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!

More Links of Interest

 

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!!!

 

More Links of Interest

 

March 11

Super Meatboy plushie

So this adorable Meatboy plushie was submitted and I was torn.

On the one hand, I’m a vegetarian, can I endorse this plushie?

On the other hand, I love love love and want to support independant game makers…can I not endorse this plushie?

Well, you saw those three loves in there. That tells you what you need to know about which side won. And I suppose he’s more than meat. He’s a boy. And he’s super.

Super meatboy plushieIf you love video games and you have not yet seen Indie Game: The Movie, it is available on Netflix streaming and I highly recommend it. You’ll get a great look at the behind the scenes love and care that went into the creation of Super Meatboy and your heart….oh my goodness your heart….it will be so warmed.

The plushie proper comes to us via MelloReflections.

P.S. Just a quick plug for a personal project! I’ve got a book pitch in as a finalist for pitchapalooza, the “American Idol” for book pitches. There is a “fan favorite” aspect to the contest and I’m in there (look for Marjee!) for a novel I’m working on called Nightmares of Neverwas.  It’s a book about nightmares and elite demon professors and all sorts of good stuff. If that is your bag, consider voting for me. If it isn’t, give an upvote to one of the other, budding, talented writers over there!

December 16

ROUNDUP: Big Bang Theory Crafts

We’ve been watching a lot of The Big Bang Theory episodes lately, so I thought a roundup of Big Bang crafts might be fun. The Internets did not disappoint me.

Big Bang Theory amigurumi crochet plushies

Craftyclogs posted this great amigurumi crochet set of Big Bang Theory characters at Craftster – complete with patterns!

Big Bang Theory cross-stitch

Doaflip posted this understated Big Bang Theory cross-stitch project on Craftster – an ode to Sheldon‘s Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock decision-making technique.

Big Bang Theory embroidered Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock flowchart

Another crazy-detailed needlework project – a flowchart of how Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock works. The crafter, mindboggld, took various pictures from the internet and imported them into Visio to create the chart. Clever girl, and extra geek points for using Visio! I would love to just get a poster print of this for my son! Click on the image above for close-ups!

Big Bang Theory Tile Coasters

Also from mindboggld, a set of Big Bang Theory tile coasters, with 3D molecule renderings she found at 3dchem.com. I love that it includes Lactose, since Leonard is lactose-intolerant. These were included in a swap with the above embroidery! I can’t believe she gave them away! Clever AND strong, that one!

Big Bang Theory plushies

A fun & cozy set of Big Bang Theory character plushies by cubosabio on Deviantart. As one of the project commentors said, “these rock more than Care Bears.”

Big Bang Theory Hako Clones

I hadn’t heard the term “hako clones” before seeing this Big Bang Theory paper toys project – I guess I always referred to them in my head as “paper cube heads”. Perhaps hako clones has more (ba)zing(a) to it. Bonus: the artist ditch-scrawls posted the templates in his papercraft gallery. Be sure to link over there, because he has lots of other geeky hako templates, like Luke Skywalker, Superman, Army of Darkness Ash, Highlander, & Dr. Who.

Big Bang Theory Bazinga earrings

While neither my son nor I are particularly crazy about Sheldon’s catch-phrase, I do like the simplicity of these “Bazinga” earrings by Just Duckie Designs on Etsy.

Big Bang Theory Sheldon clock

I’ve seen these photo clocks at Hobby Lobby & Archivers, but never would have thought of putting TV stills in the spaces, like this Sheldon clock by P.S. Francis. You could also intersperse pictures with character quotes. Might be kind of fun to have different clocks in each room, each highlighting a different show or movie. A Firefly clock, anyone?

So, all you BBT fans out there – what are some of your favorite quotes?

Links of Interest:

 

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