Art Come to Life: Toys based off of Children’s Drawings

Image from "Child's Own Studio"

Image from “Child’s Own Studio”

Do you have any younger siblings or cousins who love to draw? Many artists are creating toys based off of children’s artwork.

One of the most popular artists doing this is Wendy Tsao, owner of Child’s Own Studio. Tsao was inspired to begin making toys from the softies art movement which started in Japan.  Softies are custom designed plush toys.

“I was fascinated by the softies I saw online with their unique and charming aspects,” she said in an e-mail interview, “I also noticed how some of them looked almost like children’s drawings in their design and proportions.  That was probably the link to where I began to think about making softies based on children’s drawings.”

She made her first softie in 2007 based off of her then 4-year-old son’s drawing for an emergency preparedness kit for her son’s school.

She originally treated it like a business, researching how to make softies as well as marketing and networking. Still, business was slow until she started a blog for her work in 2011.

“I also began to focus more on the craft and less on the business aspect of things,” she told Candor News in an e-mail, ” I started thinking about what makes some softies beautiful, and focused on that.”

From that point on, her business has exploded. She has been featured on websites such as the Huffington Post and Business Insider. Because she wants to treat each project as a unique work of art, she only takes 100 orders per year. In fact, the waitlist for 2014 has already closed. She has a page on her website for those who didn’t make it on the wait list called the Softiemaker Showcase where others can advertise similar businesses.

“I like that the Showcase helps cultivate craftsmanship and promotes fair trade,” she said in an e-mail.  Here are some of the companies that have been featured on the Softiemaker Showcase.


Creative Cozies: Softies with Sentiment  

Gail McKay saw the idea of making soft  toys from children’s drawings in a Facebook post.

“I teach, I do puppets, I tutor kids, I work with children with disabilities, ” she said, “and so I thought this was a really wonderful idea and contacted Wendy at some point about her business.”

McKay said that one of her favorite parts about her business is the stories she hears from customers.

“[Maybe] it’s something they’ve kept on their refrigerator for years or  in their office, or now their child’s 22, or maybe this little boy drew a picture to keep the nightmares away and posted it  on his bedroom door,” she said,” Everyone has a story and it’s certainly something I didn’t think about that much when I started, but as it progressed people started telling me their attachments to their child’s artwork.”


Emese Varaljai had always had a creative side: making quilts, greeting cards, sewing toys, and even helping her friends with home decor. She first saw the idea of making toys out of children’s drawings in a magazine article in 2011.

“As I’ve always been crafty, I knew it was something for me,” Varaljai said in an e-mail interview.

She first made softies for her niece and nephew, then got the opportunity to advertise with Child’s Own Studio.

“I love the excitement I feel when I see a drawing I would like to turn into a softie,” she said in an e-mail, “I love thinking about all the details, I love to find ideas how to create something in 3D, I love putting together materials for a softie.”

Le Petit Creations

Sabrina N. said she began her business about three years ago when she saw Child’s Own Studio on Pinterest.

” I know some knitting and embroidery,” she said,  “and it’s stuff I’ve done before so I figured I’d give it a try and I’ve always loved art. My kids also love to draw a lot and I thought that’s something that kids would like.”

Sabrina N. said in a later e-mail interview that passion is important in this business.

“Make sure it’s something you love to do,” she said, “Your work will reflect how devoted you are to this craft. ”







    Art Come to Life: Toys based off of Children’s Drawings – Candor News

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