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it all started when i saw these little mice in little beds made from altoids mint tins (the type i used for my travel watercolors) on facebook. i immediately thought, “are you kidding me?! my little girl would go wild for those!” it’s possible to buy the pattern, but i wanted to make them my own way.

i had some scraps of a northcott fabric called “kitty kaleidoscope” that i’d used years ago for my daughter’s cloth baby wipes (which i’m still using now with my son), and some other scraps of cotton terry and flannel, so i decided to use those for the bed linens and make stuffed cats out of the printed fabric. but first… the beds.

i decided to spray paint them. they looked great until they started drying and the paints started peeling off.

i tried taking off as much of the peeling gunk as possible, but they looked awful. then i attempted painting a tin with a paintbrush and acrylic paints. it didn’t cover the tin well and was streaky. as a last attempt i applied strips of colored tissue paper with dilute glue as we’d done to make a cute vase last year, but spots of rust formed. in the end, all seven tins ended up in the trash. sob!

luckily i still had a few tins left, so i glued a wide colored ribbon on the top and inside and a more narrow ribbon all around.

the cats were too big for the tins, so i sewed them smaller, keeping the little faces and ears intact. i braided embroidery thread for their tails (like i did with this snake‘s tongue).

here they are snoozing in their little beds.

for a very sweet little girl i also wanted to make a little buddy that looks like her dog. i decided to use scraps of felted wool sweaters and to embroider the features. (you can download the shape here.) the dog in question is a sort of hard color to reproduce, but has something like brownish rings around its eyes. except in my dog they look more like the whites of the eyes. but i felt like he needed a friend, so i made my dog version of the little girl, all colored and cute! as final touches i sewed down the floppy ears and added the first letters of their names on their dog tags.

even dogs need  a warm and comfy bed!

ah, i was forgetting about the beds. i made stuffed pillow and then blankets with two sides of flannel. i made the materasses the same way, but sandwiching in an extra layer of terry cloth to make them thicker and more rigid. i sewed the edges with an overlocker.

i gave a complete set to both my daughter and my son and they both love them. sofia, as always, took a little skirt from some other mini-toy and dressed up her cat in it.

here you can see the tail a little better, as well as the backside.

who knows why kids love teeny tiny things so much!

13 thoughts on “mini-beds”

  1. Bellissimo progetto!!
    Io mi ripropongo sempre di fare in qualch modo le scatole di fiammeri che da piccola contenevano le bamboline dette appunto Fiammiferini…..magari un giorno…..

  2. Ciao Lisa, veramente le cose piccoline piacciono anche ai grandi, come me!! Complimenti davvero!!

    Certo e' che hai dovuto fare un lavorone di trial and error ma alla fine ti sono riusciti benissimo questi lettini!!!E che dire degli animaletti?

    Che fai? Li aggiungi anche al tuo negozio su etzy? I think you should!!!

    Gia' che ci sono, vorrei segnalarti il giveaway appena partito sul mio blog in collaborazione con VerdeVero. Ti va di unirti a noi?
    Saluti tutti vegan, Alex

  3. Love these little tinned ‘babies’!
    These are timeless. All children love to have their own special ‘little one’.
    So sorry you had a challenge with decorating the tins. Here is the solution:
    When painting anything metal, it pays to thoroughly sand the surface. Be sure to get into the creases and rolled edges. Then spray with a metal primer. Two light coats are better than one heavy one. Once primed you can use any paint you like to colour your tin. If you use something that has a dull finish, you may want to use a clear sealer to preserve the finish.

    • Wow, thanks Stitchwiz!! That sounds like great advice, and I certainly wouldn’t have thought of any of that! I will give it a try because I have some other little projects to make with these tins, too! 🙂


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