Monday, January 31, 2011

And Now For Something Completely Different!

A couple of months ago, I picked up the November/December ’07 edition of Disney’s Family Fun magazine at the library. One of the pages I copied before returning the magazine had instructions for making the leg of a pair of woman’s tights into a snake-shaped draft blocker (you know, those long skinny things you put at the base of a door or window to keep the drafts from coming in?). My husband had a great draft blocker made to look kind of like a dragon that his sister made years ago, and I had ordered another one so we could battle drafts at both the back and front doors. So we didn’t really need another one, but the Family Fun project had fun, zany stripes, and I thought it would make a fun gift someday. Into my bulging idea files it went.

About a week ago, I saw long striped socks for sale at Target for $2 apiece. I thought of the draft blocker project, and bought a couple pairs. I made a few modifications to the project to make snake stuffed animals for the girls. First, here’s the final result:

This was such a simple project, and so different from anything I had ever made before. Instead of filling the sock with rice (as you might do to make a draft blocker), I used polyester fiberfill to make a lightweight, soft stuffed animal. Also, instead of forming a neatly tapered snake tail at the end of the sock, I just kind of folded it over and hand-sewed it into a straight line. Seamstress, I am not! I decided I wasn’t sewing for a very critical audience, so I didn’t concern myself too much with this detail. Our unique snakes have square tails!

The magazine suggested gluing on googly eyes, but I know that in my household, nothing stays glued down to any surface for long. I decided to sew on button eyes instead, and then followed the directions for sewing on the snake’s tongue.

Katy woke up from her nap as I was finishing the first stuffed snake, and wanted to hold him immediately. I hurried to make a second snake for Bayla before she woke up. She liked it fine, but started carrying around the draft blocker my sister-in-law made with greater affection. It was Katy who must have said thirty times, “Mommy, I LOVE my snake!” Going out on a limb to try making a stuffed animal paid off in Katy’s appreciation. Four days have passed, and she still carries the snake around and tells me she loves it. Maybe I have a future in making stuffed animals. Well, probably not, but this was a fun and easy little project to try!

Here is Bayla holding her new snake, along with our two draft blockers:

And here is Katy with her new best friend. She wanted her snake to watch her while she did some crafting:


Anne said...

The snakes are adorable!! I didn't know you sewed -- definitely a sewing machine is in your future. Be sure to keep the directions so you can make them for your nephews in a year or two. Certainly looks like a hit with Katy and Bayla. Bet nothing makes your heart smile like having a little one say they LOVE something you've done for them. Good job!

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