Tuesday, January 1, 2019

How To Make Your Own Huffle Bumble Pygmy Puffs

The Huffle Bumble Pygmy Puffs started as a funny tongue twister I came up with late one night during Party Prep, but John & I quickly realized we had to make some for our Harry Potter Escape Room. We told our guests that some magical pets had accidentally locked themselves in the room, so it was up to them to solve the puzzles and free the pets.
 

We piled the Puffs in the final treasure chest, and let the teams adopt one as a reward. I really didn't think many people would want a Puff, but to my surprise they were a HUGE hit - to the point that I ran out! Ack!

So since I had to make another small batch anyway, I thought I'd show you guys how to make your own Pygmy Puffs.



Fun Fact: These guys have feet!

 
 I love having that little surprise when people pick them up. :)




I should mention that these particular Puffs took me FOREVER to make, but that's mostly because I used some really difficult materials, and because we needed nearly 20 of them. If you only want one or two they're actually a pretty simple DIY - and even easier if you don't add stripes!
So here, let me walk you through it. We'll start with the Puff part, since you can use furry puff balls for a lot more than just Pygmy Puffs - and they're surprisingly easy to make!

YOU WILL NEED:


For the body:
- Faux fur
- fiber fill
- fishing line
- (optional) thin feather boa for stripes

For the head & feet:
- Clay (air-dry or bake)
- small black beads for eyes
- craft paints (unless you use colored clay)
- hot glue or E-6000


1) Cut a circle out of your choice of fur:

I used 8 inch circles, traced from a mixing bowl.

Make sure you cut your circles fur side down, so your scissors only cut the back fabric. This keeps the fur shedding to a minimum.

I recommend a soft, mid-length fur, but the only yellow we could find was this super long, kinda scratchy stuff. Bleh. 

That meant I had to trim all our fur down - that's the "before" on the right. Trimming made it a little softer, and much easier to work with.

2) Thread a long needle with about 15 inches of fishing line. DO NOT USE THREAD. You need the strength and slipperiness of the plastic line to pull your Puff ball together.

I used this 4 pound monofilament line.
 3) Make a knot by crimping a tiny section of the fabric together, like this:


Now sew a big loose line around the circle, about a 1/4 of an inch down from the edge: 


Pull the line taut as you go, which will start to curl your fabric inward, like this:

4) When you're around the 3/4s point, stuff your Puff with a hand full of fiber fill:

 
Don't over stuff it; you only need enough to fill out the inside, no more.

5) Continue stitching the rest of the way around, then pull the line taut to close the hole. 

6) While keeping tension on the line to hold it closed, sew across the hole in several directions to cinch the whole thing shut.

This is a little tricky (I stabbed myself... many times), but in the end, the hole should disappear beneath the fur:

Finish by knotting off your line a few times, then trim the excess.

Ta-daaaa, you made a tribble! Or a puff ball.

Now let's turn it into a Pygmy Puff.


1) Sculpt a face from clay.


I modeled mine after a mouse face, and used Sculpey polymer clay, since we already had some. Obviously this does require some artistic flair, but not as much as you might think: Make a cone, push in two jewelry beads for eyes, add a little clay ball for the nose, cut a mouth with a craft blade, then curl two smashed circles for ears. It took me a few tries, but eventually I ended up with this.

Unless you're making a LOT of Puffs (say, more than ten?), it's easier and cheaper to just make separate clay faces. (Not to mention faster; if you use the right color clay, you won't have to paint or sand!) I made a mold of mine, though, because I've always wanted to try this. :D I used Amazing Mold Rubber, which is for pour-over molds. It isn't too expensive, and was very easy to use.


 Not gonna lie: I was SUPER stoked when this worked.

This is optional, but you can also make 4 clay feet to go with your face:

 Again, that's just a bunch of smashed balls of clay, so these are simple to make.

I baked everything before making the molds, then for the feet molds I used Amazing Mold Putty. That's the push-in stuff, and again, very easy to use.


For both the heads and feet we used casting resin from Reynolds Materials here in Orlando. Fun Fact for you locals: Reynolds usually has a booth at the bigger cons around here, where they give away FREE RESIN KITS. We always try to put our names in the daily drawings, and have won at least 3 kits that way!


My resin casts came out with various bumps and imperfections - an occupational hazard when working with resin, plus I'm still a newb at this - so I had to spend several extra hours sanding everything down.
 

