A couple of months ago, I finally got round to writing up a set of instructions on how to make the soctopus toys which have occasionally appeared both here and in my Etsy shop. They've proved pretty popular over the last few years, especially on Pinterest Which is fantastic. Of course it is. Except when someone pins a picture with their own set of not-that-great instructions underneath. "No sew soctopus!" "Stuff with plastic bags!" "Tie it up with string!"
Well, some of those things might work, but I can guarantee, the finished cephalapod would be neither as aesthetically appealing (nice even shape, good straight legs, no awkward lumpy bits) nor anywhere near as durable as the one in the picture. And mine have been pretty well tested on the durability front.
Although there is more to the process than those erroneous Pins would have you believe, it's really not that complicated. A bit of strategic cutting, some simple stitching and then stuffing. Just not with plastic bags.
The full tutorial is included as part of a terrific new magazine, Handmade For Kids.
It's a hefty collection of activities, both indoor and outdoor - important for those of us on the brink of a British summer - and although the blurb says it's suitable for children up to the age of 11, I think you could happily entertain older children with some of the ideas, too. I, for instance, am quite a lot older than 11, and definitely planning to try out a couple of things.
You can find more details about the magazine, or order it here, and it's also available in WHSmith and larger supermarkets. If you, or any of your busy-fingered, summer-holidaying kiddos pick it up and have a go at making a soctopus, I'd love to see. Leave me a link, and let's see if we can't start some kind of socto-revolution. Bare feet for the win!