beasties project and book giveaway

Cyclops and witches and zombies-oh my! Welcome to the wondrous world of Beasties, where mythic and imaginary creatures come alive using simple materials, such as scrap fabric and thread. Beasties: How to Make 22 Mischievous Monsters That Go Bump in the Night is a great book written by Diana Schoenbrun. From Werewolves to Yetis to unidentifiable yet adorable beast, these projects allow crafters to push the limits of their imaginations to sew a menagerie of whimsical beings.

What I love about this book is that it is perfect to introduce children to sewing starting around age 6. Older children can work more independently depending on their skill level. Parents can work with the children to make each project. The book is all ages and teaches crafters to sew plush monsters called Beasties and includes photos of the characters in sets. What a fun activity to do together! I know my son would love to have these creatures on his bed!

Diana was nice enough to share one of the Beastie projects excerpts with us. This little Tomte is the perfect craft to try right before Christmas since he looks like a little elf!
In Sweden this creature watches over the farmhouse at night and tidies up any leftover messes. He protects and brings good luck to the family who dwells there. In order to keep a Tomte happy, make sure there is a toasty fire and a bowl of warm porridge and butter waiting for him. An unhappy Tomte will become red in the face, make a mess of the farm, and tie your horses’ tails together.

Finished size: 5 ½ inches wide by 6 ½ inches high (including hands)

-5 ½ x 5 inch red-and-gray-striped cotton knit
-scrap of white faux fur, felt, or fleece

-1 sheet of gray
-1 sheet of blue
-scrap of yellow

-1 pom-pom

-navy blue

red, gray


Cut from patterns:
From cotton knit: 2 hat shapes
From gray felt: 2 body shapes, 2 hand shapes
From blue felt: 2 shoe shapes
From yellow felt: 2 shoe shapes (you will notice that the yellow shoes are slightly larger than the blue)
From faux fur: 1 beard

Cut freehand:
From blue felt: 1 rectangular piece 1 ½ x 8 ½ inches for vest


1. Pin hat pieces to body pieces, right sides facing in. Machine sew together.

2. Choose one of the hat/body pieces for the front. From the top measure ⅝ inch down the center of the body and mark a tiny dot for the nose. Measure ½ inch to the left and right of the dot, and mark tiny dots for where the eyes will be. Place pom-pom nose. Sew from the back side of the felt and through the back of the pom-pom, making two or three stitches to attach. Next, take three strands of embroidery floss and sew a French knot for each eye.

3. Place front hat/body piece, right side facing up, on your work surface. Place hands 1 ¼ inches down from the hat/body seam, along the sides. Hands should be pointing in toward the body with the thumbs facing down. Place the other hat/body piece, right side facing down, on top and pin. Begin from right corner and machine sew around, leaving a 2-inch opening on the bottom to turn right sides out and to stuff.

4. Turn hat/body right sides out and fill with stuffing. Sew a small whipstitch to close the opening.

5. On the blue shoes sew laces with red thread by making four cross-stitches. Place yellow shoes behind the blue ones and sew a whipstitch around to attach shoes together, leaving a small gap. Put a pinch of stuffing into shoes, sew them shut, and place shoes along the bottom seam 1 ½ inches in from the corners. Sew a small running stitch to attach.

6. Cut armholes in the felt vest rectangle: Measure 2 inches in from one end and make a fold as shown in the diagram. Cut a tiny half oval at the center of the fold. Unfold felt and you should have a small oval hole cut out. Repeat on other side. Gently bring the Tomte’s hands through armholes so the vest opening is in the front.

7. Place beard on head so eyes and nose go through opening. Sew two stitches at each corner to secure the beard.

How adorable! You can find this and many other great projects in the Beasties Book. Today, one lucky reader has the chance to win one of these great books! To enter, tell us in the comments section who your all-time favorite monster is. You have until Tuesday, December 21st at 11:59pm PT when this giveaway will end.

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