Use simple shapes and basic stitches to create personalised alphabet blocks. This is a great way to use up scraps of fabric; these letters can even be made in smaller sizes and would be a lovely gift for younger siblings learning the alphabet. They are made using neat backstitch to affix a side panel to a shape to create funky 3-D forms.
- Fabric, print cotton, 30cm x 1m or several large coordinating pieces
- Ribbon, wide, printed (optional)
- Buttons, coloured (optional)
- Card, A4 sheet
- Toy stuffing
- Sand, dried beans or other weighted filling and a thin plastic sandwich bag measurements
- Height: 16cm - 22cm
Create fabric alpha blocks
Sketch out a letter onto the card in a large capital font, simplifying it as much as possible. Cut out and use as a template. With two 20cm x 30cm pieces of fabric placed right sides together, pin on and draw around the template. Cut out the fabric leaving a 1cm seam allowance around the entire letter. Mark the top of the letter on both pieces of fabric.
Create the side panels. Cut the remaining fabric into 7cm wide strips. Backstitch the ends of the strips together to create one long piece, or alternatively, use a length of wide ribbon. Fold a 2cm hem on one end side panel to secure and stitch. Align with the top mark of one of the letter shapes. Pin the strip all the way around the shape, easing it at the curves. Leave a 4cm overlap at the top of the letter and cut off the excess fabric from the strip.
Backstitch the two pieces of material together and remove the pins. Pin the second letter piece to the other side of the strip, matching up the top mark to the folded end of the strip so the letter does not skew. Backstitch as before and remove the pins leaving a gap at the top for stuffing. Clip into the seam allowance on the corners and turn the shape right side out.
Create a weight. Quarter fill the thin plastic bag with sand or similar. Press the air out of the bag and tie the top in a tight knot. Carefully push the bag through the hole at the top of the letter and manoeuvre it to the base. Pad the rest of the shape with toy stuffing. Tuck the 4cm end of the side panel strip underneath the folded part and oversew to close the letter. Add ribbon bows or buttons as desired.