Introduction: SewUseful Plushie Personal Boom-box / Goodnight Pillow
There are people, like my husband, who like to fall asleep in complete silence. Then there is the rest of us, who like background music or soothing sounds to lull us into the nightscape.
Often these silence sleepers complain when we sound sleepers need our noise to catch our 40 winks and we are left with the dilemma - a night of silent insomnia, or strangling in our sleep at the hands of headphones.
Nothing is more useful than something that prevents death, right?
So I made a personal boom-box/ goodnight pillow which only the head that is resting upon can hear.
The perfect solution! And it might even save a marriage or two.
This instructable shows how to make a plushie, functioning personal boom-box. You can stop there if you wish. Or you can go on to make the goodnight radio pillow to rest your weary head. The plushie attaches to the pillow (it also can be removed so the pillow can be washed) and through a series of button holes, the wire is always safely tucked away.
This instuctable has been created for the SEWUSEFUL Instructable/Etsy contest.
If all this seems too time consuming and you just want to get some shut-eye, find this item in my Etsy Shop.
N.B. Unlike the other cushions in my shop, I do not suggest putting pins in this one!!
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Step 1: Tools and Materials
Tools and Materials
Items with a * are not needed if only making the Plushie Personal Boom-box
Cotton Fabric (for *pillow case and radio patch)
Felt (for speakers and back of patch - felt is not necessary, but is good because it does not fray)
Sound device (I used a cheap FM radio, but this would work for mp3 players etc)
T-Shirt transfer (or if you prefer, stencil and ink)
*Velcro (I do not suggest sticky Velcro, but it is what I had)
Sewing Machine (Mine is called Nemesis - but yours doesn't have to have a name. She should have a button hole function though)
Ironing board or surface
Hard surface (for transfer)
Old pillow case (for transfer)
Cutting matt (if you're not ghetto and cut on the desk like me)
Button hole Foot
Step 2: Make a Radio Patch Transfer
I chose to make my radio patch using a t-shirt transfer. You could also do this by stenciling. Trebuchet03 has a good instructable on how to stencil an image here.
Create an image in a photo editing program that you want to use as your radio. Or you can use the one I made.(image 4)
It is very important that you FLIP HORIZONTALLY before you print. Especially if you have words on the image, as they will come out backwards if you don't. My image is already flipped so you don't have to worry about making this mistake. (image 1)
Print that sucker out and cut off any excess transfer paper. (image 2)
Now is also a good time to find something circular that is the right size for the speaker. You will thank me later - unless you are Michaelangelo and can draw the perfect circle. (image 3)
Step 3: Handy Tip Number One T-Shirt Transfers
**Handy Tip One**
Now is a good time to turn on your iron. Empty all the fluid out of the iron and crank it up as high as it can go. Turn Off Steam. It needs to heat up for a few minutes - the hotter the better. (image 1)
It is better to do a transfer on a hard surface than a padded ironing surface. Don't do it directly on a stained wood table though. Wood stain and heat leave yellow stains on your fabric (oops!). Lay down an old pillow case. (image 2)
Step 4: Aligning the Transfer
Measure the size of the transfer and cut the fabric approximately 1 inch larger on each side of the transfer. (image 1)
Fold fabric into quarters and mark half of the measurement.
This is where your transfer will line up on the fabric.
For example - the transfers width was 6 inches, so on the quarter fold i mark 3 inches down. (image 2)
Line the transfer up to the chalk marks with the transfer facing up. Gently score the transfer where the speaker button holes will go. Lift the scored paper and mark with tailors chalk. (image 3)
Now flip the transfer over so that the image is against the fabric and line it up to the chalk guideline marks. (image 4)
Step 5: Iron on Transfer
Following the manufacturer's advice, iron on the transfer! (image 1)
It should look something like this (image 2)
Step 6: Insert Buttonholes for Speakers
With the chalk marks as guidelines, sew in button holes for the left and right speakers. Make sure the hole is large enough for the speaker to fit through (image 1)
This is made easier if your sewing machine has a button hole feature (image 2)
If you do not know how to use this feature, now is a good time to look at the manual (image 3)
**Handy Tip Two**
Place a pin at either end of the of the button hole then rip the hole with a seam ripper.
The pins will protect you from ripping too far and having to do the button hole over (image 4)
Step 7: Dismantling Earphones for Speakers
Very VERY carefully take a utility knife and pry the front of the ear phone away from the speaker (image 1)
Once the front piece is removed the main plastic body of the earphone should pull away from the electronics. Being very VERY careful of the wire slice down the middle of the earphone (image 2)
Once you have sliced the entire earphone, the wire will still be secure in the narrow part of the earphone (image 3)
Carefully pry the slice open to allow easy removal of the wire (image 4)
PLEASE NOTE - if you slice the wire or insulation this will render the earphones useless. Proceed with caution.
Step 8: Hem Patch
Fold the edges of the transfer patch over and iron
***Handy Tip Three***
When reapplying heat to a t-shirt transfer place the used transfer paper underneath the transfer to prevent the imaging from transferring OFF your fabric (image 1)
To hem the corners first fold out the edge in a triangle (image 2)
Then tuck the triangle under itself like you would wrapping a gift (image 3).
Iron and pin the edges of the radio patch.
Step 9: Making the Back of the Plushie Boom-Box
Place the radio patch on the felt and measure, mark and cut the correct amount of felt (image 1)
Using tailors chalk, mark the placement of the four corners of the patch as guidelines. Also mark underneath the radio patch a where to place a third button hole to allow the earphone cords to exit the plushie (image 2)
Sew a button hole where the chalk line indicates, using previous instructions. Make sure the hole is large enough for the sterio jack to fit through (image 3)
Since the radio plushie is going to be filled with polyester fibrefil, we do not want it to escape from the button hole. Therefore we will make a trapdoor to prevent this from happening. The trap door will be closed with a sew-on snap.
