I love tag blankets.
The soft, fuzzy minky that my babies love to burrow their face in, the colorful ribbon loops that mesmerize tiny fingers. Afterall, the tag is always the best part of any toy! Seriously, tag blankets are the coolest thing ever. The lady who invented the “Taggie” blanket is a pure genious!
This tag blanket is shaped like a rosary, with the tags marking the “Hail Mary” and “Our Father” prayers.
What a fun way for baby to be part of the family Rosary! Perfect DIY Catholic Baby Shower gift 😉
This project took me a few nap times to finish. None of the steps are difficult, but a few are tedious 🙂
You will need:
½ yard Minky (or other soft blanket fabric)
3 sheets felt (2 colors for your letters, one fun pattern for the heart pieces)
5 Large Wooden Beads. These need to have large center holes, to accommodate 2 ribbons. Differentiate the 2 Our Fathers from the 3 Hail Marys by either different sized beads, or different colors.
1 5yd spool 3/8” (10mm) ribbon. (Hail Mary loops)
1 5yd spool 5/8” (16mm) OR 7/8” (22mm) ribbon. (Our Father loops)
A small amount of any non-stretchy scrap fabric.
A handful of stuffing.
Optional: Non-toxic fabric glue, spray adhesive or iron-on adhesive. (to secure letters for sewing)
- Cut out the 4 sections of the rosary. Align them and tape them together to make one large rosary body pattern piece.
- Using your taped pattern, cut 2 rosary body pieces. Suggestions for fabric: minky or soft terry cloth.
- Cut the ribbon. You’ll need 50 pieces of 3/8” 10mm ribbon cut to the “Hail Mary” length, 4 pieces of 5/8”16mm or 7/8”22mm ribbon cut to the “Our Father” length, and 4 7/8”22mm ribbons cut to 12” long for the “Antiphon Chain”. (the chain of beads between the cross and rosary body)
- Cut 2 hearts from felt.
- Cut 2 crosses from minky (or your chosen rosary fabric), being sure to pin the pattern along the fold. Also cut 1 cross from any scrap fabric (not stretchy) for the inner piece.
Alternatively, instead of sewing the plush cross, you may substitute for a large, sturdy, non-toxic wooden cross, or a cross-shaped teething toy. Just be sure whatever you choose will not be a choking hazard and will not contain harmful chemicals or sharp, rough edges. It needs to be baby-safe.
- Cut the letters for “baby’s first rosary” from felt.
- To sew the letters on the rosary body, I found it is easiest to use a non-toxic fabric glue or adhesive lightly to secure the letters first. Be sure not to use so much that the finished piece is stiff. The goal is just to get them to hold still while you sew. Alternatively, you can skip the adhesive and use pins.
- Sew around each letter, using a zig-zag or blanket stitch on the machine, or whipstitch or blanket stitch by hand. My sewing machine was recently placed on palliative care as we wait for the end. She can no longer do anything but simple straight stitching… so I sewed this part by hand.
- Lay 1 of the Rosary Body pieces face-up. Fold the Our Father and Hail Mary pieces in half, rightside-out, and pin to the Rosary Body as marked in the pattern. Be sure the loops are toward the center, and the raw edges of the ribbon line up with the raw edge of the Rosary Body. (These are a lot of loops and pins to manage. I found it easier to quickly and loosely hand stitch to tack the ribbons in place instead of using pins.)
- Sew ¼” all around the outside of the Rosary Body, securing the ribbon loops down.
- Repeat previous step. Sew the ribbon loops down again for added strength.
- Place the second Rosary Body piece face-down on top of the first. You should have a “rosary sandwich” with the loops in the center and the backsides of both Rosary Body pieces showing. Pin Securely.
- Sew ¼ “ in, all the way around the outside of the Rosary Body. Be sure to leave the bottom open as marked in the pattern.
- Repeat previous step. Sew over the seam you just created again for added strength.
- Using the opening at the bottom, turn the Rosary Body rightside-out.
- Press the seam. Fold the raw edges of the bottom opening inside ½”. Press and pin closed.
- Topstitch just inside the seam, all the way around the Rosary Body. Topstitch over the bottom opening to close.
- Lay the 4 antiphon chain ribbons on top of each other, top two facing up, and bottom two facing down. Attach the 4 ends together to the top of the inner cross piece. Use an “x box” stitch to secure well.
Remember, as the baby drags this rosary around by the cross, the edges of the antiphon chain will have the most stress.
- Lay 1 Cross piece face-up. Place the second Cross piece on top of the first, face-down. Put the inner cross piece on the very top. Bend the 4 ribbons of the antiphon chain over so they go neatly down between the 2 outer cross pieces. (see illustration)
- Sew ¼” in all around the Cross, leaving a small opening in one side to turn it. Take care to keep the antiphon chain ribbons neatly between the 2 outer cross pieces. Do not get these caught in the seams.
- Zigzag stitch around the Cross, outside the seam you just sewed. This will keep it from unraveling.
- Turn Cross rightside-out. Fill with batting or stuffing. Hand-sew opening closed (I like using a whipstitch.
- Now it’s time to put the 5 wooden beads on! The larger 2 beads are “Our Father’s” and the 3 smaller “Hail Mary” beads go between them. (see illustration)
- To form the chain, let’s assign the 4 ribbons imaginary numbers. You need to thread ribbons 2 & 3 through the first Our Father bead. Ribbons 1&4 hug the outside of this bead.
- For bead 2, thread ribbons 1 & 4 through, while ribbons 2 & 3 hug the outside.
- Continue the pattern, alternating which ribbons go through and which go around the beads.
- Once all 5 beads are on the chain, tighten them down and straighten the ribbons as necessary. Get all the slack out for this step.
- A couple fingers’ width from the last bead, line the ribbons back up into a nice stack. Quickly stitch them to keep them together. Trim the ribbons off 3 inches from the last bead.
- Using another x box stitch, sew the ribbon ends to the inside of one of the felt hearts, 1 ½ inches from the bottom.
- Pin this felt heart in place on the back of the rosary body, facing outward.
- Pin the second felt heart in place on top of the rosary body. Make sure both hearts are lined up perfectly with each other. Pin well.
- Sew around the edges of the hearts, securing them together and to the rosary body.
- For a more decorative finish, you can go back around the outside of the hearts with either a zig-zag stitch or a decorative hand stitch.
And that’s it! You’re done!