April 5, 2007

stuffed paper monsters tutorial*

this easter spice up the usual hum-drum easter basket with something a little out of the ordinary, stuffed paper monsters. They are a great edition to any gift basket and super fun to make. i have a picture book catalog of japanese monster toys of the 1960's & 70's. it's completely in japanese, so i can't read it, but it has the most awesome photographs of every monster toy you can ever imagine. most pages have front, back, and side views of each individual monster.

this is what gave me the idea to make stuffed paper monsters. basically i scan the images and print up copies of the front and back of the monsters i like best. then with a few simple steps you can create a monster of your very own. you don't need a cool japanese monster book to make these either. you can take front and back photos of your own toys or whip up a few monster drawings of your very own.

here's the step by step procedure:

1. find a good good parchment tracing paper to work with. this paper is light and works well for stuffing. if you are working with computer print outs, simply cut you paper down to size with an exacto knife.

2. work on some images!!! this part is completely up to you. you can make some print outs on the computer, work from digital photos or draw directly on the parchment. you don't even have to make monsters, any front and back image will do. when your done making images, spray the parchment with a clear varnish. i like to use deft clear gloss. the varnish helps to seal the image and makes the paper more durable. the gloss makes it real classy, too.

3. hold your front and back images up to a light source making sure to have the top of both images facing outward. now line up both images. you want the front and back image to mirror each other as close as possible.

4. once they're lined up pin them in place.

5. now stitch along the outside of the figure. i like to start at the outside of one foot and work my way around to the outside of the other foot. be sure to leave a generous margin, it works best when you don't stitch too closely to the edge of your image. also, be sure to leave the bottom edge open to allow for stuffing.

6. now that you've sewn along the outside edge of your monster (except for the bottom edge below the feet), remove any excess paper. just cut along the edge of your stitching leaving a 1/4 inch margin.

7. once the triming is done, it's time for the stuffing.

8. i like to use easter basket grass for stuffing. i suggest using a cheery colored translucent easter grass. the transparency of the parchment paper allows the color of the stuffing to shine through. so, when you hold them up to a light they almost glow!

9. take a few small wads of easter grass and start stuffing. it helps to have small ruler handy to push the stuffing in place. just add enough to make your monster puffy.

10. now sew up the bottom edge on your sewing machine and trim any excess paper.

11. there you go, now you have a stuffed paper monster of your very own.

12. all done!!!



j. wilson said...

this is awesome! i've made teddy bears out of paper bags but never made the leap to this! thank you for sharing!

micha michelle said...

thanks, jek!!! i'm very new to blogging, but i thought it would be good way to keep track of the projects i'm working on. plus, it's nice to share with others. i know i've gotten tons of ideas from all the lovely people who share their talents on the web. now it's just time to return the favor. i'm glad you liked my first tutorial!!!