Monday, May 25, 2020

Two Towel Day Activities For You Hoopy Froods

Happy Towel Day, Hoopy Froods!

I just turned 42 this month, so this is my year of all things Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I'm hoping to have a joint birthday party later with another friend who's also turning 42, but in case that doesn't pan out, I thought I'd start sharing some of my planned birthday goodies here!

First up, I am BEYOND DELIGHTED to show you our most glorious coloring page party favors, made by John using all free clipart, if you can believe it.
How fun is this?? Feel free to download it (right click to embiggen, then save) so you can print it out to color. Or save the file to color digitally on your iPad.

Next up, while searching for birthday crafts I stumbled across this delightful creation by Terry Border of Bent Objects. (Remember Bent Objects? That was one of the big blogs back in Cake Wreck's heyday.)

I assume Terry made this by attaching the wire limbs directly to the book, but I had the idea to make it more of a wire stand, so the book could easily be removed without damage. Because how cute would this be sitting on your bookshelf?

As it turns out, VERY VERY CUTE:


 This is in John's game room, where I try to theme each bookshelf cubby to a different fandom:


It still needs something up high, I think. Maybe ships that hang in the sky the way that bricks don't? Or a banner advertising "Your Plastic Pal Who's Fun To Be With," because that jingle has been stuck in my head for the last 3 days? (John and I've been watching the  6-part BBC miniseries of Hitchhiker's on Hulu.)

This little book stand is basically a wire easel with tiny feet and arms. The book is not attached, so you can simply lift it off to read. 

 Ahh, but what if you don't have spare shelf space for a book easel? Then what?

  Then you make a version that hangs on the wall!


  Either option is a pretty easy craft, so let me walk you through it.

First, you will need:

- A paperback book (hardcovers are too heavy)

- At least 48 inches of craft wire, in your choice of color (we just used what we had)

- Pliers for bending the wire

- Metal snips for cutting the wire

- An old washcloth

- (optional) Needle & embroidery thread for embroidering the washcloth


- Start with one long piece of wire (about 24 inches) and one short (about 11 inches):

- Twist like so:

- The shorter piece will be the legs, so add some feet and bend the "knees":

It's hard to tell here, but the "knees" are bent to provide a little shelf for the book to sit on.

- Now twist up the long wire to form a triangular torso & 2 arms

- Wrap the wire on one side around a paintbrush to form the 3 fingers of a hand, like this:

(Heads up: this colored wire tends to chip! Booo.)

- Then cut off the excess, leaving one upturned "thumb." 

- The second arm will hold the towel, so bend that forward and in front, no need for a hand.

Now it's time to decide if you want your book stand to hang on the wall or stand up like an easel.

For a wall version, add a hanging loop and two "butt bumpers" to angle the stand out from the wall, like this:

See the Butt Bumpers? Without those the book will fall forward. Here's how it looks on the wall:

See how they help the book lean back? And you really can't tell looking at it straight on:

If you'd rather your book stand be an easel, then twist more wire around the torso section to make a kick stand in the back, like this:

- Finally, cut up an old washcloth to make the towel. We didn't bother to hem ours; just folded it in thirds and left the bottom edge raw:


For the "embroidery" I cut a vinyl stencil with my Cricut, then stitched haphazardly inside the lines:

We debated painting it, but I'm glad I stitched it instead. My attempt at embroidery is comically messy, but I'm telling myself that just adds to the charm. And honestly I love how beat-up the book is for the same reason:

This copy of Hitchhiker's was mailed to me by a very sweet reader, btw, when I realized I didn't have one and went begging on my Story. I can always trust this crowd to have the nerdy essentials lying around!

The whale pot was a Clearance find at HomeGoods, and the fake petunias cost me TEN WHOLE DOLLARS on Amazon, which I still bitterly resent, but hey, at least they look cute.

I really love the idea of making books functional art pieces like this, and I know there must be a ton of other titles that would be fun to add limbs to. Maybe a Star Trek book giving the Vulcan salute, or a Star Wars one holding a little plastic lightsaber? SO MANY POSSIBILITIES, I hope some of you take this idea and run with it. I'd love to see what you come up with! 

