Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Critter Craft Time

Remember when I confessed to buying that Calico Critter house?  Yeah...I'm still slightly ashamed of being a twenty-something woman with a child's dollhouse, BUT look what I found at the Goodwill outlet center: vintage Calico Critters and furniture from the eighties!

Its so freaking adorable! All the little drawers open, and I love the little playground equipment.  The old versions are very similar to the Calico Critter toys for sale right now.  There was a house at Goodwill, too, but I left that for someone else since I already have one.  Pretty darn exciting.  So for the moment, lets overlook the fact that I'm a creepy weirdo that collects old junk and focus on how cute this stuff is.

Whenever I have a minute of down time I've been busy painting and gluing and sewing like a hobbit in my studio.  For some reason, I just really love the style of these little toys.  They're sweet and simple with a forest theme that inspires me.  I've been using old game pieces and trinkets to make the miniatures, and not trying to hide what they're made from.  I like how easy it is to determine the scale of the little toys once you realize what objects were used to create them.  Here are a few of the items I've made:
Wooden Forest Play Set
I love this little set: it reminds me of the simple toys I had as a kid, like Lincoln Logs.  The base of the little woodland house is an old game piece painted white with painted doors and windows, and I found the acorn top on my beach walk a few weeks ago.  It makes a perfect roof for a teeny little building.  The trees and mushrooms were put together using basic wood shapes collected from the Outlet Center with a few coats of paint.
 Cupcakes and Cake Stand
The cupcakes are made from wood pieces (the same way I made the cupcake ring) and the cake stand was created with a beautiful old game piece with worn green paint that features a deer design on one side.  I have no idea what game this is from, but I love how old it looks; like a faded ancient coin from Narnia or some other fantasy place.
 Alice in Wonderland Tea Set and Doll
The doll is incredibly tiny.  Her hair is made from yellow thread and her body is felt.  I hand sewed the dress with a lacy apron that ties in the back, and added a big pink bow to the top of her head.  For the tea set, I used polymer clay and acrlyic paint to add details.  The gold tray is actually a big button.
Bead Maze, Xylophone and Hobby Horse
This may be my favorite project so far.  The bead maze was made from a domino with bent colored paper for the beads to travel along.  The hobby horse is made of felt and the xylophone is painted wood.
This little bear is one of the vintage Critters.  I made the dress out of fabric scraps, ribbon, and lace.  I'm thinking about making some other outfits, such as Halloween costumes.  

Have any ideas for me?  I'd love to hear what you think!


  1. Heather, these are adorable! I have a weird obsession with little things (travel-sized things are my favorite)-so these are great!

    1. Thanks :) I love travel sized things, too- and tiny food, like itty bitty jars of jam!

  2. I would love to see you do Halloween costumes! My vote is for superheros, a little batman calico critter would be super cute!

  3. I love these!!! More Calico Critters tutorials please!!! :)

    1. Okay! Here's the first of three about remodeling a plastic house for Calico Critters:

  4. Calico critters toys are good for toddlers as it increases the imagination power moreover it helps in solving many puzzles as it churns infant’s mind in a good way. Toddlers found Calico critters a traditional plaything really adventurous and they enjoy a lot.