 Then I had to wash and paint all the casts, which required many MORE hours of work:

 I actually like tedious crafts, but painting 80 of these feet - that's 240 tiny toes - pushed me to my limit. o.0

 
For the heads I used a darker shade of yellow inside the ears, mouth, and on the nose. Then I carefully painted the black eyes & added a gloss clear coat for a more life-like shine.

Again, this is all work you'll be avoiding if you're sticking with clay heads and feet versus making resin casts, so consider yourself duly warned: resin casting en masse is not for the faint of heart.

Now let's put it all together!

 This part is trickier than we expected, but John and I eventually got it down to a science. So please. LEARN FROM OUR FRUSTRATIONS. Here we go:
1) Put your Puff on a plate, hole side down, and smash it flat with your hand:

 You want a flat bottom for the feet.

2) Part the fur where you'd like the head to go:

... and glue the head in place:

 We just used hot glue, but you could also use E-6000.


3) Flip the Puff over, brush the fur out to the edges, and place the feet:


4) Once you're happy with the placement, glue the feet down, too.

Tadaa! A Pride of Puffs!

This final part is optional, but if you'd like to add feathery stripes like we did, you'll need a thin feather boa from the craft store. The boa is a HUGE pain to work with and VERY messy, but the black fur we tried instead was worse, so... ::helpless shrug::

5) Part the fur when you'd like the first stripe to sit. I recommend about an inch behind the head:


6) Starting at the side, hot glue the boa into that gap, pressing down as you go. Don't cut the boa until you reach the opposite side.

7) Repeat for the second stripe, which should be about an inch or two behind the first:

8) Finally, trim the excess wisps from the boa, so it looks less messy:
 Before

After


Again, I don't really recommend using the boa because it's messy and annoying to work with, but it DID give our Puffs a softer element, and it looks nice. If I had to do it again I'd experiment with a rolled tube of fur instead - or skip the stripes entirely, heh.



More pictures:



One more:




 Now, as a reward for making it this far, GUESS WHAT.

While all of those Puffs are spoken for, I had enough material to make one extra, sans stripes - and she wants to go home with one of you!

 

You can always add your own stripes, or leave her as-is and call her Sunshine. Or Lemon Drop. Or Lady Reginald Darcy Winthrop the Third.

 
Ok, maybe not that last one.

(She has feet just like the others. The only difference is I ran out of boa for her stripes. :D)

 If you'd like to adopt this pretty Puff, then leave me a comment and tell me her name. I'll pick the winner at random (or WILL I??) and announce it in my next post.

U.S. shipping only this time, please and sorry! 

UPDATE: The give-away has ended, and the winner is Jamie, who will be naming Puff "Lemon Drop!" Aw, so perfect. Congrats, Jamie, and please e-mail me your mailing address so we can ship Lemon Drop your way!

Sweet Stay Puft, this may be my longest tutorial ever, but I hope it made you smile, and inspires some crafty ideas out there! I'm already daydreaming about a whole shelf of Puffs in every color, mmmm.


*****




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118 comments:

  1. So fun!

    For a name how about Bella Von Fuzz lol

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  2. She looks like a Dandelion to me. So cute!

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  3. I love these! I would name mine Chris Martin (‘cause it was all yellow...)

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  4. Well, that's obviously Buffy; I'd know her anywhere. Her full name is Buffle Humble Gypsy Fluff the Huffle Bumble Pygmy Puff, but she prefers if you just call her Buffy. She's really adorable, and she makes cute little buzzing sounds when you pet her back, but her belly is a trap, and her teeth are sharp. You've been warned! When she was younger, she was teased by the other Puffs for not having stripes, and she used to be really sensitive about it, but she's decided to love herself just the way she is.

    KW

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  5. Looks like a Luna to me!
    -Polly

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  6. I would name her Butter Mellow. So cute!

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    1. Love it! Ron's spell did work... eventually! :)

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  7. This is such a great craft! I've never found anything I could do with that kind of fake fur, but you turned it into a real magical creature. :)

    I would name her Puff Piece. She would live on my desk at work and help me with my editing, sharing my frustration with misplaced commas and awkward phrasing. Plagiarists would fear her mighty paws.

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  8. I would name her Leticia Flufflebottom

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  9. Be careful listing your Amazon link! I know someone who got kicked out of the affiliate program for advertising too much. It makes no sense to me how anyone is supposed to make money without letting people know about their link, but apparently it's fine line to walk. :(

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  10. Awww, she's so cute! She reminds me of my best friend's one hamster (who recently passed away - the ham, not the friend). So I'd call her Shiny the Second, the Huffle Bumble Hammy Butt!

