How do you make a soft toy jingle or rattle?

My favorite, quick gift for a baby is a soft fabric ball. Quite often when I have odd fabric scraps left over, I cut them into the different shapes I need for a ball and collect them in a basket until I have enough to make a ball.

What I haven’t done, however, is make a ball that jingles. So this week I wanted to do precisely that… and haven’t been able to figure out how. Silly me, I thought I could simply insert the bell inside the ball and that would be that. I even tried different sizes. But no… Because of the stuffing around it, the sound is muffled and the bell doesn’t jingle.

Ok, so I thought I would have to place the bell inside something so that it could roll around and jingle. I have ping-pong balls on hand, so I thought that would work. I cut one open, placed a bell inside… and it jingled.

However…. although the sound is better, once inside the ball, with the stuffing around it, the sound is still pretty muffled.

Have you ever made a toy like this? What works for you? Any suggestions are certainly MOST APPRECIATED!

This entry was posted in Small quilted projects. |Comments closed

8 Comments

  1. Posted February 8, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    One of my friends just sent me a crocheted ball, for my little nephew. Inside there are jingle bells and the sound is great. I will send her this link, maybe she can help you.

  2. Carolyn
    Posted February 8, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    When camera films were used it was easy to ask at photo developing shops for the small black canisters – now with digital cameras think they would be hard to come by. Bells or items to rattle worked in these – you could even heat seal them.

    • Noreen Clarke
      Posted December 19, 2011 at 4:13 am | Permalink

      I have been trying so many shops which hold stuffing etc for soft toys looking for some sort of device to to replace the ‘non working’ sound thing which was in the arm of a beautiful bunny that I won in a raffle . I know my 6 month old granddaughter will love him, but even more if he squeeked. Your idea with the film canister is fantastic, and you have solved my problem in one go. Many thanks, and Seasons Greetings. Noreen

      • Carolyn
        Posted December 23, 2011 at 8:03 am | Permalink

        Noreen happy to help – makes me happy I posted that wayyyyyyyy back in February LOL

        Christms greeting to you and all who may read this post.

  3. Marion
    Posted February 8, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Hi, Angie

    You don’t know me but we share Geta as a friend and EQ7. I sent a ball to Geta for her nephew. I’ve made many that jingle. I use a whiffle ball – a white plastic ball with holes made for some games and especially indoor golf. The plastic is quite stiff but can be cut to insert not one but two jingle bells. I tie the cut ends together through adjacent holes just to keep it from collapsing should the child sit on the finished ball, babies tend to do that! Even then, the sound is soft but easily heard. If you can’t find these whiffle balls, let me know.

    • Charlette
      Posted February 10, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      Your idea of using a wiffle ball just got me to thinking. I have plastic golf balls with holes in them (like wiffle balls) at home that I bought for my son. I purchased them at the dollar store for about one dozen balls. These balls come apart, as they are made in two pieces. I found this out when my youngest son stepped on them. You could easily take them apart, insert the jingle bells, and snap them back together. I would even go so far as to tie string or fishing line around the holes to keep the ball closed in case it ever opened up and the bells came loose (we don’t want a choking hazard). Now, does anyone know where I can find those really soft sounding rattles that go inside toys that almost sound like a harmony ball? They don’t really jingle or rattle, they make a soft sound that is hard to explain.

  4. Nic
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    thanks this reallky helped me. my son favorite toy has been squashed by a lorry, and now i have to find a way to make him chime again xxx

  5. Harriet-Wife and Mom
    Posted December 28, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    I know it’s an old post, but I recently made my grandson toys with noise inside. I used and old 35mm film canister for one. Put in bells and coins for different sounds. Used a crazy glue to seal top, then afterwards used another washable all purpose glue on the outside to form a barrier on the lid and canister so the stuffed lion I made would be machine washable. (Bells are made cheaply nowadays and they rust; thus I wanted the bells SEALED inside.) This was placed in the center of the lion head and surrounded with copious amounts of batting. They take a picture of him every month next to it so I can see him grow.

    I made him a giraffe. Inside the neck is a similar contraption–one of those shorter Airborne (cold remedy tablets) tubes with noisemaking objects inside. And his elephant had ears that crinkle because inside I used crackly ‘plaper’ (plasticy type paper). I particularly like the kind that surrounds 2 large jars of peanut butter at the big warehouse stores.

  • Angie Padilla

    I am a self-learner. I taught myself to sew and to quilt. And I taught myself how to draw. I am learning how to dye my own fabrics and am dabbling with mixed media. I am a quilt designer and teacher, and design and publish my own line of quilt patterns. With this blog I would like to share the bits and pieces of my life.

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