This is a nice, simple project. Depending how long your little person naps (and how many numbers you choose to make) it just might qualify as a single-afternoon-project.
Since all the examples of felt letters and numbers I found elsewhere were tiny, I made my own template, especially designed for the 8.5×11” sheets of felt that are so cheap at the craft store. Not only are these large items easier to sew than microscopic ones, the resulting numbers are easy to hold, can double as decor, and won’t get lost in the toy box. And, you can print out the template on standard printer paper, without worrying about scale.
Aveline is just learning her numbers (two! free! five! nine!), so I wanted to lessen any confusion about backwards numbers. This was easily accomplished by using a different color for the back of each number. I used charcoal grey felt for the front and off-white for the back, because I really really love when toys match my living room. ;)
The seams are a simple blanket stitch, sewn with various colors of six-strand embroidery floss. I didn’t divide the strands, just used it straight out of the package.
It helps if you have extra-sharp scissors (the secret to cutting felt neatly and crisply.) Because felt dulls scissors quickly, I use these 3/$1.99 Ikea scissors and just replace them whenever I need to.
The project is extremely self explanatory, so I feel a little (a lot!) silly writing a step-by-step tutorial. :-P But here it is:
2 pieces of standard 8.5×11″ felt per number
Polyfill for stuffing
PDF template (numbers 0-9)
1. Print out the template (numbers 0-9), and cut out the numbers you wish to make. Lest you inaccurately think I’m overly ambitious, I only made 1, 2 and 3.
2. Lay two layers of felt on top of each other, top color first and back color second, then pin the cut-out pattern to the felt.
3. Using extra-sharp scissors, carefully cut out the felt numbers. Take the paper pattern off, then without moving the felt, pin the two pieces together again.
4. Sew the two pieces together with a blanket stitch. When you have about two inches to go, stuff the number with polyfill, then complete the seam.
Voilá! If any of you are crazy enough to make 0-9, you have to send me pictures ;) And if you’re interested in seeing a similar template for large A-Z felt letters, let me know in the comments!