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  11. I would name him... Julius de l'Orange! And I would give him delicious citrus concoctions to sip...

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    1. ... I just realized I was talking about giving an inanimate object a smoothie. I think my Hufflepuff is showing! Ha!

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  12. My 5yo son looked at the pictures as I read through this, and he said, "Lion-bees...?" Which I feel is accurate.

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  13. I think I'd have to go with Belby the Bogey Bumble Puff, Belby for short. Puffskeins are known to eat anything, and one of our favorite lines is "That is, if Belby's left you any!" And it sounds like their favorite thing is eating bogeys from sleeping people's noses. (Eww! But my boys would love that fact if I shared it.)

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  14. Pretty sure that's Lady Fuzzlebum :)

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  15. Leonidas Furrbutt the First....and perhaps Last. One never knows.

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  16. Can't get much cuter than that! <3 I'd call her Lady Sunshine of the New Year

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  17. I would call her Dr. Bumbly Von Yates of the South Eastern Realm

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  18. Butterscotch Bumble! She's so adorable!

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  19. His name would be Baxter McFluffypants, and my Hufflepuff daughter would love him!!

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  20. Maybe not very creative, but I'd call her Goldilocks.

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  21. That is definitely Priscilla Puff, because she's a Prissy pretty Puff.

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  22. ButterBelle. I know it's similar to many of the others but it popped in my head before I even read to the give-a-way. I think I am going to use this to make lambs!

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  23. That's Lady Penelope Von Butterbeer and she would like to live on my Harry Potter shelf

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  24. I LOVE the term "a pride of puffs"! Again, your creativity inspires me!

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  25. So adorbs! She's Sunshine von Sassypants, of course!

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  26. Snarzlefluff! I...I don't know why... It just makes me happy. I love these and I LOVED seeing the escape room you created. My someday dream is to come to one of your Christmas parties! *chortle* One of my resolutions this year is to comment more on the few favorite blogs that I read regularly, to let the people who make them know how much I enjoy their content and love checking in each day or week or whenever they update. Thank you to both of you for all you do online! It's an absolute delight. Also, your blog is the only reason I knew what the FODMAP diet was when my new gastroenterologist finally told me I had IBS (after over a decade of confused suffering) and that he had a plan to help. LIFECHANGING!

    May 2019 be a glorious year for you both (and the kittehs). :)

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  27. Aww, it's a wee Gertrude Ellaina! Adorable

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  28. These are awesome! I've wanted my own my own pygmy puff. This one would definitely be named Bumble Butterscotch. :) Thank you so much for sharing your creativity.

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  29. I'd name her Aurora Darcy, two names that bring sunshine into my life (:

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  30. My first thought for a name was Lucy or maybe Meringue (like Lemon Meringue Pie). Regardless, she's a cutie and this tutorial is complicated but great. Thanks for fueling all our creativity!

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  31. She is adorable and now I need to consider pulling out my clay. Darn you!

    I would have to name her after my 3 year old twins' favorite song/shape/word. Twinkle Star.

    I considered something more sunshiney, but really this bright little puff could light up a dark night.

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  32. Wonderful tutorial, so fun to see them all come together!

    I'd name her Sherbie (short for Sherbert Lemon)

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  33. I think her name is Flavia, which means yellow-haired or golden-haired. What could be more appropriate? urchiken at gmail dot com

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  34. Also, yellow and black striped faux -fur fabric is available, e.g. this one: https://www.etsy.com/listing/128754383/faux-fur-long-pile-2-tone-shaggy-stripe

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    1. Nice find! Gathering the circle into a sphere might cause some warping on the stripes, though. But it might look more "natural" that way (feral pygmy puffs! RUN!!)

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  35. I'm going to cross my fandoms here and go with Buttercup, and I'll be sure to answer, "As you wish" to every request she has!

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  36. I like "Sweet Ms. Lemon Fluff" as her official name and title. LOL Such an awesome craft. I might have to make some other colored fluffs as gifts for Christmas. (I was told I spent too much on some nieces and nephews so I'll have to "fix" that by crafting an affordable fleet of puffs!)

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  37. These are adorable!! I'd name her Lady Helga Pennyface, after the founder (of course) and a line from my favorite episode of Parks & Rec.

