Sunday, August 16, 2015

DIY Fidget Bracelet with Built in Marble Maze


Please note! This tutorial is for personal use only!
I've started seeing these sold on other sites. If you are seller, feel free to draw inspiration, but please make your own variation. Thank you!

Like many 6-year-olds, our son has a hard time staying still at times. His kindergarten teacher suggested that we look for a fidget for him. A fidget is a small object that keeps little fingers busy while the child pays attention and looks at their teacher (or adult). Fidgets can also be used by kids and adults with ADHD, sensory processing disorders or anxiety. 

D is about to start first grade so I've wanted to see if I could make a fidget for him. We've talked about the  rules for fidgets. 

1. A fidget cannot distract you from paying attention. This means that while your hands may be on the fidget, your eyes need to be on your teacher.

2. A fidget cannot distract others from paying attention. This means that while a fidget may be seen (because our son's class does not use desks), he should not draw attention to it. His teacher may ask him to put it away at any time without complaint.

As I thought about what kind of fidget might work for our son's needs and personality, I knew I wanted something he wouldn't easily lose, didn't make any noise, was soft, and gave his busy brain something to do. My solution: a fidget bracelet with built-in marble maze.

This is a really easy sewing project, and a good way to use up scraps. Plus, it only took about 20 minutes to make. 

You'll need:
  • Two pieces of fabric. They can be two of the same or two different fabrics. In this example I used one piece of glow-in-the-dark cotton fabric and one piece of minky.
  • Velcro. I love the adhesive velcro but I found that it gummed up my needle when making my first fidget. Since the bracelet is small, I used regular velcro instead. 
  • Small bead or marble. Anything small and round will work. My bead is about 1/4" long. 
  • Standard sewing supplies. 


First, measure your child's wrist and add 3.5 inches to account for the seam allowance and overlap for the velcro. My six-year-old's wrist is 5", so I cut my two strips of fabric 8.5" long and 2.25" wide. The width is totally arbitrary, but you'll want it wide enough for the marble to have room to navigate. 


Next, place fabric right sides together and sew a 1/4" seam around the edge, leaving about an inch open for turning the fabric right sides out. Be careful with the minky because it will stretch. If you don't have a good walking foot, you'll want to pin your pieces so the minky doesn't slide. 


Clip each corner to avoid bulk when you turn the fidget right side out. Be careful not to cut too close to the seam as this will create a hole in the corner. 


Carefully pull the fabric through the hole so that both right sides are showing. I use a chopstick to make the corners sharp. 


Iron the edges so the fidget lays flat. Then use your ruler and marking pencil to draw lines starting 1" from the left edge and every .75" moving to the right. Be sure to leave an inch on the right side. The lines should only go about 3/4" through the widget, alternating from the top and bottom, to create the simple maze.


Use the marks to sew lines. I suggest starting in the middle and sewing downward, then flipping the fidget around and sewing down on the other side. That way the seams will be reinforced when you sew the fidget closed.


When you clip the threads you'll be able to see the maze. I used a contrasting thread color on this one, but on another fidget, I used a matching thread color. 


Now insert the bead or marble through the hole and slide it away from the edge. 


Sew 1/8" seam around the edge, taking special care to make sure that your seam closes up the open part. 


Finally, cut velcro the width of your fidget. Sew one piece on one side and the other piece on the flip side, opposite side. I highly suggest testing placement before sewing the pieces on!


And you are done!

You can play around with fabric. The one below has minky on one side and flannel on the other. I filled it with rice for a weighted fidget rather that a more tactile maze fidget. 


Here is my son testing out his favorite fidget while my husband read to him. 



Please note! This tutorial is for personal use only!
I've started seeing these sold on other sites. If you are seller, feel free to draw inspiration, but please make your own variation. Thank you!

Update:
I came up with another design. This version has two lines of number beads. They can be moved back and forth, or used to work out math problems. 


Update 2: I've had a lot of requests from my non-sewing friends that I offer these fidgets for sale. So...I'm dipping my toe into the waters of online selling. You can see what I have available on our Facebook page.

Update 3: Our son wants to tell you about fidgets.

video

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10 comments:

  1. This has to be one of the greatest ideas that I have ever read about. I happen to be a figdetter. I twirl my hair when I am stressed, which with 3 kids and losing my job on maternity leave is ALL the time. I think I will give this a try for myself.

    It might also work for my kids in the car on long trips. The possibilities are endless.

    Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! I've found that the size I listed above will work for most kids. Depending on your wrist size, you may want to add a 1/2" to the length for your own bracelet. I am wearing one right now that I cut with 9" long pieces.

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  2. Love these! Thank you so much for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi from the cashier at Joanns! Your blog is awesome and my son is super excited about this idea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw! Thanks for checking it out! Thanks for making my son feel so special today! He's very excited about his new gold fidget! :-)

      Delete
  4. What a great idea for kids who fidget or suffer from anxiety.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Love this Idea! My grandson has been getting trouble not being able to his hands to himself. I think would work for him also.

    ReplyDelete

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