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April 23, 2013

This IS Your Granny’s Crafting! Beanbag Animal FAIL

By Betty Crafter


Remember these adorable felt animals and my grand plans to craft along with you, my lovely readers? Well instead of a craft-a-long, we get a lesson. A lesson in how sometimes vintage can break your heart. Because vintage crafting is not all felt sunshine and crewel rainbows, my friends. Sometimes your vintage crafty ambitions and dreams can be dashed in a moment, with no hope of ever being realized. That is what I learned with these beanbag animals. Why you ask? Well because Better Homes and Gardens Gifts To Make Yourself are a bunch of bait and switch liars. When I sat down with my felt to begin copying the pattern pieces I quickly realized that there were no pattern pieces included for that darling purple hippo, or the yellow pig or blue cow for that matter! The pattern pieces included were for the stoned whale, special ed frog, and owl with PTSD. If you want to make one of the cute beanbag animals, here are the instructions: “Make the pig, hippo, and cow from two identically cut felt pieces. Add felt stitchery decoration.” Um, I hate you Gifts To Make Yourself. Just for fun, I may actually try to make this one day just so I can give you all a good laugh.

So today I think I will show you other examples of why Gifts To Make Yourself is a book of lies and broken promises.


How about these cute as a button animal beach bags? I SO want to make that pink elephant one. And all I have to do is draw a pattern for each bag and then assemble a beach bag! Wow! Sounds so easy! Again, I hate you Gifts To Make Yourself.


You may know about me that I’m crazy about Gemma Taccogna, so these Gemma-inspired wig stands are right up my alley! Apparently all I have to do is glue yarn to a foam head and paint on the face and hair. I am absolutely positive my attempt would be comedy gold. I hate you Gifts To Make Yourself.


This dollhouse is mid century perfection. I must have it! Now just to figure out how to construct it based on the instructions that call for simply “walls of transparent plastic and the frame from balsa wood strips, laminated plastic, and cardboard sheets.” I truly think an architect would have difficulty replicating this dollhouse based on those scanty guidelines. Have I mentioned that I hate you Gifts To Make Yourself?


I am a huge fan of these crewel clocks. But how messed up is it that you must purchase this hardback craft book (which we all know by now is light on the content) and then get an ad for a kit that you must send away for to make these clocks?? Not cool, Gifts To Make Yourself. Not cool. And I hate you. I can only hope that if you DID purchase the clock kit, the instructions included would be a little more fleshed out than some of the other projects in this book.

So, friends, the moral of the story today is, if you see a vintage craft in a book or pamphlet somewhere, restrain your excitement until you are certain that it’s not going to dash your ambitions cruelly with missing pattern pieces, incomplete instructions, or unobtainable needed materials. Guard your crafty hearts.

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4 Responses to This IS Your Granny’s Crafting! Beanbag Animal FAIL

  1. Laura Reply

    April 23, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    That IS really annoying. And while I wouldn’t launch into the doll house or the purse all on my own, I bet you could figure out those felt animals just looking at the photos! I’d be stubborn enough to try, anyway. Don’t tell me I can’t have my purple hippo! Seriously though. I think you’ve got the crafty skills to develop your own pattern pieces. To heck with Gifts You Make Yourself.

  2. Betty Crafter Reply

    April 23, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    Thank you Laura! Maybe I WILL give it a try 🙂

  3. Andrea Reply

    April 24, 2013 at 1:37 am

    I somehow have a feeling that the instructions in the clock kits would consist of telling you to embroider a clock design, and assemble the clock parts, and no further instructions than that!

  4. llamalluv Reply

    April 27, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    But the front of the book says “COMPLETE INSTRUCTIONS”!?!

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