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  38. I would name her Miss PeanutButterFluffybuns...

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  39. I would name her Butter because she looks like the color of butter after it has been creamed with sugar!

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  40. gah! It's so adorable. I would love her. It's hard to name her from a photo. I'd have to meet her first and we would decide together.

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  41. Broness Beeatrice von Puff-n-Stuff

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  42. I would name her Poppy Seed! Poppy for a nickname. Or maybe Ginny because Ginny had such a love for pigygmy puffs! She is so adorable!

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  43. That's awesome! I was trying to think of a way to sew stripes of fabric together pre-gathering, but turning a circle into a sphere just opens up a whole new unnecessary can of worms.
    And I'd name that sweet pygmy puff Dandelion. Dandy, Danners, Sunnyfluff Fluffers are all potential nicknames ^_^

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  44. Her name is Helga Honey, in honor of the original Badger Lady!

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  45. I'm sure I reading waaaaay too much into this, but I'd add white stripes and name him Lemon Meringue. I call the 9 ball in pool the lemon meringue ball, so his nickname would probably be Nine. Now I'm hungry for some reason!

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  46. Victoria Von Puffinwaddle, Duchess of Honeyton

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  47. So fabulous, thank you for sharing the tutorial. I think I would name her Wilhemina Toodlebottom

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  48. I'm thinking Calypso or Goldberry (from LoTR)

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  49. Oh my gosh, Suki is getting SO FLUFFY!!!!! What a sweetie!

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  50. For some reason I keep coming up with Neville-ade Lemonbottom.

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  51. He definitely looks like a Jack O'Neill from SG-1. Hahaha!

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  52. So cute!! I would name her Lady Sundrop of Lionmane, from generations to generations of luscious locks and smol toe beans! :3

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  53. While probably not her given name, I would probably end up calling her, "Ack! Stop! No! Don't eat the puff! Come back here!"...mostly because Nix, one of my cats, is obsessed with anything fur covered and tries very hard to steal and hide floofy things so she can lick them silly when I'm not around. On the plus side, this is better than Nix licking her belly raw so there's that. But, if the puff were to come live with me, she would probably stay on my desk at work where there are not puff stealing felines allowed.

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  54. Most of my stuffed creatures end up with nonsensical names; so she would probably end up being called Puff-a-lump.

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  55. Adorable! I'd name her "Miss Adora Ball" :) neat craft

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  56. She is definitely Lady Radiant!

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  57. I would name her Lemon Drop, because "Would you care for a lemon drop?"

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  58. Hmm, I'd have to name her Brightshine. She would likely live at my desk and be my ray of sun on rainy days. I have no doubt the boys would have fun finding new places for her to turn up at around the house though!

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  59. Thanks for this, it's definitely on my list to do this year with my kids! It's right up their alley, my house is a stuffed creature sanctuary. And having two Hufflepuff and two Ravenclaw puffs seems natural. As for a name I'd call it Mr. Butterby, and he'd have a stack of tiny reading materials with him always, and a cup of tea.

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  60. When working with fur for costumes, I found it easier to cut fur with a razor blade from the back side instead of scissors. You don't cut on the fur side at all and get the fir bits all over your house like glitter. These are adorable! I see these in my kids' Easter baskets!

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    1. I sure wish that I had seen your fur tip before I had to make a squirrel costume for Halloween this year! Thanks for sharing!

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  61. I would totally name her Lorax because she's the right color and kind of looks like a truffula tree!

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  62. I don't know why, but the name Clementine keeps popping up into my head. I love it!

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  63. My daughter declares her name to be Dakota. When pressed for an explanation, she shrugged (as only an 8-yr-Old can, with much nuance and ageless know-it-allness) and replied “It just is.” Can you feel the internal eyeroll? 😜
    I was leaning towards Anastasia, myself. Anastasia Felinia Plushwaller.

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  64. Kristin E. from HYTJanuary 2, 2019 at 3:09 PM

    She looks like a delightful little Butternut to me! I enjoyed this tutorial so much. I'm so tempted to attempt making these myself for desk companions for my coworkers.

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  65. Her name is Truffula! She looks just like the Dr. Seuss trees :)

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  66. My husband and I are part of the Benevolent Fellowship of Fools, Troubadours, Minstrels, and Storytellers at the Anchorage, Alaska Three Barons Renaissance Faire. Our colors are also black and gold!

