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Hi I’m Pauline, this blog is where I share all the latest Funky Friends Factory News, Giveaways, Competitions plus LOTS of toy-making tips & tutorials to help you sew the cutest soft toys EVER!

Toy Safety Tips for home made toys.

Jul 28, 2010 | A day in my life, Blog, Toy-making TIPS & TUTORIALS

Toy safety isn’t something that automatically jumps into your head when you are sewing a cute homemade baby toy… BUT I think one can never be too careful when it comes to making sure the toys we make for babies are

100% safe!

Toy safety tips

When you are making homemade toys it is quite easy to make sure ALL the toys you make as baby gifts will be safe for babies if you follow a few simple guidelines. When I designed my Baby-safe Bunny toy, I made him with sewn on features, so no bits to chew and choke on, that way I could be sure that my baby bunny gifts would be 100% baby safe.

baby toy safety - sewing patterns

Toy safety and babies is a topic covered in most New mum baby-guide books but there is also tons of toy safety information online. I found a lot of great information online over the years. From what I have read the main concern is for children UNDER 3 years of age.


Main concerns for children from birth to 3 years old:

1. toxic or harmful materials,

2. choking dangers and

3. strangulation hazards.

Toy-safety-tips-for-home made-soft-toys

Toy Safety Guidelines.

Here are some simple guidelines that I have found in my research so far…


  • Toys should not have any small parts (like beads, pellets, eyes, noses etc) that are smaller than 3cm (about 1¼ inches) in diameter.
TOY SAFETY TIP: I found this tip on the Parenting and Child Health website – Polystyrene bead stuffing is dangerous because the beads are easy to swallow or get into a child’s lungs. (I have seen a lot of toys around lately with these squidgy polystyrene beads and was wondering where to source it – BUT I think I’ll cross that off my list now!)


  • Long strings and ribbons can strangle a baby, keeping them shorter than 30 cm (12 inches) or remove them before giving the toy to a baby.
  • When making homemade toys, it is best to use new, hypo-allergenic toy stuffing, and non-toxic marker pens and non-toxic craft glues.
  • Use strong thread and tighter stitching to prevent choking on filling materials.


stuffing a soft toy


  • If your toys are made with fabrics bought from a reputable source like your local fabric shop, they will be unlikely to be made using toxic dyes and harmful chemicals.
  • If you are making the toy for someone who has particular health concerns, like asthma, organic fabrics and’ certified chemical-free fabrics’ can be used and these are much more widely available these days – (usually online).


baby bunny dog toy

TOY SAFETY TIP: I found this tip on safekids.co.uk – Toys which have been in contact with food products, or the family pets or which have been outside, should be regularly cleaned.


  • All toys given to babies should be cleaned frequently.

 baby toy teddy bear pattern

TOY SAFETY TIP: If you want to remove dust mites from soft toys you can put them in the freezer for at least 6 hours to kill off the mites.



Well, that’s a good start!

I have to say I am NOT a toy safety authority, in fact I REALLY didn’t think about toy safety MYSELF until I started making toys for my friends’ newborn babies! So If you know of any other Toy Safety tips for baby toys, please share them… so we can ALL benefit from the information – and our babies too! 

Don’t forget to share YOUR toy safety tips below!


Bye for now,


  1. Juliette

    Thanks for sharing this, i didn’t think of ribbons for choking on.

    • Pauline

      Yeah – when in doubt, leave it out. I never add ribbons to toys I am making for a child under 3 years old, just to be safe! 😀

  2. F Dhillon

    Hey, just thought I’d add a bit of info I found online, sorry can’t remember which website etc. I read somewhere while researching how to make plushes etc, to enclose any stuffing into 2 separate layers of fabric while making the toy. Will cost more but be extra safe, you could also use different area for the opening for turning inside out etc, that way less risk of any bits coming out of 1st layer getting out of 2nd layer… Love all your info!

    • Pauline

      That makes sense… sounds almost like sewing 2 toys!!!! 😀

  3. Vera

    Very good tips,Thank you very much!

  4. Petra

    It’s good to know a toy you’ve sewn is safe when you give it to a friends baby! Thanks for these tips.

  5. Jo Iaquinto

    If you are making a “Bean Bag” for a young toddler, Would it be OK to use the plastic pellets if you create a small bag of Denim or Drill to place the pellets in using tiny stitches and placing that inside the body of the toy(Bean Bag)?

    • Pauline

      Hi Jo, the “golden rule” is not to include any small bits smaller than 3cm (about 1¼ inches) for a child under 3 years old. This is because they are small enough to be swallowed! So, just to be safe, I would not add beans or pellets to a toy for a toddler.

  6. abby

    thanks so much for these tips

  7. Marileth

    Thank you. For the warning of the polystyrene beads.


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