Budsies: Turn Kids Drawings into Adorable Stuffed Friends

3Po and Jammy love to draw.  Some kids act out scenes in their imagination through LEGOs.  Others use Playmobil.  Other use action figures, stuffed toys, dolls.  3Po and Jammy do all of those, but the way they love best is to draw.  They literally spend hours drawing, and talking to each other as they draw, explaining the characters and the worlds and the action and the stories that unfold as they put pen to paper.

They use up dozens of sheets of paper per day.  I'd need an entire room to store all the drawings they have made over the years.  I let them keep their favorite ones, and I take photos of many of them, but I'm sure many of their characters and scenes have found their way to the recycle bin (I'm sure I'll regret that once they become famous artists).

These days, there are many ways to preserve your child's artwork, beyond the classic frame.  There are companies that turn kids' artwork into greeting cards, postcards, stickers, tshirts, bookmarks, mugs, and so on.  Recently I discovered the most original way to preserve artwork -- turn it into a stuffed toy!  Budsies brings kids' artwork to life by transforming it into adorable custom hand-sewn stuffed animals.  Just upload a drawing to Budsies' online order form, and their artists and craftsmen do the rest.

When 3Po and Jammy learned that Budsies had offered to turn one of their drawings into a stuffed toy, they couldn't believe it: the creatures of their imagination, made real!  They spent a lot of time and effort into designing and planning their Budsie (and loved every minute of it).

3Po loves cows. He owns about 10 stuffed cows, so he wanted to add a very special cow to his collection: a "cowterpillar", a cow with 8 legs.

Jammy reached into the depths of his imagination and drew a man-shark with wings.  A very muscular, buff man-shark with wings.  Don't ask me how or why he came up with it..  Jammy was extremely particular about how his man-shark should look, so he drew a front, side, and back view, with extensive notes for each view.  I tried to manage his expectations by saying that I wasn't sure whether Budsies could make his man-shark look exactly like the drawing, and that it might be difficult to get all the detail that he put it.

The boys bugged me almost every day from the time we ordered the Budsies till the time they arrived. They were so excited to see their new friends! I don't think I've ever seen them so excited about a stuffed animal.

When the Budsies arrived in the mail, we opened the box, and the very first thing I saw was a note from Budsies. The note said it might be a good idea to get the camera out so we could capture the expression on our kids' faces as they opened their packages and saw their Budsies for the very first time.  Boy was that a brilliant piece of advice!!  The surprise and delight on their faces was such a joy to behold!

As soon as 3Po saw his cowterpillar's head, he breathed, "Wow, it looks EXACTLY like my drawing.... it's PERFECT!"

Jammy could not stop giggling and laughing.  He was so delighted with his man-shark!  He just couldn't believe that Budsies was able to bring it to life.  Of all our kids, Jammy is the one who has absolutely no idea how to smile on demand.  All his smiles for the camera look forced and fake.  Not these.  I had the pleasure of capturing

Those smiles on our kids' faces are what we parents live for. Those are the smiles we would go to the ends of the earth to get.

Check out 3Po's cowterpillar.  It is amazing.  From the big, round nose to each fat little leg (all 8 of them), the cowterpillar is a 3D replica of 3Po's drawing.  As Alfie put it, it looks as though the Budsie came first, and 3Po drew it on paper by copying the Budsie!

I can't even begin to express how impressed I am with Jammy's shark man.  They managed to replicate his bulging arms and legs, his 6-pack, his grown.  They even got the chest muscles to protrude!  (the chest muscles look a bit like a butt stuck to his front, but shh, don't tell James, because he's fiercely in love with his shark-man!)

They even got the black birthmark on his lower back!

The boys love their new Budsies.  Cowterpillar and shark-man (Jammy has named him Nick Abbsworthy, the Sharchangel) have joined their stuffed animal legion, and they have been playing together every day.

Each Budsie is about 16" in height or length, and takes about 5 weeks to create.  They cost $99 regularly, but right now they are on sale for $69.  I know that sounds like a lot for a stuffie, but it's a CUSTOM stuffie and the most unique, personalized present for a child you can think of.  I can't tell you how delighted my kids were to have the characters of their imagination come to life!  There's just no better way to preserve the artwork of their childhood, and I would recommend Budsies to anyone.

Tips for creating the perfect Budsie:

Before you begin the process of choosing your child's drawing (or before your child begins to draw), check out the character gallery on Budsie's Facebook Page!  You'll get a great idea of how faithfully Budsies recreate the original drawings, how they translate your child's random lines into hair, etc...

If your child is experiencing artists' block or can't figure out what to draw, head to Budsie's Templates page for inspiration.  The character gallery is also a great place for inspiration.

You can encourage older kids to draw the side view and/or back view of their creature. The online order system only accepts 1 photo, but you can include front/side/back views in a single photo, or send additional photos to customer service.

The online order form has space for you to leave comments and descriptions of your child's creature.  Be as descriptive as you can!

Disclosure:  I received a product sample to facilitate my review, but have not been paid to review the product or give my opinions. Product information (in italics) is provided by the featured company/product. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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