Aug 7, 2010

Home made freaky unicorn pillow





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?

57 comments:

garcia.sol said...

I dunno what your talking about, the fuzzy unicorn belly isn't freakish, and I think it looks great, you saved money and your daughter loved it! I definitely want to see the ladybug pillow...and how lucky are you to have that unicorn head just hanging about, hehe! That part is a little freaky :)

jojoebi said...

I can't decide if you are a genius or just insane, admittedly, after this post I am leaning towards insane, can't wait to see giant ladybird road kill!
;O)

Rachel said...

I have a lady bug kid (at 15) who just might be inspired to make her own! Can't wait to see it!

Kristie said...

Oh, that is TOO much! Love it (and the commentary) and can't wait to see the next one.

Anonymous said...

I´m a reader from Sweden, and I have to say that I love your blog :-) You´re very talented. The unicorn pillow was very cute and I´d love to se the ladybug!
//Ingela

This Girl loves to Talk said...

i love it... it looks amazing and you hand sewed it???? i can machine sew but there is NO WAY i could hand sew something like that

Siobhan said...

I don't know what 'genuine' unicorn pillows look like where you live, but I've got a store bought one that looks JUST LIKE YOURS. Like you said, stubby little Shetland Pony Unicorn. You did an awesome job, and all that really matters is this: your little girl loves it! Much pats on the back. :)

Siobhan in Aust

jessyz said...

It is lovely and not freaky at all!!!!!! I want to see the lady bug one.

Sarah Slaven said...

Ha Ha you're so funny. No I want more freaky road kill and next time with progress photos please.

Christina said...

I think the unicorn is cute!! My kids want these things too, luckily they aren't in stores here yet.

I love reading your blog, thanks for all your great ideas!

Katie said...

This post had me giggling! It does sorta look like unicorn roadkill but it is still cute and how awesome that you are crafty enough to do this!

Aletha said...

This is wonderful! Now you just have to come up with that ladybug! You did an impressive job and if your little lady loves it, well, as we know, kids are hard sells - if they like it, you did well. FYI, I think Nick Jr. prides itself on no commercials (enough advertising is in the shows themselves). I've never seen a commercial on there. I think that is the safe one to watch.

jasmine said...

i think he looks good. My kids have the real ones only becuase i cant sew and my daughter saw me looking at your post and asked me why i couldnt make her a unicorn too.

Jessica said...

He's awesome! I can't believe you hand-sewed the whole thing, wow.

Def. interested in seeing the lady-bug.

Jessica said...

He's awesome! I can't believe you hand-sewed the whole thing, wow.

Def. interested in seeing the lady-bug.

Kelly said...

The ONLY thing my daughter wanted for her 5th birthday was a freaking PILLOW PET. I actually gave 30 seconds worth of thought to making one. I'm glad to see it can be done, even if I was too chicken to attempt it.

We bought the darn thing and it was received with manic shrieks and laughter. The people who made those commercials are experts at mind control. The government should really look into it :)

Teacher Tom said...

Very cool! Not freaky at all and very timely as I have several decapitated stick ponies around the school. If you think your household is hard on toys, you should see what 40+ kids can do to things! In fact, I've had to stop shopping at the dollar stores because the stuff is broken within minutes.

I'm not much of a sewer, but I have a couple very talented parents. I'm sending them this link and hope they do something with it! =)

TheYellowRose said...

I, for one, think this is brilliant. Kudos for not breaking down and spending all that money on something you could clearly make for nothing! I also have tons of respect for anyone who has the patience for hand-stitching. It looks flawless and completely adorable - I can't wait to see your ladybug!

Fiona said...

I am sorry but that is just the most hysterical post I have read in ages.
Thank you.
I don't think it is a craft we will be trying anytime soon (just can't shift the image of roadkill unicorn) but your daughter looks thrilled.
Thanks again for the laugh!

LiEr said...

Whoa! You're right. You win. I took one look at that fuzzy white underbelly and decided, "It's polyester. Polyester fuzz trumps cotton terrycloth in the shedding department any day." Oof.

