Friday, October 4, 2013

Thrifty Acres: From Frumpy To Funky

Hello! The local thrift stores have their Halloween wares out and I checked out one such table at a thrift store last week. I purchased a handmade small, stuffed black cat. Its construction has been well done, but the face was something else! Let's just say it bordered on ugly. However, since the cat was a mere 50c, I bought it with plans to do a makeover. 

In my haste to rid the cat of its unfortunate countenance, I didn't take a "before" photo of what I removed. But below I have a reconstructed "before" look with the embellishments that had made up the face:

On a piece of black fabric the same size as the stuffed cat's head, there are two blah button eyes, red button nose, wire whiskers and gold and fake pearl bowtie. The bowtie was the only embellishment that I liked, but it really didn't do much for the cat. 

And the button nose is an approximation of the nose I ripped off. I couldn't find the actual nose, but it was hideous: a dark red plastic piece shaped to look like a jewel. The vintage button I show is about the same color and size as that fake jewel had been - but IMO, looks  better! Nevertheless, since I wanted to make the cat look more like a Halloween decoration, the red button had to go. 

After digging through some vintage crafting supplies and my container of ribbon scraps, here is my "after":

Close up of the head:

Mismatched vintage buttons are sewn on with orange embroidery floss. (Can't go wrong with vintage buttons, I always say.) Orange embroidery floss was also used to stitch the whiskers and to sew on an orange felt nose. 

I was going to make a scarf from fabric scrap, but then decided to look through my container of ribbon scraps first. Glad I did so, as I found a piece of orange twill ribbon, just the right size and length to tie around the neck of this critter. 

But the cat still seemed to need something more. I pondered finding something small to put between its front paws, but passed on that idea for now. Instead, I stamped "boo" on some vintage bingo markers and glued them to the scarf. 

And that's how this cat went from frumpy to funky. It's be great if fashion makeovers went this well - or were so inexpensive to achieve! But since thrift store items like this are inexpensive, don't hesitate to pick something ugly up if you think you can redo it to suit your own tastes. 

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