03 April 2011

The Long-Awaited Toy Tripod

Apologies for the long delay in getting this tutorial onto the site - have been very busy making all of this...

 Some Puzzle Balls, Weaning Sets, and a Cloth Book Sling, for my friend Rae at Fishica

And finishing off some lovely Hand Development Toys made from Australian Native Timbers, which will soon be up for sale can be found here.

But enough of that and on to the Toy Tripod...

What you will need:
  • three 19mm dowels that are 1.2m long
  • three end caps (the kind you put on the bottom of chair legs)
  • three rubber chair protectors (also to go on the bottom of chair legs, but these are to stop them from slipping)
  • 2m of thin rope
  • 6 rubber o-rings
  • approx 2.5m of fabric
  • enough batting to cut a circle 1m in diameter
  • a sewing machine
  • one cute baby
So first of all you make the mat that your baby will lie on...
  1. Cut out two circles of fabric 1m in diameter
  2. Cut out one circle of batting 1m in diameter
  3. Pin one of the fabric circles to the batting, with the right side facing away from the batting
  4. Stitch across the two layers in random lines and curves, loosely quilting the fabric - this will be the top of the mat
  5. Now cut 6 rectangular strips 25cm long and 4cm wide
  6. Fold 1cm of one short end of each strip in and stitch to hem the rough edge
  7. Fold each strip in half lengthwise and stitch 5mm from the edge all the way down the length
  8. Turn the strip inside out and press so that the seam lies flat - these are the ties to tie the tripod to the mat
  9. Lay the quilted fabric face-up and mark three equidistant points on its circumference - they will be approximately 90cms apart, no need to get too technical
  10. Pin two ties at each point, with the hemmed ends pointing inwards
  11. Lay the other fabric circle face down on top of the whole lot and pin
  12. Stitch around the circumference of the circle, making sure you stitch through all the layers. Leave a small opening to turn the whole thing the right way
  13. Turn and then stitch the opening closed, or top stitch the whole way round, closing the opening as you go
  14. Press so that it all lays nice and flat
Now lash the three poles together after watching this video and channelling your inner scout. Roll an o-ring onto the poles at either end of the lashings to prevent the rope from slipping up or down the pole.

 Pop a cap on the top of each pole and a rubber foot on the bottom of each pole. Stand the tripod up and secure to the mat with the little ties and make a hanging ring with the left-over rope which should be hanging down from the centre of the tripod.

Place your cute baby on the mat, hang a little toy from a piece of hat elastic (although please don't leave a long loop of elastic like the one in my photos - a very dangerous strangulation hazard which I have since remedied) and take heaps of pics. I'd love to see your baby enjoying his or her new tripod, so please email me some pictures!

P.S. I have had an overwhelming response to this tutorial, with many non-sewers asking me to make the mat for them. I am willing to do this, so if you are a non-sewer and think you can manage the rest of the tutorial by yourself, then email me to discuss... :)


  1. LOVE!

    I just made my first puzzle ball, I'll have to whip this up to go with it.


  2. This is amazing, I'm going to try it!

  3. Thanks so much for the detailed tutorial! Do you think the mat is necessary? Can I just use a blanket or is the mat also for securing the tripod?

    1. I find that the tripod is much more stable when the mat is tied to it. The thicker the mat, the more stable the whole structure. I have used the tripod with no mat as well, but have never left baby unattended since the kick of a leg can bring the whole thing toppling down if not secured.