Sunday, December 5, 2010

Thrifty Gifty 2010 #1: Monster Pillow

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All right, here we go!  I’m being a little less strict with myself for this year’s TG series.  If I want to skip a day and do a post about something else, I will.  My goal is at least 5 TG posts.  I pretty much had to go into therapy after last year’s series, and I’d like to avoid that burnout this year.  So let’s just have fun!  BTW, there are at least 15 TG posts from last year that would still work as gifts this year!

This wasn’t announced previously, but I’m going to do an impromptu linky party today.  Add a link to your post with your inexpensive homemade gift idea.  If you want to use a post from last year so as not to reveal this year’s gift, that’s fine.  I’ll also have another TG party next Monday.

Today’s idea is perfect for children of all ages.  The original idea came from an older Family Fun magazine.  Skippy saw it and wanted one, so I whipped one up for him.  Meet Germie (as named by S.), the monster pillow.  He’s cuddly, tactile, cute, and each one can be unique.  You could tuck treats or notes in the pocket, and use it when the tooth-fairy visits.

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This was totally free for me because I found some old corduroy pants that had seen better days, a scrap of denim, my button stash, and used the stuffing from an unwanted throw pillow.  You could go buy fabric at the store, which would give you more choice, but cost more.  Or you could find usable clothing items at the thrift stores.  A bag of polyfil for stuffing would cost around $5, and be enough for quite a few of these.

I was really free-flowing with this and didn’t use a pattern or anything.  I just cut out a random shape, front and back.  Make sure to make it at least 1/2” bigger than you want it all the way around for the seam allowance. It’s easiest to cut them out at the same time, but you need lay the fabric layers right-sides together when you cut.  You just want to end up with two mirror-image pieces.

Note:  the following step needs to be done before you sew the front and back together.

For the pocket/mouth, cut out a big U-shape of a contrasting fabric.  Hem across the straight edge with the sewing machine.  Then pin it to the front of one of your body pieces.  I hand whip-stitched around the curved edge to attach it, but if you want to machine sew it, you can.

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Now sew the eyes on.  I layered buttons.  If this is for a young child who might potentially choke on buttons, you could embroider the eyes.

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Next, put your front and back together, with right sides together, and pin around the edges.  Sew all the way around, leaving about a 3” opening to that you can turn it right-side out and stuff.  It can be helpful to use a chopstick or something like that to get the stuffing in all the corners.  Once it’s stuffed, hand-stitch the opening closed.

I didn’t know I would be posting about this, so I don’t have any in-progress photos.  Family Fun still has their instructions available if you need further visuals.  (For reference, Germie is about 11” from top to bottom…naturally, you can make yours whatever size you want.)

You may very well be able to make a Germie pillow for free.  If you have to buy clothing articles at the thrift store, it will cost a few dollars, but you should be able to make more than one pillow out of an adult pair of pants.  Even if you go buy the materials at the fabric store, I think you could get two pillows out of 1/2 yard of fabric.  My point is, it’s cheap to make!

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If you have an inexpensive handmade gift to share, I’d love for you to link up with the post!  I’ll leave it open for a few days, until Wed. Dec 8 at 11:59 pm.

You know the drill!
  • you must link back to me in your post (I can’t find the button code, so if you want to include the button, use it like a photo, but still include my link)
  • link to your specific party post, and not your general home page
  • please be polite and visit several other participants and leave a nice comment
  • I will delete entries that don’t link back to me or do not fit the party theme; I don’t want to be a meanie, but we gotta play fair

3 comments:

Mary Joy said...

Holly!!! I LOVE that pillow! Here's something funny...I am working on 2 different forms of this pillow for my boys! One is a ducky pillow friend and the other a snuggle friend pillow friend. I LOVE yours!!!! Great job!

Had to join up! I relate so much to you! I love designing my own projects. I am terrible at using patterns. Good to see I am not the only one who does this. :D

Have a great day!

Mary Joy

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

So cute!!! I'm going to have to book mark this one for when my nephew (is born and) gets older. :)

FrouFrouBritches said...

That is so cute! I love cute monster stuff! If I get done with my current project, I'll link up tomorrow. If not, definitely next week.