Rattle Tutorial

I started to make a rattle-y toy for my book, but then it got scrapped. Still, I spent quite a bit of time investigating the best way to make the rattle part of the toy and thought I'd share these thoughts.

 Make the rattle
Maybe, like me, you've learned the hard way you can't just stick a jingle bell inside of a plush toy.  The stuffing compressed around it muffles the bell.  My next thought was to stick it inside a plastic container to allow some air around it, but, to my surprise, the jingle bell rolling around inside the plastic egg became a muffled bell, and you could hardly hear the jingle of the bell.

a jingle bell rattle
So, for a jingle bell, I found that the best solution is to glue the bell to the plastic egg (or whatever container you're using.  I used the small eggs that come from those 25 cent machines at the laundromat, but you could also use Easter eggs, prescription bottles, tic tac containers, etc.).  So I used a strong glue to attach the bell to the lid of the egg - make sure the glue doesn't seep into the jingle bell and glue the little ball down!  When its dry you can close the egg and secure it closed however you like - more glue, duck tape, etc.  The result is a jingle bell that doesn't roll around and has plenty of air to make a nice jingle.

a bean rattle
If you just want a bean rattle, you don't need to glue anything in place, just fill your eggs part way with beans (or plastic pellets, BBs, buttons, etc).  Be sure to leave plenty of space so they can move around.  Experiment with different materials to see what sounds they make. Then close the egg securely as before.

Inserting it in the toy
First wrap the rattle in a little batting.  You can secure the batting around the egg with a little glue, or by whipstitch around it.  Stick the rattle in the fullest part of the toy, and be sure that you put stuffing around it on all sides. This helps it get lost inside instead of feeling like a hard lump.

Those are my tips.  How do you make a rattle?


Unknown said...

Totally brilliant! Thanks for sharing. I was wondering just how to get a little bell in my toys.

I love your Etsy Shop too.

Chara said...

You probably don't remember, but you made a rattle for Jonah. It was a felted sea monster with a jingle bell in the tail. It actually rings pretty well, except that he chewed on the hard end when he was teething and the bell got rusty.

Laura said...

No, I do remember! That's how I found out it muffled the bell. It also probably wasn't very child safe...

Wendy said...

What a great idea! Thanks for the tip.

AyƮk said...

Great idea!
I had the same problem and ended up sewing a bell to the inside of a Kinder Treat capsule. It is still working two years later!

Celeste said...

I do this, I use kinder eggs, but I don't glue them in, just leave them loose.
I also wrap the kinder egg in cling film and duct tape so the toy can be washed without worrying about water getting to the bell.

Laura said...

That's a great tip, Celeste! I hadn't thought about washing it.

Rina said...

Thank you very much.
I was wondering what to use, because I can't find any bells around here. But the idea of tic tac containers is great!

Anonymous said...

I have been searching all over the web for ideas in small plush toys, but one person had a great idea for larger stuffed animals and that was to place two jingle bells inside wiffle balls. She then tied the slit she made closed through adjacent holes. This gave me an idea for my smaller stuffed toys. In the pet section at most local stores and the dollar store you can find plastic balls for cats with jingle balls inside them. It's still a little muffled with fabric around them, but has worked great for my littler toys.