Tagged: handmade plush

pink twinkle stars: a custom plush request

Hot pink, super gleeful star plush. Twinkles required.

pink twinkle stars, all lined up

It all started when I got an email from Noah, my photography-class-friend from school. He had graduated and was working for Intertwinkles, a small company in Boston that develops web tools and apps to help organize businesses and organizations. They were looking for a creative and fun way to reward their beta testers, and the idea of custom plush came up. Of course, Noah knew just the person to ask! (me!)

pink twinkle stars: sketch vs. execution

(click for larger image)

So I emailed back and forth with Noah and his boss as we decided how the plush should look. Stars. Magenta: a must. And yes, they must have arms that can twinkle.

I was given the above sketch as a rough approximation. We thought about using pom poms for his twinkly sparklers, but we settled on tassels as the more elegant option. It’s hard to make pom poms not look childish. I also adjusted the eye shape slightly – partly as a nod to the word “twinkle”, and partly to avoid looking like a Mario star. I think that extra detail made a big difference in the final appearance of the plush.

The mouths are triple-stitched black thread. They’re a little bit shadowed in these images, but in real life they’re perfectly visible, and perfectly happy.
In regards to “twinkling”, I was especially pleased with how the tassled arms performed. The day before I shipped them out, I reread the email chain to make sure I hadn’t missed any crucial details, and saw this:
“I’m imagining interactions where someone holding the star might waggle the star-arms back in forth in faux-twinkle motion.”
I had been running around the house doing just that the day before, so I was thrilled. They were going to love these.

pink twinkle star with custom label

I made custom “intertwinkles” labels for the back of each star as an extra touch.

I ended up making ten of these guys. Once I had solidified my design and was happy with my second prototype, I was able to work assembly-line style – but still, making ten of something is a lot, especially on my own! And since each star has five points, I ended up stuffing 50 pointy arms! Stuffing was certainly the largest time investment.

All that being said, I’d do it again. I’d do more! I love making custom plush. And I love being able to take pictures of armfuls and boxfuls of plush I’ve created!

pink twinkle stars bursting happily from their box

Even if I have to mail them away in the end. A great project, and they were well received up in Boston. Such fun little twinkle stars.

custom plush catch-up

This is a fun hodge-podge of “never been blogged” plush. While I love making the standard gray narwhals, I love the challenge of a custom plush request.

The best of these, of course, was the plush dunkleosteus (armored fish) that I made for a friend at school last Christmas. But the best part? After I blogged it, someone else found the blog entry and wanted one for his wife, who “has a soft spot in her heart for The Armored Fish of the Devonian”.

So I’ve made not one, but two Dunkleosteus. The internet is amazing… and hilarious.

This past Christmas, my friend Ethan asked if I’d make a pumpkin for his girlfriend. I gladly obliged, since I love orange. I think she turned out pretty adorable with her tiny purple bow.

a pumpkin custom plush

a pumpkin custom plush: with a bow!

Then I was asked to stitch up an incredibly bright custom narwhal: hot pink with a kelly green belly. I was almost skeptical, but I loved it in the end. The bright colors look so great with the gray striped tusks!

custom hot pink narwhal plush

custom narwhal plush with a green belly!

And going way back into the past… I never posted Zoe’s GIANT velour whale. He was huge, and squishy, and the velour is just so soft.

giant velour whale

zoe loved her velour whale

And it was so loved. Still can’t get enough of that adorable grin. That’s why I sew.

I suppose I haven’t wandered far at all from the whale realm, but I’m itching to try some different animals. Elephants? Wiener dogs? I think I need a sewing day!

narwhals 2.0!

New Narwhal Plush - Gray!

Here is the result of all my scheming and assembly line work: the brand new, re-imagined Plush Narwhals 2.0!

The little guys are made from the softest gray fleece in the world. I don’t know what it is about heather gray, but it even looks softer than all the other fleece colors. I love working with it, and I love how the little guys are coming out.

But my favorite part of the new narwhals, by far, is the striped tusk. Could it be any cuter? I’m in doubt.

stuffed narwhal buddies!

Redesigning the narwhals has been a fun process for me. They’ve been the same for so long, and I was never quite thrilled with them, because I didn’t feel they conveyed my personality. As a maker of things, I like my things to reflect who I am… and the tan & cream just wasn’t doing it for me. I think they’re cute, yes, but I knew that they could be better. And that was the hardest hurdle to get over – why change your best-selling product? Why risk ruining a good thing? But I finally took the challenge, and now I feel I’ve perfected the stuffed narwhal, and it makes me very happy.

I know I built up a lot of suspense, and I apologize for not having this be a completely earth-shattering new creation :) But I think they’re pretty cute! And I’m excited to make lots of them now.