Since it’s still cold outside and the novelty of catching Pokemons has diminished, we’ve been all about the indoor family games. This week, I really wanted to teach my kids how to play a traditional favourite that has been a prominent part of growing up back in Malaysia: 5 Stones, otherwise known as Batu Seremban. Because my eldest is a cat lover, I drew some cats to go onto the ‘stones’, and I thought I’d share the artwork with you guys so you can make a batch of your own.
This will seem like a very long tutorial (trust me, it was for me because I drew out the steps!) but it actually isn’t, so bear with me through the entire process! For this DIY, you will need the following:
Fabric scraps (I used basic muslin)
Iron-on fabric transfer sheet
Basic sewing tools
Ribbon / string
1 cup uncooked rice
First, download and print this batu seremban printable in A4 onto your iron-on fabric transfer sheet (I’m using the HP Iron-on Transfer Paper for light color fabrics). Then, take your scrap fabrics out and measure and cut out the below patterns:
Next, cut out each cat pattern on your transfer sheet, leaving a little extra space around the shapes. Place the mini cat prints face-down onto the middle sections of each of the small rectangles. Follow the instructions on your iron-on transfer to iron in place.
For the bigger rectangle pieces, iron down both upper sections by 2.5cm. This is the allowance for your ribbon or string. Once you have the tops ironed down, take one of the pieces and place the big cat print face-down on the middle section, and repeat the iron-on process. For a more detailed look at how the transfer works, you can check out this post.
Once all the cats are ironed on, start sewing the stones by folding each rectangle in half on the wrong side of the fabric pieces. Sew the sides together with a 0.5cm allowance, and flatten them down in the middle. Then sew a line across each rectangle bottom with the same amount of allowance. Trim excess fabric, and flip all 5 pieces inside out.
Fill each stone with rice, making sure they’re only filled up to 3/4 of the way because you will be needing space to seal them shut. Once filled, fold the stones in half at the opening, and turn the 0.5cm allowance inwards to conceal before topstitching in place. If you’re confused regarding shape, what you see below from the second image is the side view of each stone once the opening has been folded in half in the opposite direction of the first bottom seam that you had sewn. Sewing the top and bottom in opposite directions is what creates the triangle.
Now let’s move on to the matching pouch. Stitch the section that you first ironed down on both the large rectangles. Then place both pieces together, front facing front, and stitch all around except for the upper opening section, leaving a 3cm gap between the top to the starting and ending points. Secure a safety pin to one end of your string or ribbon, and pull it through and all around the upper opening section before removing the pin and knotting the ends together to secure. Once done, flip your bag inside out.
Tadahhhh!!! All that work, and you’ve got yourself a spanking new game of cats and stones! Throw them critters up in the air and catch ’em like you just don’t care!
And just in case you’re new to the game of 5 stones, here’s a simple video you can check out to learn more about how to play this adorable game while teaching your kids coordination. Admittedly, I’m pretty crappy at it, but whatevs… my kids think I’m awesome.