Sunday, January 17, 2010

loveable monsters - Free tutorial!

I'm so lucky to be able to create crazy creatures for work. Even more fun is to be able to share my crafty enthusiasm in magazines, books and workshops. I devised this pared down softie project for a free winter break workshop that will take place on Wednesday February 17, 10 am at Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick Maine. The goal is for every child to make a stuffed creation inspired by a childrens' monster story book. This stuffed monster requires minimal sewing and his shape is open ended. Children can easily customize the project adding horns, lips, even additional limbs to make a unique creation. If you're not local please try creating monsters at home, it's a parent and child activity. They'll need an adult to supervise the cutting, operate the sewing machine and glue gun.

Finished dimensions 12"x 10" body arms extend 6-8 inches off the bottom and sides

1/4 yard of fleece will make several monsters
2-3 sheets of stiff felt (available at Michael's stores)
Plastic (screw shaped) stuffed animal eyes that are packaged with metal or plastic disk backs (available at sewing and craft stores)
Fiberfill stuffing

Sewing machine - don't worry (we're only making a straight seam!)
Hot glue gun and melt sticks
straight pins

1. Fold the fleece in half and cut a double layer monster body approximately 12" x 10", leave the top straight and round the bottom edges. Cut 2 legs arms eyes, eyebrows and a mouth out of the stiff felt.
2. Place the body pieces right sides together. Insert the arms and legs between the layers so that a half an inch of the felt sticks out beyond the fleece fabric edge. Pin the legs and arms in place, if necessary place additional pins to tack the fingers and toes away from the edge, you want to avoid accidently trapping them in your seam.
3. Starting two inches from the very top sew down one side, across the base, and back up the other side ending two inches before the top edge. Be sure to leave the top completely unsewn. Remove any additional pins, trim away any excess fabric and turn your monster right side out. Lay the monster flat and cut 1 1/2" slits a half inch apart across the top of the monsters head.
4. Lightly stuff your monster so that you can see how he's taking shape. With your scissor tips carefully poke a hole in one of the felt eyes. Thread a plastic eye into the hole. Determine where you want the eyes positioned and poke a hole through the fleece. Thread the back of the plastic eye into the hole and then reach inside your monster to firmly press the backing up against the the back of the eye. A layer of felt and fleece will be trapped between the two eye components. Repeat the process to attach the second eye.
5. Finish stuffing your monster and then knot the fleece strips together. This will seal his/her head closed while creating shaggy hair.
6. Hot glue the remaining mouth teeth horns and eyebrows in place. Let the glued areas cool before giving him a monster hug!

1 comment:

  1. I can think of a few friends that I would like to make monsters with! Thanks for the great directions!


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