In the face of what feels like an endless parade of toy recalls and safety concerns, Therese Laskey reminds us what a cinch it is to whip up our own creations. In Softies: Simple Instructions for 25 Plush Pals (2007, Chronicle Books), the Brooklyn-based crafter commissioned artists from across the globe to populate the pages with characters such as a coquettish tea bag, a ravenous double-scoop ice-cream cone, tiny felted teddy bears, and—something that will surely be a hit with little boys and girls—a lonely dollop of poo.
In addition to the easy-to-follow projects, which range from easy to challenging, you'll also find basic techniques and embroidery techniques for the uninitiated. For a complete roll call of completed toys, be sure to watch the delightfully creepy video we've embedded above. It's very Jan Švankmajer—if we were a couple of decades younger, we'd be crying for our mommies right about now. ::Chronicle Books