Friday, January 8, 2010

How to Make a Snow Child Toy

Children look extra-adorable in the snow. Their eyes twinkle above their scarves, their noses and ears are as pink as seashells, their hats slide down over their eyebrows, and their bodies are encased in thick layers and heavy boots, which makes them walk like toddlers. When they are sledding, the air rings with their whoops and hollers, all that pent-up indoor energy set free!

Later, the children troop in for hot chocolate, and it is time to replay the fun on the rug in front of the fireplace using these little snow children toys and their little toy sled.

Here's a picture of my little boy playing with some snow children next to a hill made of a down comforter. He's smiling impishly because instead of sliding to the bottom of the hill, the toy sled went on a magical flight, the most remarkable sled run I have ever seen, and landed on top of the bedstead.

The other snow child watched in amazement.

To make a snow child you need a little wooden person, which you can get from the craft store. I used one which is two and a half inches tall. You can substitute a cork with a wooden bead or an acorn for a head if you can't get to a craft store.

Other Supplies:

paper scissors
wool felt
fabric scissors
needle and thread
tape measure
pipe cleaner

Make a paper pattern for the clothes. These clothes are made to fit the two and a half inch tall snow child I have. If your person is a different size, use your measuring tape to adapt the simple patterns. These patterns are for a hood, coat, and mittens.

If you trace the patterns onto felt, your young child can cut out the pieces. Be careful using the sharp fabric scissors, though!

Cut out the coat, the hood, and two thicknesses of mitten for each hand. The little strip of dark purple felt is for the "pants". You can cut it freehand. It has to wrap around the bottom of the body with a small overlap.

Tightly sew on the pants using matching thread.

Sew the coat together.

To give your snow child some arms, cut a piece of pipe cleaner, wrap it around the neck one time, and bend a loop on each end to form hands, as my son is demonstrating. Now slip on the coat.

Sew the front of the coat together, and sew the pants to the coat with a few tiny stitches.

Sew the edges of the mittens, put them on the hands, and stuff the cuffs inside the coat. Do a running stitch around the sleeve and gather. Sew the sleeve to the mittens.

I think an undefined face is fine. Your child can imagine every expression.

Sew the back seam of the hat.

I added a little fringe to the hat.

Now put on the hood and sew it to the collar.

My son got very interested in the project and started making his own snow child with a little help. This is the first time he had ever hand sewed. Here he is sewing the pants.

Here are the pieces for his snow child's clothes. I simplified the mitten shape since the thumbs didn't show much on the first person. He asked me to draw a hat like his own which he then cut out. I sewed his snow child's clothes together for him. If you are wondering why I sew everything, it's because I find glue doesn't work very well with felt. The felt absorbs the glue. Glue can also stiffen and stain the felt.

He decided to make a sled. As usual, he had great ideas for how to construct it. He cut out two colors of orange for the sled, which he lined with layers of aluminum foil to make it bendable. I sewed it together for him, he bent back the front, which I fastened in place with a few stitches, and he had a fine toboggan. Now it is time to play.

Here is a tiny friend discovering the snow children.

We made a little hill for the sled out of a three-ring binder.

"Weeeeeee!" he said.

Just like real children, the snow children sometimes spilled off the sled at the bottom of the hill!

Copyright 2010, Beth Curtin


Jessica said...

Beth...these are just darling! And I absolutely love their brightly colored snow suits! Precious!

Linda said...

Beth, these are so adorable!

softearthart said...

Real cool, cheers Marie

prettydreamer said...

Beth .. They are lovely!! Pamela

Mousy Brown said...

Your snow children (and real one!) are so adorable - Thank you for the lovely clear tutorial - can't wait to have a go! :)

Tammie Lee said...

these are so wonderful, lovely post.

Gea said...

o,i love this

thanks for sharing

Elyse said...

looooooooove these!


(V.Kerr) School Time Adventures said...

So I have been inspired by your great felt craftiness love to buy some wooden people. We bought the small wooden people and then I became engrossed with making my first ever felt doll. Regretfully I didn't have time to order wool felt, so I just used the eco felt from the craft store. I made the doll a Jesus doll for Easter as a way to tell the story. Anyways, next week I hope to get making some clothes for the wood people. Thanks for your beautiful work!

-I loved your felt eggs...I have a feeling that I will soon be getting into more felt adventures here soon!


Anonymous said...

HI! I just found Acorn Pies from a search for corn husk dolls, but decided I liked you handkerchief dolls so much better! Now I love these more! My family (Brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins, and I) are going to Durango, Colorado in January for my grandfather's 75th birthday. These would be perfect to give to my family when we get there!
By the way I live in Texas, so there's no snow- ever!

Zosia Ekiert said...