Fabric shrapnel from hell aside, that is a very cute unicorn pillow. I imagine the ladybug, being round and therefore of a superior shape, is just as gorgeous!

And also wanted to say yes, I relate to the "yes my kids rather like what I've just sewn but I personally wouldn't be seen in the same photo as it" response. Mostly I feel this way about my pink/princessy/Hello Kitty/sweet maiden type things I've made. I think it is a personality clash. This is what unconditional love must look like.

Have a lovely week, you!

Homesteadgirl said...

Wow. I don't know if you have an etsy shop, but imagine if you did and had an item called the "freaky Shetland Roadkill Unicorn" for sale! Love your resourcefulness. I have the same kind of unicorn head hanging around (seriously!)...maybe I'll repurpose it!!

MaryAnne said...

Oh, I think it's cute! And very nice and soft! Please do share the ladybug one? =)

The Manlupig Family said...

I must see the Ladybug. My kids have also fallen for the adverts on this one.and these are the two they specifically asked for as well. I'd love to see the ladybug, I will win over my five and six year old forever! I must thank you for writing this blog!! :)

liz said...

Haha! I love your comment about it maybe being not such a good idea to have kids play with severed horses' heads. Good call! I think this is totally awesome and I would def like to see the finished ladybug. I'm having trouble conceptualizing how you'll do it, but I have great faith in your craftiness!

Melissa said...

I love it! I think you did a great job!

Kimberly said...

This looks great! Kudos to you. We have a ladybug that Is in constant use. I think my 10 year old son secretly wants a frog ;) Peer pressure. Good job mom!

lisa said...

I totally don't get the pillows either. I don't get the appeal, and the stuff you said was totally what I was thinking when I watched the commerical too. So made me laugh. But I think you did a great job, and I think it looks just like the pillows.

Eva said...

haha I love it, it looks really good :) my daughter would love that. I like how you were able to use materials you already had at home!

Emma Davidson said...

Good thing I do my pelvic floor exercises, otherwise I would have wet myself laughing at this! I still have the mental picture of you shaving a non-compliant Santa in your lounge room. And it does look like every four year old girl's dream toy - love it!

Kristen (Creative Stash) said...

My kid is also obsessed with pillow pets and is expecting a doggy pillow pet for his birthday next month. I think the unicorn is awesome!

Patti said...

I love it! It looks way better than the "real" pillow pet unicorn. My mother insists on buying these abominations for all the grandkids and my "manly" boy actually wants one! They're horrific. Anyway, your creation is fabulous an I salute you for making something so awesome the kids can give up the gimmies.

Show us the ladybug when you're done, please.

Lyndsey said...

You crack me up! It does kind of look like unicorn roadkill open, but cute roadkill. Shaving santa claus? lol You're too much!

Jen said...

Adorable! My 6 yr old would just adore it.

Jen
Creative and Curious Kids!

Melissa said...

thank you so much for sharing your talent with freakish white fabric and your great way with words! i laughed so hard, i had tears coming out my eyes! the pillow turned out really awesome!

Angel said...

Ah i adore it's stubby legs and shaggy belly. I can't wait to see the lady bug pillow. ....now i want one lol

rainbowmummy said...

it's lovely and not at all freaky.

that could be sarcasm or truth, i'll let you chose.

seriously though, wow, well done, I can't sew to save myself and I love that you stuck with it despite the lack of encouragement from (the super happy and excited in the end) Ffion. You are a wonderful mama!!!

Bring on the ladybug!!

Christianne @ Little Page Turners said...

lol - I actually think he's kind of cute... and a lot cuter than most of the ugly pillow pets I've seen around.

gardienne said...

I'd love to see the ladybug too! And I had never heard of pillow pets before so I looked it up and I've gotta tell you the "real" one looked an awful lot like roadkill too! :) I actually really like how fuzzy and cozy yours looks. Good job!

C said...

I absolutely LOVE it! You do the best things with your kids. I run a child care program for a school district and regularly check your posts for inspiration and to see what you have created from your rubbish bin - mine is the entire top shelf of a huge closet so I need lots of inspiration. I would hire you in a minute!

JHill said...

