How to Customize Crochet Wooden Teething Rings with Beads (Free Crochet Pattern)
With my niece now a few months old, I wanted to come up with more textures for her to explore other than just a wooden teething ring and some organic cotton yarn covering some parts of it. Because Alexa Organics also sells beads that are made from hard maple wood (the same material as my rings), I thought I would give them a try and customize crochet wooden teething rings some more with beads.
I still used some of the ring designs I made from How to Customize Crochet Wooden Teething Rings, but I also added wooden beads (plain and crocheted) to add more textures to the teether. I talked about how important it is to use good materials for this and you can find out more information in the article linked above.
Table of Contents
- Covering the Wooden Bead With Crocheted Yarn
How to Make a Bead Cozy
- Stringing the Beads Together
Wooden Bracelet Teething Ring; Making Teething Necklaces; Adding Some Crocheted Elements for Spacers; and Ruffles Used Like a Bead
- Combining Beads and Wooden Teething Ring Ideas
Covering the Wooden Beads with Crocheted Yarn
While you can also use your beads as is, especially if you use treated beads, but adding the yarn gives an extra texture for babies to feel with their small hands. I will only cover the simplest way to cover your beads by using single crochet stitches to make a cozy for it. I prefer to alternate these with regular wooden beads, so plan your designs first before actually covering all of your beads with yarn.
- Organic Cotton Sport Yarn from KnitPicks or any other organic cotton yarn;
- 1 Inch Wooden Beads;
- 3/4 Inch Wooden Beads;
- 2.5 Inch Wooden Rings;
- Size C Crochet Hook or any hooks appropriate for your yarn thickness;
- Tapestry Needle; and
Abbreviations Used in American Terms
- Ch - chain;
- St(s) - stitch(es);
- Sl st - slip stitch;
- Sc - single crochet; and
- Dc - double crochet.
How to Make a Bead Cozy
Step 1: You always want to start with a magic ring, ch 1, work 6 sc in the magic ring, do not join.
Step 2: Keep increasing the stitches like a regular circle by increasing each round by 6 until you achieve a circumference that matches the widest girth of the bead. For the photos in this tutorial, I used both the 3/4 inch bead, which only required me to increase up to 12 sc's per Round; and the 1 inch bead increased up to 18 sc's per Round.
Step 3: Continue working even Rounds (with no increases) until you need to start decreasing to close the cozy. Make sure to keep checking the size by placing in the bead as you go to ensure a snug fit. I did a total of 5 Rounds here for the 3/4 inch bead and 6 Rounds for the 1 inch bead.
Step 4: Place the bead in. Start decreasing until you get back to 6 sc for the last Round. Fasten off and weave the top closed. Hide the tail ends.
Stringing the Beads Together
There are 2 ways to string the beads together:
- Just use the yarn as is; and
- Chain the desired length to use as string.
Depending on whether the holes for your beads are big enough to fit your chosen string, if the string will be visible in some parts of your design, I would suggest making chains to make it stronger. But if the holes are too small, just use the yarn as is to string the beads together.
Alternate crochet elements with the wood to give babies something new to touch every time their hand moves. Having the same shapes and same exact textures throughout the design is bound to be boring for babies, causing them to lose interest quickly with the wooden teether.
Wooden Bracelet Teething Ring
For this design, I just took 4 crocheted 1 inch beads with 4 plain 3/4 inch beads and stringed them through my yarn. I got a 2.5 inch plain wooden ring and used that like a bead. Tie knots tightly to secure the bracelet. Weave in the ends through opposite sides of the bracelet to hide the tails.
This also functions as a rattle when the wooden pieces hit each other. You can add another 2.5 inch wooden ring to make an even louder sounding rattle.
Making Teething Necklaces
Another way to spice up your wooden teething rings is to make them into teething necklaces. This is for the mom to wear so that babies can safely chew on it. Because it is worn around your neck, they will not get thrown to the floor and get dirty or lost. It also gives them something to fiddle with while nursing instead of the mom's flesh.
I know I have seen babies and toddlers pull necklaces from adults who are carrying them. Imagine wearing an expensive necklace made out of metal. If the baby pulls on it too hard, it not only hurts your neck, but they might also break the chain. Stringing together wooden beads and teething rings will not only entertain them, but it could also save you some money by not needing to repair your broken jewelry.
For the photo above, I used the Berry-Stitched Teething Ring, made a butterfly from this pattern from Tamara Dijkstra, and used it as a spacer for my teething necklace. I chained 200 and used it as my string for this design. I chose to leave the beads plain to give different textures for the baby to hold.
Note: I gave this to my sister-in-law and she uses the small bead to shorten the length of the necklace so my niece can reach it better.
Adding Some Crocheted Elements for Spacers
As I was checking designs on Pinterest for wooden teething rings, I came across many photos that use different crocheted elements on their designs, like butterflies, ruffles, bows, flowers, etc. This enables you to create more designs since you can use yarn to make any shape you want. I have shown you how the butterfly looks like in the photo above, you just need a pattern that folds down the middle so you can hide your string through it without needing to worry about the wrong side showing.
Since there are already plenty of patterns out there that you can use for this, I just wanted to share how I made my ruffles and how I used it like a bead.
Ruffles Used Like a Bead
This is a pattern that you can feel free to experiment with like the crocheted hyperbolic planes that were used in mathematics. You can choose to change the number of increases done for each Round or stop increasing if you want less ripples. Make sure you end before the ruffle becomes too big for your design.
Step 1: In a magic ring, ch 2, 10 dc in the ring, join with sl st in the top of the ch-2. (10)
Step 2: Ch 2, 4 dc in each dc around, join. (40)
Step 3: Repeat Step 2. (160)
Fasten off and weave in all ends.
Once you have your design planned out, insert your string through the hole in the middle of the ruffle to use it like a bead. For the necklace above, I used this Teether Lovey from Kara Gunza on the wooden ring, strung the ruffle and 2 beads on top to complete the design.
Combining Beads and Wooden Teething Ring Ideas
Now that you know how to add elements to your designs, you can combine these to the wooden teething rings you have and give your babies more textures to explore. Here are some more ideas you can incorporate to your designs:
- You can also string the wooden rings on both sides instead of just 1 with the ring hanging down from the center;
- Whether you choose to add a lot of beads or just a small amount depends on what you have on hand. Babies have only 2 small hands, you wouldn't need 100 beads on your teethers;
- If you can buy organic fiberfill, you can add amigurumi to your designs; and
- You can make 2 appliques and sew them together back to back on your string to get an instant 2-D shape.