Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Make This: Paratrooper Softie Tutorial

I don't know about you, but I have a total love-hate relationship with those dime store trinket-y toys. I love them because they remind me of my childhood and how much I cherished all those bitty toys, but I also hate them because the stuff you find these days is so utterly plastic--and the worst kind of cheapy plastic at that. So, this is my solution to that problem--re-inventing dime store trinkets using thrifted materials so they can last a little longer than the stuff out there today and be a little earth-friendlier.

Which brings us to this: A little tutorial on how to make your very own little paratrooper people (or animals) with their own parachute made from recycled materials--the recycled bit coming from the gaudy thrifted silk scarves that my grandma would have worn (not that I am knocking my granny because she is one of my personal heroes--but that is another post for another day).

But wait--did I mention that I am doing this as part of Made by Rae's Celebrate the Boy month? Well, I am. And also, I am actually over on her blog as you read this--guest blogging about this tutorial and other things. So, make sure you head over there after you read this (that is, unless you have just come from there--in which case, welcome to Chez Beeper Bebe and make yourself at home while I mix you a little drink...). In case you missed my earlier post about the Celebrate the Boy theme, you should know there are all manner of amazing boy-centric tutorials guest-bloggers have been contributing all month long . Oh, and don't forget about Dana and all the great projects she has also been posting over on Made because there are lots there too. All boys all the time--or at least for the month of February.

But back to this tutorial. Here it is if you want to download my instructions and templates for how to make your very own little Paratrooper Softie...

There is even a little landing-pad in there for you to print so you can make a game of aiming your completed paratroopers at a specific landing site. Try it out--see what you think.
And I am a little in love with this tutorial, I must confess--because, as I note at the end of the instructions, this is a versatile tutorial, one that welcomes your innovation--which is why you simply MUST share photos of your finished creations in both the Beeper Bebe Project Flickr group, AND in the Celebrate the Boy Flickr group Rae has started. I know you probably think I am just being effusive for your sake, but I truly cannot wait to make more of these...I feel a battalion of paratroopers coming on over here. How about you?

24 comments:

Anna said...

those look like SOO much fun, my daughters would love them, thanks for sharing!

PHARES CAUSEY said...

What a smart idea! And I totally feel the same way about seeing those fun trinkets only to see them break before you even make it home. Regardless, I'd much rather have one you thought of! I can't wait to try this!

Becky said...

I came over from Made by Rae and am just loving everything I see here. Thanks for sharing your beautiful ideas. Our kids are mostly grown now, but we're expecting our first grandchild this summer. I'm looking forward to spoiling him! (And I think I'll start with your smiling rainbow ribbon plushie!)

Knittymama said...

We have two birthdays coming up next month. These will be perfect to make for them!! Thanks so much!

CraftCrave said...

Thank you! This blog post will be advertised on CraftCrave in the Handcraft category today (look for timestamp: [24 Feb 01:00pm GMT]).

casserole said...

This is SO. INCREDIBLY. COOL. I have a little girl who loves to drop paratroopers off of her loft bed. How much cooler would it be to drop these fabric versions??

I blogged about your tutorial at Craft Gossip Sewing:
http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-paratrooper-softie-toy/2010/02/24/

--Anne

TheBlackForrist said...

love it... must buy lego fabric, he's my fav!

Holly said...

The lego astronaut, as well as the batman and the army man, were all photos I took of toys we had at our house--and then printed onto fabric. I did include some images with my tutorial, but did not include any photos of items that may be trademarked or copyrighted--like lego people, or batman. So, you are on your own there to photograph them. You could also download any graphic images you might be able to find of them on the internet and print these onto fabric if you want to skip the whole photography bit...

And thanks for all the lovely comments. I loved making this project and seeing it come together.

Sandra said...

I've never seen the printable fabric sheets. Can you tell me where to find them? Thanks!

meg said...

the scarves! the photos of guys! straight up genius

Holly said...

Regarding the photo sheets--you can make your own with any cotton fabric and freezer paper, I think. Do a search on google and you are bound to find some instructions--I know Amy Karol covers it in her new book, Bend the Rules with Fabric. Or, you can go the more expensive route and buy it--I buy mine from National Artcraft--they are linked in my craft resources button in the side bar. I think they have the best printable fabirc sheets around--and the most affordable. It is on my list though to learn how to make these myself using Amy's instructions in her book--just because I feel like I should.

EHC said...

I always appreciate your tutorials being in download-friendly PDF form. So much easier than trying to cut and paste a blog post with a million buttons/ads. Thank you!

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

This is just ridiculously cute. I love it! Thanks so much for sharing, I'll be linking.

quirkygranolagirl said...

so cool!

gonzomama said...

this is my favorite tutorial evah! my boy is going to love these.

jojoebi said...

I am going to have to make some of these!

Hi, I hope you don't mind, I have added one of your tutorials to my 100+ fat quarter tutorials post, thank you for sharing :o)
jo
http://jojoebi.blogspot.com/2010/02/fabric-swap-100-fat-quarter-tutorials.html

Strommer Family said...

So many craft blogs give tutorials that are wonderful and very useful but being the slow-minded dummy that I am sometimes (lol) I can't understand the instructions...I just wanted to say that I fully understood EVERY step you had on your paratrooper tut and absolutely loved that I could go out tomorrow and make some of those for my sons!! Thanks so much for the easy to understand instructions!! ;)

Max California said...

My son is a little young, and will probably just enjoy chewing on these, but I know someone who will LOVE these.

My 24-year-old husband. Everytme we go somewhere where the plastic ones are he MUST get one. Now I can make more awesome ones for him!

I'll definitely uypload them to your pool as soon as I get some fabric paper. I just remembered ALDI were selling big packs for $9.95

Landon and Kylie said...

I am with the previous poster, I am making this for my 24-year-old husband! He will especially LOVE the lego one. Myabe I will make a matching one for him and his 4 younger brothers. That ought to be a hoot! Thanks for sharing!!

Holly said...

Thanks Rachel and Jojoebi for sharing my tutorial.

Max California and Landon and Kylie: The little lego-guy image is not in the tutorial...I put it up on my Flickr if you want to download it from there. (click the photo button in my sidebar and it will take you to my Flickr...then you can download a copy from there).

I did the same with the batman image.

And thanks to everyone else for the enthusiasm and comments. Please share completed paratroopers in my Flickr Beeper Bebe project group--would love to see them!

Jillian said...

These are SO cute! I just know my little guy would love these. I posted a link to this on my 'crafty' blog. Thanks for the great tutorial!!

mother★lode said...

i think i want to plan an entire birthday party around this project!!

i shared the link in my weekly roundup of inspiring ideas - blogged here:
http://www.camilledawn.com/2010/06/tuesday-tumblr-3.html

shantel said...

Great idea! I'll be featuring on my blog:
seemesew.blogspot.com

von Hand zu Hand said...

great. boys will love to play with these paratroopers.

I linked to your tutorial on my blog - thanks for sharing!

doro K.