Have any of you had to deal with your kids begging you for a "pillow pet"? It's my own fault really. I let them watch I think it was Nick Jr and so they were bombarded with the advert more than a couple of times. My kids are pretty good with not asking for stuff from stores or stuff they see in adverts, but for some reason the Pillow Pet thing has been a fairly constant desire. We happened to walk past a store that had them in the window yesterday and the kids went batty. The store was shut though, so we had some time to try and persuade them that they wanted a home made version instead. I wasn't best keen on the idea of spending over fifty bucks for two of the things.
We talked about the possibility of making them, but the kids were extremely unimpressed with that idea. I figured that it was because they couldn't imagine well enough how we would make them and knowing their mum as well as they do, they probably assumed I was going to try and make them out of stuff in the recycling bin and hot glue.
So, they went to bed and I dug around to see what we had that might work. Ffion was hell bent on a unicorn one and Carys wanted a ladybug one. A few months ago we got a couple of hobby horse things from the Dollar Tree. They were just soft toy unicorn heads glued onto a plastic pole. Well, things being what they are at our place, a bazillion children marauding around, one ended up fairly trampled with it's head off. Now unless you have deep family connections with the Italian mafia, there's no real reason to allow your children to play with severed horses heads, so I figured why not use this as a starting point for the unicorn pillow that Ffi was after. Here's a pic of the non mutilated one, so you know what I'm talking about. I think they have also had normal non magical, plain old horse versions at the dollar tree too.
I didn't take any pictures of this in progress, because honestly I didn't think it would work! Sorry about that! You can tell pretty easily from the pictures how he was put together though. I used a few scraps of spare fleece I had from making baby clothes. Some pink and some lilac. I was lucky enough that the pink of the dollar store horse head pretty much matched the fleece I had. I didn't have enough of the pink to make both sides of the pillow, so I used some of this weird kind of hairy white fabric that I had been using to make Owl babies (you know the book?). So, that's why the unicorn has such a bizzare furry undercarriage. LiEr over at Ikatbag just posted about some lovely bathrobes she made for her kids and said that terry cloth sheds more than any other fabric around, but I tell you girly, I'll take your terry cloth and raise you whatever this weirdo stuff is, because my livingroom looks like I've shaved Santa from head to toe, with him putting up a good fight.
I also made the unicorn main and tail from that white furry stuff. I took off the gross matted neon pink main and sewed in a longer one made of the fluffy white material, so that it would reach part way down the back of the pillow too. Once I'd sewn the lilac corners on both the sides of the pillows, to make the hoof-ish feet, I sewed in the head and tail and then a loop and tag for folding it up while the whole thing was still inside out. I left a gap on his side to turn him out and stuff him, then I finally popped a bit of velcro to keep the tag closed.
All this was hand sewn last night and this morning, but if you were using a machine then it'd take you no time at all. Ffion was utterly unconvinced when she saw me sewing it this morning. She said it looked all funny and floppy and she still wanted to buy a "real one", but that was because it was still inside out and had no stuffing in it yet! I refused to give up and kept sewing until it was complete, and lo and behold, her opinion completely changed. "I LOVE HIM!!! IS HE ALL MINE?!!! HE'S SO FLUFFY!!!" (She's basically like a blonde version of that unicorn obsessed kid in Despicable Me).
I on the other hand was kind of horrified by my creation. Yes I had won the heart of my four year old and saved myself $25 bucks, but really, he looks nothing like the genuine unicorn pillow pet at all. He kind of looks like a weird sort of Shetland unicorn with his stubby little triangle legs...
...and when you open him out? Well, all I can think is "Oh no honey! Stop the car! I think we hit a unicorn!"
Kids love it though and it was all made from stuff that was already in the house, so now my next job is to make a ladybug one out of red and black felted cashmere sweaters I got from Goodwill when they were having their $2 sale. You want to see the ladybug when it's done or is the freakshow shetland roadkill unicorn going to give you enough nightmares as it is?