Monday, February 9, 2009

Once Upon a Time there was a Hippo... but not anymore!

Once upon a time, The Masked Mommy was shopping at a *Goodwill Clearance center (see bottom of post). The items at these Goodwills are generally sold for $1/pound. She found an adorable hippo music box, and couldn't leave it behind given that it was so lightweight and therefore really really cheap.

After she got him home, she couldn't help but wish he had been a puppy so that he would match The Masked Baby's room. She thought there was no hope the music box would ever fit in among the child's other belongings. Then, her superpower for repurposing things called out from within her... "maybe there's a way..."

She was right!
There was much rejoicing, and everyone within the
kingdom of the child's room lived happily ever after!

Ok. So here's how it went down. First, I removed his blue "hippo toes" with a seam ripper. Then, I cut out puppy ears with some brown felt, folded it over his hippo ears, and stitched them on by hand. Then I cut out an oval for his nose, sewed it almost all the way around, shoved some stuffing in, and finished sewing it closed. (I think this technique has a name, but I don't know what it is.)

That's when his little pink hippo nostrils became a problem. What to do with them? So I decided they were dimples, and I drew his mouth on with some black fabric paint (meeting up with the "dimples".)

The paw prints were just cut out of felt and hand sewn on. They were the most time consuming part, but I think they make him really cute! Felt is great because raw edges are fine... so there's nothing to sew under! The whole project took just the afternoon (plus paint drying time).

It's cute on his crib and matches the room!

Although I will admit that I'm not sure he's baby safe, so I hung him on the outside of the crib.

The Moral of this story... Don't give up on what you have around the house! Get those creative juices flowing! Repourposing things is one of my favorite things to do. I know none of you have a toy hippo around the house that needs to be turned into a puppy, but I think seeing what others have done helps to inspire your own creative ideas for your own individual needs!

*Goodwill Clearance Centers- (sometimes called Goodwill Outlets) Yes, they sell their clothes and things REALLY cheap. I used to shop at one in Charlotte NC for $1.30/pound, and one in Columbia SC for $1/pound. This makes children clothing items roughly .25/item. Last winter, I outfitted our daughter for the entire summer for $14. Shoes and everything. As far as I can tell, there's no online list of all the clearance centers, so you'll have to do your own research to find one in your area. I found this website with some in Indiana (and it has a picture of what to expect). Happy hunting!


Courtney said...

Awesome job! That is SO cute!

Michelle Sybert said...


that is sooo adorably clever and cute! Fanastic Job!

Mommies Really Are Super Heroes!

Ashlee said...

I am totally impressed! I love to repurpose things and you did such a great job!

Courtney said...

Purging Fabric? WHAT!?! That is not allowed! :)

Wait, is that something they told you in one of your FA meetings? Lies, it's all lies! :)

French Cupboard said...

That is sooooo cute. It fits in perfectly and I am sure that he is happy in his new home. Now he just needs his new super hero name. Steve -French Cupboard

Brenda said...

How clever are you you??!! Love it!

Jen said...

Wow! I'm impressed! I may have thought of the idea, but not followed through and I'd have a hippo still lying around the house. He, He!

Creative and Curious Kids!

Xazmin said...

Amazing! What a clever, clever girl you are!

DesignTies said...

Very, very cute!
I think I love his little paws the best, although his nose, mouth and dimples are totally sweet!
Victoria (one half of DesignTies)

~CC Catherine said...

Now this is thinking out of the box! ;) I love your creativity to work with what you have (within your budget) to get what you want! SUPER!

Heidi @ Blue Eyed Blessings said...

I had to take quite a few second takes to see how you did this amazing transformation. What talent! Thanks for coming by my're welcome anytime!