Saturday, October 30, 2010

The tiny tool man tiny tutorial

It's no surprise that Jonah really loves playing with anything related to tools, trucks or construction.... the apple doesn't fall far from the tree as they say.
Our future tool man had his first birthday last week, and even though he may be a man of few words if he could, I just know he'd beg me to make him the best construction costume that any 1 year old has ever dreamed of.

So I did!

This is such a quickie that I thought I'd just share a mini "how to."

I sewed the vest, because it was actually quicker for me than to hot glue it since I was sitting in front of my machine when I thought to do this. However, for all those crafty non-sewers you could easily get the same result without a stitch!

What you need for the vest:
  • Three standard sheets (8" x 11") of orange felt
  • Scraps of black and yellow felt
  • Optional 2" strip of velcro to close the front (or just leave it open!)
  • Scissors
  • Sewing usuals (thread, needle, machine etc)
  • Or... hot glue and glue gun
Here's all I did:

Step 1: Cut out three main pieces for the vest
  1. The back- simply cut a shallow crescent (half circle) out of the middle of the top side of a full sheet of orange felt. This doesn't have to be perfect. Just cut a little dip and call it good.
  2. The front vest sides- use the back of the vest you just "cut" out to guide how wide the shoulders should be for the vest flaps. Mine ended up being about 2 1/2" wide. Start by marking 3" in from one side of a full orange felt sheet along the top. Do to the same about 5 1/2" in from the bottom on the same side. Those are you guidelines for one flap of the vest. Now, gradually trace from the top 3" mark downward at a diagonal to make one side of "v-neck." About halfway down the length of the sheet start dropping straight down. You can go back and slightly trim out a little curve from the starting side of the piece you just cut out to make it look like an arm hole. Do you see what I mean by the little curve on the outsides of the vest flaps in mine??
  3. The trim- Cut 1/2 to 1" wide strips of black felt the long enough to line the outsides of your vest. You can hot glue or sew these strips along the exposed edges of the vest. I didn't wrap it around like a binding. It's just decorative topping :)
  4. The side attachers- Cut two 2 1/2" x 5" strips to attach the front to the back.
  5. Optional yellow strips- Cut out 3 pieces long enough to go across each of the front flaps and back of the vest.
Step 2: Assemble the vest

Glue or sew the black trim to the edge of the vest. If you had to piece together the lining because the felt scraps weren't long enough, don't worry! It's black, it hides that kind of stuff nicely :) This is a good point to add any yellow accents you might want too.
Sew or glue the shoulders together before you fold the vest down and attach the side strips. The only trick here is to line 'er up real good.

Step 3: Add 2" velcro pieces to the front of the vest
This is optional, but I put little scraps of velcro I had on the front of the vest to keep it closed.

No velcro? No problem!

Felt will actually stick nicely to sand paper, if you have that laying around I happen to think it's very construction worker-esque to have something like sand paper glued to the front of your vest. Or just leave it open.

For the hat...
While I wish I were crafty enough to make a hard hat like this... I'm not. Or at least I don't have the time. I actually picked this up from the beloved dollar section at Target! I also spotted some hard hats at our Dollar Tree when I picked up his awesome pack of plastic tools to go with the new dress up digs.
The only snag was that the hat was waaay to big for both of my kidlet's wonderfully small heads. Small heads might sound like a bad thing, but not to the one who had to give birth to them! Anyway, my friend gave me the brilliant idea of gluing a piece of elastic across the middle to help secure it on!
Loved the idea almost as much as I love my friend!

Just in case I haven't convinced you that this construction outfit is ridiculous cute with my pictures...

I decided to risk letting you hear my awful camera voice just so you could join me in melting over this little guy's very new runway walk!

Who doesn't love seeing the toddling steps of new walker??


  1. Don't you just know who will melt over this little guy? I just love him!!!

  2. I did the same thing! My little guy loves everything construction so we went that way for Halloween. Your vest is very cute!
    You can check mine out here:

  3. Oh yeah I also made a tool belt you might be interested in:

  4. Just found your blog via One Pretty Thing. I'm added the vest to my to-do list. I made a tool belt last year which he is still using. We made traffic cones a few months ago. A vest would just add to the theme. Thanks for the inspiration.

  5. Thanks for this!! I'm doing a construction theme for my little guys 1st bday and had been looking for a little mini vest everywhere. Never occurred to me to make one (I'm not really skilled in the craft department) but I saw your blog and decided to give it a try! turned out great and fits him perfectly!! Thanks so much for sharing this!! :)

  6. Thanks so much for posting this! I created a ton of community helper vests for my daughter's preschool and used your construction worker vest as inspiration for mine. Please check out my posts this week at

  7. This is so stinkin' CUTE! Just became a follower. I'd love for you to come link up to our party where we can show off all of our old or new projects! :)
    a href=" - Jessica

    1. Thank you for following!! I have a different blog that I keep up more regularly than this one that you can find at if you're interested! I'll be sure to come visit your site too!

  8. Information about plots, lands or any other thing which comes under real estate can't be find correct any where but your blog seems to be one of the best one in sharing information as it contain information with honesty. I also want to introduce Vnext construction who are dealing with Fibre Cement Board and many more thing. They are well known for maintaining trust with the customers and also providing them with best material.

  9. May I ask where you found the cute dump truck ride-on? We are having a construction birthday party for our boys this weekend!

    1. How fun! The truck was from Costco a few years back, but I think I've seen similar ones at target.

  10. Such a cutie. I hope this products is available in online stores


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