I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I was young, I always wanted a big scary monster to be my friend and carry me around (I wanted a Luck Dragon so bad!). Although I never found any wandering dragons, I have found new ways to create big, lovable monster friends!
While studying abroad in Scotland a few years ago, I got to visit Loch Ness, and, of course, kept an eye out for any sign of long-necked Nessie. I didn’t spot her then, but Hannah from We Lived Happily Ever After has created a great version of her!
Made with only 1.5 yards of felt and some stuffing, (she suggests using the tons of plastic bags that we all have – which is a brilliant idea), this Nessie is big enough for a two-year old to ride, and would make the perfect addition to any geek’s toy room. Full details, great pictures, and a tutorial are available at her website.
The next project is especially for any cephalod-lovers out there! Less expensive than finding one in the deep blue sea, Emily over at the Philadelphia Weekly blog posted patterns for how to sew your own 8-foot giant squid pillow.
To combat holiday stress, I like to decorate with as much geek-tastic awesomeness as I can create and find. Things like zombie gingerbread men, Teenage Muntant Ninja Turtle ornaments, and 8-bit fireplaces always make me smile. Why not have a geeky holiday this year and let Geek Crafts give you a head start with some fun, easy tutorials and even a gift idea or two.
For the turtle lover, you’ve got to take a look at The Whoot’s DIY Ninja Turtles. My nephews love the Turtles, and this is the sort of craft you could do with little boys (and plenty of supervision!).
These Muppet ornaments are super easy to make too, thanks to the great tutorial from Meg on Happy Looks Good on You. These little cuties were inspired by her original tutorial on making superhero ornaments.
Kat and Cam from Our Nerd Home has a some great ideas for decorating the home for the holidays, including this Wreath DIY made from foam core! I bet craft foam would work great too. Plus, you could totally customize this to all of your own favorite fandom images.
I have to share their 8-bit fireplace DIY too. This is too awesome for words, and incredibly easy to do. It’s warm and cozy, don’t you think?
This last decor DIY is not for the faint of heart, but this Embroidery tutorial from Jessica (from Miniature Rhino) on Design Sponge takes you step-by-step through making this beautiful embroidered constellation table runner. Perhaps not strictly a holiday theme, I think it lends itself well to any winter themed decor you’ve got going on in your home.
I don’t know about you, but this time of year makes me want to pull on snuggly socks, bury myself beneath a cozy blanket (hand-crocheted, of course!), and dive into a good book. Or perhaps dive into a sewing project inspired by a good book – Harry Potter, to be specific.
Marissa over at Raegun Ramblings has posted a tutorial for just such a project: the Hogwarts Textbook Skirt. Her write-up includes a 20-minute a-line knit skirt tutorial (including “super-easy hemming knits trick”), which you can then embellish with your choice of Hogwarts-required reading. I love her furry Monster Book of Monsters with googly eyes! I also love that you could easily add textbook embellishments to a ready-made skirt for an even quicker project.
What textbooks would include on your skirt? Let us know in the comments below!
A Monster to Love is this great online shop where, for every cute little monster doll you buy, Sam, Ben, and their dad Ray, donate a monster doll to a kid in need. They partner up with children’s hospitals and even the World Relief Refugee program out of Atlanta.
I ran across their awesome work about a year ago on Craftsy, including a pattern to make your own monsters to donate to local kids in need, or send off to Ray and his boys in Colorado so they can donate the cuddly little monsters to kids in need.
I try to organize a Monster Making Party at least once or twice a year–they’re fun, and pretty easy to do. Here’s how:
1. I buy a couple yards of fun colored fleece fabric when it’s on sale (usually in the summer). You can get quite a lot of monsters out of a yard of fleece, or even half a yard. Just be sure to shop when it’s on sale! Along with fabric, I’ll pick up a box of stuffing when it’s on sale too (or with a coupon). One box can last a long while and stuff a lot of monsters (probably around 30). I’ll also purchase Safety Eyes for the dolls, which can be attached before sewing, and don’t require any sewing knowledge to install. I purchased my Safety Eyes here, but there are tons of vendors and craft stores out there that sell them. The 18mm sized ones are what I used, and I liked to mix and match colors too. 15 pairs of eyes cost about $15. You can also use buttons for the eyes, but make sure they are SEWN on really well. If the eyes are not sewn on securely, Ray and his boys can’t use them. Do not glue on eyes. Ray and his boys can’t use the monster dolls if the eyes have only been glued on (hello choking hazards!).
All in all, I spent about $40 on supplies for making the monsters, but I did it over the course of a couple of months.
2. I set up a FB event and ask folks to bring their own sewing machines if they’ve got them, but I also tell folks that there’s plenty of other ways to help too: attaching eyes, stuffing, cuddle testing, and hand stitching are great ways to get even the most novice of crafters involved in a Monster Making Party. Along with the fabric, stuffing, and safety eyes, I also bring along thread, scissors, and hand sewing needles for people to use. If you’re worried about materials cost, you can always ask people to pitch in a couple bucks to help out.
3. I cut out at least some monsters before the party so there are dolls ready to be sewn. I also set up stations for people to work at installing eyes, stuffing the monsters, and hand sewing the monsters closed after stuffing, and even cutting out more monsters if necessary.
4. We have music playing, and I ask folks to help out with some food (like chips and dip, cupcakes, and frosty beverages). And I invite folks to come when they can and stay as long as they’d like to. It’s a fun way to spend an afternoon or evening.
5. I’ve found three hours to be a great length of time for a Monster Making Party. You can get a lot done, have time to chat, and still steal a cupcake too. Once the party’s over, you’ll want to box up your magnificent creations and mail them off to A Monster to Love! Their address is on the last page of the PDF.
If you have your own Monster Making Party, be sure to take pictures and share!!!
More Links of Interest
A Monster to Love: check out this great online shop and see where they’ll be selling their cute little monster dolls next!
Check out the story about A Monster to Love on Craftsy