In which I finally find a level of crafts appropriate for my experience and talent levels (that for Japanese elementary school kids).
Here’s a fun mook (magazine/book) related to Chara Parfait magazine — Handmade Parfait is full of mostly character-based crafts I genuinely found interesting and enjoyable. If you’re looking for a bunch of great parent-and-kid activities, I think you’ve found it, and if you just like character goods, I think you’ll be well pleased too.
Even in addition to the furoku, there’s a ton of Sumikko Gurashi in here, so that seems like a good place to start. There are origami projects both for Koupen-chan and Sumikko Gurashi in their cake shop design.
The Sumikko below, in addition to Funwari Necolon (another San-x character I don’t think I’ve seen much of) at the top, are provided so you can make your own tiny flake stickers.
And the instructions for those flake stickers are below on the left. On the right, we have components for a My Melody mobile.
Ah, forgot one — here’s a set of templates for a Sumikko Gurashi stained glass project.
Yet more Sumikko Gurashi stuff here. The materials on the right are for a note board project, and on the left there’s an ad for Chara Parfait.
And this doesn’t really fit anywhere else, so here’s a bit more Sumikko— two ads from the back of the magazine. The top one advertises a kids’ Sumikko Gurashi PC, with both studying and game functions. Below, there’s a craft kit that’s essentially a fancier version of the furoku in this issue, except the charms are squishy.
It’s always great to see Koupen-chan again. Did you know his trademark is kind and encouraging words? His designs below say “well done” and “let’s take it easy” on the top row from left to right; on the bottom row, it reads “you did it!” and “cheer up.” On the right-hand page, I’m also glad to see Kirby; I own a few items from his series I suppose I’ll feature at some point. These materials are for making whatever the generic word for shrinky dinks is.
Putting aside temporarily my bitterness about not managing to get a Switch in time to play Animal Crossing New Horizons to escape my quarantine stress, I really was glad to see Animal Crossing included here. The project is hanko made from erasers.
Back to craft projects in general — Did you know you can make squishy toys with makeup sponges? I didn’t, but I’m intrigued.
If edible crafts are more your style, there are these castella cake pops shaped like cute Rilakkuma:
Or what about crafts that aren’t edible, but really look it, like these instructions for sweets-themed candles? The designs include white cake, sherbet, and strawberry-chocolate cake.
In addition, the mook features several origami projects, including different types of paper flowers and a Koupen-Chan origami bracelet; cards with shaking glitter; decoupage; garlands; Hoppe-chan sequined decorations; and a small items pouch featuring a seal and a cat called Keshikko by Crux that I don’t really know anything about.
In the picture below, I thought before we got to the furoku I’d talk about the cool Sumikko crafts stuff ads on the right. The top craft kit is a bunch of felt projects in the spirit of Shirokuma’s handmade plush. On the bottom row, on the left we have a kit for making holographic stickers, and on the right there’s a Scratch Art kit.
Finally we get to the furoku. Geez, was this one hard to photograph! I feel like even my picture of the page on it looks weird.
And my efforts to photograph these charms, which are made of a thin but rigid plastic and have glitter that shakes inside, were even worse! It’s a trade off between glare and darkness, especially at my skill level.
I haven’t actually done anything with these due to work being insane and more interest in other things, but they’re just very adequate. They feel pretty cheap, both the included ball chains and the charms themselves. Still, the designs are very cute. And at $8.50 for both the mook and the furoku, this is still a recommended buy — maybe at CD Japan, where I got mine in yet another flawless order on my step in just a few days.