CraftSanity on TV: Making stuffed toys out of childrens’ drawings with my daughter, Abby

I teamed up with Abby, CraftSanity’s V.P. of Fun, to show people how to make stuffed toys out of kids’ drawings Friday on WZZM Channel 13’s “Take Five & Company.”

We’ve never done live TV together, so there was no telling what was going to happen. She has been asking to do crafts on TV ever since she watched my first segment, so she was pretty excited when I finally invited her to come along. Well, she was excited until she got nervous. I was helping her tie on her apron yesterday morning when she said: “I think I changed my mind.”

Oh boy. I told her it was fine and that she didn’t have to wear and apron go on TV if she didn’t want to. The last thing I want to be is some freaky stage mom. (I realize the apron thing puts me on the “moms-to-watch list.”) But then Abby immediately changed her mind back and said: “Okay, I want to go still.”

My word.

So we continued to suit up in our aprons. The game was back on.

Abby was fairly quiet on the way to the TV studio and a little stressed about forgetting her sunglasses. I stopped worrying about how we would do during our first live segment together as I pulled into the studio parking lot. That’s when she said: “Hey, mom, do you think I can come on the show next week, too?”

That cracked me up, because it was so Abby. And so me. We may waver before a decision, but once we decide we’re “for sure” going to do something, we cannonball right into it.

So this is my long-winded lead up to introducing the first craft CraftSanity segment featuring Abby Rose Haywood. Enjoy!

If you want to make a basic felt softie of your own, and I recommend that you do, here are some instructions.

Supplies:

* A drawing by a kid you know. If the kids are asleep, draw one yourself. (I confess that I’ve made softies out of my own drawings, too, and it’s a kick.)

* A few pieces of felt (I use the cheap stuff, but feel free to spring for some nice wool felt if you want to get fancy.)

* Embroidery needle and thread to match or contrast the color felt you select

* Scissors

* Water soluble Fabric Pen

* Poly-fil stuffing

* One yard of string or scrap yarn

1) The first step is to make a pattern from your child’s drawing without destroying it. So photocopy the drawing, or trace it onto another piece of paper by taping it up to a sunny window with a blank piece of paper on top. Depending how intricate the design, you may need to simplify it a bit to. Trace the outline shape and then move your paper to trace the eyes and facial features outside that shape so you can cut those pattern pieces out, too, without cutting into your overall shape pattern.

2) Pin the paper pattern pieces to your felt and cut out two overall body pieces and one of each of the other shapes you traced.

3) Pin the face pieces down and sew them in place by hand or machine. (Use fabric glue if you’re helping a small child make a softie and want to skip sewing. Use your fabric pen to draw on the mouth or eyelashes, so you can embroider these features.

4) If you want your softie to have some basic arms & legs, cut pieces of yarn or string and pin them in place between the front and back pieces of fabric. Pin the body pieces together with right sides facing out and whip stitch around the edge of the design leaving a 1.5-inch opening for stuffing.

5) Stuff, then stitch up the opening. If you want to hang your softie from the wall, sew a loop on the back and hang up in a high traffic location for all to enjoy.

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