We’ve hit one of the golden times of the year when neither Sam nor I has to worry about going to school or doing homework, and we fill our long days with bike rides, trips to the park, too much screen-time, and crafts. It’s also the time of year that Sam remembers his hobby of making stuffed animals.  Our newest addition is appropriately named Gem-Eyes.  It’s unusually plain for one of Sam’s creations.


Hawaii, the tooth fairy pillow

Sam designed his own tooth fairy pillow! It’s a monster that he named Hawaii because its many legs resemble a Hawaiian lei. The nose is a pouch for teeth. We will be using it soon, too! There is a very wiggly tooth in Sam’s mouth.  I just hope the tooth fairy doesn’t find him like this when the time comes:

We started this project on a day when I put my foot down about screen time. He was bored and didn’t know what to do with himself, so I suggested that he draw a picture of the tooth fairy pillow he wanted. Soon he was choosing fabrics from our fabric bin, tracing the patterns he’d made, and cutting the fabric. The next day, he admitted that making stuffed animals was more fun than playing Minecraft and agreed to a daily screen time limit of 30 minutes.  

Hawaii rekindled Sam’s old hobby of stuffed animal making. He’s planning to create a book of his stuffed animal designs, which will not contain instructions because he wants to inspire people to come up with their own designs. 🙂

Excuse Me Chocolate Bar Candy


Sam has lately been too occupied with his toys to be interested in crafts, but he woke up last Saturday in the mood for making a new stuffed animal. We have a book with some patterns, which we used to make Candy, the colorful beetle. Sam spent some time looking through the book on Saturday morning, choose a pattern, and we got started. We made Candy when Sam was 3, and I remember it being a frustrating experience because Sam’s abilities weren’t up to his ambition. This time around, he was able to help much more. We both had a good time making this’d one. It’s name is Excuse Me Chocolate Bar Candy. Candy had been renamed Excuse Me Electric Candy. Candy is their family name. They enjoy eating the chicken stuffed animal Dave made for Sam when he was a baby.

ladybug Sam

Sam’s 4th birthday is quickly approaching, and we are preparing for a birthday party. He told us that he wanted his friends to make ladybug stuffed animals (similar to candy the beetle), decorate cupcakes, and eat tacos.

Today we made a ladybug as a test. I wanted to see if we could make simple stuffed animals and have the kids glue the pieces on. It was Sam’s idea to add glasses.

The ladybug’s name is Sam.




Introducing “Candy”

SONY DSCBack 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.