Welcome to the new column! Recently I was perusing the local toy store with my babies, thinking I might treat them to a new toy. We were in a small, local toy store (which shall remain unnamed) that is widely considered to have higher quality toys, so I figured this would be pretty fun for me...ahum, them.
As we walked around, I realized that there wasn't a single toy I would want to have in my house. Everything that was even slightly interesting gave me inspiration for a project, but did not scream out to be taken home. The kids contentedly roamed around, occasionally playing with something, but mostly just touching a toy here or there. As we left, it occurred to me that my kids might just feel the same way I did. At any rate, neither one asked for anything. Later that night, I brought my crazy idea to Arthur: one homemade toy per week for a year. I really thought he was going to give me the look. You know the one - it means, "please good Lord, no." Instead, he not only said he thought it'd be a good idea, but he wanted in on it, too!
And so, Tuesday's Toy was born. Here's a tutorial for the first of many toy tutorials:
- Old sock
- Feather boa
- Thread and needle
- Styrofoam balls (for eyes)
- Googly eyes or paint (for eyeballs)
- Hand-form (optional, but very handy...no pun intended)
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks
- Fake eyelashes (optional)
Put the sock on the hand-form or on your non-dominate hand.
Begin attaching the boa by sewing it to the area right at the pinky knuckle. Pull the boa up to the fingertips and stitch into place here as well. Turn the boa 180* so that it is heading back toward the knuckles again. Stitch into place. Continue covering the sock with the boa, leaving the "mouth" area clear. I found it easiest to continue up and down the back of the hand from the knuckle to the fingertips until that entire area was covered, then stitch the boa down around the thumb (the bottom of the puppet's mouth) and then continue around and around the hand/arm until the boa finally reached the bottom edge of the sock. Stitch the end of the boa into place, trim off any extra that you may have, and viola! You're finished with the "fur!"
Take a styrofoam ball and hot glue gun (on low-heat). Hot glue a googly eye on each of two balls. If you're making a fine lady puppet, apply a fine line of glue around the top edge of the goggly eye and press eyelashes into place. Take your finished eyeballs and hot glue them directly on top of your puppets head. Be sure to have the puppet on either your hand or your hand-form when you do this, so that the placement is to your liking.
And...you're done. It took me less than an hour to complete one of these monsters, and hours of play later they're proving they were worth it! Do you think the kids in your life would like one of these adorable beasts? If you make one, please be sure to send me a picture of it, please!