Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Upcycle Sweaters into a Winter Gnome

I decided to use some old torn sweaters to make a gnome for my kids.

I cut a rectangular shape out of the green sweater to make the gnome's body that was skinny enough that the purple sleeve could go over part of it to make the gnome's hat.

I then turned the body inside out and sewed along the left and right edges.

Then I bunched up another sweater scrap to make a nose and sewed it into its shape.
I had cut the following shape out of the purple sleeve to make the hat:

After sewing the body on the sides like so...

...I turned it back the right way and held the nose in place.
Now it was time to figure out what size beard to cut.

With the beard on, it was time to sew the nose into place.

I stuffed the gnome's body with old cotton scraps and sewed the bottom closed with a blanket stitch.

I then cut out a bird, nest and eggs from wool felt and sewed it into my gnome's beard.

I turned the purple hat inside out and sewed the side that was cut open so it was now shut. Then I turned it back the right way, folded the bottom and put it on my gnome.

I sewed it in place. Then I stuffed the

I thought I was done but because the beard was not made out of felt, I was afraid it would unravel so I blanket stitched it with embroidery floss.

This was a fun way to re-purpose old sweaters and give them new life as a cute little winter gnome. My kids loved the gnome!

Come back for more DIY toys and crafts and be sure to check back for more information on my upcoming middle grade debut AHIMSA published by Tu Books!

Follow me on Twitter @soups25

Monday, October 24, 2016

Diwali Felt Board

This is what our Diwali felt board looks like at this time of the year.  The hearts with numbers on it are for 30 days of gratitude in November, so they will be up on our board whenever Diwali falls in that month.

The kids love to "light" the felt lamps with the felt flames for each day of Diwali.

For links to my Indian play food tutorials, click here.
For the tutorials for the felt gods and goddesses and more, click here.

My middle grade debut, AHIMSA, comes out in Fall 2018
Follow me on Twitter @soups25

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

DIY Diwali Presents

Indian peg dolls

With Diwali just a few days away, I thought I'd compile a list of some of the Indian-themed DIY toys I have made. Over the past two years I have made Diwali cards, Diwali-themed snacks, a Diwali bunting, Indian money, play mats, toys based on mythology and Indian play food. So here it is, the great big list of Indian toys, and stay tuned for more Indian-themed toys in the future, including a Diwali felt board, and a peacock peg doll, a lotus peg doll, and a henna peg doll:

1.) Diwali Bunting

2.) Diwali Lamp Snack

3.) Diwali Cards 1 and Diwali Cards 2

4.) Indian Card Table Fort

5.) Felt Rupees

6.) Indian Play Mat

7.) Felt Ganesh

8.) Felt Ram

9.) Felt Sita

10.) Felt Ravan

11.) Felt Hanuman

12.) Felt Lakshman

13.) Felt Lakshmi

14.) Felt Parvati

15.) Felt Shiva

16.) Felt Kartikeya

17.) Felt Dosa

18.) Felt Idli Sambar

19.) Felt Samosa

20.) Indian Playfood: Roti, Mattar Paneer, and a samosa

21.) Story Stones

22.) Reusable Gift Bags and Gift Wrap Made From Indian Clothes

23.) Felt Tea Bags

24.) Indian Astronaut on a Space-Themed Card Table Fort

25.) Doctor's Kit/Vet's Kit With Ayurvedic Medicine

And here are some crafts:

1.) Fall Leaf and Lentil Rangoli Designs

2.) Tegu Peacock

Stay tuned for more fun crafts and DIY toys!

Supriya Kelkar is a Bollywood screenwriter whose debut middle grade novel AHIMSA will be published by Tu Books in 2018.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Upcycle an Old Cotton Shirt into a Toy Chicken

I used felt scraps and what was left of the same cotton shirt I made into a pizza to make a couple of chickens.  Remember, I don't use clothes that are wrinkle-free, no-iron or treated with antibacterials/Microban/antimicrobials. To see the reasons why and where else these chemicals can be found, click above to read my earlier posts on the subject.

I turned the shirt inside out and drew my chicken's outline on it with a ballpoint pen. I then sewed about half an inch outside of the outline, leaving a little gap open to stuff the chicken.

I then turned it back the right side out, and cut out my felt shapes.

I sewed them on, stuffed the chicken with cotton scraps and drew two eyeballs on with a Sharpie Stained fabric pen and my chicken was done!

Follow me on Twitter @soups25

Outer Space Card Table Fort Panel #3

Last year I showed you how I made the following panels for my card table fort:

Our solar system


For the third panel, I decided to make some aliens and planets.  I cut shapes out of the felt I had, and am not crazy about the color scheme but I guess the colors work together.  There were so many individual pieces that I had to hand sew on, this panel definitely led to some major felt fatigue.

I first laid out my pieces to find out the best orientation for everything.

I then sewed everything on over the course of a few days and used a Sharpie Stained fabric pen to add faces to my aliens and some craters to the moon.

Check back here for the last panel of my space tent!

Follow me on Twitter @soups25