In the meantime, help me brainstorm: what other books need arms and legs? Wait, or maybe wings and horns?? OooOOOooooh.


And as always, if you're looking for MORE crafty ideas, be sure to head over to my Tutorial Page! I've got over 150 different project photos there for you to browse through.


  1. What a great idea! It would be a lot of fun to have both copies of Good Omens (one with Crowley on the cover, the other Aziraphale) and make devil/ angel stands for them. Now you've got me thinking of all the possibilities!

    1. Wings and a halo vs. horns and a tail?? = )

  2. Hooray! Happy Towol Day to you! I got up so quickly to print the coloring page my husband asked "What's wrong?!" Hahahaha, now to dig out all the coloring sticks. <3

  3. Why on Krikkit would you put anything up high? As if it ever would occur to anyone to look upward...

    1. Just had to tell you that you just made me laugh out loud. Thanks, I needed that!

  4. Years ago, I worked at a bookstore (RIP Waldenbooks), and how much personality would our store have had with fun wire book holders? I'd love to see this at an independent store!

    Meanwhile, if anyone is on Duolingo, one of my German lessons had a related sentence to translate recently:
    "The answer is 42. What is the question?" = "Die Antwort is zweiundvierzig. Was ist die Frage?"
    (Also, the Latin course is highly recommended purely for its obsession with drunk parrots.)

    --Yet Another Jen

    1. I kept wondering if it was just me! Duolingo Dutch seems to think I'm going to run into a lot of Rhinoceroses eating sandwiches in the Netherlands and people accusing me of being an apple. "Ik ben geen appel!" ("I am not an apple!"). :)

  5. Perhaps just make an arrow pointing to the space and write (cricut cut) S.E.P.?

  6. Maybe a little musical banner for 'share and enjoy'? or a Pan Galactic Gargleblaster in a martini glass? A brick with a lemon?

    1. I'm giggling over the thought of displaying a brick with a fake lemon wedge on it, just to see if ANYONE gets it, lol. Oh! Or what if I hung bricks in the air? The way they don't?

    2. Couple of dolphins splashing through the air, maybe one with a little speech bubble 'so long and thanks for all the fish'?

      Or ooh! How about a menu from the Restaurant at the End of the Universe?

  7. It needs a mouse or 2. Maybe some poetry ... or maybe not.

    1. One of my craft ideas was to make little notebooks of Vogon Poetry, but I'm stuck on how to design the covers. They'd be fun party favors, though, and I could used my Cricut to add the design to blank notebooks!

  8. So apparently I need to read and/or watch Hitchhikers Guide if I'm going to understand a lot of the crafts you're planning for this year. Because other than having heard of it I truly know nothing about it . . .

    1. It's an easy, ridiculous read, so I'd recommend starting with the book. But you *can* just watch the movie (which is mildly terrible) or the 6-part BBC miniseries (which is better, but dated) to get the idea. :D

    2. The radio series! Best banjo/synthesizer intro ever :D

    3. I, too, recommend the radio series. Which differs from the books, which differs from the TV show, which differs from the movie.

      Douglas Adams didn't believe in any kind of canon.

    4. I really enjoyed the book on tape, read by Stephen Fry. So Good!

  9. That's adorable. <3

  10. This would be a fun school library project. When we finally get back to normal I reckon this will be a great one to try out.

  11. I'm wondering if there would be a way to take a tiny earth globe and make it look like it's exploding that you could hang there. :P

    1. What about one of the little globe puzzles? a bit of painting on the inner bits, a fishing line hanger and a bit of glue would do it

  12. Harry Potter. Gasses and a wand!!! Do it! Do it! Do it! :p :)

  13. My 42nd this year too!! Happy early birthday!!🐋🌸

  14. I turn 42 in December and am finally going to read the books & watch the movie. Luckily my brother has copees for me to is highly confusing to attempt to figure out what to buy on Amazon as you can buy the various volumes separately or in one book or in boxed sets (of 5 or 6)...

  15. Up high? The whale with petunias? Impending doom and all that? Put a small globe below labeled 'Mostly Harmless'... :) Whatever you two put there, I'm sure it'll be fabulous.


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