Thursday, May 20, 2010

Roll-A-Chore Soft Block

Do you remember the story cube? And, I promised a soft one, too? Luckily, no one called me on it because I completely spaced the fact that I promised it that week! I also wanted to do something different because I didn't need two Easter story blocks.

Enter the chore cube!
 
We have a few chores that always need to be done, but aren't specifically assigned or part of the regular chore routine. Often I am asking everyone to help with these things on a daily basis and that request is met with groans and protests. Instead of assigning continually, we decided that if you aren't contributing to our family, you need a reminder to contribute and an assignment to contribute. We use this as a "punishment" as well as putting a little fun into jobs when it is time to work together to get these things done.

Let's get started!

I started with iron-on transfer fabric which I got with a coupon at JoAnn's. It is a little price-y, but definitely worth it when you see how easy it is to use and how well it works. I have seen recipes out there for making your own and that definitely keeps the price down, but this was so easy that I think it was worth it. I was able to fit all of my pictures on one sheet which put the price at about $2 for this project.

Collect pictures of your 6 chores (*see note at end) and put a caption on them. Print on regular paper first to make sure they were exactly what you want before you print on the good stuff. You can see how nicely they print, too. (Iron-on fabric page is on the left.)

Cut around them carefully so they are 3 inches square.

Following the directions on the package, iron pictures to 4 1/2 inch fabric squares leaving enough fabric to make a border and a seam for sewing the faces of the cube.

I think the iron-on is super strong, but it made me nervous. Besides, I like the look of applique, so I appliqued around the pictures using a zigzag stitch.

Placing the right sides together--and being certain the pictures are both right side up--sew two squares together. (After I had cut my fabric, I decided I wanted a larger border, so I only used 1/8 inch seams. It was a little tricky and I recommend at least a 1/4 inch seam for this.)

Knowing this will be thrown by children, go back and zigzag or overlock or serge those seams to make them stronger.

Sew on two more squares so you have the four squares that make up the sides.

Sew the bottom on by putting right sides together along one edge and sewing one edge at a time. The corners just kind of work themselves out as you sew one edge at a time. Do not try to sew around it all at once. Double check to make sure your picture is turned the direction you want it to be. Sew again to reinforce the seams.

Repeat this process for the top of your cube, but only sew three sides.

I actually sewed a little bit of the fourth side because I do not like handsewing very much and it makes the corners easier to deal with.


Turn your cube right side out very carefully. The iron-on part will be stiff and get a little wrinkled up as you turn, but it will smooth out once you stuff it.

Stuff your cube with polyester filling. Use small chunks so more can be stuffed in and it doesn't glob all together. It takes a lot more than you might think it will take. Stuff it pretty tightly because it will pack and shift when you start using it.

You will have a gaping area where you left the opening to turn it.

Carefully fold the edges the amount of your seam allowances. Cotton fabric will hold the fold pretty well just by pressing it together with your fingers. Using matching thread, stitch the opening closed. You can also do this carefully on the sewing machine, but mine always seems to work better by hand. And, I know it can be done more nicely by hand, too--hand sewing really isn't one of my strengths.

When completed, squish your stuffing around to fill in all of the corners, especially the ones you just finished sewing.

*A helpful hint about the chores: We came up with 4 that need to be done at any given time. Instead of coming up with 2 more that kind of need done or that limit the dice to just 6 jobs, I made a "parents' choice" so we can always assign any job that needs to be done and "your choice" so the child can pick from a list of jobs we give them. This makes the cube much more versatile and adaptable to different needs at different times.

Go make a job cube and put your children to work!post signature



9 comments:

Adrienne,  said... May 20, 2010 at 7:28 PM  

I LOVEEEEE this! I need to make me one of those suckers. Glad you put up a tutorial.

Powers Fam,  said... May 31, 2010 at 11:31 AM  

Very cute!! I could totally use this at church for singing time with my kiddos and on the sides have words/pics for loud, soft, etc. Thank you for posting on Skip to My Lou!

Heather - Dollarstorecrafts.com,  said... May 31, 2010 at 9:14 PM  

This is such a great use for a block! I really love this! Nice tutorial, too!

Jenn @ Delicious Ambiguity,  said... June 7, 2010 at 8:38 AM  

Wow! You've got a great blog here! You might be interested in stopping by my site sometime. I host a link-up party on Tuesdays called Tot Tuesdays where you can link up crafts, activities, recipes, tips and anything else for toddlers. I'd love it if you'd stop by:

http://www.mydeliciousambiguity.com/

Have a great day!

Lenetta @ Nettacow,  said... June 12, 2010 at 9:54 PM  

I love it, too! :>) What a neat idea - I linked to it on my weekly roundup. Thanks so much!

JDaniel4's Mom,  said... December 4, 2010 at 9:45 AM  

This post is being featured on My Great Posts of the Week.

http://www.jdaniel4smom.com/2010/12/great-posts-i-came-across-this-week.html

Jaimee,  said... May 11, 2011 at 10:54 AM  

This is so great!! I'm including it in a post I'm doing on creative chore systems : )
Jaimee @ craft-interrupted.blogspot.com

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