Bananya Cosplay

If you didn’t believe I was a total dork before now, you will after this post.

You see, I’m somewhat obsessed with Bananya. Don’t know what Bananya is? (You’re not alone.) A bananya is a cat….that lives in a banana. And it has many other Bananya friends (there’s baby bananyas, black bananya, vain bananya, tabby bananya…) Basically, they all live in bananas and they hang out on the kitchen counter when you aren’t watching. The episodes are less than 5 minutes long, so if you have a chance check out a few and come back. Its ok. I’ll wait.

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Thanks for coming back! Did you fall in love?

My friends know about my obsession, and when discussing potential cosplays for Florida Supercon one of my friends made the suggestion. I’m pretty sure she was joking, but I fell in love with the idea!

The pieces slowly came together in my head:

  • Cat headband (felt ears)
  • Tshirts
  • Yellow fleece pants
  • Yellow and white banana peels

The first item I tackled was the pants. I used Simplicity 2290 as the pattern and only changed the bottom hem by adding elastic to make sure they bunched up.

It took me a little bit longer to decide how to tackle the peels. I knew fleece on its own wouldn’t give me the drape that I wanted, but after a couple of trips to 2 different Joann’s I was able to find the perfect material, 1/2″ thick foam.

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For the peels I did use a tiny bit of math to figure out the width of each (widest waist measurement divided by 4 = Peel width). They are fluffy, so if you fudge the numbers a bit its not a big deal. Once I cut 4 rectangles in width needed, I drew a tapered peel shape and cut it out. I used that as the “pattern” for the remaining peels.

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I used that same pattern to cut out 4 pieces of yellow fleece and 4 pieces of white fleece.

To sew together I layered the fleece pieces on top of the foam (yellow on top, white in the middle, foam on the bottom) and sewed as close to the edge as possible with about 1/4″ seam allowance around the curved parts leaving only the straight bottom section without sewing. Once all 3 layers were sewn I turned it right side out, leaving the yellow fleece on the bottom, and the foam sandwiched in between the fleece layers.

I wanted the option to be able to take off the peels if they became a nuisance (since we’d be wearing them practically the whole day, plus, you know….bathroom breaks…). This also allows the pants to be worn again sans peels. In order to be able to get them on and off relatively easily, I attached them all to some webbing and attached a buckle that allows you to tighten as needed.

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I left the cat ears for last, since they would be fairly easy to make. (For reference, check out my post on making a unicorn headband!) All I needed was 2 headbands, which I already had, and some felt in black, pink, and white.

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I’m pretty darned happy with how this costume turned out, and that’s saying a lot! I tend to be very critical and tell myself everything looks like crap if it isn’t perfect. It wasn’t perfect, but I still loved it!

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A Bananya in its natural habitat.

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A big thanks to Will for indulging me and taking these pictures during a random trip to Fairchild Tropical Garden. (And yes, those are banana trees I’m sneaking behind!)

 

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Air Plant Himmeli

In case you haven’t heard, plastic straws are OUT. Metal and reusable straws are totally IN*.

So what do you do when you have bags of straws at home, but you feel like a monster using them to sip on your Fresca, but you also don’t want to throw them out for fear they’ll end up in an innocent turtle’s nose?!

You use them for crafting, duh. More specifically, you use them to make himmeli! And in case merely up-cycling straws is not green enough for you, these himmeli will serve as a perfect outdoor-safe home for your air plants! (Because air plants are totally in too.)

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There are two basic ways to make these himmeli: 1) make all the straws the same size to get a cute chubby symmetrical shape, or 2) use longer straws at the top to make an elongated shape. In the steps below I’ll show you how to make the chubby one, and in the last step I’ll explain how to make the changes to make yourself an elongated himmeli!

So, ready to make some himmeli?!

Himmeli supplies

Materials:

  • Straws. Thickness depends on the style you’re going for or what you have at home. I used smoothie straws from Ikea, because that’s what I had on hand.
  • String. Cotton, nylon, pretty much anything will do. (If you use skinnier straws or thicker string, you may need a tapestry needle.)
  • Scissors.
  •  A ruler. (Very much optional.)

Step 1: Figure out how big you want your himmeli! You want to make it slightly larger than your airplant so it has room to grow, but not too big that it falls out. (You can either use the ruler to get your measurement, or you can eyeball it and use the first straw as the measurement for the others.)

Step 2: Cut out 12 straws segments. Either all the same size, or 3 sizes: 4 for the top, 4 for the middle, 4 for the bottom. (For maximum mischief, only hold one end of the straw while you’re cutting. Kids and pets will LOVE this.) 

Step 3: Cut your string. The math-free way to figure out how much string you need? Line up your longest 4 pieces. Take the string, and measure out that length 4 times. (If you’re using a cotton string or twine, it will help to wrap the ends in tape so they don’t unravel!)

Step 4: Measure out a string length equivalent to 2 straw pieces. (This is going to be your tail, don’t let it go anywhere). Take 3 pieces and string them, then tie a knot at the top (keep that tail in tact!)

