Custom Plush Easy Button




About: This author has not updated their profile. They might or might not get around to it sometime. If the kid wants a unicorn... Dangit, we're gonna make that happen. What little I know is dangerous, the rest I...

with personalized Mother's Day message or any message. Do you have the voice of somebody that only a mother can love and needs to be heard over and over again? This is the perfect gift for giving to someone who would appreciate a personalized message from their dear offspring or you just want to hear yourself talk.

Another after-dinner project that I did by firing up the sewing machine and serger. Fret not if you only have a needle and thread. This can be done entirely by hand.

That was easy.

WARNING: Contains small parts that may be a choking hazard to small children or curious adults. Supervise when in use.

Step 1: Rawr Materials

You will need pieces of felt or similarly sturdy material to make your custom plush button.
You can use any colors but I had red for the button and pink for the base.

Some stiff cardboard

Fiberfill stuffing or polyester-batting for the plush part.

I also had a strip of some soft foam packaging that was perfect to use as the stuffing for the border of the base .

You will need a sound recording/playback device.

I had found these L'il Reminder recorder thingy key-fobs. They usually go on sale during Christmas as stocking stuffers for the senior folks to remind them where they parked the car. They come in a two pack so they are great for making more than one.

You can build your own but it was just as easy as using one I already had.

Step 2: A Solid Foundation...

You can make a conductive fabric switch for this for fly-by-wire but I wanted to make this simple with a mechanically activated hack. Look Ma, no soldering necessary.

I broke out the packaging tape gun to prototype my base.

Lay out your device with the PLAY button centered on a piece of stiff cardboard. If your box cardboard is too thin, just glue two pieces together for additional thickness. Draw a circle about 6 inches in diameter around the point where the PLAY button is. Trace around your device to mark the placement.

Cut out two cardboard circles. One will be the base for the top and the other will be the device base.

Cut a strip of cardboard that is about the height of your device.

Tape it to the base cardboard. You are making a holding mount for your device by corralling it in.

Test to see that your device will fit snugly. You may need to add a piece of cardboard to shim up the device so that the PLAY button is more prominent or level to the base.

Cut a strip of cardboard that will reach from the edge of the circle to about just covering over your PLAY button. Tape to the edge. Trim so that it will not activate any of the surrounding buttons. This is the lever handle that will press the play button when the top button panel is pressed in. Test to see that it works.

Cut a long strip of cardboard that is about 2 inches wide. Tape to the edge of the base circle to form the side of your base. Go all the way around and cut any excess to form a complete wall. Use tape to cover any rough edges of the cardboard.

Step 3: Muffin Top

Take the piece of cardboard that will be your top.

Trim it so it will fit loosely inside of the walls of the base. It will fit snug once the fabric material covers everything.

Get some additional foam pieces or a big ball of batting to form the curved plushie top for the button.

Cut two pieces of fabric that will cover the top and bottom of the button.

Sew around it following the edge of the cardboard form.

You can trim the excess on the corners as the edge will be folded under and tucked into the base.

I ran the edge through a serger to finish it. The serger binds the edge and trims it at the same time.

Step 4: Bottoms Up

Time to make the bottom cover.

Add additional foam or batting to the bottom base to bulk it up where there is a wider ring at the bottom.

Trace the cardboard base on to the bottom fabric. Cut it out about a 1/4 inch larger for seam allowance.

Cut out a strip of fabric that can wrap around the base and is higher than the base.

Wrap it around and mark where you will sew a seam to create a tube that will cover the wall of your base.

With the seams out, attach the round bottom to one edge following the lines that you drew for the bottom base.

About 2 inches from the bottom, sew an additional seam by folding the material from the side of the wall. This gives us a visual line where the real base curves in to the button.

Fold everything inside out.

Place the base into the bottom cover and fold over the top edge gathering in the excess fabric.

Step 5: Button It Up

I wasn't sure how I was going to put the lettering on the top button at first.

I tried to use the sewing machine to embroider the name but it the felt needed a backing fabric which I didn't have handy.

Plan B was to paint the name on. Caitlin won't let me use her 3-D glitter glue and I don't have fabric paint pens.

Felt is hard to paint on because it is porous and has such a rough linty surface that catches the brush. With a scrap piece of felt I just used a tempera paint with a bamboo skewer to dab it on. I then cut it out and glued it on the button.

Place the recording/playback device in the bottom base.

Stuff the top button on.

Press to play.

Step 6: Mommie Dearest

So record your message. Words that moms love to hear and mean so much that they will be repeated until the battery wears out.

We love you, Mommy.

and other Instructables member's noteable quoteables:

Out of the billions and billions of stars, you're the brightest...relatively speaking of course

DJ Radio
Yo momma, Forget the rest, U da best. Word.

Mama, te quiero.

I'm never moving out...and I've got laundry...

Right-O, I'd better help dad from the shed...again...



    • Pie Contest

      Pie Contest
    • Paper Contest

      Paper Contest
    • Weaving Challenge

      Weaving Challenge

    24 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

    *Insert easy button press here* That was caitlin.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    can you use something else for the L'il Reminder thing? because i cant fine any of those lil' reminder things

    1 reply

    I did not want to build a voice recorder/playback chip thingy. There are circuit kits/modules that you can buy online if you want to do some electronics. I have this other keychain thing that is a voice recorder toy and it can also morph or change the pitch of the voice called "Yada Yada Yada". I found that at a Wal-mart. The L'il Reminder things are at big pharmacies near the "as seen on TV" products. Too bad those chips in greeting cards are usually not hackable. Good luck.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    The excess material around the top button gets folded over so you squeeze fit it into the base. The felt fabric makes a nice friction fit. It just takes a light tap to activate the device. It will push in further so you have to pull it up every once in a while and reposition it since there is no real spring to bounce it back up.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    aww, bummer i am making right now for my mom but i need to come up with something to make it stay in place. sigh maybe i'll use some wires coming from the inside


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    The cardboard for the top button has to just loosely fit in place in the bottom part. The thickness of the fabric should fill the gap. Maybe you can just punch a few holes in the base and put a tie-wrap through, loop it and adjust to fit.

    The form is cut from corrugated shipping box cardboard. It is quite stiff. Thinner stuff like from IKEA boxes may need to be doubled for stiffness. I covered a lot of the edges and surface with packaging tape. You get the same feel like the brim of a baseball cap. You wouldn't stomp on it but it will hold up. You could make it from thin plywood or plastic but it is not necessary.

    Nevermind. I thought the names were velcroed so they could allow for quick easy change. I misread the first time, I read now that it was glued on. Thanks!

    You could velcro a nametag just like military uniforms. That way you can change it to suit whatever message you record. Have fun!