DIY Baby Toy: Soft Blocks

I want to start out by saying to those mamas who think you can’t sew… you CAN! I used to be so intimidated by the sewing machine. Then two years ago I got pregnant with my second daughter, Lilah. After searching and searching for the perfect bedding, my mother-in-law and I decided that we’d make it ourselves.

I would be lying if I said that “we” made her bedding because the truth is, I picked out the material and bought it but my mother-in-law is the one who made the bedding. I did, however, make one project all by myself and it was soft baby blocks. We had plenty of leftover material and I liked the idea of being able to bring another pop of the fabric to her room knowing that it could be a fun toy for her later.

Here’s a picture from Lilah’s nursery… The blocks are on the bottom right shelf. (The fabrics used are from Michael Miller’s Pet Deer line).

Fast forward another (almost) two years. I found out I was having another girl, Evie, and after all of the fun I had “making” Lilah’s bedding I wanted to do it for Evie’s nursery too.

This time, though, my mother-in-law gave me her machine and told me that she knew I could do it. I was scared out of my mind that I wasn’t going to be able to do it but you know what? She was right!

I started learning more and more and figuring things out for myself. Every new project I made became my new favorite.

When I was done with all of the big projects, I still had a ton of left over fabric so I thought… why not make soft blocks for Evie too? This time around, I was much more experienced than when I made the first set of blocks and I even added appliques onto them (keep an eye out for my DIY applique onesie tutorial that will explain how to add appliques to almost anything!).

Materials:

  • (6) 5×5 inch squares of fabric per block (I like using different textured fabrics and colors)
  • Appliques (optional)
  • Fabric pen
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron (optional)
  • Measuring tape or yard stick
  • Polyfill

Instructions:

  • Step 1: Do yourself a favor and make a template. I made mine with a piece of card stock so it would be a bit easier to use. I measured a 5×5 square block and then added ¼” to each side for seams. You could save yourself a lot of time by buying 5” charm packs but I used fabric scraps so I had to cut them.
  • Step 2: Draw your squares on your fabric with the template and cut the fabric (make sure to draw the squares on the wrong side of the fabric).

If you are going to do appliques, now is the time to put them on. Make sure they are completely SEWED down though… you don’t want your little ones choking on little pieces of fabric!

  • Step 3: Assemble your squares how you want them to be on the blocks. Once you line them up, they should resemble the diagram below. Then start pinning them right side in. Pin 1 to 2, 2 to 3, etc. and then finally pin 5 and 6 to 2.

  • Step 4: Start sewing right side in, using your ¼” seam allowance. I started by sewing 1-4 together and then added 5 and 6 to 2 at the end.Now comes the trickiest part, take 1 and 5 and line them up and sew them together. Do the same with 1 and 6. Follow suit until the entire cube is sewed leaving a good 2-3 inches open on one side to add your stuffing.
  • Step 5: Another very important step… before you put your cube right side out, check all seams, especially the corners, for holes. Make sure that there are no holes — even tiny ones… if you have a child like my Lilah then they will find a way to make a tiny hole into a huge one and eat the stuffing out of the block (not that I know this from experience or anything…). If you find a hole, stitch it up.
  • Step 6: Put your cube right side out and then stuff it. For one of the cubes I made for Evie, I added a bell that was left over from our Christmas decorations so that it would be an extra learning element. Make sure if you do something like that, that the bell is in the center of the cube. Stuff and stuff… you’ll be amazed at how much filling one of these blocks can take!
  • Step 7: Close up the open seam with a slip stitch and viola, you are done! Well, besides repeating the process two more times of course.

DIY Baby Toy Soft Blocks

14 Responses to DIY Baby Toy: Soft Blocks

  1. These are darling! I wish I knew how to sew =)

  2. These would be great project to learn on!

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  4. Those turned out so cute! Great job!

  5. These are great. I wanted to make some soft blocks for my son, but since I dont sew alot, I didnt know where to start. I will need to try this pattern out. Thank you.

  6. Very cute! I attempted these once, but couldn’t close the corners. Will have to try again!

  7. Brilliant! These are so much cuter than store bought. I’ll be making these soon!

  8. I love the octopus! So cute!

  9. These looks super cute and easy to make! Can’t wait to try this out!!!

  10. This is just too cute. I love to sew, and this is a quick and fun idea-thank you!

  11. Love these!

  12. I love these! I have always loved soft blocks but never trusted the materials in store bought ones. I am totally making these!

  13. Definitely will be doing this.

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