No matter what kind of Halloween monster you'd like, whether it is a zombie or vampire, a werewolf or a witch, Diana Schoenbrun of Brooklyn, N.Y., can take a bit of fabric and thread and make a lovable beast for you.
Schoenbrun, who studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and graduated in 2004 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in illustration, has built one of just about every monster imaginable and written about them in "Beasties - How to Make 22 Mischievous Monsters That Go Bump in the Night," published by Penguin Group.
"My artistic interests began when I was a kid," she writes on her Web site. "I was getting in trouble for drawing on the walls, coloring the family couch, and contaminating the washing machine with crayons. I continued to draw and never stopped," she said.
Each monster featured in her book comes with a materials list and instructions. The book includes patterns for the enchanting creatures and a photo to use as a guide.
Schoenbrun also provides the folklore background of each monster with "beastie tips" on how best to respond when you encounter a real one. For example, if cornered by a fuming dragon that wants to roast you on a spit, try dousing his head with water to put out his flame before you become barbecued, she advises.
Schoenbrun simplified her directions for our use and provided instructions to make a scary zombie just in time for Halloween. The finished size is 31/2 inches wide by 13 inches high.
10-by-12-inch wide cotton
1 sheet of black felt and scraps of white and red felt
1 red pom pom
1 gauze bandage or bits of colorful, frayed cloth
Black and white thread
White craft glue
These directions can be used if you don't have a pattern. If you would prefer to use a ready pattern, e-mail me at the address below and I will send you a PDF with the patterns in a return e-mail. The pattern will need to be enlarged on a copy machine.
Draw on paper an outline of a head, body and legs. The body should be approximately 10 inches tall and 4 inches wide for sewing ease.
Draw the arms, feet and ears separately. Cut out paper shapes for patterns.
Use the patterns to cut two body shapes from fabric. Cut four arm shapes, four feet shapes, and two ear shapes from felt.
Using the photo as a guide, cut additional eyes, blood droplets and teeth from felt. Sew body shapes together, leaving about two inches unsewn. Turn body right side out, fill with stuffing, and sew body closed.
Sew felt pieces to make two arms and two feet. Fill with stuffing and sew closed. Sew arms to upper body and feet to legs.
Embroider a mouth and sew ears to head.
Sew pom pom and felt eyes to the head.
Glue on blood droplets and gauze.