Let the Right Monster In

Back when I was a young tyke, my most favoritest book that I made my mom read over and over again was Jon Stone and Michael Smollin’s There’s a Monster at the End of This Book (sadistically forcing her to do Grover’s voice every single time).  I believe that I fell in love with reading and thinking outside of the box because of that book.  In other words, it warped my widdle mind.

Years later, my brother and I were home alone watching Unsolved Mysteries. It was one of their freaky-as-hell ghost shows.  Specifically, this one:

Now, if you don’t have time to watch the entire video, then let me sum up what happens: These kids get this bunk bed that turns out to be evil, possessed, or both (I’m not sure – I refuse to re-watch the episode).  After the bunk bed is moved into their room, spooky things begin to happen and the kids keep panicking about “the witch behind the door.”  One night their uncle stays over to prove that there’s nothing wrong when something scares him so badly that he flees the house and refuses to ever talk about what he witnessed.  Needless to say, it scared the bejeebus out of both my brother and me.  It also killed my desire to have a bunk bed.  Or own an old-timey radio.  Or to sleep with my bedroom door shut because if there was a witch, then I didn’t want to see her in that corner like those kids did.

Where am I going with all this?  I think it’s my attempt to figure out why the hecky-pooh I did what I did behind my bedroom door in my apartment.  I think.

When I moved in to my apartment I quickly realized what my least favorite feature is – it’s what’s behind my bedroom door.  No, not a witch, but this:

Why?  Why put the fuse box back there?!  Not that I shut my bedroom door a lot, but if I do, then do I want to see that ugly thing?  The answer is no.  No I do not.

So when I had bought fake fur for some reupholstering projects, I had been sure to purchase some extra just in case I came up with something fun to do with it.  What I ended up using some of it for was to make a monster to hide behind my bedroom door to scare away any potential ghost-witches that may or may not want to hide out there.  Okay, so I made him just to cover the fuse box and it wasn’t until later that I thought he made a handy ghost-inhibitor.  I mean, if I were a ghost I’d be like “I’m gonna scare the hell outta some living people by hiding behind this-HOLY MCNUGGETS!!! IT’S A MUH-MUH-MUH-MONSTER!!! I SHALL HAUNT ELSEWHERE BECAUSE THAT SCARED ME SO BAD!” Or something.

Check him out:

I really hope that if the maintenance man has to come over and access the fuse box, then I get to be there to see his face when he gets to it.  Heh.

I also think it would be freakin’ adorable in a kid’s room to have a bunch of smaller “monsters” in all different colors and shapes on a wall.  I know that I would’ve loved it as a child.  It’s also soooo very easy to do!  And here’s how to do it:

What you need:

  • Fake fur (enough to wrap around the front of a frame)
  • A framework of some sort – whether it be an ugly bulletin board (for my tutorial), or a canvas from an earlier artistic failure (like for my blue monster)
  • Scissors
  • Staple gun
  • At least two ping-pong balls (more could be used for monster variety)
  • Sharpie or other permanent marker
  • Hot glue gun

1.  Wrap the frame with the fur.  You’ll need just enough to staple on the back of the frame. For this tutorial I found some yellow scrap fur that didn’t get used in an older project. Turns out I had to use two separate pieces to cover the frame – which was a fantastic development: it makes a mouth!  You could also use two or more colors to make a striped monster!  Squee!  I love happy crafty accidents!

Anywho, I stapled the first side so that there was trimming needed.  Then I stapled down the opposite side and trimmed that side.  The stapling helps keep the fur taut and easier to cut:

2.  Staple the fur to the frame going all around – you’ll need to do some trimming on the corners so that the fur doesn’t bunch up too badly.  You might be able to just hot glue the fur on – I didn’t try it since I had the staple gun:

3.  Then cut back the fur a bit to the base where you want the eyeballs to go (it helps them to be stable).  I used my mad Photoshop Skillz to circle where I trimmed back the fur since it’s almost impossible to see in the picture.  I was sure to leave some normal length fur between where the eyeballs would go:

4.  Use your Sharpie to draw pupils onto the ping-pong balls:

5.  Glue those ping-pong eyeballs onto the fur:

Hang it up on the wall, and there you have it:  a loveable furry monster to call your own!  

But wait!  It gets better!  As I was putting together this tutorial by building another monster I had a SHAZAM moment of how much fun I could have with its layering. I realized that I had leftover red felt from my Muppet Coasters – so I grabbed it and cut it into a tongue-shape.  Then all I did was tuck it up under the separate fur parts:

Next time I’m at the craft store I plan on picking up a variety of felt to make various accessories to switch out with the tongue – like funky teeth!  If I’d made more fur strips then I could have made little arms or other various body parts to deck him out for various holidays or if I became bored with how he looks.  This guy reminds me a bit of Invader Zim‘s Gir – so much so that I’m considering making a “Gir Wall Monster” – I think it’s pretty doable!  I mean, I’ve already got some leftover lime green fur… ::begins plotting::

Initially I had so much fun making my blue monster that I had made a green one too. Currently it’s hanging out in the linen closet since I have yet to find it a new home on the wall after Bruce moved in and its former spot was taken with storage stuff.  But I think it looks cute just leaning against the wall keeping any ghost-witches out of our linens:

Coming up Next:  Giving Hafuboti a hand. ::wink-wink-nudge-nudge:: I’m totally using a play on words there!