When it came time for me to start planning my son’s first birthday party I knew I wanted to make it special and personalized. I also knew I had to do it on a budget, which to me, means DIY. And what better way to DIY your child’s birthday party than to…

Adopt A Monster to take home with them!

It’s actually a lot easier than you would think and you can tailor it to your sewing skills. New to sewing like I am? Keep the shape simple. But, if you’re a pro at the machine you can jazz them up however you want. The hardest part is sticking to only a few fabrics and not buying out the store. 

List of Materials

  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Fabric
  • Polyester toy stuffing
  • Fabric scissors
  • Fabric chalk or marker
  • Felt
  • Embroidery thread
  • Embroidery needle
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hot glue sticks

Let’s go through the steps to create your own Monster

First things first. Come up with a plan

No one likes going to the store more than once. Avoid that by putting a plan together ahead of time and checking your own stock for materials before you leave. Even a loose outline is better than nothing.

Big or small? What size monster are you making?

I chose to measure my cloth into squares slightly larger than the template I created for my monsters. I then figured out the number of children I would have at the party multiplied by two to find out the number of squares I needed. Here’s the math I based my monsters off.

My favorite part! Pick your fabric

6 folded bolts of cloth with different patterns
I bought one yard of each pattern for a total of 6 yards of fabric

Walking through the fabric aisle is so much fun for me! So much so that I found it really difficult to narrow down exactly which patterns I wanted to buy but thankfully the fabric is really inexpensive so buying several different kinds was an easy way to satisfy my needs.

I grabbed 6 different patterns which allowed for plenty of combination choices. Should you wash your fabric before sewing? That completely depends on the fabric. Just make sure your fabric is washable before you throw it in the machine.

Construct your monster

  • Cut your squares: If you cut your squares ahead of time you can match them up and save yourself a lot of time later on. You can pair them up now and really get ahead of the game.
  • Make a base pattern:  I made a rough shape of the monsters I wanted to create so I would be able to keep the monsters around the same size. I used thick card stock that would hold up to my tracing and be strong enough to be reused. You can pin it to the cloth if you don’t want it slipping.
Fabric cut and ready to sew
Colorful fabric makes appealing Monsters
  • Cut out the fabric: Fabric chalk can really come in handy when drawing or tracing on fabric. However, be sure to flip them inside out to hide any marks. I chose to do a lot of random shapes so no two monsters looked the same but it would look great as the same basic monster with different patterns.
  • Let’s start sewing! Let’s dive right in! Its time to sew the monsters together and then turn them right side out again for stuffing. Leave a small hole somewhere so you can stuff the animal once you’ve finished sewing. 
Fabric turned inside out and pinned together
Turn inside out when its time to sew

So Squishy!

This might be the most tedious part of the task but Netflix usually comes to the rescue.  Take small clumps and stuff them into the monsters taking care to fill all the corners. Try not to use large chunks as this will make the monsters lumpy. Some stuffing comes with sticks for the tight spaces but I’m not opposed to using chopsticks in a pinch.

Sew an invisible stitch into the hole you stuffed your monsters with and voila! Your monster’s body is all complete.

An invisible stitch is the perfect way to finish the monster body

Personalize them! I decided to use a lot of felt and hot glue to do my faces because I’m not that great at embroidery yet but depending on how you would like them to look the sky is the limit!

Finished stuffed monsters with felt faces
Personalize each face with felt or embroidery

To complete the Adopt A Monster experience I created a stork graphic with a graphic design site called Canva. I thought a stork flying in with a rainbow trail behind him was an adorable way to reference Jude being my rainbow baby.

The monsters are displayed in their chest on the gift bag table at the first  birthday party
A cute graphic pulls it all together

Monsters aren’t supposed to be perfect, right?

No one would ever confuse me for a professional seamstress but these stuffed animals are adorable and only require basic sewing skills and a big imagination.

The top of the monster chest that shows colorful monsters
This adorable chest was perfect for my Adopt a Monster

Here are some more ideas for a monster themed birthday party.

One year old Infographic Tri-fold display board

You’ve probably seen infographics drawn up on a chalkboard touting the accomplishments of the child. I wanted something like that but more colorful and with less chalk. I would never be able to hand draw all the cute elements people have on theirs so I decided to make a three-fold display board and make mine digitally!

Green tri-fold display board with card stock monsters and balloons along with baby's information
Tri-fold infographic display board

Colorful boxes to jazz it up

These were perfect for catching the eye and filling blank space. So quick and easy and most of the materials were from The Dollar store and around the house.

Colorfully wrapped boxes piled on one another as a table top decoration
The perfect table top decorations fore less than $10

One-Year-Old Highchair

Highchair with birthday banner wrapped around
Colorful tulle made the banner pop

Monster Smash Cake and Cupcakes

Birthday boy with his smash cake
Not a fan of all the attention