 

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Step 6: Next, string 2 more straw pieces, and tie a knot at the bottom this time.

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Step 7: Keep repeating this (string 2, tie, string 2, tie), alternating the side that you’re tying, until you’re left with 1 lonely straw piece on the string.

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Step 8: Grab the 2 tails that are left, and tie them together.

Step 9: You’re going to be left with a pyramid with 2 hanging flaps. Take both of the tails and string them through one of the “straw flaps” so they come out the other end.

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Tie them around the other flap. And that’s it!

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Left: Chubby Himmeli; Right: Elongated Himmeli

Now, to make an elongated himmeli you are going to substitute the 1st 2 straws and the last pair (not the last lonely straw) with longer pieces. Like so….

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And the last few steps are the same!

Finally, place your air plants in their new home….they (and the turtles) will thank you for it!

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*For those who are worried about HOW CAN I DRINK MY BUBBLE TEA WITHOUT BEING A MONSTER, Pretty Candy Pin Co carries some gorgeous Rainbow Stainless Steel Boba Staws! (Edit: Currently sold out, but they should be in stock in a couple of weeks.)

Happy National Spaghetti Day!

Did you know today is National Spaghetti Day?

Yeah, I didn’t either…but now that we do know, I wish you a good one!

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What is it, meatball?

 

To make these cuties all you need is scissors, some felt in white (cream), red, and brown, a little bit of polyfill,  felt glue (for the eyes and mouth), and a needle and thread.

Step 1: Cut 1/4″ strips from the white felt (cream, really) until you have a plateful. I had five 36″ strips. (I used the felt that is sold by the yard, not sheets.)

Step 2: Cut the spaghetti sauce shape out of red felt.

Step 3: Cut 2 circles from the brown felt. Mine were 3″. With a needle and thread make a running stitch along the border of the circle (about 1/8″ from the edge). Place a wad of polyfill in the center, then gather and stitch the opening closed.

To make the eyes I used scraps of white and black felt, but you can also use embroidery!

 

Bon Appetit!

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Amigurumi Baby Groot

One of the fun parts of moving is that the packing and unpacking phase can uncover stuff you forgot you ever had. (Sometimes fun, sometimes leads to anxiety.) While emptying yet another box in the craft room I discovered that I had printed off a GROOTORIAL from Twinkie Chan nearly 3 years ago!

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At the time Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol. 1) had just come out and we were all about Baby Groot. Fast forward a few years; now GOTG Volume 2 is out, and we are still all about Baby Groot. (Well, Kid Groot. Was that not the best opening sequence to a movie…ever?? Kid Groot is the best.)

Finding this pattern was a sign that it was time to whip out that crochet needle and make me a Groot!

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This project wasn’t too difficult. I ended up ditching the written pattern and following her video tutorial instead. She made a few changes in the video that worked better for me….like the size of the base, and the final size of the head. My Groot ended up slightly larger than her potted version, but smaller than the one on the video. I also skipped the vine-y bits around the torso. The hardest part was making those skinny little arms. It was so hard for me to keep track of the stitches!!

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I didn’t put my Groot in a pot since I figured he would rather be free to wander out and about.

I was right!

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Ok Groot. Can we have our Bubble Teas back now???*

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Groot, that is NOT your sushi!!*

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Has anyone else made themselves a Baby Groot (or Kid Groot?!)

If not, check out Twinkie Chan’s instructions and let me know if you make your own!!

 

*Sushi and Bubble Tea from Lan Pan in Dadeland Station. Groot’s adventuring photo shoot (and spooning partner, Link) courtesy of Nabila from One Tiny Dinosaur.

That time I made Unicorn Headbands for a bunch of grown women…

What happens when a group of grown women get together to celebrate the upcoming nuptials of a magical friend?

We wear Unicorn Headbands!

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I recently volunteered to make Unicorn headbands for a magical themed bachelorette party. With the much appreciated help of a friend it wasn’t too difficult. By the end of the night we were Unicorn Headband making pros.

Supplies needed:

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  • Headbands (we used 1/4″ white plastic)
  • White felt (you can fit 2 horns onto one sheet)
  • Colored felt (we used 5 different colors, 1 sheet will get you 2, maybe 3 sets of ears)
  • Gold thread (we used embroidery floss, but recommend using something that won’t fray at the ends)
  • Glue Gun (and about 1 stick of glue per headband)
  • Tulle in assorted colors (6 – 3″x6″ strips for each headband)
  • Polyester fill/stuffing
  • Scissors

There are a few tutorials out there to make the horns using different methods. We ended up using the pattern from HowToGal’s Unicorn Headband tutorial and drew inspiration from a combination of headbands out there on the internets. You can improvise and make your own pattern, but having one premade sped things up (even though it took us a while to figure out exactly how to roll up those horns….)

The ear shape was drawn freehand and required one larger shape, and a smaller one to fit into the larger shape.

First step: Cut out the parts!

The white felt is used for the horn, the inner part of the ear (2 needed) and the base of the horn (2 needed).

