Each Friday in January, I’ll be sharing with you some crafts related to #26daysofaussiepicturebooks.
During Week 1, we’ve celebrated some beautiful picture books featuring Australian animals.
These books have inspired some finger puppet action in the Oh Creative Day household.
Top left: ABC Dreaming by Warren Brim // Top right: Look and See by Shane Morgan
Bottom left: The Eagle Inside by Jack Manning Bancroft and Bronwyn Bancroft // Bottom right: ABC Dreaming by Warren Brim
Oh the sweet, sweet irony that my first craft project for 2016 involves sewing.
I was so excited by the prospect of these finger puppets that I forgot a vital fact.
I cannot sew.
Back in my first year of high school, we had a Design and Technology assignment that involved sewing a pair of shorts.
Truth be told, my mum finished those shorts for me. Onya, mum.
To this day, a sewing machine is an instrument of wonder to me.
Being the first week of a New Year, I was filled with optimism and enthusiasm.
Trixi from Coloured Buttons is one of my Insta-Buddies. She is the Queen of Sewing.
I purchased her e-book and away I went.
I steered clear of the sewing machine and embraced my perfectly-imperfect attempts at hand-sewing.
Here is what you will need:
Sheets of felt in your preferred colours/ based on the animal you are creating
Needle and thread
Thank you to Spotlight who are supporting my crafty projects during #26daysofaussiepicturebooks.
All of the products used in this project were provided free of charge.
I’m pretty happy with my perfectly-imperfect attempts.
If you’d like a finished product that is a bit more slicker, a bit more professional, then there are plenty of templates you can find online.
My style was to cut out shapes and hope for the best.
(Or the Fly-By-The-Seat-Of-Your-Pants Approach to Sewing, as I like to think of it.)
Felt is a pretty forgiving (and relatively cheap) medium- so I’d definitely advocate the trial-and-error approach.
I used the fabric marker to trace around my finger to create 2 pieces or “fingers” as I shall refer to them from hereon.
Make sure you leave a little wiggle room either side of your finger.
Once you sew your two “fingers” together, you lose a little bit of width.
1. I then cut out the shapes I needed to build up the front of my finger puppet and sewed them into place.
I started with a white oval for the tummy and some green leaves. I just cut them out freehand (as you can probably tell.)
As I mentioned before, you could always create the shapes using ClipArt or PhotoShop and use them as templates.
Sew these pieces into place on the top grey “finger.”2. Cut out a head and a white circle. I did not sew the white circle onto the head at this point.
3. I stitched some pink to the grey ears. I used black thread to sew the black nose on, securing the white circle onto the grey head at the same time.
4. I used black thread to sew some eyes and a mouth.
5. I then used white thread to sew around the white face, securing the koala’s head onto the top grey “finger.”
6. I placed the second grey “finger” underneath the piece with all the details. I then stitched along the edge to secure the two “fingers” together.
And there you have it. A koala finger puppet!
This one was super-easy!
1. Measure and cut out your two “fingers.”
2. Cut out a black beak and sew into place. I sewed little Xs to create the eyes.
3. I cut out the yellow crest and sewed it in place behind the top “finger.”
I cut out the wings and stitched that to the back of the back “finger.”
4. Place the “fingers” on top of each other and sew around the edge.
1. Cut out two blue “fingers.” I cut some black felt and created a fringed effect. Sew this onto the top “finger.”
2. Cut out a black beak and sew into place.
3. Cut out some red for the wattle and sew down.
4. Create a brown casque and stitch to the back of the top “finger.”
5. I just used a Sharpie to mark in two eyes.
6. Place the “fingers” on top of each other and sew around the edge.
This is the perfect finger puppet for the sewing-averse.
Cut out your two “fingers” from brown felt.
Sew together. Then use fabric glue to glue all the embellishments into place.
(Although I don’t think this puppet will last as long as the others with my toddler.
We often call her the “Destructor” as she particularly enjoys “deconstructing” toys.)
How would you describe your sewing skills?
Do you start projects only to realise that you don’t actually possess the skills required by the project?
Tune back in next Friday for another craft related to Aussie picture books.
Have a great week!
Wow, Shannon they’re awesome. I really love your koala finger pattern he has such character…and I love perfectly imperfect…perfect is definitely overrated!
Indeed! Perfection is boring! Thank you- your compliments mean a lot. Now which project from your book to tackle next??
I look forward to seeing your sewing adventures!
What a cool idea to include crafts with your book recommendations! These finger puppets are so gorgeous Shannon! I am a completely self taught sewer – my husband got me a sewing machine when my eldest was about 1 and I LOVE to sew now – but I find it difficult to follow a pattern and usually make up things as I go – so as long as you don’t get too close to any of my projects it’s fine!!
Looking forward to seeing what other crafty goodness you get up to – you’re inspiring me to get back into some making xo
I’m all for not following patterns! Freestyling is the way to go!
I loved your Book Advent bags and your gift tags (Want/Need/Wear/Read.)
They looked fab. (And I promise to never closely examine your stitching if you promise the same!)
Oh thank you – it was the first time I sat in front of my sewing machine all year!
PS – deal on not inspecting too closely 😉
Because a trip to the craft store needs to be done without kids. I attempted it last week with the kids and it was a disaster! A funny disaster, but a disaster all the same. We ended up leaving with a zipper (?!) and a random array of unnecessary items!