Things You'll Need
- 3-inch or taller letter stencils
- Cotton fabric
- Quilt batting
- Disappearing ink fabric marker
- Sewing machine
- Pinking shears
- Small scissors
- Baby wipe or damp paper towel
Reading books, filling out job applications, and reading medication and food labels all require that you be able to read and write, a skill you learn long before you ever need to worry about getting a job. The first step in learning to both read and write is learning the 26 letters that comprise the alphabet, something many do before they are out of diapers. Help get your child excited about learning the alphabet with homemade soft and colorful stuffed letters.
Measure the height and width of the letter stencil at its tallest and widest points respectively.
Measure and cut two pieces of cotton fabric and two pieces of quilt batting an inch taller and wider than the letter.
Trace the letter stencil on the right side of one of the fabric pieces with a disappearing ink fabric marker. Remove the stencil and connect any lines necessary to make the letter one solid piece. For example, stencils for the letter "A" split the letter into two parts at the horizontal line in the middle of the letter. Draw lines that make this horizontal line extend all the way across the middle of the letter so the A is one solid piece.
Place the unmarked piece of fabric on your work surface face down. Place the two pieces of batting on top of that followed by the marked piece of fabric face up.
Sew through the stack of fabric and batting along the marker tracing of the letter.
Cut the letter out with pinking shears a 1/4 inch from the seam.
Open the seam allowance, and trim away as much of the quilt batting as possible with a small pair of scissors.
Repeat for the remaining letters you want to create.
Wipe the marker lines on the fabric with a baby wipe or damp paper towel to remove them.
Place a small button magnet between the two layers of quilt batting before you sew each letter to create plush magnetic letters. Hang the plush letters from a piece of twine with clothespins for an educational piece of room decor for your child. Print the letters from your computer in the size you want to save money on letter stencils. Cut the letters out using a craft knife. Use the cut out letter, not the excess paper, as the stencil. Embellish the stuffed letters with fabric paint, rhinestones, ribbon, ball fringe and other fabric embellishments if desired. To trim the fabric of center holes in letters like A and D fold the area where the hole is located, and make a snip large enough to allow room for the pinking shears to get in there.
Based in Ypsilanti, Mich., Ainsley Patterson has been a freelance writer since 2007. Her articles appear on various websites. She especially enjoys utilizing her more than 10 years of craft and sewing experience to write tutorials. Patterson is working on her bachelor's degree in liberal arts at the University of Michigan.