Here are a few photographs of Storysack pieces ‘in production’, which I hope might give ideas for constructing characters, props and games. – Lisa Bennett – Storysacks Librarian.
I sourced the soft baby doll above from Ebay for £6. He lives in the So Much Storysack. I spent part of a summer holiday sewing black knitting yarn to his head so that he looked just like the illustration in the book, he came with the nappy and I made the romper suit.
I made this game for the Shark in the Park Storysack. I used brightly coloured paper, cut and glued to two base pieces of A4 paper. The pictures were drawn on white paper, coloured with pens, cut out and glued on. The Shark game counters were done in the same way, then laminated. The two A4 boards were laminated and taped down the back so that it would fold neatly in the Storysack.
Luckily I’ve had quite a lot of soft dolls donated for Storysacks use, these two were used to make characters in The Swan Princess story sack. I snipped off the hair and sewed knitting yarn on instead. I went to town a bit on the King’s clothes, but simple clothes can be made out of scraps, old t-shirts can work well.
Puppet theatres are very popular with the children and their families, this one was made for Each Peach Pear Plum. I was pleased with this one because it was made entirely from scraps of fabric, ribbon, ric rac and thread I already had! It has ties at the top corners and also a tube through the top edge to give some flexibility as to how people hang it up at home (tying it to a bunk bed is perfect!)
The hen/goose house shaped game bag above is in the Goose that Laid Golden Eggs Storysack. It is made of scrap linen fabric and I used a fine paintbrush and brown fabric paint for the detail. A fine 0.3 permanent marker (available from art shops) was used to write the game instructions on a piece of cotton fabric. I really enjoyed making the eggs, they are made from Fimo clay.
These glove puppets for the Rumplestiltskin storysack replaced dolls which had been lost. I scanned/photocopied and enlarged the images from the book.Traced them and re-drew bits – a window makes a great light box for tracing. I used a light box/window to trace the images onto calico fabric, then painted them with fabric paint. (I also added some embroidery for the hair and gold thread, sequins etc because I already had these leftover from another project). I cut out two ‘mitt’ shapes and stitched the painted calico characters on – then sewed the mitt together – I used a sewing machine but hand sewing is strong enough.
Another fabric painting project for the Aladdin storysack characters – these are essentially just little cushions. Again these were scanned/photocopied, enlarged and traced onto to fabric. I used a fine line permanent marker (0.3 and 0.5 size), available from art shops and good stationers, to outline the fabric painted areas. The backing fabrics were just scraps of spotty printed fabric, the edges are zigzag machine stitched together.
This bag was made for The Queens Knickers storysack, to keep all the pairs knickers together, it replaced a box drawer that had finally fallen apart. I’ve started making simple bags to replace broken cardboard game boxes, it’s a good idea to make them distinctive in some way, as I have here using fabric paint, so they don’t get lost. I also had cotton ‘name tags’ made which say ‘Myatt Garden Storysacks Library’ which I sew onto these bags and various other storysack items. (You can see one at the bottom of the puppet theatre