Josh loves getting the mail with me from our mailbox. He also likes watching Postman Pat on telly. Yesterday, when we were in the toy section of one of the departments stores, there was a plastic toy mailbox that had the front flap open and close – which he played with for a little bit, chanting “mail, mail”.
So I thought, what another great excuse to make him some toys that’ll be fun for him and that I can make educational too.
First on the list was to make a mail box. I found this tutorial from Giver’s Log. I used fabric from IKEA, 100% cotton in red called Lenda for the exterior and light grey felt for the lining. I cut out the pattern pieces provided for the plastic canvas – I didn’t have the correct plastic, so what I did was recycle the plastic bottoms that come with the “green” shopping bags.
Before I attempted to cut the exterior and felt fabric of the mailbox, I arranged the plastic canvas in its place by sticky taping it to some pieces of paper to ensure the layout was correct.
I followed Giver’s Log’s instructions to leave a 3/8″ inch gap in between the plastics. Then I laid it on the exterior fabric and cut out the piece adding a 3/8″ seam allowance all around. I then placed the cut exterior fabric piece on top of the grey felt and cut out the lining. I only sewed a 1/4″ allowance as the extra space allowed me to insert the plastic pieces with a bit more ease.
From here, I followed Giver’s Log’s instructions but in the end, instead of having the magnet sewed in between the fabrics, I just sewed it on top – it wasn’t a strong enough magnet to stick together through the fabrics. Funnily enough, I had just bought the magnets yesterday for a project I want to make for Zach and Josh – fish and fishing rod game – soon to come!
I then cut out felt letters M-A-I-L to stick to the front with double sided iron-on adhesive. Turned out well – I wish I had this when I was young. I was so eager to finish this that I didn’t get to bed until 5am this morning – crazy I know.
Next I made a few felt envelopes – here’s a template I made to make it easier to make more later on. Click on the picture to print – change layout to Landscape before printing. Cut out the template, add your embellishments, then fold along the dotted line. Top stitch 1/8″ around the envelope.
Embellish it with whatever you like – you can put your littlies’ names on it, embroider a name and address, add felt/fabric for stamps – whatever you like. For the moment, I just added a small square of felt for a stamp and just machine stitched a few lines to make it look like writing.
I made 3 and used different coloured felts to practise our colour recognition.
Okay, nearly there. Next Josh needed to have a mail bag to collect the letters in. So I used this wonderful tutorial from Create Studio.
I used IKEA’s 100% Cotton Lenda fabric in beige. I used a blue ribbon and 2 red thin ribbons for embellishment on the front of the flap. To make it easier, I sewed the ribbons on one side of the fabrics first before sewing the 2 sides together.
Here’s Josh modelling it with his best K-mart catalogue pose.
So here is the full set.
Here is Josh enjoying his new toy.
He doesn’t know it, but he’s learning his counting and colours too (tee, hee!). Next, I will make felt alphabet letters and place a different alphabet each day in the mailbox to learn our letter of the day …. aah? Good thinking ‘ey?
Of course, it’s also a great way to leave him treats for being such a good boy 🙂