If you have kids who are "Despicable Me" fans here is a fun and functional gift that is cheep and easy to make. It's guaranteed to make you grin when you see them wear it too!
Step 1: Materials
These are the materials you will need as well as notes concerning where to find them and approximate prices. A lot of the materials I already had on hand in my craft supplies so I guesstimated to the best of my memory. You'll notice that most come from the DOLLAR TREE or Walmart's Fabric section. If your Walmart doesn't have a fabric section you can find most of these things as any fabric/ craft store, but may be a little more spendy.
YOU WILL NEED:
*1 cylinder shaped heavy duty plastic container (Mine was 3 qrts size. I bought it at the local DOLLAR TREE. = $1.00) NOTE: you could also try using one of those holiday popcorn tins you have laying around.
*Yellow craft foam (Also from the DOLLAR TREE, but you will only use about $.25 worth)
*1/2 yard of yellow fleece, or other soft stretchy fabric. ( Walmart 2.50 a yard. = $1.25)
*1/2 yard blue felt, fleece or other none fraying material. I'm not sure what mine is I just liked the texture. (Walmart scrap bin. = $.50)
*Children's black glove/mitten combo set. (Walmart $1.25) NOTE: try raiding your old winter wear box, or using old baby socks too.
*1 yard of 3/8 in. black elastic (Walmart $1.98 for 3 yrds. = $.70 worth)
*24" of 1in. black elastic (Walmart $.98 for 2 yrds. = $.50 worth)
*2 large googley eyes (DOLLAR TREE for 2 pair = $. 50 worth)
*2 gray soda bottle caps = recycled for free
*Poly stuffing about the size of a grape fruit. (Walmart standard pillow $2.50 = $.10 worth) NOTE: I use pillows because it costs about 1/4th of the price of a bag of stuffing. Also you may know of a few willing "donors" from your kids stuffed animal box.
*Lentils, rice, wheat or whatever you would like to give a little weight to the hands and feet.
*A black piece of scrap yarn only about 24" worth (I'm not even going to try to estimate cost on that)
*scrap felt black, red, white or what ever you need customize the minions mouth
Hot glue, scissors, and drill
The total cost for supplies = about $7.00 Your child's expression christmas morning = PRICELESS.
Step 2: Getting Started
To get started you'll need to build up the lid of your container so that it is flush with the body. If your container is already flush then you can skip this step WOOHOO!
If not then pull out your trusty yellow foam and cut a few strips of foam each long enough to go around the lid completely.
Use your hot glue to attach the foam one round at a time until it is flush with the body of the container. You'll want to do this while the lid is screwed on so you know it will fit properly. It took about 3 rounds for my container.
Step 3: Shaping His Dome
To shape the minions classically round beautifully yellow noggin you'll need your stuffing and a piece of your yellow fleece.
First you'll want to attach the stuffing to free up your hands. I put mine in a bread sack and tied it closed to keep it in a nice shape, then hot glued it to the lid.
Then you'll cut a square piece of your yellow fleece that is about twice as wide and twice as long as your lid.
Now lay the square over the top of the dome and begin glueing it on to the bottom edge of lid (be sure NOT to glue any fabric to the INSIDE of the lid or it will not work properly). As you work around the rim you will want to stretch it very tightly past the edge in order to minimize bunching and wrinkling. (it's a lot like working with fondant) Keep in mind that it doesn't have to be 100% perfect because the minions goggle band will cover some of the flaws.
Trim off the excess and glue down any little fly aways around the lip.
Screw his dome back on to make sure it still fits properly.
Step 4: Time to "see" Him Come to Life
Now to give your little guy some character.
Take your 1in. black elastic and fit it tightly around the base of the lid so that the bottom edge of the elastic matches the bottom edge of the lid. (make sure your lid is screwed on correctly to ensure proper eye placement) Hot glue it into place overlapping it about where you would like one of the eyes to go.
