Thursday, October 4, 2012

Make-A-Monster With the Kids

My family went on a stroll a few weeks ago through a lovely outdoor mall. The words "Build-A-Bear" jumped out at my kids and they insisted that we enter the store. We did, and they scampered with excitement as they saw all the cute bears and the machine of stuffing that spins round and round. Even the little hearts for the bears made my kiddos want one. SO. BAD.

I was seriously wanting each of my kids to get one too... with all the cute accessories including fancy underwear. I realized though that I would have to spend at least $200.00 if each of my four children got a bear with a few accessories. Ouch. We oohed and aahed over the cute fuzzy creatures and the adorable add-ons, but I said "not today!"  Sadly, we left the store.

My mind kept spinning with thoughts of Fall and Halloween.  I knew I would be getting out the sweaters soon, when suddenly this idea entered my mind.

Since my kids think monsters are the coolest thing ever, I decided to let them design their own monsters and use their old sweaters and hats for materials.  Even though it wasn't Build-A-Bear, my kids thought Make-A-Monster with mom was great.

Make monsters to kick off the Halloween season, and keep them all year round 'cause monsters are always chic with the kiddos.

Meet our monsters:

Our monsters have received lots of hugs:

 and even a few kisses:
 They've joined us in all sorts of activities:
It's just a whole lot of fun to have some monsters around!

I felt some major benefits as we worked on these monsters:
-Gives mom and kids a chance to be creative together
-Quality time for parent and child
-Teaches children sewing and cooperating skills
 -A fun memory 
-A new and free toy
-Teaches recycling or making do with what you have
-Helps the kids who are scared of monsters to laugh at them   instead
-We always appreciate more the things we work for. The kids work for this toy, and they love it.

How to Make-A-Monster with Mom

1. It's so fun for the kids to design their own monsters. But, it's hard for kids to just pull one out of the blue, unless they've had an imaginary friend monster, of course :).

Start by drawing some basic monster parts for them to choose. If they don't like what you've drawn, let them  choose whatever is in their imagination.

My kids came up with monsters like this:

2. Cut out shapes that resemble the monster. Also cut out hands, legs, ears, and other body parts if they are not already attatched to the monster body. I didn't get a picture of the limbs here.

Monster Louisa's pouch was made using the pocket that was already in the sweater.

 3. Lay the pattern on the sweater or whatever cloth you've chosen. Be sure to cut out both a front and back of each monster body part.

4. Make the face. It all depends on what your little designers drew. We cut out felt circles for the eyes, felt teeth for some of the mouths. I also did some simple straight stitch embroidery on two of the monsters.
please ignore the background clutter!!! When kids are helping- it's never neat and tidy:)
5. With some liquid stitch, glue the facial features into place. Put some heavy books on top of the monsters overnight for extra reinforcement. Or, sew everything in place.

6. Get the arms, legs, ears, horns.  With right sides together, sew around the edges, except a little bit to stuff.  Turn right side out and stuff.  Then pin limb to the main body...
7. Sew all of those little limbs on.

8. Put the back side of the monster fabric on top of the front side, right sides together. Sew all the way around except for a little bit to stuff.

9. Turn right side out. Let the kids stuff those little monsters as full as they want:

They think this part is really fun.

10. Whip stitch the opening for the stuffing closed.

Add any accessories.

That's it!!

Now turn on the Monster Mash, and dance with those monsters (both live and stuffed!).
Nothin' like the Monster Mash to get into the Halloween spirit!!


PS. Did you know that Halloween is the third biggest party day of the year behind New Years' Eve and Super Bowl Sunday? Find some fun and interesting facts about Halloween here.

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  1. I LOVE this idea. They're very cute and I love that you let your kids be involved in creating them. Definitely a project for my next shrunken load of laundry :)

    1. Thank you so much Michelle!! Love those shrunken laundry loads (grrrr :)).

  2. I want to make one for me. I don't have kids but I think it would look really cute on my bed. Maybe I will make one for me and my husband for christmas. Such cute pictures.

  3. Thank you, Mackay Memories! I think Monsters are are great "friends" at any age! And, a free Christmas present for your husband.

  4. Mom and Kid relationship is something so beautiful which cannot be describe in words!!

    Mom and Kids

    1. I agree. I believe it's of greater importance than we even realize!


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