The unicorn-in-the-headlights look it has in its eyes in the second to last picture makes me laugh each time I look at it!

And I chopped up a Dollar Tree bear to make my son's Halloween costume last year (Max from "Where the Wild Things Are") and it was made from that same fuzzy fabric. It looked like there had been a freak pet grooming accident in my house for days.

Papgena Made It said...

well, your daughter like it, you're a winner!!! :D
I don't mind if you post the lady bug...
;)

Gretchen said...

oh my gosh i laughed so hard at your roadkill description! i think it's adorable and looks pretty darn close to a store bought pillow pet. kudos!

April said...

That was hilarious!!! Thanks for the laugh! I am totally impressed that (1)you did this all in one night. (2) You sewed it by hand (3) with spare materials at home...WOW!

Show us the step-by-step with the ladybug please!

We get that commercial in our home a zillion times from the qubo network. I hate those commercials. My boys want everything they sell. Grr...that is one of my pet peeves.

Great job! I love reading your blog, it's always entertaining to say the least.

Lori said...

Your post totally made me laugh. And, actually, I was thinking about making my own Pillow Pets for Christmas gifts as well! (Darn Nick Jr...) Please, please do show us the ladybug!

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

HAHAHAHAHA! I laughed SO hard! Thanks so much for the lolz. =)

Christie said...

I am one of those moms that bought the lady bug pillow only because the unicorn was out of stock. I am IMPRESSED. And I think it's adorable. Great work! I gotta learn to sew. :)

Sarah@Neoteric.Traditional said...

My kids don't really ask for things from the tv either - except pillow pets! We saw some at a store and I was trying to point out how weird they are, but I think the kiddos are more smitten than they were before. They're being used as a bribe to do their full list of chores everyday - with some room for error of course - for 6 weeks. Hey, if I'm going to shell out nearly $100 for a set of weird, square, stuffed animals, they darn well better learn to do their chores! HAHA!
I thought about making them but I do not posses the skills - yours looks great!

mousee23 said...

Thank you for the idea.Awesome.I want to snuggle the roadkill!

Jennie said...

Oh. My. Gosh. My children are also obsessed--obsessed, I tell you--with these stinking pillow pets. To the point that my seven year old promised to save her allowance to buy one for my four year old's birthday. Seriously, the obsession has been a major cause of my belief that the little television they watch is way too much...to the point that we are canceling our cable service!! However, if I can just make hmmm... maybe by Christmas I could get that done.
I will be laughing for a week thinking about your poor car-struck unicorn.
Thanks for the great idea and imagery. I admire your ability to conceive of and conquer great projects with your kids!

Rebecca said...

You are so freaking hilarious!! Shaving Santa, Unicorn roadkill. I laughed so hard, thank you. :) You have got some serious skills to pull off a homemade pillow pet. Looks awesome. :)

rainbowmummy said...

Unicorn roadkill, heh. (last cake)

http://cakewrecks.blogspot.com/2010/08/roadkill-cafe.html

vanessa @ silly eagle books said...

I think it's way cuter than a pillow pet and I too, have been asked for a pillow pet after my daughter saw a commercial for it on tv! Love how this unicorn turned out!

Sally said...

My daughter woke up this morning and the first words out of her mouth were "Mommy, can I have a unicorn pillow pet?" Argh! Damn, those stupid cartoon channels. Ha! I'm gonna show them...

Thanks!

janimal said...

It's absolutely lovely! You did a terrific job. Someone gave me some of that furry fabric in pink and when I sewed with it those bits covered my sewing room. YUCK! I can't believe you handsewed with it. What an awesome Mom!

Anonymous said...

I love it. . . and I laughed so hard I actually cried. I stumbled on your bog today and it totally reminds me of my childhood and how creative my Mom was (is). Thank you!

Our Splendid Adventure said...

I almost sent myself into an asthma attack when you called it unicorn roadkill. Still, I think it's brilliant.

Lauren @ Hobo Mama said...

The unicorn roadkill thing is slaying me, but I think your pillow pet-wannabe looks great! Those stupid commercials and displays are everywhere still. I never thought of making our own — what a great idea!