Hot glue the googley eyes into the bottle caps, and then glue the entire eye piece onto the head band, one covering the overlapped elastic and then spacing the other out accordingly.
Step 5: The Body
To construct the body you'll want to first drill 4 holes in his back. (Where the back pack straps will be threaded through)
My container was convenient enough to have finger grips at about the right location. If your not that luck and your not sure where to place them, screw his head on to use it as a guide to approximate where the center of his back would be. Draw about a 4 in square around the center point of his back and drill the holes at each corner of the square.
Next cut a length of your yellow fleece that is as tall as your container and can circumvent the entire cylinder.
Starting at that center line of his back hot glue the fleece along this back bone.
Roll the fleece tightly around his body meeting up at the back bone again, and slightly overlap, and glue the ends together. (TRIM OFF EXCESS)
Trim the top of the fleece so that it fits snugly around the shoulders of the container but NOT onto the threads. Hot glue it into place.
For the bottom simply fold the excess over and tack it down with the glue. (it will be covered by the overalls)
As of NOW you have a naked minion!
Step 6: Cover Him Up
It's time to put his streaking days behind him. Lets put his overalls on.
Cut a piece of your blue material that is again as long as his body and can circumvent the cylinder. (same dimensions as the yellow fleece)
This time slide the blue fabric halfway down his body so that half of the material covers him and the other half hangs over the bottom.
This time glue around only the bottom edge of his body so that the top edge remains free, but still matching the seems up at the back bone.
Turn him over and cut the blue material down about 3 inches on either side, creating about a 3 inch square. then trim it around to the back, (this is why you glued only the bottom edge previously) and glue down the upper edges of the blue overalls now.
Laying him face down fold open the seam in the back, and cut a middle seem about half way up towards the body to match it in the front piece. Fold the edges in so that it now becomes the minions inseam. Then glue the inseam together (or hand sew it you prefer)
You've now clothed your minion (minus the details which will be added later)
Step 7: His Extremities
Now to add his hands and feet.
For his feet take your black mittens and turn them inside out. Tie a knot in the thumb. Turn them right side out and fill them partially with your lentils, beans, rice or whatever you've chosen as your filler. This is to give a little weight to their extremities giving them that sort of dumb-founded knuckle dragger look.
Pull them about 3/4 the way up each pant leg and tie them on tightly with the black yarn just below the cuff of the mitten. Trim off the extra yarn and roll the cuff down to cover the tie.
To make the arms cut out a pair of 5" squares of the yellow fleece. Take a hot dog size roll of stuffing (or scrap poly foam if you have some handy) and roll it up into the square making a tube shape. Hot glue the tube shut. (or hand sew if you prefer)
Minions have just 3 fingers so, take your black gloves and turn them inside out. Knot together the thumb and pointer finger. Turn them right side out. Fill them with your filler like you did the feet. Pull the glove 1/4 of the way up the arm and tie them on tightly just below the cuff. Trim off the extra yarn, and roll the cuff down.
Attach the arms to the body by hot gluing them on the side of your minion about midway between the top edge of the overalls and the bottom edge of the headband.
Step 8: It's All in the Details
The finished line is in sight. Just a few more details.
Add the overall straps by cutting two strips of the blue material long enough to bridge over his arm from the front overall panel to the center of his overalls in the back. Glue them into place as I just described. (you can also add fun buttons on top of the front edge of the strips)
Design a facial expression out of scrap felt or whatever you would like. Give him his own quirky personality! I tried to do the "WHAAAAT?" expression from the movie.
Lastly transform him into a playful back pack by adding the straps. Cut a slit in the fabric above each of your holes. (they've been hiding up until now) carefully tack down the fabric around the holes with the hot glue. Then run your 3/8 inch black elastic through the holes so that two straps are created and your ends are on the inside. Adjust them to the size you would like. (keep it kind of small remember it will stretch) and tie a knot in the ends.
Second Prize in the
Holiday Gifts Challenge