toys

Recently I’ve started working with little children after a long time out of the classroom. It is exhilarating and exciting and exhausting and so much fun. I want to work with the children to make finger puppets, we are going to design puppets based on the children’s drawings.  Wish us luck!

In the mean time, here are a collection of links to tutorials and patterns for some finger puppets I love very much.

paperkittens

Paper Kittens by Laura at Cupcakes for Clara, published in Mindful Parenting Magazine

gnomefingerpuppets

Gnome finger puppets by While wearing heels

fingerpuppets

No sew finger puppets by Crafty Gemini

alienmonsterfingerpuppets

Alien Monster Finger Puppets by Whispered Whimsy (pattern on Ravelry)

sotosoftiesfingerpuppets

Finger puppet tutorial by Maritza at Soto Softies

Which ones are your favourite? Have you made any finger puppets that you’d like to share with us? Comment below or send us an email at vagusvenus [at] gmail [dot] com.

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If you have an idea for a post, or would like to submit a tutorial for Whipup, email vagusvenus [at] gmail [dot] com

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For more kids craft, creative ideas and activities go to the Action Pack website

Hobby Horse        9. ladybug

Picture-18       bottles1forweb

There are so many fun tutorials on Whipup, I can hardly keep track of them all.  Here are a few fun soft toy tutorials that you might have missed.

Hobby horse by Abby Glassenberg

Ladybug by Lisa Ramsay Whitesell

Felt mouse puppet by Delia

Felted milk and juice bottles for pretend play by Katie Startzman

 

 

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The Textile Artist’s Studio Handbook [Quarry Books (July 1, 2012)] by Visnja Popovic and Owyn Ruck [Textile Arts Centre website + blog]

Brought to you by the textile arts centre in New York, this book brings a beautifully laid out overview to various ways of creating and embellishing fabric: felting, knitting and crochet, weaving, printing, dyeing, sewing and applique, needlework. With only a chapter on each of these subjects, the information is not in depth enough for a beginner, but certainly gives some interesting ideas for those already familiar with the required techniques. There is also some great information on fibres and setting up a home studio.

Crochet Boutique [Lark Crafts (September 4, 2012)] by Rachael Oglesby. [blog]

A really cool wearable crochet book for beginners. The stitches are not complicated, and there is no fine hooks and yarn involved, but I think that more advanced crocheters looking for a fun ‘in between’ project will find something here to love too. Lots of scarves and hats and shawls, a couple of tops and sweet accessories too. I love the yarn and colour choices – making this book very visually appealing.

How to Make Stuffed Animals [Quarry Books (July 1, 2012)] by Sian Keegan [website  +  blog]

I loved the how-to illustrations in this book, and the toys are all very cute. They are all small-ish stuffed animals with big personalities – quite life-like faces and 3d body shapes. These little guys would make very sweet gifts. The instructions are good, making these toys look more complicated to make than they actually are.

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November: Month of books at Whipup.net

Hop Skip Jump, by Fiona Dalton, Published by Penguin Australia.

Do you know Fiona Dalton from Hop Skip Jump? She makes the most loveliest and put together soft toys – she has a little shop where she sells some of her patterns – but now you can get the whole book instead.

Fiona’s book by the same name as her blog “Hop skip jump”, shows us how to sew 25 different toys in Fiona’s unique style of cute and retro but always stylishly dressed and finished. The toys are all different characters and use recycled or eco fabrics. There is the Quick Red Fox, inspired by Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox; Monkey man (pictured on the cover) is one of Fiona’s first ever toys and so you may recognise it if you have been reading her blog for a while, it is made from wool flannel with tweed overalls; Gordon is a donkey with a very large snout and a very cute knitted vest; Eddy is a cheeky mouse with jointed limbs made from a wool kimono; Clothtopus is a scrappy fellow made to hang from a bookshelf or ceiling, and Basil is a sweetly serious rabbit made from tweed with a little scarf to match his pink nose.

There is more of course including rockets, robots, dolls, a cloud and more animals, but as well as the cute patterns, Fiona also talks about her passion for sustainable sewing and recycling materials as well as introducing makers to the basics of toy making. Each pattern includes step by step directions, a series of clear illustrations and lots of very sweet photos. The book itself lays out in a strange gatefold configuration (taking a little more room on the bench than I have available) but the patterns are neatly tucked away inside the back.

Now because I know you are dying to get your hands on a copy of this book – Penguin are offering TWO whipup.net readers a copy of this book. So please leave a comment letting me know your favourite toy to sew, stitch, glue, nail or make in some way. You have 48 hours to enter and winners will be chosen at random and contacted via email. ENTRIES ARE NOW CLOSED. The two winners are: #48 + #4 Lisa – I have emailed you!

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November: Month of books at Whipup.net

Made to Play!: Handmade Toys and Crafts for Growing Imaginations By Joel Henriques, Published by Roost Books (October 11, 2011).

I have a been a big fan of Joel Henriques blog for a while now – even though my kids are a little older than his – I really appreciate his style, design, colour, and imaginative sense of play. On his blog he regularly posts projects, colour in sheets, and templates for simple toys that he makes for his twin pre-school age kids. The toys are all pretty simple but ingenious at the same time – often made from recyled materials – bits of wood, wire and cloth, they are glued, stitched or nailed – all really accessible projects.

His book follows on from his blog with fresh toys and projects to make for that pre-school age and older (my 11 year old daughter found a few wire dolls and simple toys that she is planning on making herself). The animal finger puppets on the cover are an example of simplicity and cleverness all rolled into one – all you need is paper, tape and crayons – the kids can do most of it themselves too. More projects incude little carved wooden animals and those birds pictured above which are made with feathers, card, wire and a wooden thread spool. Joel also makes a wooden dolls house out of bits of timber with some modern furniture made from wire and cloth to go inside.

My personal favourite are the slotted building discs – which Joel recommends for older kids as they are little bit trickier to build with (but simply made with notched paper circles). My son has made the rubber band racing cars. There is also a chapter on homemade pretend and real musical instruments and another chapter on dress-ups – this project excerpt – modular leg bands is from this chapter. The last chapter is about making art – from simple animations to 3D drawings to little wood and wire sculptures.

Now because I know you want one of these books – Roost books is kindly giving FIVE whipup.net readers a chance to win one – Yay! Thank you Roost.
So please leave a comment here – telling us one toy you have made with/for your kids. You have 48 hours to enter, winners will be drawn at random and notified by email. Thanks – and good luck! Comments are now closed the winners are #63 Abbington, #50 Bethany, #156 Mountain girl, #103 Nichole, #33 michelle: and you have been contacted via email. Thanks so much for entering.

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For more kids craft, creative ideas and activities go to the Action Pack website