    She would have to be our mascot, the Most Foolish Fillandria Flufflepuff (the Fluff of our Foolfathers)

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  67. she's definitely a Bumblefluff to me, I don't know why it just fits. I definitely want to give these a try

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  68. These are so cute!!

    According to google translate, the word "gold" translates into "koura" in Maori. That was the best language I tried for a nice-sounding translation and I think Koura would be a perfect name for the little puff!

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  69. She looks like a Cynthia Sunshine to me :) Sunny Cyndi for short!
    Can't wait to try this tutorial, too, with ALL THE COLORS!!!

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  70. She is SO Lady Reginald Darcy Winthrop the Third of Huffington Puff Place.

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  71. I want to make them in many colors too! I love Butterscotch.

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  72. Gah!! The cute!! There might be an invading army of these adorable fluffed on my craft table soon. As for a name, she strikes me as Princess Flufflekins, of the Hufflefluff Flufflekinses.

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  73. Goldypuff needs to live in my house!!! :-)

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  74. My boys say it should be Fluffel the Fraggle.

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  75. I have been not so patiently waiting for this tutorial ever since your first post on them! Glad you had a chance to do it for us and thank you! Her name could be Adeline Grace. Why? Because a nosey little girl looking over my shoulder said so.

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  76. I believe her name is Jaune (French for yellow). She's a cutie!

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  77. These are so great, and I would totally name him Torch (I have a cat named Flare who would love to cuddle with him). I'm always impressed with your super cool crafty ideas, my brain does not work like that.

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  78. She is obviously a Sunflower Honeybee Pumpkinseed Lemontree Fluffykins Saffronimbus the Honorable and Stripe-less. She says she likes tea with honey in it, but if we're being honest, it's more like honey with tea in it

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  79. How about Lucha Lovely Longbottom? (Lucha being the Irish word for mice)

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  80. I know you said the boa was hard to use but oh, what a lovely fluffy effect! I can't imagine anything that might be easier to work with that would look even half as perfect.

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  81. Squiggle Flumkins is her name and cuddle bumpkin is her game

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  82. I'd name her Daisy Bumblefluff.

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  83. Honeylemon Sugarcookie because it suits her and sounds like something from GBBS.

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  84. (With Apologies To Peter Yarrow. Paul and Mary, too.)

    Puff the magic pygmy puff
    Lived by the sea.
    But Jen and John sent him off
    To come reside with me!

    Little Ellen Paper
    Loved that rascal Puff.
    And brought him books and Cauldron Cakes,
    And other fancy stuff.

    Pygmy Puffs live forever,
    But not so little girls,
    One day they're supposed to forgo toys
    And leave off wearing curls.

    One grey night she decided,
    She still loved her toys.
    So she put back up her dolls and figs,
    Which filled her heart with joy.

    So Pygmy Puff and Ellen,
    Live far from the sea.
    But frolic in the Winter fen...
    Please send him home with ME!

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  85. Duchess Marigold Lemondrop Honeypot of the Upper Bucklebury Honeypots

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  86. I see a Little Miss Bibbidy-Bobbidy Boople-dee-doop. Also known as Boopsie to her friends!

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  87. I would name her Sundrop. She’s adorable! I might try making one as a class mascot.

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  88. Squeee!
    She's Bettina Butterfluff to me. :)

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  89. Aww she's lovely, but so are they all. I hadn't realised just how big they were.
    I think I may just have to have a go.

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  90. Princess Penelope Floofyboof

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  91. I'm not sure what her name really is, but her nickname is "Mouse." These are amazing!

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  92. Oh, isn't the little one adorable!! I loved the idea of your puzzle room, but when I saw the prize, I GASPED. I'd probably die if I attended a party where THOSE were the favors - but then, I'm a big fan of toys and plush in general!

    I think their name should be Bloof!! I figure there's certain lines of Pygmy Puffs that are sort of like show animals; they have a long, fancy, pedigreed name (this one's would be Lord/Lady Bloofington Von Shnitzel Linkydinkydoo, of the Third House of Bleezedorf the Wise, Son of Lilipad Jeepers and Peetleport XIV, from the Noble Line of Snuffleton), but in reality, their keepers just call them short little nicknames when they're not in a show. Plus, I can imagine 'Bloof!' coming out in a very cute chirp from such a tiny little mouth!! Maybe tucked into their keeper's collar for snuggles on a cold night, aww!

    Terribly cute!!! <3

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  93. Lady Limoncello, of course!

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