f-i-n-g-e-r-s-p-e-l-l-i-n-g and a TUTORIAL!

i know, i already posted once about eden’s love of the alphabet, but it definitely warrants revisiting:) last time, she only knew 4 letters, now she knows 9. and not only that, but she can recognize them when she sees them and will then sign the letter. amazing, i know. she’s pretty smart i tell you.

so to encourage her love for letters, reading, and the ASL alphabet, i whipped up these pretty bean bags. and when i say whipped up, really i mean : i took weeks and weeks and weeks to complete (and actually there are still 5 more that are sitting on my sewing table to be finished).

and for once i actually took photos along the way. so here’s my first almost-tutorial:)

ASL + Alphabet Bean Bags:

gather your supplies:

26 pieces of scrap fabric 12×6 inches

26 smaller scrap pieces, at least 4x4inches

2+ pieces of printable fabric

fusible interfacing



cut 52  6×6 squares (2 of each of 26 prints) and gather 26 coordinating scraps for the letters (4×4 inches)

print your fingerspelling letters (or whatever you choose for the other side) on printable fabric. follow the instructions on the package, they are all different. the ones i used are from joann’s and you just stick them in your inject printer. i created a word document with the handshape letters that i found on the internet. once they are printed, iron each sheet (don’t cut them yet) to fusible interfacing. now cut them.

iron your scraps (4×4 pieces) onto fusible interfacing.

draw your letters on the back of the interfacing (don’t forget to draw them backwards!)

cut them out, lay them out and make sure you have all the letters… then ooohhh and ahhh over how pretty they are:)

next, stitch them onto your squares. i used the “applique” stitch on my machine. do this for all your letters and ASL signs.

put your matching squares together and sew all the way around, leaving a 1 1/2 to 2 inch opening on one of the sides. don’t forget to make sure your letters and signs are going in the same direction.

flip them inside out. fill with rice (or beans, lentils… be creative!)

stitch it closed.


really, it was a pretty simple project, just more tedious than i envisioned. had i not appliqued E-A-C-H letter and sign on them, it would have been a “one nap” project. THIS method may have been a little quicker, but i’m pretty much in love with the way mine turned out. i totally didn’t think about it until i was almost finished, but it would have been so fun to put the letters on themed fabric (i.e the “M” on the mermaids fabric). And if you’re not into ASL, you could totally do a picture on the opposite side of the letter. just a thought!

we’ve had alot of fun with these and they’ve become multi-functional. aside from using them to teach her the ASL signs, they serve lots of purposes in PT as well. I added different amounts of rice to each bag so that they act as different size “weights”. clever, i know;) and i think i may have *accidentally* volunteered to make a plain set for her OT!

this project is also on my never ending to-make list… just trying to figure out how to cut and sand the board since i have access to none of those materials (hint, hint)…



Filed under ASL, sewing

10 responses to “f-i-n-g-e-r-s-p-e-l-l-i-n-g and a TUTORIAL!

  1. What a fantastic idea and they’re really adorable! Thanks for sharing this!

  2. terrajones

    Girl that is AWESOME!!!!!

    Um, let me know how much you’d charge for a set 😉 I have 2 little guys that would LOVE it and a 3rd unknown that I would LOVE to do more fingerspelling with! I LOVE having the pictures on there!

    GREAT job!!!

    • Thanks Terra! I’d have no idea how much to sell them for, I’ll think about it though:) It was a little more time-consuming of a project than I initially anticipated. It can totally be done quicker I think with stencils and paint, but then you’d still have to applique the ASL signs. We love fingerspelling here and Eden has picked it up pretty quick (identifiying the letters that is – i think i’d fall over if she spelled a word!). We’ll be in NC in a few weeks – hope to see you and that preggo belly!

  3. Janna

    Those are AWESOME!!! What a fantastic way to teach letters and signs!!! I love, love, love this idea!!!

  4. dixiemango

    So clever. I love it!

  5. Tracey

    These are fantastic!

  6. Meghann Byerline

    Thanks so much for sharing how you did this! I think it’s a brilliant idea!

  7. Catherine

    Hye I have sent you a message on facebook, I am interested in purchasing some cloth verse bracelets! Thanks, if you are in wake forest or local I could meet you if thats easier. thanks!

  8. Catherine

    Just purchased 2, thanks so much!

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