manner as the first.
- Use the tail left from Step 5 and the end with your needle to tie thread together. I like to at least triple knot it, since it’s for kids. Sink your thread.
- Attach remaining legs or arms in the same manner.
Want something a little fancier? Lots of embroidery stitches will do. Here I’ve done a Lazy Daisy on each let leg. To sew them on, I’ve brought my thread up through the center of the flower.
Adding Eyes without Buttons
To add eyes to your toy without using buttons, I suggest using a Satin Stitch (basically just a bunch of stitches, so close together that you don’t see fabric in between them) I like my eyes pulled in a little, so I tie off my thread, go in from one side and out the other, then back to the first side. This lets me pull the eye in a bit, then I do my satin stitch over the knot to hide it. (gives the eye a nice little bulge too, with the extra thread of the knot!)