My daughter has reliably informed me that the latest trend to be spreading across her school is Squishies. She seems to always know what the next big craze will be, it’s an uncanny skill to have! Well, at the very least it helps me to come up with ideas of what to write about!
She was the first one to tell me about the craze of slime rolling through her school. Although we’d been making slime at home for quite a few years before the craze took hold! With her input, we came up with some awesome slime recipes such as:
and my favorite… Butter Slime
The Next Big Craze
Anyway, back to the squishies. If you don’t know what a “squishy” is then you’re not alone! When my daughter first starting talking about them I had no idea what she was going on about. They are a soft foam shape that you squeeze and when you release they spring back to their original size. Basically a fancy stress ball! But kids LOVE them!
Actually, I can see the appeal of them. They have a nice texture and it’s fun to really squish and squeeze them and then watch them spring back to shape.
The problem is that my daughter loves to collect squishies. She always wants a different one (they come in hundreds and hundreds of shapes and sizes) and at a minimum of $5 a piece for the larger ones, it can add up fast.
This cute owl squishy is over $8 on Amazon and the panda is nearly $15! Yes, it’s not terribly expensive for a fun little toy, but it can get expensive very quickly when they collect dozens of them.
So I wanted to find a cheaper way to fulfill my daughter’s squishy obsession!
After playing with some of her squishies for a while I realized that they are basically memory foam. Memory foam used to be super expensive and hard to get (I remember the megabucks I paid for my memory foam mattress 10+ years ago!), but it’s much easier and cheaper to find now. So that got my thought process going and after a bit of experimenting I came up with a great way to make your own DIY squishy!
Homemade squishies are super easy and quick to make. I love making crafts that give my kids something to play with afterward (like the Lego Fidget Spinner), as it keeps them quiet for a short while and gives me time to clean up!
For these DIY squishies you are going to need a lump of memory foam. The cheapest and easiest way to get this is to buy a memory foam pillow and cut that up. Although I have heard that people can get free samples of memory foam from mattress manufacturers, but I couldn’t find any.
Once you have the foam, then you need to decide what shape you want to make.
There are so many cute shapes of squishies to pick from, you can even buy bulk packs with a mixture of different shapes. It’s so hard to pick!
As Valentines is fast approaching, I decided to do a cute heart shape – this would also make a perfect Valentine’s present for your little one’s classmates. Who wouldn’t love to receive a DIY squishy?!
For your first attempt I recommend going with a simple shape – maybe a circle or log shape (they could become an emoji, burger, hot dog, doughnut.. the options are endless!).
Shaping Your Squishy
Once you have picked your shape, then it’s just a matter of cutting it out of the foam. You will want to use super sharp scissors to make your life easier, as the foam can be a bit tough to cut when it’s thick.
After you have the rough shape cut out, then you use the scissors to snip tiny amounts of foam off to shape it and smooth out the edges.
This can be quite time-consuming if you are making an intricate shape, but a simple shape shouldn’t take more than 5-10 minutes.
Once you are happy with your shape it is time to start painting your DIY squishy!
I tried a few different options of paint and color for our DIY squishies. Among the things that I tried were fabric markers, sharpies, and acrylic paint. I decided that I liked the acrylic paint the most because it gave the most even color and was the fastest to apply. The fabric markers and sharpies work well, but they take much longer to get an even and deep color. I’m all about ease and speed!
Once you’ve painted your DIY squishy, then all you have to do is leave it to dry and it’s ready for your little one (or you!) to play with!
This DIY squishy is so easy, and also doesn’t need many materials! Bonus!
I bought a memory foam pillow from Amazon as other stores like Target and Bed, Bath & Beyond were much more expensive. For less than $10 I was able to get a pillow that was large enough to make 20+ DIY squishes!
As you can see from the picture below, we’ve hacked into the pillow quite a lot and still have a lot more left over.
A note about the holes:
Memory foam pillows often have a lot of holes in them. I guess so you can breath if you lay face down on them! To start with I was annoyed about the holes, but if you cut the shapes out of the spaces in between then it really doesn’t matter. Better yet, you can incorporate the holes into your design… swiss chees squishy anyone?!
Step 1: Cut out the rough shape
Once you have picked your shape (start off simple!), then you want to roughly cut that shape out the foam.
You have to make sure your scissors are sharp for this part, as the thick foam can be tough to cut through. I like to keep my scissors sharp with this awesome knife and scissor sharpener from Amazon.
Step 2: Refine the shape
Once you have the rough shape cut out then you want to shape your DIY squishy more and smooth out the edges.
This part can take a bit of time if you are doing an intricate shape. But it’s important to take your time and use tiny snips to shape it.
Step 3: Painting
After you have shaped your DIY squishy you want to paint it.
As I mentioned before, I tried fabric markers, sharpies, and acrylic paints. I like the acrylic paint because it went on quickly (the markers take a long time) and it gives the best coverage.
This set of 18 acrylic paints from Amazon is an amazing deal! And it gives you so many different colors to pick from or to blend.
When you have finished painting your DIY squishy, all you need to do is let it dry!
Done! How easy is that?
We’ve been playing around with different shapes too. Below is a photo of the burger that my daughter made all on her own! She used sharpie markers to color it – as you can see the color coverage isn’t as good as paint.
What shape did you decide to make? Please share in the comment section below.