A New Craft for Everyone to Enjoy!
See The TerryGami Story below!
15 Cloth Toy and
Ornament Projects for
Crafters, Teachers and Children"
Created in honor of the
Girl Scouts' 101st Birthday!!
Free TerryGami Clover
Instructions will be available soon!
Created in honor of the
Girl Scouts' 101st Anniversary!! Washcloth Clover
The instructions will be available soon for the TerryGami Clover. This should be fun for troop gift exchanges!
Place the Scout's initial in the center instead of an "S."
Tuck a special treat in the small pocket behind the bottom leaf of the clover. - Perhaps a chocolate kiss!
The Clover can be a Christmas Tree ornament, too! Just thread lame or string through the top to make a loop, and then tie it off.
Happy Birthday girls!!
Animals, Birds, and Gnomes
12 Projects in this book!
Created in honor of the
Girl Scouts' 100th Anniversary!!
This bear can be a boo boo bear, a sachet, a tree ornament, a party favor, a toy or a party activity!
FOR NEEDLES SOLD IN BULK
go to Anita's Little Stitiches:
Size 18 tapestry is recommended.
Tapestry needles are not quite sharp enough for a child to prick herself, but it is sharp enough to glid through the material and easy to thread.
TerryGami books are available at:
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~~~The TerryGami Story ~~~
Terry Cleveland Crowley
A special thanks to the Boo Boo Bunny creator whomever and wherever she or he may be. What an adorable idea! Fortunately, my attempt to remember how to make the Boo Boo Bunny 24 years ago ended up looking more like an owl or a baby chick. Over the years, I wondered if something more could be made out of washcloths, and so began the evolution of a new craft I have named TerryGami – for the terrycloth from which the critters are made, not for my namesake.
The Graduation Owl was the first critter I ever created for both of my boys’ kindergarten classmates for their graduation parties. Ten years later, when I discovered that some of the parents were saving their child’s boo boo owl as a keepsake, I realized that other parents may be interested in how to make the owls, too. Later, a friend of mine confirmed this even further when she told me she had come across the washcloths and materials she had purchased to make the owl years ago. She wanted to make them for both of her daughters' kindergarten classes!
After divorce and many financial woes, I considered doing a craft piece for a magazine using the owl, but once I started to focus what else I could create, I couldn’t stop. I made a teacher’s boo boo apple, a pumpkin, a snowman and much more. One critter lead to another, and now the magazine article was turning into a book.
I needed a financial solution, and I thought this might be it: Take an old idea and expand it into a whole new craft. So, now I have closed my eyes and thrown it out there. Whatever the result I will continue my quest to create a new craft for children and adults. I have far too many critters lined up waiting for instructions to be created for them for me to stop now. Also, my brain won’t let me stop creating new ones!
Finding a good way to write the instructions was the hardest part of this project. First I wrote all of the directions out in long hand, and then typed them up. My eyes glazed over at the sight of all of that dry text. Then, I tried to photograph the washcloths in the various steps. I didn’t like the way that looked either, but then my youngest son showed me how to draw on the computer. Now I was getting somewhere, but there was a big learning curve for me there, too.
Once I was finished with the prototypes, pictures, factoids and instructions, I had to vet the critters. My book club had moms, teachers, a librarian, an editor and a lawyer. Thankfully, they became my critter vetting crew.
They insisted that the instructions be on more than one or two pages, especially for kids. Once I enlarged the instructions, then they didn’t like the format. They wanted larger text and larger numbers, plus a line separating each step and to reverse the order of the illustrations and the text. So I changed the instructions again and again! Now, after revision after revision, and quite a bit frustration and angst, I might add, the craft instructions have been honed into there final form.
Now it was time to vet the craft on kids. Fortunately, they loved it! I was worried that if the children were required to stuff an animal, they wouldn’t want to be bothered. The opposite was true! The kids went crazy stuffing the critters; the fatter the better! What a relief! Relief doesn’t really describe it fully.
