Banish Monsters Forever with a Monster Catcher JournalPosted by MeckMom on Jun 3, 2009 in Popular Posts: Family Fun, Popular Posts: Parenting Hacks | 3 comments
About two years ago, my son started having a little trouble with nightmares. Like most five-year-olds, he was convinced there were monsters lurking in every shadow. For the first few nights, I went through the traditional parental reassurance methods; checking under the beds and opening closet doors, but it seemed a bit futile. After all, I wanted my son to be able to banish these imaginary monsters on his own – to feel like he was in control – not be dependent on me to fight the bad guys.
That’s when I came across a great idea called a Nightmare Snatcher from a company called Spiderbite on Etsy. Essentially, it’s a journal designed to catch and trap my kids’ biggest nighttime worries. They simply draw a picture of their particular fear inside and the furry monster on the cover will snatch up the fear and trap it for good. Spiderbite’s Nightmare Snatcher Journal worked so well for my son that we ended up making our own (less fancy) version for my other kids. My kids call them Monster Catchers.
My kids love having their monster catchers, but they loved making them even more. I let each of them pick their favorite color of fur and they designed their own monster faces. It only took about an hour to create all three of them. They have kept them tucked under their pillows ever since. We’ve made several for friends too. They make really fun and inexpensive birthday party gifts.
Please understand that this is an inexpensive, homemade version of Spiderbite‘s really great idea. If you’re in the market for an authentic and artfully-crafted Nightmare Snatcher Journal I strongly encourage you to visit their Etsy store and check out their fantastic selection. They average around $25 each and are well worth the price considering the quality of the materials and the level of craftsmanship.
Here’s what you’ll need to create your own…
- 1 standard size composition notebook
- 1 section of furry fabric cut to around 17″x11.5″
- 1 sheet of white foam paper
- 1 package of assorted googly eyes (I like the great big ones for this project)
- Tools: a hot glue gun, a pair of sharp scissors, and a fine point marker or pen
Step 1: Lay your composition book flat on the wrong side of the fabric and trim all edges so you have about an inch of excess on all sides
Step 2: Fold your fabric over your book figure out where you’d like the mouth to go. Hold that spot with your finger and mark the underside of the fabric to mark the mouth opening. Cut on the mark to create a narrow slit with your scissors.
Step 3: Fold the fabric back over the book and use your pen to mark the mouth line on your notebook. This will give you a guide for your teeth placement in the next step.
Step 4: Take a small section of your white foam paper and cut out some jagged teeth. Use a hot glue gun and glue the bottom edges of your teeth to the mouth line mark on your notebook. Fold the fabric back over the notebook and pull the tips of the teeth through the slit.
Step 5: Use your hot glue gun to adhere the fabric to the spine of the notebook. Make small notches in the corners and small slits at the top and base of the book spine to allow for easier covering then continue gluing the rest of the fabric.
Step 6: Trim the excess fur off the inside overlapping fabric (this will help the book close a little more completely)
Step 7: Figure out where you’d like to place your eyes and trim the excess fur in that area. Use your glue gun to adhere the googly eyes to the fabric.
Step 8: Use your remaining white foam paper to cover the ugly inside covers of the notebook (colored cardstock works too).
That’s it. A simple, inexpensive way to beat back the monsters in just 8 easy steps. One word of caution, this type of fabric sheds like crazy at first. When you get home from the craft store I highly recommend taking it outside and shaking it very vigorously. In fact, if the weather’s nice, I recommend saving yourself a lot of clean up by doing the entire project out on your deck or patio. Good luck, everyone and happy monster catching. Just thought I’d pass it on.