Friday, 15 May 2015

Making Toys from a Child's Drawing

There are places you can send your kids drawings to and they will make them into actual cuddly toys. 
I saw this on line and thought it was just a lovely idea. They are complete one offs, hand made just for you so they are pretty pricey.

This was my thought process:

  • What a lovely idea
  • I have young nieces who love drawing and love cuddly toys who would love these
  • I can make things
  • I could make this myself
  • How hard can it be?

Ha ha ha, little did I know. The answer to that last question is "very!" I don't want to put you off if you want to have a go but this is not for the fainthearted - you have been warned!
Turn childrens drawings into toys
Obviously I can't do a tutorial for this as every kids drawing will be different, I'm just going to share a few things I learnt along the way in case it helps if you fancy having a go.

First I got my aforementioned nieces to do "Special drawings for Auntie Julie". I asked them to do something really special that they really loved. No point doing all this hard work for something they are not bothered about!
This is what they did for me:



And after a couple of weeks of messing about with them this is what I was able to produce.
making a child's drawing into a toy
making toys form kids drawings

For each toy I made a flat front and back, added as much detail as I could then sewed the sides together and stuffed them with toy stuffing.
Elfunt is white cotton sheet fabric with mostly embroidery for the design. Little Mermaid has a cream poly cotton sheet fabric body, face and arms and fabric from my stash for her tail.

What I learnt making Elfunt

  • You have to make what they have drawn, even if you, as an adult, think it's quite amusing. I think we all know what I'm saying here - let's move on!
  • That said, I did have to take some artistic licence. eg I moved the trunk to over the mouth as I just thought once it was a toy it's position would notice more. I also move the ears a bit and put them on each side of the head.
  • I counted the numbers of stripes on each bit pretty carefully. It turned out this was important. She counted to check!
  • The pattern is on both sides - way more work but totally worth it.
  • I used felt for the thick black lines as it was much quicker than filling it all in with embroidery.
  • Keep kids away from stamper pens, embroidering all that detail was a pain a tiny bit time consuming!
    childs drawing to toy

What I learnt making Little Mermaid

  • Watch the proportions in the drawing, forget what you know about proportions in real life. On my first attempt her head was tiny and I had to cut the body right down to make her head the right size. I had already embroidered the face and didn't want to do that again so I shrunk the body to fit the head. That's why the bow bit at her waist is a little bit too big.
  • Some things are easier to add on once they are stuffed. I added her clam shell bikini afterwards by hand. In attempt one I appliqu├ęd it on with the machine but the fabric I chose was too thin and it was all pulled out of shape.
  • I gave her wool hair as I just thought it would be way more playable with than a solid piece of fabric. Again it turned out to be a good move. The little felt star in her hair is on a clip and she was having her hair styled within minutes of coming out of the wrapping paper! 
  • I cut lengths of wool, and stitched each one on separately. Kind of like you would when rug making. This was a weeny bit time consuming but I was watching tv so it was ok. It does give her a fabulous full head of hair with no horrible doll bald patches but there probably IS a quicker way that you should do!
    turn childrens pictures into toys
They are not perfect and certainly not as good as the ones the professionals make (just google "Toys from Kids Drawings" and you'll see what I mean) but they were a big hit last Christmas. Both girls declared them one of their favourite presents.

Would I do this again? Probably not!
Am I glad I had a go? Yes definitely!

I also took a copy of their original pictures, laminated them and included them with the toys, just in case they had forgotten what they had drawn. I get to keep the originals - they were "special pictures for Auntie Julie" after all!
You might also be interested in:
Embroidered Gloves
Embroidered Gloves
Lace Top Refashion
Lace Top Refashion
Simple Felt Needlecase
Simple Felt Needlecase
Camera Lens Cloth
Camera Lens Cloth
I'll be linking up at these great link parties.
Julia Nyanyo
Julia Nyanyo

Hello, I'm Julie. I love making things and this is where I share my enthusiasm.

27 comments:

  1. BRILLIANT!!! Your collaborative toys are so special and will no doubt be treasured for many years to come, Julie. I love how your niece checked to see if you'd counted the lines correctly. Ha, ha... just as well you did.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Julie, I've featured your adorable toys today...

      Delete
  2. wow! that is so awesome and what an amazing gift and memory. Nothing beats homemade. #SITSSaturdaySharefest

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow! You are very creative and patient! I bet those companies that do it online have computers to do all the hard work of the design. Yours are such a treasure being handmade and perfectly done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Anne-Marie, you are very kind to say so but they are far from perfect! Still I think that's probably ok - part of their charm.

      Delete
  4. These are amazing!! I can imagine that they will be treasured toys for many, many years :) how lucky your nieces are! I wouldn't have anywhere near the patience (or skill) you showed in making these... #MBPW

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Both girls do love cuddly toys so they were ideal to put the effort in for - I knew they would really like them. They are also pretty creative too so maybe they will be inspired to try making their own cuddlies too soon.

      Delete
  5. Wow they are amazing. I love them both. It must have taken you such patience! I wish I was that crafty and talented. #mbpw

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a wonderful gift! I think they turned out great, and it's something the kids can treasure. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Julie!
    You've done a fabulous job and I am sure these will be adored by your nieces. I have always wanted to do this when my kids were small but never got round to actually doing it :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, yes - I never found time to do this for my own kids but I think that might just be the way it is!

      Delete
  8. These are beautiful! I will be sharing this with my sewing friends. I wanted to do this too (like Maya) but was too busy. I bet they will be treasured for a long time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah yes Agy, too busy, I know that feeling, when you have small children it's hard to fit in getting washed and dressed, let alone projects like this!

      Delete
  9. Hi Julia!
    Thanks so much for coming by and taking the time to leave a comment!
    Wilton's makes a great line of window boxes in all shapes and sizes. These are what I use when I package cookies, cupcakes, and cakes. I finish the boxes off with pretty ribbon . . . and I'm done :0)
    You can see more the Wilton box collection here . . .
    http://www.michaels.com/wilton-window-cake-box/M10359757.html
    Have a great week,
    Suzanne
    PS Your website is amazing! I need to take some time and explore it a bit :0)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Suzanne, thanks for taking the time to visit and let me know (I'd left Suzanne a question on her beautiful iced biscuits asking about packaging them as a gift without them getting squashed, just in case anyone was wondering!)

      Delete
  10. I love these. You definitely put a lot of work into them and they look wonderful. I'm not sure I have the same patience, but I would have loved to have done this when my kids were younger.

    ReplyDelete
  11. What a lovely idea and they look amazing! Your nieces will love them forever :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hello beautiful! Super cute. Pinned and tweeted. I hope to see you on Monday at 7pm because we love to party with you! Happy Memorial Day! Lou Lou Girls

    ReplyDelete
  13. This is such a wonderful idea! I'm sure they will cherish these always. I would love for you to link up to the Stitch It, Blog It, Share It Link Party going on now at BehindtheSeamsSewing.com.
    ~Bonnie

    ReplyDelete
  14. What a brilliant idea and will last a lot longer than a drawing

    ReplyDelete
  15. What a brilliant idea, they are great!!

    Thanks for sharing at Creative Mondays...

    ReplyDelete
  16. What a thoughtful gift! I'm sure they will cherish them. Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Adorable projects! I love those!

    ReplyDelete
  18. They are fantastic and what a brilliant idea... going to add it to my to-do list as I am always struggling for ideas for littles ones presents; especially for a little lad I know

    ReplyDelete
  19. These are cute. glad i stopped by!

    ReplyDelete

I love to hear your thoughts/comments, thank you for taking the time.