After time spent with a very good friend and her new baby, I'm ready to get back to blogging. What better way than with a tutorial? Let's learn how to make matchbox mice. Unbearably cute, these little mice love to be a constant companion, to explore the world and to be tucked into their snug little beds.These little friends were made two weeks ago and they are still hanging in there, still riding around in pockets and book bags.
To begin with, you'll need some supplies and best of all, some very small (and I do mean small) scraps from your stash:
• all-purpose glue
• fabric scraps cut into approx. 1"x1.5" rectangles with pinking shears
• indelible marker for eyes
• pink embroidery floss for the ears and tail
• felt scraps cut into 1" long teardrop shapes (white, brown or gray felt would make a great mouse, but don't let me stop you from using another color!)
• decorative paper (scrapbooking works well)
• needle and thread
• cotton ball (not pictured)
Cut your scrapbook paper in a long strip the width of your matchbook and roughly 5" long or so to give you enough room to cover the entire box. Wrap your paper strip around the box, making a crease in the paper for each corner of the box (see left).
Remove the inner tray of the matchbox and apply a thin layer of glue to the entire surface of the outer cover of the matchbox. Make sure to spread the glue to the very edge. Carefully press down your creased strip of paper around the entire outer cover until the two ends meet. Trim off any excess paper and glue the final edge down. Re-insert the tray after the glue has dried.
Now cut a length of floss about 3" long and wind it around in a small bunch, leaving a tiny portion sticking up. Place the bunch of floss onto a felt teardrop with the small portion (about 1/2") laying over top of the rounded edge. Place the other teardrop on top and whip stitch around the outer edge of the felt making sure to sew around the tail portion a few times. Leave a 1/2" opening and turn inside out. Your tail should now be on the outside. Stuff with all or part of the cotton ball.
Don't sew up the belly yet! We still have to make the ears. Thread your needle and tie a knot. Stick your needle through the open belly and out in a spot towards the nose where you want your ear. Pull out the needle and make a french knot in that spot. Do the same for the other ear.
Now you are ready to sew up the belly. Place a dot of ink with your pen on either side of the head, just below the ears. Isn't he (she?) cute?
Now for the assembly and presentation. Place your mouse inside the matchbox tray with his blanket snug around him, nose pointing out, and close the box.
Go build an indoor fort, take a blanket outside and spread it underneath a quiet tree, get under the kitchen table, whatever it takes to make a little magic in the air. Gather your little ones and, with great solemnity and in hushed tones, announce that you have a little friend you want to introduce to them. But they have to be quiet! This little friend is sleeping.
Slowly, with your finger to your lips, pull out the matchbox and push open the tray. Brace yourself for squeals, intake of breath, whispers of surprise or just plain old having that box swiped from your mitts the moment that pink ear hits the air. Have fun! Go on adventures! But most of all...