A pillow of Planters Peanuts

Last month, while on vacation in New Hampshire, I visited my Aunt Elaine’s antiques store in Center Tuftonboro.  Her place, Golden Past Antiques, is a nice little hideaway with rooms and rooms of antiques and treasures.

Tucked in one of the rooms was an old Planters Peanuts burlap bag.

Yep.  I purchased it.  But in fairness, I also gave Lainey two other burlap bags that I purchased for future projects and never did anything with them. So it was sort of a trade.

I brought the peanut bag home, with the idea that I might re-stitch its front with yarn and embroidery.

And I thought about it and thought about it…

At some point, though, I decided against another stitch project.

Maybe it’s because I’ve done three of them already and three was more than enough.  Heck, I’m going to rotate my three burlap stitch projects between three different fairs and exhibitions for the next couple of years, so why do I need to create more?

But I’ve got this peanut bag with that cute logo of Mr. Peanut on it…

Can’t just let it gather dust.

And last night … I came up with an idea.

A quick trip to  Jo-Ann Fabrics, and $15 worth of materials … let’s do this.

I turned the bag inside out, and started stitching the top of the bag with some burlap jute thread.  My plan was to seal up as much of the top of this bag as possible, and then turn the bag right-side out and stuff the bag with some fibrous material.

Again, more inspiration from a recent vacation.

On the way home, I paid a visit to the Vermont Teddy Bear Company, the happy place where teddy bears are born.  Yes, they’re born, they’re not manufactured, shame on you for thinking otherwise.  During the tour of the factory, the tour guide explained that all the teddy bear parts are turned inside out for stitching, then turned right-side in for stuffing.  The tour guide then showed me an example of a careless employee’s work – in that the employee had turned his bear parts inside out, stitched them, and THEN stuffed them.  Yep, an inside-out teddy bear.  Destined for the Island of Misfit Toys, me thinks.

Okay, I’ve stitched up half of the opening.  Now it’s time to turn this burlap bag around.

And you’re probably wondering, “Chuck, what are you going to do with all the yarn and supplies that you’ve acquired over the past year to create your previous stitching projects?  Throw it all away?  Put it up on eBay?  Save it for a rainy day?”

To that I say nay, nay and nay.

See, the Arts and Crafts barn at thn Altamont Fair has a great little side project.  Attendees are encouraged to donate their leftover materials – craft books, magazines, materials – so that other crafters may use them and build and create their own projects.

So yeah, this afternoon when I revisit the Fair, I’ll drop off the materials at the Arts and Crafts Barn.  Heck, I’ll even drop off some of those 4-H pins that I’ve collected from a previous Dream Window project to the 4-H barn, perhaps they can archive them in a diorama or something.

Okay, the peanut sack is now back to its proper orientation.  And it’s time to stuff the bag with …


Peanut shells?

Peanut butter?

No.  Something called Fiber Fill.

Apparently there’s this recycled plastic compound that can be used for stuffing pillows and dolls and other crafty things.  It comes in different thicknesses and softness, and it should be simple enough to put in the pillow.

As I was packing the pillow with the Fiber Fill, I had the television on.  You always need some sort of audio distraction to keep you motivated on your project.  In this case, I was watching a show on CBS All Access called Pink Collar Crimes, a crime procedural about soccer moms and society mavens who commit bank robberies and real estate fraud and the like.  In other words, it’s the kind of show you would find on Investigation Discovery when they’re not running a Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda marathon.

And stuff the pillow I did.  Nearly used up this entire bag to pack this up.

Okay, so this may be my first time as a stuffer, but I figured if I wanted this pillow to be huggable and cushiony, but not too squishy or floppy, I needed to pack this Fiber Fill with every possible fill of fiber.

And when I could squeeze no more into the bag…

I stitched up the opening.

And as I’m stitching up the opening, I’m thinking to myself that I hadn’t even considered doing anything like this twelve hours ago.  And normally my arts and crafts projects take weeks – I work on them for a little while, get involved with something else, return to the project, work on it some more, get involved with another project, work on them simultaneously, then at some point the project is done, I gather up all the photos and I put them in the blog.

Heck, the total cost for this project?  $12 for the burlap bag, $15 for the fiber fill, the jute thread and a sewing needle.

And here’s what the finished product looks like.

There it is.  A nice comfy comfy throw pillow for the couch.  No muss, no fuss.

And heck, if I wanted to, I could enter this in competition as well – if there was an arts and crafts category for pillows or the like.

But yeah, this is good.  Butn off your late night creativity and create something.

You’ll be glad that you did.

Besides … anybody out there want some hot nuts?