Easiest Way to Make a Baby Toy Leash/Strap
The Toy "Leash" or "Strap"
I am a new mother to a baby girl. Being a new mother, I am constantly concerned about germs and dirt and what's being ingested by my infant. I picture her insides as this pure, untouched environment and I cringe at anyone touching her or holding something out to her that I haven't had my eye on since it came out of its original packaging (anything). I also have this intense fear of her getting sick in any way (as most mothers, I'm sure, can relate to).
I bought one of those "sippy cup straps" from a well-known store and used it for one of my daughter's favourite toys. I was getting tired and stressed (I need to relax) about cleaning her toy every time it landed on the ground or floor of a store we were in before handing it back to her. If I didn't have my non-toxic cleaning wipes with me, I just wouldn't give the toy back to her until we had access to soap and water. I knew this was going to be a problem when she got older and desperately needed her toy back (or on a day when her patience was limited and she needed to be entertained).
After buying the strap for approximately $4.00, I started thinking about whether I wanted more than one (ie. for a sippy cup and a toy at once; one for the carseat and one for the stroller; one for each toy, etc.). I didn't want to spend $12-$16 on what I was pretty sure I could make for a lot less.
How often do you make things for your child to save money?
Let me preface this tutorial with: I am not a "crafty" person. While I am artistic (I paint, draw and am successful at creating things), I don't take pleasure in making practical things "pretty." Even though I am currently on maternity leave, contrary to what a lot of people may think, I do not have all the time in the world. I am simply on a budget (again: on maternity leave) and wanted this practical item to make my life a little simpler.
Most tutorials I look for require sewing and ironing and pretty fabric-shopping. Not for me, thanks. So here it is.
Below are the steps I took to complete the toy/sippy cup leashes that I now use.
Step 1: Search your home or go to the dollar store to collect:
- fabric ribbon
- glue (preferably glue that works best with fabric, I'm sure Super Glue®or Krazy Glue® would work as well)
Step 2: Cut your ribbon to the desired length. I made my ribbon 36 inches long. The leash should not be long enough to wrap around baby's neck while s/he is in the seat and using the toy/cup! It should be long enough to reach baby's mouth, wrap around the toy or handle of the cup, and wrap once around the part of the carseat or stroller you'll be attaching it to. I usually attach it to the carrying handle of the carseat. My leash is 30 inches before creating the loops to attach it to the toy and carseat/stroller.
Step 3: Cut a small (half inch) piece of the rough Velcro®. Cut the width also, if necessary (it was for me) so that it's not as wide as the ribbon. Then cut a piece of the soft Velcro® the same width as the rough Velcro® but about 3-4 times the length.
Step 4: Glue the small, rough piece of Velcro® to one end of the ribbon (on the non-decorative side if there is one). A lot of Velcro® comes with sticky backing, but I don't think it would be strong enough for this project.
Step 5: Glue the soft, longer piece of Velcro® on the same side of the ribbon, approximately 2 inches away from the rough piece of Velcro®. *The size of the soft Velcro® piece and the distance of it from the rough Velcro® piece allows for you to adjust the loop around the object its holding.
Step 6: Create a loop at the other end of the ribbon and glue it in place. The loop only needs to be big enough for the ribbon to fit through (this is what will be used to attach the leash to the bar/handle of the carseat/stroller.)
Step 7: Allow to dry before use. The longer the better, but it depends on the kind of glue you used.
*Because this is a very simple way to make it, and it's a no-sew method, it can come apart fairly easily if you try to take it apart. If you just use it the way it should be used, I find it holds up well.
Next time: To make this more durable, one could use buttons instead of Velcro® or stitch the loops and Velcro® in place instead of using glue. Again, this is the simplest way I thought this could be done. To me, the simpler the better.
Thanks for reading!