Have you ever noticed how kids love to make things, and they always seem to love what they make, no matter how it turns out?
This gave me an idea for our latest craft endeavor. What if I let the kids design and construct their own little creatures? Typically, when we’re making a craft, we follow a pattern or set of instructions. Other times, we talk about what we want to make, and I interpret our idea onto paper or fabric. We usually end up with something cute, but it definitely looks like my interpretation of what we set out to make. But what if, this time, they got to come up with the idea, put pen to paper (or marker to felt), and put the pieces together with minimal input from me? What we end up with are these cute little monster dolls that have my daughter’s style written all over them.
Basically, I told my daughter she was going to be able to design her own stuffed monster toy. She has worked with me enough to understand the concept of cutting out multiple pieces and fitting them together to form an end product. So, I asked her to draw a picture of her monster on felt and draw arms, legs, eyes, mouth, and other part on different colors of felt. I carefully cut out the pieces she drew. Next, I asked her to arrange them exactly how she thought her monster should look. I then sewed the pieces together on the sewing machine, and she stuffed the body of her monster. What we ended up with was a little stuffed toy that looking amazingly similar to any one of my daughters drawings. We also made a princess to play with monster. Here are the basic instructions of how to make your own wild things!
Materials – colored felt, marker, scissors, sewing machine or needle and thread
Step 1 – Have your child draw a body of a monster/animal/person on a piece of felt. Have your child draw arms, legs, features, tail, clothes, etc in different colors
Step 2 – Cut out peices, be sure to leave a little extra room around the main body piece for seam allowance
Step 3 – Trace and cut out a 2nd copy of the main body piece. This will allow you to sew the 2 pieces together to be stuffed
Step 4 – Let you child arrange the pieces together how he/she would like them. Sew the pieces onto the front of the body shape.
Step 5 – Sew the front and back of body together. (Sew with wrong sides together; we did not turn it inside out). Leave an opening at the bottom for stuffing
Step 6 – Let your child stuff his/her monster. We used a chopstick to get into hard-to-reach places like the head and arms. Sew the opening at the bottom closed
Hint – Do not try to use glue to put your monster together. I notice that lots of online instructions for felt crafts say that you can glue pieces together, but this always ends up in miserable failure for me and tears for the kids. I’ve used every kind of glue that I can think of, and have yet to find something (short of a hot glue gun) that suitably holds craft felt together. For some reason, felt glues easily to other surfaces like cardboard (see my Felt Dolls post), but doesn’t glue well to other pieces of felt)
Here is another photo of our finished Wild Things: