DIY inner monster doll
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Love Your Inner Monster: Drawing And Doll Making Craft

May 6, 2021

I think it’s safe to say that regardless of how old you are, there have been a range of emotions this year. Some of these unwanted feelings could include fear, anxiety, stress or anger — just to name a few.

In this craft and activity, you get to take a moment with your child to find out one of the big emotions they've been feeling and help them overcome it by turning it into a monster stuffy. Then show the monster doll some love!

Throughout the process of this exercise, you can talk in a light way about how these emotions, or the monster, make us feel and ways we can show it some more love. You can also share your inner monster with your child — allowing this activity to have depth, facilitate conversation and bonding in a playful way.


materials to make monster doll

What You'll Need:

  • 2 to 3 sheets of letter or legal size paper
  • thin permanent marker
  • pen
  • coloured pencils
  • crayons
  • markers
  • tracing paper (optional)
  • glue stick
  • white glue
  • piece of cotton fabric
  • fleece or felt
  • pompoms
  • stuffing or fabric scraps
  • scissors
  • yarn or embroidery thread
  • large needle that fits thread
  • felt or fleece

Note:

  • If you use felt, you will be using white glue to fasten pieces together.
  • If you use fleece, you will need a big needle and yarn or thread to fasten pieces together.

These lacing cards are a simple way to teach kids the basics of sewing and work on fine motor skills.


How It's Made:

Using a pen and paper or journal, write down or talk about some of the not-so-fun emotions your child feels sometime. Identify one they don’t like or feel challenged by. (Both caregiver and child can be creating their own, but take turns talking through your big feelings.)

monster drawing on paper coloured in

Once an unwanted emotion has been chosen, it's time to turn it into a monster drawing using coloured pencils, markers or crayons. Consider the monster's qualities, its likes and dislikes and give it a name. This monster can look like anything they want.

half body monster outline on paper cut out

Next, help your little one trace the monster on tracing paper. You can also redraw the outline of half of its body on the side of a piece of paper if you don't have tracing paper.

using the half body tracing on the fabric which is folded over

What we're doing is preparing to create a paper pattern to place on the fabric as a guide for cutting. You are also welcome to skip this step and jump directly to the next one if you prefer to do it freehand.

cutting out the tracing of the half body on folded over fabric

Using your traced body, half body outline or drawing freehand, trace two copies of your monster's body on to the fleece or felt fabric (this will make the front and back of the doll).

body outline of monster doll cut out of fabric

Then cut the monster outline out of the fabric — you should have two pieces.

drawing monster face on piece of fabric

For the monster's face, cut out a separate piece of fabric. Make sure to choose a fabric you can draw on. Now your child can redraw their monster's face on this fabric piece.

using a glue stick to glue the face on the body

Once the face is ready, glue it on the front body piece and let dry.

decorating the monster doll with gems

Time to decorate the monster doll! Your child can use whatever you have on hand, and don't worry — more decorations can be added after the monster doll is stuffed.

pinning the two pieces of the body together to get ready to sew them together

Then, depending on whether you're working with felt or fleece, sew or white glue the monster body together. Leaving space at the top of the head open for stuffing.

sewing the two pieces of the monster doll together

Now, using fabric scraps or stuffing, stuff that doll! Then seal shut with glue or sew (again, depending on your fabric).

monster doll completed: stuffed and sewn together

With a couple more decorations, the monster is done! Have your child introduce their new monster doll and give them a name. Then they can find out what their monster is trying to tell them and give it a big hug.

The goal is to create a huggable doll at the end, giving you and your little ones an opportunity to practice love and kindness to even the most difficult parts of ourselves.

Article Author Ella Cooper
Ella Cooper

Read more from Ella here.

Ella Cooper is a writer, photographer, producer, facilitator, multidisciplinary artist and solo mum by choice. She has a MeD in arts education, received the Tiffany’s Hometown Hero Award in 2020 and is currently developing a new BIPOC children’s series.

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