Thursday, January 19, 2012

In A Good Position

We had a little activity at the church tonight and needed a little service project to do while the sisters waited for their turn.  I prepared these positioning snakes as one of the projects and wanted to share them with you.  I have had my Girl Scouts Brownie troop make them.  I have had Achievement Days girls make them.  They are a light, low stress project for any age and go towards a GREAT purpose.  They can be used to teach basic sewing, or you can do the prep work and take all the stress out of the project for your helpers.

I only purchased two yards of flannel total, several small pieces from my favorite discount store, SAS Fabrics on Indian School in Phoenix.  Each piece of flannel was cut to 5.5" wide, however long the fabric was wide {around 40" in this case}.   From the 2yds I was able to get about 30 snakes.  The fabric was $3/yd, totalling $6, making the cost of fabric for each snake about $0.20 each.

I took each piece, folded it in half the thin way, and sewed a straight line down the side to make one long tube out of each fabric strip.  Try to use a smaller stitch length to make these durable and to prevent any escaping pellets. 

Once you have your long tubes, lay them flat and cut them to be 13" long.  I was able to get three positioning snakes out of each 5.5" strip.  The next step is to sew one end of the snakes shut. 
Here is how I do it...
Once I have one snake stitched shut on one end, I put the needle down in the last tiny bit of fabric, lift the pressure foot, and butt the next snake right up next to it.  I put the pressure foot back down, then just keep sewing, stopping to repeat again and again until all snakes are strung together like this...
Isn't it fabulous!  This way you save thread, you save mental illness from going back and clipping hundreds of threads, and you save time. 

Use scissors or a rotary cutter to cut apart your long string of snakes.
{I use scissors, but had to think of a reason to throw this picture in.  I really like it :0}

This is where I stopped my part of the preparations.  At our event our sisters turned the snakes right-side out, filled them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full with poly pellets...
They come in a bag similar to this {the bag is green at Joanns} and you get about 2 lbs for $7.00 from Joanns {before coupon}.  You have to know that every single time I go to Joanns to buy these they have moved the store around.  I end up standing right in front of them and can not see them.  I don't know what it is.  I swear it though.  I am always right in front of them, staring directly at them, and just not seeing them.  Every time.

{source-on Etsy}
Here is a closer look at what they look like.  One of those beads is like half the size of a grain of rice...a fat grain of rice.  We use poly pellets instead of rice or beans so that the snakes are WASHABLE!!!
Doesn't everything that comes near a baby need to be washable ;0)  
I found that you can get about 5 snakes out of one bag of pellets.  I used a 50% off coupon for mine, making the stuffing for each snake about $.70 each.  If you add the $.20 for the fabric, the total for each snake is less than $1.00.

Here are some of our finished product.  Cute, huh?  So naturally, smaller print fabrics would probably be better for these, but the bigger prints still turned out cute.  

Now to show you how to use them.... 
The positioning snakes are used to prop up babies in the hospital, mostly in the NICU.  They can be used along both sides or just one behind the back if the baby has to be kept on their side for whatever reason.  People can use rolled-up blankets for the same thing, but anytime you have extra blankets in the crib you increase the chance of suffocation or the baby getting tangled up.  With these snakes, you can place them lower than I did here and prop baby up without being near the face, plus they are not going to un-roll. 

Like I said before, they are washable-super important in a sterile environment.  They are great for holding the babies in position, but also FABULOUS at keeping their body temperature steady.  The little poly pellets keep body heat {without getting too warm} to help those poor little dears have a better fighting chance.

I first started making these a few years back for a friend that was a fanatical volunteer for Newborns In Need. Newborns In Need is a fabulous organization that works to help with preemie needs in the hospital.  They address everything from these positioning snakes to teeny tiny burial clothes and blankets for the little ones that don't make it.  If you have a little time on your hands I would HIGHLY recommend contacting them and getting involved today!

That reminds me, I need to tell you what to do with these!  So, you can donate them to Newborns In Need

As for our lovely ladies at church, thanks so much for your help.  We look will be taking these to our local hospital so they can start warming tiny hearts right away!!!

1 comment:

  1. Love this! I 'Pinned it' in my American Heritage Girl board.

    Great site you have!


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