Monday, March 5, 2012

Play: Homemade Toys - Marble Maze

Since I've been on a bit of craft kick lately, I thought it would be fun to do a series of posts on homemade toys for kids. So here's the first one!

I actually found this idea on Pinterest. That site is like a goldmine of crafty ideas, and I can probably attribute 90% of my latest crafting to inspiration that I found there. It can be a huge waste of time, but it's so much fun.

But anyway, enough about the site, on to the craft. So I decided to make a cloth marble maze. This was really easy, and I basically put it all together all during Sebastian's nap, which admittedly was at least 15-30 minutes shorter than it should have been. But whatever, we are having struggles with sleep. Sigh. But still, in that shortened amount of time, I was able to make this cute little maze! I call that an accomplishment. :)

To make this I used an old t-shirt from which I cut two squares. Or really squarish type shapes. I was not being precise with this at all. Sometimes I like to just go willy-nilly and not measure anything, sometimes not even pin anything when sewing, and just go and hope for the best. This was close to that. So I roughly cut two squares out of an old shirt. I wanted to use a t-shirt because a) I already had it and it needed to be used or thrown away and b) I wanted it to stretch with the marble so that I could be even less precise. It worked out well on both accounts. The shirt has been upcycled and the stretch in the shirt meant that I didn't have to account for the depth of the marble accurately. I could just eyeball it and it would work out. And it did.

So two squares of old t-shirt and 4 felt circles. The circles act a the beginning and ending of the maze. So for this particular maze you can go from orange to yellow. You are going to want to draw out the maze how you want it on paper before you begin, or you can use the ones I made below to be your guide.

My template
And in case you needed help figuring it out. :)

Pin the felt circles in place on each of the t-shirt squares. For my maze the circles go on opposite corners. I pinned them in such a way that when you do the maze and then flip it over, you are still going from orange to yellow. But really, it doesn't matter all that much.
one side

the flip side, notice the circle orientation
Then sew the circles on. I decided to go with a zig zag because that was what my machine was already set at. No sense in making it harder on myself. But you could easily do a straight stitch in a circle. Since it's felt, you don't have to worry about fraying, so the zig zag is really not necessary.

Once you have the circles sewn on, you want to pin the two squares together. You could do this right sides together leaving a space and then sewing that up, but I personally am not a fan of how things look when you can tell where the seam was sewn up because it looks so different from the rest of the seams. So I did wrong sides together, just folding the edges in.
Making sure the beginning and the end of the flip sides match up

But  if you do it this way, you must remember that before you stitch up all of your sides, tuck the marble inside the maze. Otherwise you just made a decorated washcloth. Congratulations.

So once you have it pinned and marbled. Sew up the sides.

Then you draw on the maze pattern. I used an embroidery pen, so it's really hard to see the lines, but they are there.

Then sew along the lines and you've got your maze.

Try it out! It's fun! And the best part is, you don't have to worry about losing the marble or having a young child choke on it.

Sebastian didn't get it, though. He thought it was a tissue.

Sigh. :)

Do you have any other homemade toy ideas? (This is is series...I need ideas!)

We linked up on Polly Want A Crafter!


  1. This is great! Thanks for sharing!

  2. This s so cute

  3. This post made me laugh! :) Sorry your son didn't get it, but it will be fun when he's a bit older! I think my 5 year old would love it. :)

  4. This is the cutest and funniest post ever !! :)

  5. A neat idea would be to use eyelets with holes smaller than the marble for the start and finish spots.
    Then the wee one playing with the maze can see the marble! :D

  6. what a neat idea. I'm going to see if I can figure this out for my little ones. Perfect toy for waiting rooms/restaurant.


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