I'm often amazed that more people don't make/sell upcycled plush toys like I do. Although, the fact that there aren't a lot of plush-makers in my neck of the woods probably helps my sales at craft shows!
I've heard comments before about "not giving away my secrets" in order to help my sales. But, honestly, I like to spread the joy of making things and I actually encourage people, especially kids, to try their hand at making their own monsters. Sometimes, once someone tries their hand at something, they appreciate the work that goes into it and are more likely to purchase your work. I learned this concept from a guy that I met at the Niagara Celtic Festival who makes chainmail jewelry and does free tutorials at the festival. He says since he started doing the tutorials, his sales have actually gone up, since people appreciate the work that goes into making the jewelry. Sure, some people may just stat making their own, or even selling their own, but I prefer to think of it as creating a colleague instead of a competitor.
Anyway, in the spirit of "giving away my secrets", here is a nice, simple tutorial I came across on one of my favorite blogs, Craftzine, for making your own "free range monsters". (As an FYI, I didn't write this tutorial, nor do I have any affiliation with Craftzine other than simply enjoying the blog!)
* image credit: Craftzine
Here's a tip from the tutorial that is also one of my own secrets about where I get my materials:
"I find the best and cheapest place for crazy monster skin to be the children's clothing section of my local thrift store. For a couple of bucks, you can take home a bright pink fun-fur jacket or a pair of bright blue corduroy pants. Cut the clothes up, making sure to maximize the usable flat parts of the fabric." Most of my best, most colorful sweaters come from the children's section of my local thrift store...specifically the girls' section. Although I often have to repress a twinge of guilt that I am taking a cute sweater away from a potential little girl!