Cheer them up with a “FEEL BETTER FRIEND” – tutorial

Turning little frowns 😦 upside-down 🙂 and it ended up as a tutorial…

Well we certainly started 2012 off on one sick note…literally! The kids ALL came down with the flu for what felt like an eternity almost!! It was the most awful sickness that they (and this worry-wort mama) have ever been through to date. I have never been one for flu shots, and honestly it didn’t matter because they never came down with anything besides the common cold usually during this season. This year was a different story and a bad one at that!

The hard part is not so much the fact of taking care of 3 sick kids at one time. For me the hardest part is stressing and worrying about them getting better (I couldn’t bribe them to eat to save my life!). I prayed that their little systems could fight off whatever they were dealing with. I may sound extreme with it only being the flu but I’m not kidding when I say I’m a big worry-wort and this bug had me going crazy! Every parent hates to see their child go through anything that we don’t have the power to make ‘all better.’ It is such a helpless position to be in. Chicken broth, Tylenol and Pedialyte only go so far with the flu and it ultimately comes down to their bodies doing the hard work, plus as much TLC as ever!

As we were on flu house arrest that week I went a little stir crazy too. I decided to pull out some old Martha Stewart KIDS mags that I had saved for a “rainy day.” This was definitely the day, and I happened upon a super cute idea in one of the issues. I tried searching the web to see if maybe the same article had appeared on her site to link up for this post, but couldn’t find it. My issues were pretty old though, to be honest lol. So forgive me now for this not-so-great photo I snapped to show part of the article… It was entitled Imaginary Friends!

Now this is not your AVERAGE plush toy by any means. This is a custom recreation of your kids’ artwork! I thought it was genius and such a fab way to bring life into their little creations. Mostly I felt inspired to do something WAY different and personalized for them, to cheer them up during those sick days. That’s when I dubbed it the “Feel Better Friend.” 🙂 I explained to them that it would be their little cheer up buddy from here on out when they are sick or get hurt.

They managed to brighten up at this idea and both Ella and Gavin were excited to come up with what their little buddy would look like. Grant on the other hand hasn’t mastered much more than scribbles, circles or a random abstract face so I’m waiting to make one for him at the moment.

Ella and Gav found some ideas in the article as well for the creations and this was what they came up with…

Octopus and Fancy pink lady

Hip-hop snake!

And here is what Mama came up with….

Project Supplies:

Various fabrics/scraps


Ribbon/buttons/beads for embellishment

needle & threads or machine

Polyester fiberfill

kids character artwork

So after you get your hands on the masterpiece character that your child dreams up, you hunt down any scrap fabric or old shirts and things you might have around. The article even had examples using muslin and fabric markers so they can draw directly on that, then cut, sew and stuff! Play around with fabric and textures to try to match up to the colors they chose or make suggestions. Don’t forget buttons, ribbons, beads, etc. for accessories! The kids can help to pick out the embellishments they might prefer. Ella enjoyed picking through buttons. It really is a fun project and delightful for them to have a tangible piece of their imagination to keep forever!

It is a little time-consuming, mostly depending on how much detail is added. I used my sewing machine to make the pink one of Ell’s and then hand sewed the other 2. Hand sewing is better for the patchy look and buttons. The more hand done it looks, the better it is for this type of thing. After all it is child art, so you don’t want it to lose that imaginative edge!

Make sure to create the character details (eyes, mouth, or hair) before sewing edges together

Sew the seam with right sides together and leave a gap to stuff the filling!


Gavin totally wanted his guy equipped with head phones to make it look “hip-hop” as he says, and a mohawk haha…

You can’t forget to add a lil’ love from MOM for them to cherish forever…

So this was definitely a rewarding project to take on and most especially that it brought smiles out to drown the sad tummies and noses for a bit. I was glad to have something lift all of our spirits and not let the draggy week have its way entirely!

Here are Ella and Gavin now sick free thankfully, and happy as could be since they have their new little ‘Feel Better Friends’ to cheer them up on any occasion!!