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Artist Turns Children’s Imaginative Drawings Into Stuffed Animals

Wendy Tsao turns children's artwork-monsters, self-portraits, animals, and any other imaginative scribble a child dreams up- into colorful and...

Allie Walker
Allie Walker on May 15, 2012. @NYC_Allie

When Wendy Tsao’s four year old son started kindergarten, his teachers asked her to send a ‘comfort toy’ with him in case of emergency.  Instead of buying a new toy, Wendy decided to make one based off of one of her son’s own drawings. The result was a soft, plush toy that her son immediately recognized as his own and loved.

Child’s Own Studio grew out of this idea, and for the past five years, Wendy has made whimsical hand-made soft toys for hundreds of other children based off of their drawings. Each toy is charmingly unique, as ‘details and color choices are reproduced as closely as possible so that the stuffed toy that arrives in the mail is immediately recognizable to the child who designed it.’

Wendy posts pictures of all the children’s drawings and the resulting toys on flickr, and chronicles a few of the heart-warming stories parents and children have sent in with the drawings on her blog. Below is ‘Stobbayew’ the Bunny by Maya, age 4. Her mother described Maya’s bunny drawing:

This is “Stobbayew” the Bunny. She’s a 6 legged rabbit (because the more legs they have, the more they can hop!) with a flair for color. She also lays eggs. She was created by my daughter Maya, age 4. And there is a face on there…it’s just hard to see her eyes and mouth are pink, and her nose is green.

Wendy makes 4 ‘softies’ a week, and as of March 1st, has had to stop adding requests to her wait-list- already at 563 softies long, Wendy estimates it will take her 2 and 1/2 years to make the softies on the list! As if making toys for children doesn’t already speak volumes about Wendy’s character, a recent blog post shows just how devoted Wendy is to the children she makes softies for:

My site has gone viral; people say that I’m on Pinterest; people are blogging about me. But  now I don’t know how long people will have to wait before I get to their order.  The 4-6 week turnaround time has just gone out the window.

So, here’s an idea.  Let’s keep Child’s Own Studio a secret for a while?   Don’t share this website with your friends, pin me on Pinterest, post about me on facebook or blog about me.   Yes, shhhhhhh….until I catch up.

Sorry, Wendy, the secret is out, and we just can’t help but love how you transform a child’s imagination into a tangible and charming reality!

Child’s Own Studio 

TOPICS: Arts & Culture, Work & Business, Youth
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Allie works in-house at PSFK as the content curator, researcher, and daily writer. A former analyst for the National Geographic Channel and OWN, all things media and advertising have her heart. When she's not busy researching the latest trends, you can find her running or updating her personal blog, JustAllie. She is also a regular contributor to Advertising Week.

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