For the craftily challenged.
This is NOT a post for crafting superstars who can whip up handmade awesomeness in seconds.
This is for us moms who craft under duress. And only just to save money.
Not to save time.
Because when you craft like me, all laborious and imprecise, it’s impractical and time consuming and low on fun.
And, this is a pretty significant but.
It’s almost sorta kinda super close to being worth it.
So hold on to your Fiskars ladies, things are about to get Dumb!
Dumb Mom’s Guide to Enhancing Story Time with a Story Board filled with Hideous Monstrosities
Step 1: Get inspired. I’m rarely inspired to craft. It’s just not in me. I’m a perfectionist and I’ve never made one thing with these hands that actually came out prefect. Or even close. So, I tend to find hand making things (unless they are edible) to be frustrating. But, I recently found myself uncharacteristically standing in an aisle at a craft store (only just to buy goodie bags) and I came across the cutest little things. Glittery felt stories in prince and race car and all sorts of keep-a-kid-busy scenes. They were insanely overpriced. Deluded individual that I am, I convinced myself that I could easily create a replica. Or something.
Step 2: Buy the stuff. As an untrained and inexperienced crafter, I just went ahead and got some stuff that looked like what I needed. Pretty much I just bought felt in al types of colors. I even got a little crazy and bought some custom pieces that were textured. That made me feel like a pro.
Step 3: Do some research. You could go online and see what the real pros have to say but, if you’re anything like me, that will just be discouraging and cause you to put your stack of craft-terials on the shelf for a week. Or longer.
Step 4: Try, try, and try again. I started with one thing. It was a bust. And then I started another, and it was pretty sucky too. I went ahead and repeated Step 3 a few times before moving on to Step 5.
Step 5: Get inspired. Again. This time, instead of using the unrealisti goal of making something I saw in the store, I decided to base my project on what I envisioned we would actually do with these little felty thingy’s ‘o fun once they were completed. Goodnight Gorilla is Dude #3’s favorite story at the moment. It has few characters and even fewer words. Plenty of room to improv. Perfect.
Step 6: Keep it simple. I just swallowed the lump of fear in my throat, picked up my permanent marker, and went to town drawing, free hand, each of the character’s in the story. I started with the gorilla because he was the most important (Don’t. Laugh!)…
Then I did the elephant. He looked the easiest…
Nope. It’s not an anteater. It’s an elephant. Don’t ask, just believe.
They were uglier than sin, but whatever. They would get the job done. So I stopped there.
Step 7: Test your theory. We started reading the story. We got to page two and realized that this would be very anti-climactic if we only had two felt people to play with. So I decided to get buck. I drew hyena. He looked hideous…
And, get your mind outta the gutter. That under-the-belly-protrusion-thingy is supposed to be a leg!
Step 8: Get creative. In an effort to not have wasted the better part of my Tuesday morning making a felt board and 2/8 of the characters from a story, I had myself a bright idea. Trace them. But, not on paper (too thick to see through). Use a plastic baggie! Worked. Like. A charm…
Slightly-less-hideous hyena and mostly-still-horrible giraffe were born…
Step 9: Go with it. 2 hours, a cork board covered in felt, and six poorly made zoo animals later (and armadillo which is nothing more than a scrap of felt because these club hands of mine just couldn’t cut another inch) and you won’t care one bit how maniacal your creatures are. You will read with gusto and perform with your little felt-imals like your Broadway Mama.
Step 10: Party like a rockstar. If your little person has eyes completely unaccustomed to pleasing art he won’t know or care that your elephant looks like an anteater. He’ll enjoy his little felt story so much that he might even play with the thing for 10 whole minutes. And, if you’re really lucky, he will even sleep with his happy little felt abominations, making the time, effort and embarrassment you invested so, SO worth it!
Have an easy craft to share with my hands of thumbs? Link it in the comments I’d love to give it a go!