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The colored felt is used for the outer part of the ear….so you need two! To minimize the amount of cutting the pattern is meant to be cut on the fold! If you don’t do this, you won’t be able to attach it easily to the headband.

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Be sure to cut on the fold so that both sides of the ear (front and back) are connected!!

Once you have all your parts cut out….

Step 2: The horn

This isn’t as complicated as I convinced myself it was…you basically apply a strip of glue to the edge of one side of the horn piece. Then you take the other edge, and rolling the piece, you place it over that glued edge.

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There’s probably a proper way to deal with the tip of the horn, but life is short, so most of them ended up with a little gap up top.

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Your horn is going to end up a little asymmetrical, so you just chop off that extra piece.

Step 3: Stuff and wrap! (Still working on the horn)

To properly stuff the horn you should use small pieces of fill to get to the very top of the horn. Then you gradually use larger pieces until the whole thing is firmly stuffed. Make sure to stuff the top well or your horn will droop later on.

To ensure that your horn does not look like a dunce cap, you can’t skip the gold thread! Start by tying the string as close to the top as you can. Then you bring the floss down in a spiral until you reach the bottom. The tighter you squeeze, the cuter it will look! Then you glue the end on the bottom, and tuck the loose end under.

Finally, apply glue to the bottom perimeter of the horn and attach to one of the circles. The circle is going to be bigger than the base of the horn so that you can trim it down once the glue has dried up.

Step 4: The Headband!

Now that you have a standalone horn, take the headband and find the center. Apply some glue (about 1-1/2″ wide), and stick that horn on! Then take the 2nd white circle, and glue that to the bottom so that the headband is sandwiched between the horn and the circle.

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Step 5: Ears!

Attaching the ears was my favorite part! Open up the “ear” piece, apply glue on the inside, and close it with the headband on the bottom edge. Make sure to leave room between the ear and the horn for the tulle!

Repeat that on the other side, and then glue on the inner ear.

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Step 6: Tulle!

The final step is adding the tulle strips! First you decide what order (yellow on the inside? blue  on the outside??), then you take one strip at a time and just tie it onto the headband!

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….and you’re done!

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The headbands were a HUGE hit at the party, to the point that we wore them again to the Bridal Shower (and I wouldn’t be surprised if some make an appearance at the wedding next month as well).

I’ve been asked a few times whether I will be selling these. While they will not be listed in my Etsy shop, I will accept custom requests! Contact me for more information.

Mollie Makes: Amigurumi Doughnuts

Its no secret that I’m a fan of Mollie Makes magazine. The moment I see my magazine in the mailbox I start dancing with excitement….what fun projects will be featured this month?!

When I spotted these adorable amigurumi doughnuts in last month’s issue I absolutely knew I needed one of my own! For those who aren’t familiar with amigurumi, it is the Japanese art of crocheting stuffed objects with anthropomorphic features.

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Crochet has a special place in my heart. I want to say that it was the first crafty skill I learned. I was about 7 or 8 years old, on vacation with my family in Colombia and my mother’s aunt decided to teach me during the time I was there. I vividly remember the frustration of having to mirror everything that she was doing (Yay for being a lefty!) and working with a very fine crochet hook and thread (it was mustard yellow). My little hands would get sweaty and keeping tension was a struggle. Thanks to her infinite patience I stuck with it and more or less learned the basics.

So back to the doughnuts….aren’t they adorable?!

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Look at those happy doughnuts!

I decided to make the pale pink doughnut with white icing. (Um, how awesome is it to have a yarn stash and not have to purchase anything??)

Once again, I found that the Mollie Makes instructions assume an existing level of craftiness. In this case, you need to know the basic stitches. Its also a UK magazine, so I think they may use different terminology for crochet?? I thought they were referencing a Double Crochet stitch, but I used a Single Crochet instead (since its the basic amigurumi stitch).

There’s just something about crochet….its so relaxing because of the level of repetition. It gets me in the zone every time. (On that note, you don’t really want to be watching TV or singing music you’re tempted to sing along to. That’s how you lose count of your stitches!)

The steps were pretty basic. The hardest part for me is the actual stuffing and sealing of the doughnut. My hands are just awkward like that.

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Donut, or bagel? 

My favorite part: making the face!!

I used Safety Eyes (they’re like stud earrings that don’t come off!), and red thread for the mouth. Its always fun to experiment with the expressions, but I decided to copy the magazine go simple with a basic happy expression.

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Pin that icing down!

For the icing you simply crochet a few lines, and then stitch them on. While I typically hate doing all these small decorative details, I really enjoyed it this time! It may have something to do with the level of cuteness of this doughnut. (Don’t you want to just take a bite out of it?!)

A hint though: always read the directions all the way through before proceeding…..if I’d have done that I would’ve left the tails a bit longer and saved me some heartache with sewing on that icing.

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Ta-da! I made it myself! =D

This project reminded me just how much I love crochet….and how long its been since my LAST amigurumi project! I can’t wait for the next one!