Hippo Rattle Teething Ring- Blog Post
*Below you will find the story behind and the step-by-step picture tutorial for making the Hippo Rattle Teething Ring. You can find the FREE pattern here on our blog. Or you can purchase the inexpensive, ad free colored PDF from our Etsy or Ravelry shops as well.*
It’s baby season again! Which can only mean one thing, time to make gifts for those precious little bundles of joy!
We recently welcomed little Lincoln to our family, and about 2 months ago my sister welcomed her daughter, Evelyn to theirs. Before she was born, my mind was racing with ideas of what I could make for her birth and I kept going back to the idea of using a teething ring in some way. I decided on using an amigurumi and teething ring combo, and since I went with amigurumi, I couldn’t resist throwing a rattle in there as well 😉
When trying to think of an animal to use for the amigurumi, I wanted to make an animal that would easily make a good boy or girl toy (as my sister did not know the gender before birth) and didn’t want to use an animal already used as a crocheted teething ring, so I went with the hippo. So we end up with a hippo teething rattle. I’ve already thought of a few other animals I’d like to add to this collection, so I hope you like it!
To get started, I recommend making the snout first. The snout will begin with a row of single crochets. You will then continue by working single crochets into each stitch of the back of the foundation chain row, turning the row into a round.
From here, we will gradually increase for the next few rounds, followed by a few rounds with no increases to build up the depth of the snout.
I do also recommend at some point that you take the starting tail and weave it in and out across the foundation chain row to hide any gapping that may have occurred while working stitches into the front and back loops.
After achieving the depth needed for the snout, you will slightly decrease and embroider on 2 lines going straight across either end of the foundation row and then stuff with fiberfill.
Next, we will make the head, by beginning with a magic ring. If you are unfamiliar with this technique, I recommend this helpful tutorial by MJ Carlos that you can find here.
Once the foundation is set, you will work a few rounds of increases, followed by several rounds without increasing to create more of a cylinder shape to the head. Before stuffing with fiberfill or working too many decreases to close it up, you will need to add on the face.
I made one with safety eyes and one with embroidered eyes. Either way, having made the snout first will come in handy now, as we can use that to better judge where to place the face details. I simply held my snout up to the bottom portion of the head and added the details where I thought they looked best.
For me, this placed my eyes right between rounds 9&10 and about 7 stitches apart. I also added on some cheek details with a bit of pink yarn. These just ran over a stitch and were placed right below the safety eyes and about a row below the embroidered eyes.
Once your face is embroidered on, you can begin to firmly stuff the head with fiberfill and then add the rattle. I stuffed mine about half way before adding the rattle, and proceeded to stuff a bit more before closing off the head.
The next step is to make the ears. Theses work up very quickly as they are just 2 rows tall. You’ll start them in the magic ring again, followed by one row of making an arch with a single crochet, half double crochet, double crochets, another half double crochet and one more single crochet.
After fastening off, you will tie the starting and the end tails together to pinch the bottom of the ears together.
Now you can attach the ears to the top of the hippos head! I placed mine slightly back on either side of the top, right around the 6th round.
The very last piece to make is the rectangle that will wrap around the wooden ring, and attach to the head and snout. The width you make yours will depend on how thick the wooden ring is that you’ll be wrapping it around. You want it to fit tightly around the ring, so if when you are making yours, it seems too loose, you will need to decrease the amount of stitches in the rows as written in the pattern.
This rectangle is very simple to construct, as it is just single crochets worked back and forth in rows until the appropriate length is achieved.
After getting a rectangle that fits nicely around the wooden teething ring, all that’s left is assembly! You will begin with attaching the rectangle to the ring. I used the tail of the rectangle and a darning needle to seam the long edges together, using the whip stitch.
After seaming all the way across, I recommend turning the seam side in towards the center of the ring, and weaving the tail in and up towards the top center of the rectangle. This will give you a starting strand for attaching the head.
Now we will attach the head to the top center of the rectangle, and then add the snout to the front of the head, hanging slightly down over the front of the rectangle.
weave in all the ends, and we’re done and ready to shake, shake, shake that rattle! 😀
I hope you found this tutorial helpful and this pattern fun to make! If you liked this pattern, you may also enjoy our Ellie The Elephant Lovey pattern or our Classic Teddy pattern, both of which can be found for FREE on our blog!