April 18

Make A Keyboard Kitty!

KeyboardKitty

Looking for a Mother’s Day gift idea you can make yourself? How about this sweet Keyboard Cat from Urban Threads? The tutorial takes you step-by-step through making your keyboard wrist rest. They use two separate hand embroidery patterns (available for purchase, $1 each) to embellish the cat’s face (the glasses) and the front of the wrist rest (ehem . . . what I would say is the kitty’s posterior) with the words “I’m adorkable”.  It’s a fun and simple project that is bound to be a hit with anyone, especially hard-working moms.  The hand embroidery and stitching on this one is pretty simple, and I’d say it’s safe for any beginner to tackle. Plus, you could use just about any combination of fabric color and thread color too.

Go forth and conquer, stitchers!

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March 28

Did you ever read the Bunnicula books?

bunnicula

Just this weekend my younger brother tagged me on FB with an article about the children’s book series Bunnicula, including the news that a new cartoon is coming out.  Since the Bunnicula series was one of my favorite books as a kid, I wondered if there were any crafters out there that had shared their love of the vegetable sucking vampire bunny. I found this cute little plushie by username road_baby on Craftgrrl – Where Crafters Unite! Adorable.

There’s no tutorial that goes along with this photo, but on Urban Threads I did find a bunny plushie pattern that could be adapted (or made as is, it’s delightfully cute and evil) to more resemble Bunnicula.

Urban Threads has a cute, free printable plushie pattern for a vampire bunny.

VampireBunny

 

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December 21

3 Last Minute DIY Gift Ideas!

Comic-Book-Magnets-2

The holiday clock is definitely ticking, and if you’ve still got shopping to do, never fear! You’ve still got time to make something handmade. Take those comic book magnets in the picture above. They’re super simple, and they’d make great stocking stuffers. Just check out the tutorial by Amanda Formaro over on her blog Crafts by Amanda for step-by-step instructions.  She’s even got a separate tutorial on making a comic book decoupage picture frame if you’re looking for something a little more special.

Ewok

Mollie over at Wild Olive has a tutorial on making your very own little, cuddly, Mini Ewok Softie.  This little Wicket would make the best stocking stuffer!

stripy-jack-and-mobile-casey

Got a techie on your list? Why not try crocheting a monster phone case? Trish from the blog Genuine Mudpie has got a great step-by-step tutorial on making this fun gift.

Got some last minute DIY gift ideas? Be sure to share them with us!

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September 21

Join the Zompocalypse by Making Your Own Zombie Plushie!

ZombiePlushie

I just spent the weekend selling my handmade goodies at TopCon, a small pop-culture convention in Topeka, KS. One of the guests, Mike Mundy, was a zombie on The Walking Dead, so there was a lot of zombies hanging around this weekend.  All those undead inspired me to share this great tutorial on making your own zombie plushie on the blog Heidi Boyd.  This tutorial offers more inspiration than actual techniques, but if you’re familiar with basic hand sewing skills, you’ll have no problem making your little Zombie Plushie friend to hunt down brains with.  You could even mix it up a bit and use different colored fleece, felt scraps, and embroidery floss.  The tutorial offers up a great, basic starting point for your imagination to take over.  Be sure to share your adventures in zombie making with us!

April 13

Huggable Monster Dolls for Kids in Need

Monsters01

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.

Interested? Here’s the A Monster to Love PDF Pattern and Instructions.  Ray and his boys take donations year round, and you can send them one monster, or one hundred. It’s up to you!

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.

AngieSewing
Angie brought her own sewing machine and helped build a couple monsters. That’s my mom in the background stitching away madly.

 

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.

ChrystalSewing
Here, my friend Chrystal is stuffing a monster.

 

EuniceSewing
Eunice is hand sewing the monster closed.

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.

All our Monsters boxed up and ready to go!
All our Monsters boxed up and ready to go!

If you have your own Monster Making Party, be sure to take pictures and share!!!

 

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February 23

Plushy DIY Roundup!

UniPug

This week on Spoonflower, the contest involves original designs for mythical creature plushies, and when I saw Gila’s UniPug design I knew I had to share it on Geek Crafts.  You can purchase your own DIY UniPug Plushy Pattern on a variety of fabrics (I recommend Spoonflower’s new Minky fabric for this one because it’s super soft and cuddly, like the ever elusive UniPug himself) in Cross The Lime’s Spoonflower shop.  The design fits on a fat quarter and costs about $17 with shipping.

GrumpyCat

If you’re more of a cat person, you might enjoy making your very own Grumpy Cat with this Instructable by username elewis03, complete with step-by-step instructions and pictures, as well as a rudimentary pattern you can download for free.  This little guy would make an excellent cubicle pal at the office, don’t you think?

FrogPrince

If grumpy kitties and mythical unipugs aren’t your thing, how about a Frog Prince named Ferdinand from Abby Glassenberg’s blog While She Snaps? This DIY has a free downloadable pattern along with excellent pictures and instructions.  While you’re there, you should check out the other free plushy patterns on Abby Glassenberg’s site–super cute!