How to "Age" a Stuffed Animal

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

First, lets talk about Edga...

Edga is a small Webkinz Jr. monkey. He was given to Emma as a gift when she was very young to match her bedroom theme. Emma and Edga grew very attached over the years. Not once did we leave the house without someone yelling, "Did anyone grab Edga?". He was there for it all... The bumps and the bruises, the moving to a new home, the sacrifice of the beloved "Paci", and he even survived the invasion of a new baby boy in Hedges' household. Needless to say, Edga was a member of the family...

Lately, Emma's schedule has gotten quite busy. She has begun school, traveled to visit family, and even had to spend a couple nights in the ER for a boo boo on her foot. That's a lot for a small monkey to keep up with! We all knew it's was only a matter of time before Edga was misplaced. So to prevent heartbreak, Emma's mom decided a "backup Edga" was wise. He was an exact replica, just significantly more clean... Emma saw straight through the new Edga and would have nothing to do with it. Her Edga was far too special to be replaced. So, the new Edga found his way into storage...

About a week ago, Edga didn't find his way home. We spent countless hours trying to find him. We searched home, the cars, local stores, the doctor's office, and daycare. Edga was nowhere to be found. Playtime, nap time, bedtime, and even dinner time hasn't been the same. We knew we had to do something. In desperation, we turned to backup Edga... It was his time to shine.

Granted, this would not be an easy task. The original Edga was the keeper of almost four years worth of childhood, and saying goodbye wasn't easy for any of us... But Emma deserved to have her best friend back. No matter the cost.

But Emma knew her best friend.

She wasn't going to be an easy three year old to fool. We had to take this procedure VERY carefully. So to begin, we started in the laundry room... After a few "washings", we discovered he wasn't losing his soft texture and plumpness... We had to take more drastic measures; this involved a small incision in his bottom and neck. We then used a coat hanger to remove the stuffing that made the new toy "extra fluffy". It took some trial cuddles to ensure that his insides were properly distributed, but he showed great promise. We also detached his nose at this time, because original Edga had the same feature. It is very important that you properly sew up any spots that you cut open before continuing.

Now more limp and slightly worn, the new Edga was ready for his day at the spa. We began with a milk, mud and tea bath to stain and "roughen" up that fluffy fur. We allowed him to soak in the sun for about half an hour. (Don't allow the milk enough time to sour outside.) We then used the hose to spray a majority of the mud and grass off of his fur. (Otherwise you will have a very unhappy washing machine.)

Edga was then brought inside for one last trip through the washer and dryer... He took quite some time to dry this go-round due to how incredibly wet he was, so we allowed him some time in the sun before it was time to pick Emma up from school.

We wanted Emma to understand how much trouble it took for Edga to "find his way home" without actually revealing how he "made it home". So, we incorporated one of Emma's favorite TV characters, (Doc McStuffins) and a member of the family from a couple states over that she hadn't met yet. The letter discussed how Jenna (Emma's new "pen pal") had found Edga far from home. She explained how she sent Edga off to Doc McStuffins for a checkup. It was there that Edga told Doc McStuffins where he lived (Since all the toys come to life for Doc McStuffins)... Jenna then explained that Doc McStuffins said Edga would be fine after a ride home in the mail truck. Emma was very excited to have her best friend back, and she couldn't wait to write and thank her new friend Jenna. I was also very happy that I was able to capture this reunion; which you can watch below or through the following link: Edga Comes Home.

We all may have different reasons for making a stuffed animal look worn, but the sentimental value of toys like Edga can never be replaced. That was never the intention here. The original Edga had so many memories within him. We could never give that back to Emma, but she is now making new memories with her favorite monkey once again that will last a lifetime. We just hope this Edga can keep up with the very quickly growing Emma!

1 comment:

  1. This was a really great contest and hopefully I can attend the next one. It was alot of fun and I really enjoyed myself..Eddy the Teddy bear