Soot Sprites DIY

Susuwatari (ススワタリ lit. meaning “travelling soot”) are the “dust bunnies” or “soot sprites” that appear in two Studio Ghibli anime movies, My Neighbour Totoro (1988) and Spirited Away (2001). They are shy, slightly frightful creatures that live in abandoned buildings such as old houses

1. Cut 4 small lengths of black cording and tie off ends. Don’t worry so much about them being perfectly even, it’s more fun if your susuwatari isn’t perfect!

2. Cut two matching circles from your black fabric. My circles varied from 3 inch diameter to 4. Lay one circle with the right side facing up. Lay your arms and legs down, and then sandwich them with the other circle of black fabric. Make sure your “right” sides of the fabric are both facing in. Pin the legs in place if necessary.

3. Use a sewing machine to sew around the circle, making sure the arms and legs are sewn in place. Leave a small opening at the top to turn and stuff.

4. Turn your little fella right side out and stuff it with Polyfil.

5. Next use black thread and sew him shut. Don’t worry with fuzzy black fabric your stitches do not need to be perfect :)

6. Next sew the white felt circles into place by stitching one bead in the center of each.

Now your finished! These actually work up really quickly, also sewing with minky-like fabric can be a little bit of a pain, I finished 16 in about 45 minutes. These are all going into the pinata, along with candy, and a bunch of paper cranes.

The kids had a friend spend the night, so they are thoroughly entertained. Now I’m just waiting around for my sister and Thomas to arrive. :)

Party Favors

Sometimes I go a little overboard with goodie bags, so I tried to restraint myself a little with these. I used take out containers which I already had on hand (I use them for my fortune cookie plush). You can usually find them at party shops, craft stores, and shipping supply companies.

Thomas and I took a trip to Rockville MD on Thursday to hit up Kam Man a great asian grocery shop. We got great goodies for the party, including the ice cream cone candies, and those little mini packs of noodles.

I got the chopsticks holders (little ceramic paper cranes) and the dragons from Asian Ideas online. Everything fit perfectly into the little take out containers, and then I tucked the dragon sticks into the sides.


Oh my gosh do I love to decorate for a party! I got the red streamers and lanterns online, and the dragon kite was an Ebay find. The party is tonight, so I am currently baking the cake and figuring out exactly how much Chinese take out we should order for the party. We’ve got the Japan-Pop Radio streaming on Pandora for music (only sad they don’t have the Milkees).

I’ll have at least one more post today with a little DIY or two…so I’ll be back later on with that.