Tears. Ugh. Is there anything harder to see than the surprised fear in a kiddos’ eyes after they’ve taken a sudden spill, or are facing a needle prick from the doctor? If you’ve ever cuddled with a bruised little babe, you know the feeling of wanting to do anything to make the bumps, bruises, pain, and tears go away – and that was the inspiration for these cute little bruise buddies!
In the spirit of “happy distraction,” I decided to try replacing my dishtowel cold-pack wrap with something a little cozier and ended up creating this super cute cover for my ice pack. Need a cold compress? Grab this big, smiling bandaid and slide a cold pack or bag of frozen peas inside!
Alternatively, you can use a heat pack, (like our little DIY heat pack hearts) for some soft, cuddly warmth – I love this 2-minute DIY for a no-sew heating pad from a sock too! This sweet bruise buddy is sure to bring a smile to a tear-stained or worried face – but also provides a soft, friendly skin-protecting layer that prevents burns or chills from direct skin contact.
For little ones who may be receiving a shot, getting blood taken, or just visiting the doctor, having something tucked in a pocket to give a quick squeeze can be a great distraction (and maybe even save you a tear or two). So in addition to the compress cover, I’ve included a template for a mini bandaid softie you can make from your scrap felt. They are small enough to stash away anywhere (in case of emergency) and so simple that you can make 5-6 in about half an hour.
Both of these projects are easy enough for kids to sew on their own. You can add the small dots and face by embroidering, but if you’re working with kids, I recommend using a fabric marker or fabric paint for the details as I did.
TIP: For an incredibly gentle antibacterial soap you can make with your kiddos, visit our honey goat’s milk soap DIY.
To make your own bruise buddies you’ll need:
Note: We prefer to shop locally or use what we have at home, but this list contains a few Amazon affiliate links for reference. As Amazon Associates we make a small commission on qualifying purchases.*
- (2) 9″ x 11″ Pieces of fabric or felt – you can also upcycle old tee shirts or tea towels instead!
- A small piece of black felt to create the face shapes (you can use fabric markers or paint instead)
- Our Kawaii Bandage Bruise Buddies Template PDF
- Straight pins or safety pins
- A needle & thread
- A hot or cold pack (scroll down for links to an easy DIY!)
- If you’ll be making small bandage softies your want organic raw cotton stuffing, fiberfill or similar.
- If you’d prefer to glue felt pieces, instead of stitching or sewing them on, you’ll want to use a strong, washable fabric glue (I used Dritz Liquid Stitch)
- Instead of cutting small shapes out of felt or embroidering on details, you can use fabric paint (we mix this textile medium with our acrylic paints) fabric markers or puffy paint (this works especially well for younger kids)
DIY Bruise Buddy and Mini Bandaid Softie Instructions:
- Trace our bruise buddy templates on to felt
Download, print and cut out our template, then trace each shape onto your fabric using a fabric pen or chalk. If you’d rather not use a printable, you can outline your own simple bandaid shape instead.
- Cut all bandage shapes and pieces out of the felt
Cut all desired shapes out of your fabric. You’ll want to cut out (2) large bandage shapes to create the front and back of your bruise buddy.
- Use a running stitch to sew the rounded square on to the bandage top
Center the rounded square on the front/top piece of your large bandage shape, and secure together with a few straight or safety pins. Using a simple running stick (our friend Trixie has a great tutorial video here). sew the square face to the middle of your bandage piece. Once finished, take out all straight pins.
- Sew or glue on the facial features
It’s time to add the cute face! I cut my face out of black felt and glued it on using fabric glue (Aleene’s fabric fusion). It may be easier or more fun for some kids to paint their own faces on. If you’ll be using this with younger children and prefer not to have any “loose” parts, this works well (you can also embroider a face on).
- Pin the bandage pieces together on 3 sides
Once you’ve sewn the square “face” and bandage top together, you can sew the bottom onto your bandage. Stack the bandage pieces directly on top of one another and secure with a few straight pins.
- Sew bandage together (3 sides only)
Use the same simple running stitch to sew your pieces together, then remove all straight pins.
Important Note: To be able to slip a small hot or cold pack inside, remember to only sew 3 sides – leaving one of the short ends open.
- Stamp small bandage dots onto the felt with fabric paint
As a finishing touch, I stamped small dots on to my bandage using fabric paint and a pencil eraser to create the dot marks. You can also create your dots by embroidering small French knots. If you’ve painted or glued, give 24 full hours to let dry before using.
And that’s it! Your sweet little bruise buddies are ready to be used!
To make the mini bandaid softies, you’ll follow basically the same process. Cut your pieces of felt or other fabric-based using the template included. Stitch the small square pad to the top of one of your bandage pieces. Stitch 3 sides of the bandage together, fill with polyfill, beans, rice or similar, then sew the end shut.
Because these are so small, it’s easiest to use fabric markers and or/fabric paint to create the face and dot details. Puffy paint works perfectly to add the small dots to the bandage!
Washing Instructions for Felt Bruise Buddies:
From time-to-time, bruises also come with scratches scrapes and bumps, and you may want to give your bruise buddies a quick washing after the after-care.
To wash a hand-stitched felt item, I typically put it in a pillowcase for extra protection and set the washer on a gentle cycle with cold water. For stubborn stains, you can also hand wash with a small bristle brush and Wool-lite. After washing, squeeze out the excess water, lay flat and air dry. Don’t be tempted to put your felt in the dryer – it will most definitely shrink up and lose its shape.
SEW into finding more simple, quick sewing projects? Our DIY chalk pastel rainbow pillow is an artful favorite, and sun + sand lovers will love trying these easy upcycled crab softies! For the adults in the room, transform our DIY Wednesday Addams softie into an adorable doll with our free pattern.
*A note about Amazon affiliate links: We strive to use simple, earth-friendly supplies that can be purchased locally whenever we can, but sometimes we find the best universally available options, a rare eco-friendly find, or a niche product only available on Amazon. When included in our supply list, these products are affiliate links, and if you click-through to make a purchase, we receive a small commission that helps us re-order these supplies!