Animal Crackers... on my stoop?

I love making quirky gifts for people I know will really appreciate them. Ever since I came across a picture of an animal cracker pillow through a Google search, I've been convinced that they were the perfect gift for my incredibly talented photography professor friend, who just celebrated her 40th birthday. There's just something about her cool 50's style and kitschy vibe that made me really want to make these for her.

Somebody sells these cute felt pillows on Etsy...

Except I felt they needed some extra cute... frosting and sprinkles! So I picked up some tan canvas, pink furry stuff and a bunch of colorful buttons.

Animal crackers are inherently imperfect, so I figured hand-drawing the shapes would work just fine for these pillows. Of course, I ran out of big paper at home, so I taped a few sheets of printer paper together to draw out a cat, a unicorn (not actually an animal cracker shape, but close enough!), a camel and an elephant.

Then, I cut out the shapes and traced them on the tan canvas, and pinned the tan pieces to the pink furry stuff. I really don't like cutting this kind of fabric, since it leaves little fuzz pieces EVERYWHERE, but this particular fabric wasn't too bad. I actually used the inside of the furry as the outside (I thought it looked nicer), so I placed the tan pieces on the fuzzier side and pinned them together. I cut out the animal shapes with about a quarter to half inch around them (seam allowances!).

This guy is lucky he's cute...

Then, the animals were stitched around the outer edges, with the seam of the belly left open to turn them right side out and stuff them.

These guys required more stuffing than I expected... I had to go pick up a second bag! But I wanted to make sure they were nice and firm... and I probably could have added even more, as few of the legs got a little bendy after I'd been working with them for a while.

Of course, no frosted circus animal cracker is complete without sprinkles! I bought a whole bunch of colorful buttons in pink, purple, blue, green and yellow and scattered them around on each animal. This part kind of took forever, but fortunately attaching buttons is a little bit brainless, so I caught up on some M*A*S*H with my husband while I worked on these.

When all is said and done, I can't decide if I'm a fan of the buttons or not. I do really like how the elephant turned out with the cute button heart (a very loose interpretation of sprinkles). I also love the camel- I think he's my favorite. But the important part... I think Sarah loved them all!


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