My Design Process and Amigurumi Tool Box

A couple times a week I get emails asking about the design process in making my plush and what tools I use. In this post I'll be sharing it all with you, how I design a toy, what tools I use and how I take an inspiration and turn it into plush form. A lot of my colors come from outside inspiration. I do a lot of flickr searching and adding pictures to my favorites on a daily basis. I'm always on the hunt for a picture that jumps right at me and screams plush! Other than flickr, street graffiti inspires me the biggest. The unusual color combo's, layers of graffiti... all of it inspires my color palette.

Inside my tool box, oh boy! My husband calls it a death box cause it's full of needles, scissors and pins. I'm very protective over it since I have a 2 year old in the house and she thinks all things shiny are toys. Here's what I keep in m box and what I use them all for:
  • Threads: For sewing on eyes, I love colored thread to contrast the eyes with or I use Sulky iridescent thread
  • Scissors: Trimming yarn and thread (although I often use my teeth)
  • Pin Cushion: Holds my needles and pins
  • Needles: I use a long embroidery needle to weave in yarn ends, sew my plush together and sew on the eyes & mouth
  • Pins: Normally I use T pins or blocking pins to hold my pieces together as I sew them on the  plush (like pin the arms to the torso...) I use ball pins as well sometimes too
  • Hook: All my plush are made using a size C hook since I make them all with sock yarn (fingering weight)
  • Needle Felter: The wooden handle thing holds a needle felting needle in the tip. I use this to tack down the mouth sometimes so it doesn't shift from a straight line to a frown or smile

Not shown in the tool box:
  • Yarn: To make the plush!
  • iPhone: I use an app called Knit Counter to keep track of my rows and multiple project. You can keep many projects in it and they can all have counters, love it!
  • Music or TV: To keep me company while I work on plush. I highly recommend listening to Radiohead or Sigur Ros (huge fan) for music!

The boxes I use to store all my tools in are small. The top bigger box is my amigurumi tool box, I keep all the tools you saw in the previous picture in there. I got this small box at Walmart for like $3 and love it. It's great size and fits into my tote bag nicely. The bottom longer box is one of the boxes I use to store sequins. I use an embroidery thread box (the big flat clear ones) to store more sequins in as well, should have taken a picture of that one too... err. I got this box at Joann's, it was around $3 and has a lock on the far left (purple plastic) that unlocks each top door when you push it in. Great box if you have a little one who loves glittery things!

My design process! I use a sketch book (or whatever paper pad Zoƫ hasn't drawn in) to draw up some idea's. I don't do it all the time for my plush, but it's beginning to be a normal process now. I always start wit a light pencil sketch, then trace my little monster or plush idea in permanent marker and then I'll erase the pencil. I color my plush drawings in the color palette I have in mind or from a picture inspiration.

For the top pink monster I got my color inspiration from this image here. I took the pink & dark pink spotted animal coloring and used them as my base monster & dress. Then I took the teal sky, red star and brown outfit and incorporated the colors in the pointy earflap hat on my monster. Hard to see in the sketch, but I plan on doing a teal & red striped hat with brown edging & ties.

For the bottom monster I got my color palette from this image here. I love this image! It's been a favorite of mine for a long time, I think the colors are gorgeous! I finally got to using this color palette on a plush and can't wait to start him! I took the main colors: teal and green (hard to see, but there is green under the dots) and turned it into the monster color and dress. Then I took the orange, red and yellow dots and incorporated the color palette to design my earflap hat. The hat is orange and yellow striped and will have red ties.

I hope this answers some questions and helps you with your plush making... or other crafts and art!

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