Using a needle and thread, hand sew the male part of the snap below the button hole (image 3).
Measure a piece of felt to act as a trap door and sew the female snap onto it. Attach the two snaps together and pin the trapdoor to the radio plushie felt.
Using the straight stitch machine sew the door. Don't forget to backstich at the beginning and end of the sewing (image 4)
This allows a secure hole for the speaker cods to exit the plushie without the risk of fluff coming out.
If you are planing on making the Goodnight Pillow, and are using sew on velcro (i highly recommend this over sticky velcro) NOW is the time to sew on the velcrow to the back of the felt (see placement of velcro in Step 16 for reference)
Lay the felt back of the plushie aside.
Step 10: Cut Out Speakers
Using our handy dandy circle we procured earlier, trace and cut out two felt circles to act as speakers (image 1)
Speakers should fit on the radio patch comething like this (image 2)
Step 11: Build Speakers
Insert the ear phone speakers through the button holes in the radio patch (image 1)
Place a small, manageable mound of polyester fiberfill over the speaker (image 2)
Place the felt over the fibrefil and pin around the speaker to secure (image 3)
Being careful not to sew over the wires, zig-zag stitch the speakers into place (image 4)
If you have never sewn in a circle before, you might want to practice this before trying on the radio patch.
Step 12: Finish Personal Boom-box Plushie
The patch is now ready for its felt back. Lining the patch up with the chalk lines, pin around the edge attaching the cotton to the felt. Feed the speaker wire out the back button hole and below the trapdoor. As you pin, lightly stuff the radio plushie with polyester fibrefil (image 1)
Once the plushie is adequately stuff, machine sew the plushie using a zig-zag stitch. Be VERY careful not to sew the wire (image 2)
If you wanted to make the Personal Boom-box Plushie STOP HERE!
This is how your plushie will look front (image 3) and back (image 4)
If you would like a goodnight pillow, continue with this instructable.
Step 13: Preparation for Goodnight Pillow
Since you are still with us, I take it you want to take this project to the next level.
The Personal Boom-box is great to make into a pillow because it is detachable. Which means you can wash the pillow case without having to worry about the electronics being water damaged.
Measure the pillow you plan to make the case for (image 1)
Fold the fabric right sides together and measure a rectangle approximate 2 inches larger on each side than the measurements of the pillow (image 2)
Mark with tailors chalk and pin the two sides of the fabric together (image 3) this allows for easier cutting of the fabric (image 4)
The fold in the fabric becomes the pocket of the pillow (if this does not make sense - look at one of your pillow cases, and it should).
Step 14: Hem the Pillow Case
Hem the short edge(s) of the pillow case (I chose not to hem salvage edge as it will not fray).
Start by falling the raw edge over and ironing (image 1)
Then fold the edge over on itself and iron again. This will prevent frays (image 2)
Pin the hem and straight stitch sew along the hem as close as you can to the inside edge of the hem (image 3)
Repeat the folding ironing and pining of the top and bottom edges of the pillow case but do not sew these yet.
Step 15: More Handy Tips!
***Handy Tip Four***
When you start and finish sewing, always backstitch to secure the thread. Then pull the thread a few inches out and cut as close to the fabric as possible. This helps for 2 reasons. One, you won't have to tidy up the loose thread later, and Two, The sewing machine needle won't come unthreaded next time you use the machine (I forget to do this WAY TO OFTEN!) (image 1)
***Handy Tip Five***
Always press every seam and hem that you sew. This makes your finished product look more professional (image 2)
Step 16: Attaching Personal Boom-box to Goodnight Pillow
Attach the Velcro to the back of the plushie. I use the rough Velcro on the plushie because the soft would be a lot easier to sleep on if I wanted to use the pillow case without the plushie. Sticky Velcro does not need to be sewn to the plushie (image 1)
If you had the sense not to use sticky Velcro, you will have already attached the Velcro to the plushie.
Lay the plushie over the pillow case in the position you would like it to be attached and using tailors chalk mark where the corresponding soft Velcro and button hole for the wire should be places (image 2)
Use the chalk marks to attach the soft Velcro and as a guide to sew the fourth button hole(image 3)
Since the pillow case will be washed, you need to sew on the Velcro (this is why sticky is a bad idea - it will gunk up your needle.)
***Handy Tip Six***
If you do go ahead and use Sticky Velcro, and you get gunked up - eucalyptus oil on a piece of cotton wool will clean the gunk off. But unless you live in Australia, it is probably easier to find decent Velcro than cleaning grade eucalyptus oil (image 4)
Step 17: Make a Pouch for the Sound Device
Turn the pillow case over and near to the folded edge place the sound device.
Measure around the sound device and cut a piece of felt to make a pocket.
Mark an area inside the pocket to allow for a final wire button hole so the stero jack can plug into the sound device (image 1)
Sew the patch into place using the zig-zag stitch
The series of button holes ensures that the wires are always tucked away inside the pillow thus eliminating strangle hazard.
Step 18: Finish Pillow Case
Finish the pillow case by turning it inside out (right sides touching) and sewing along the top and bottom hems that were pinned earlier so that the two sides are sewn together creating a bag.
For strength first zig-zag stitch, the straight stitch the top and bottom hems together (image 1)
Turn right side out. Your pillow case is now complete and should look like this (image 2)
Put the pillow into the pillow case, attach the personal boom-box and feed the wire through the series of button holes (image 3)
Add the sound device to the back pocket and plug the jack in (image 4)
Step 19: Sweet Dreams
Your Goodnight Pillow is complete (image 1)
Rest easy with all the sound you like (image 2)