Back when Sam was an infant, Dave and I picked up a book called Plush-O-Rama at a local craft shop. It is a book full of fun, quirky stuffed animal designs. Dave made one for Sam (it was a crazy-looking chicken), but we haven’t done much with it since. Sam found the book about 9 months ago and has really enjoyed looking at all of the pictures. I promised him that we would make one together this summer.
Sam picked out a bug design called onimushi. The one in the book is made of several shades of green felt. It has a really cute grumpy expression on its face.
We headed to the craft store and picked out many colors of felt. Sam really liked the animal prints and ended up choosing several of them for the project. We went home, eager to get started.
I have to admit, we had a number of meltdowns. Sam and I had very different visions of how he would be contributing to the project. I thought he would pick the design and fabric and maybe help stuff the animal when it was done. He thought he would choose the design and fabric, cut out the pattern, cut out the felt, put on the iron-on adhesive, sew, and stuff the animal. So we had some problems. Sam has been working hard on his scissor skills lately, so I decided to let him try cutting the pattern. He decided it was too hard. Then he wanted to cut the felt, and his kid scissors couldn’t handle the task. I let him try my scissors under some strict supervision, but that also turned out to be a bad idea (don’t worry! No one was hurt). In the end, I waited for him to go to bed and finished cutting everything while he was sleeping. I also put the iron-on adhesive on some of the pieces so that they were ready for him when he got up. Sam turned out to be very good at peeling off the paper from the adhesive and sticking the pieces together. He put all of the pieces onto the face himself, which he was very proud of. We worked at this together for awhile–me ironing while he stuck pieces together. Once everything was assembled, he helped me with some embroidery, which he says is just like lacing. He learned about needle safety (“kids can’t touch space needles because space needles are very sharp”). When we went to bed for the night, I finished sewing up the doll but left it unstuffed so that he could help with that in the morning. This morning we stuffed it and I finished sewing it up.
Sam is really proud of his stuffed animal, which he has named Candy. I liked his creative use of animal prints and colors. As soon as we finished the project, Sam asked to make another one–the deranged dog, which is a stuffed dog with crazy eyes and foam coming out of its mouth.