I was torn over doing the instructions in black and white verses color, but I decided color is an essential part of the appeal for the instructions, especially for ease in reading and especially for the children. It is my hope the color will prevent the immediate brain fog that invariably occurs whenever someone has to tackle instructions that are in black and white.
To provide additional value to the book, I added a list of factoids for each critter and holiday icon to help group facilitators, scout leaders, teachers, homeschooling moms make each project informative without any extra effort on their part. Fortunately, the materials to make the critters are inexpensive, and if you are crafty, you may already have many of the items in your home.
The next big learning curve for me was how to publish the book. I joined the local writers' association and after a while, I was able to figure out that process, too.
I plan to get the third book out this year with mostly one cloth projects. The one cloth projects should have been first, but for whatever reason, I haven't been able to come up with them until now.
TerryGami is here, but not without a little help from my family and friends!
All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
What is TerryGami?
Now, let me tell you a little more about the craft. TerryGami is a new craft that uses thin, borderless terrycloth washcloths or terrycloth utility cloths, rubber bands, glue, needle and thread to make animals and holiday icons. Some of the critters are stuffed, some are not. All of the items can be made with the washcloths that can be purchased at department stores for about $4 for a package of 18 cloths.
The critters require one to four washcloths, depending on the item being made. For safety, blunt-end, wide-eyed needles such as darning, tapestry or small yarn needles work well with terrycloth. While gluing some of the critters is possible, learning to sew is a necessary life skill, and TerryGami is a really fun way to learn.
Many of the terrycloth creations will be of interest to teachers for use in their classrooms(or even as gifts for the children), to parents who home-school, to all kinds of Scout leaders, to Bible school teachers and summer camp leaders, to Boys and Girls Club facilitators, to play group moms and to children who enjoy making crafts on their own. Many of the critters are perfect for bazzar craft sales, too. A one cloth critter can be made for under 50 cents.
I preserved the idea of the Boo Boo Bunny by creating a boo boo function for many of the items. Just add an ice cube in the critter's tummy to soothe a child's boo boo (see the Scout Bear above, which can also be a Boo Boo Bear). These creations can serve many other purposes, too: decorations for holiday trees, sachets, treat boxes and party favors.
Older children seem to like to have a purpose for the item in mind. For example, one 14 year old was a bit disinterested in the craft until she realized that she could use the Santa as a Christmas ornament. Many of the projects can be used to decorate the home for holidays or as gifts.
Since the trend now is for children to have craft birthday parties, the party favor and/or activity can be a terrycloth soft sculpture the children can make themselves, saving parents money in the process. Educators and group facilitators are always looking for hands-on activities for children. The nice thing is, these critters appeal to both girls and boys. Be sure to have a couple of helper parents on hand for large parties or scout meetings.
Children with the maturity level of roughly 8-years old and up can make these craft items. Adults will need to assist children at first, especially young children. Also, the basic critter can be prepared ahead of time for younger children, and then the children can add on the facial features and decorations later.
I have seen a child as young as five-years-old make a snowman with help from his mom, so, as long as there is supervision, this craft can be something even younger children can do. Of course, all children will need help in the beginning, especially when learning to sew for the first time.
When my boys were young, they wanted to learn how to sew. I worried about them pricking themselves on needles or cutting themselves with the scissors. I worried that they would be teased. So, much to my shame, I let it pass without figuring out how I could teach them to sew.
I would like to think that TerryGami is the solution to all of my concerns back then. Blunt-end needles can be used because terrycloth has a large weave and the needles go right through the material. A good pair of blunt-end Fiskars scissors can be purchased for children now in discount department stores. There isn’t too much to be cut anyway, except the thread.
If the Beanie Baby craze of the 1990s is any indication, boys love stuffed toy animals, too, but now they will be able to make their own. Here’s a word of caution, though: Don’t be surprised if your son or daughter gets an entrepreneurial bug. One little boy ran out of my house with an armful of critters he had made, saying, “I’m going to sell these!” So just beware, some young entrepreneurs may consider TerryGami stands, instead of lemonade stands!