Sunday, April 20, 2008

Recycled Stuffed Animals, Lonely Socks

After our yard sale we still had about 20-plus stuffed toys left over. One of which was a pirate bear. Somehow, in the yard-selling process, the pirate bear's head was ripped off.
I decided to try to turn some of the stuffed toys into puppets, so I thought the damaged bear was a good place to start.
Let me just tell you now that I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO SEW. I can jab the needle into some cloth with thread on it, but the things I sew are NOT BEAUTIFUL. I can make a button stay on a shirt. That is about it.
I gathered the following supplies:
1 seam ripper
2 free sewing kits from some hotel somewhere.
1 bear with head ripped off
1 sock with no mate from the rag drawer.

I "sewed" (and I use the term loosely) the bear's head back on, then used the seam ripper to open up the bottom seam on the animal. I took out about 2/3 of the stuffing (and saved it in a zip-lock bag for future projects). I left the legs fully stuffed, and the head and arms mostly stuffed.
I took the sock and put it over my hand, then jammed it into the bear. I figured out where the arm holes would be and then cut 2 little circles out of the sides of the sock. I cut off the top cuff of the sock and used that material to sew little "thumb sleeves" so that the puppeteer's fingers would be able to manipulate the bear's arms.
It is his life-force.

Then I put the sock fully inside of the bear body and put the little "thumb sleeves" into place inside the arms. I folded the opening of the bear so that if overlapped the sock and sewed all the way around it.
The bear definitely works as a puppet, but it isn't something pretty that I would give as a gift. My own kids like it though, and if you had more sewing skills than I do (which is entirely possible) you could make some nice puppets very inexpensively and recycle at the same time.
I didn't have to buy anything for this project.
I have another bear in like to be puppetified, and next time I think I won't bother with the "thumb sleeves" and just put the whole sock inside, unaltered.

Am I the only person weird enough to do things like this?


Lesha said...

This is so cute! :)

Green & Clean Mom said...

This is cute and creative.