January 13, 2011

Jack Skellington Earmuffs

Although we don't live near Disneyland, we spend quite a bit of time there. We even spent 4 days there over New Years. I sure don't know why Riley didn't say she wanted Jack Skellington earmuffs then. . . but she has over the past 2 days. So I kind of knew that if I found them at Hot Topic or Spencer's that they would be a little big. And well, we didn't find them. So I made a set. Pretty easy actually.

They remind me of the big headphones I used to have in high school. Think they have made it back around as a trend.  It took me about an hour to have the completed project. In the end, it cost me less than $1 to make. Here's the rundown of what I used:

1 headband from a set of 4 from Dollar Tree (I chose the color she would like the least to wear by itself)
12" square of felt
inkjet printable fabric (cotton twill from Joann's; think it was $20 but I used a 50% coupon and there is probably a few yards of fabric on the roll)
batting (very little used)
a thin plastic sheet (I used this from an old Cropper Hopper storage folder I don't use any longer http://www.cropperhopper.com/dividers.aspx) Plus if you aren't planning on cleaning these, you could recycle cardboard)
coordinating thread
paper trimmer
sewing machine

The headband is about a little more than 1/4" thick. So I cut my felt into a 12"x2" rectangle on the paper trimmer. Yes I said paper trimmer. I am that lazy.  I then pinned it in half and stitched it with a 3/8" seam allowance. It has quite a bit to move around. It was hard to turn the piece to turn the inside out so I left it and trimmed the seam allowance down. Slid the headband inside.

Next I used a circle cutter to trim one 4" circle out of the plastic divider. I then cut 4 felt circles with it. Set aside. I then cut two more circles (around 3-1/4").  Keep in mind that Riley is a small 5 year old but actually the earmuffs fit me too. So your circles may be larger.

I guess I forgot to mention that I searched for an image of Jack Skellington. Actually I went to Disney's Family Fun and searched "disney printables" and "Jack Skellington".It returned a Jack doll in PDF format. I opened the page in Photoshop Elements 9 (just the first page). Then I cropped Jack's head and erased the neck. Resized the image to a 3" square. I cut a piece of printable fabric to 8-1/2" x 4" because it comes in a 8-1/2" roll. I formatted my print surface to 4x6 and placed two Jack heads on there and printed it on the Velvet Art paper setting. It says to let the fabric set for 15 minutes. After I cut the heads out and pinned one on a felt circle. Even with a walking foot, I was having issues using a small zigzag to get an applique look. So I used a straight stitch then went over it with a zigzag (no where close to as small as I was dealing with). Repeat with another circle.

I then pinned a blank felt circle to the Jack head circle (right sides together) and stitched around the edge just short of a full circle so I could turn it inside out and place the headband inside. Repeat and turn the muffs right side out. Then I bent the plastic and inserted inside. This is where you can trim down the plastic if needed to fit inside. Then Riley stuffed the front part of the muffs with batting.

Finally I inserted the fabric covered headband half way inside of the muff  (end of headband to the center point of the earmuff) sandwiched between the plastic circle and batting and stitched up the opening. Repeat.

There you go. Totally simple and saved me probably $20. I wanted to make them out of fur but didn't know if it would work. Well it did so I'm brainstorming with Hello Kitty shapes dancing around in my mind and hearts for Valentines Day. Again, if your head or ears larger, you may want to use bigger circles and not necessarily stick the headband as far down into the stuffed muffs.