DIY Christmas: Nightmare Snatchers for Insomniacs

After 2 months of unemployment, Christmas was a cheap, cheerful, and sometimes homemade festival.

Knowing a few people who suffer from overthinking and anxieties, I decided to have a look online for gifts that could help keep them calm in the upcoming year. One friend had said she suffered a lot from reoccurring nightmares, and her therapist had suggested she ‘rewrites’ them when she wakes up. By rewriting the ending, she could control the dream and sleep better.

After gathering some ideas, I decided I wanted to make the gifts a little more personal and fun, rather than buying a generic set – and that’s when I came up with the Nightmare Snatcher.

I’d taken the idea from something I’d seen on Etsy which was way out of my budget! Although slightly childish, I thought this monster design was super cute and would give the receivers a giggle when they opened it. I was right, too.

To make the front, I headed to the market to buy some ‘fluff’ and felt. Trying to explain to the shopkeeper what I meant by ‘fluff’ was tricky: I settled for ‘do you have anything a bit like troll hair?’ Luckily (and unluckily for my cream carpet), she did.

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Back home, I set to work on cutting the perfect squares to cover the front and back of the notepads, whilst making sure not too much overlapped with the binding at the side – this way the pads could still be opened and closed with ease.

Much to my naive surprise, troll hair malts. And it malts like mad. Above you can see my carpet, that now has tints of purple in places when the light shines at the right angle…

Using eyelet glue – then eventually just superglue – I stuck the sheets in place and left them to dry.

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Once that was done, I had all eyes on me whilst I made the felt arms and chose the right googly eyes. (All eyes on me, geddit?)

After finishing the fronts, it was time to focus on the inside.

I wanted to make sure there was a variety of things in my Nightmare Snatchers as anyone with insomnia will understand the troubles of overthinking at night. The pads needed space for doodling, writing to do lists, ranting and re-writing dreams so that my friends could go back to sleep without having to think about absolutely everything all at once.

I made a few pages into colouring pages – to give them an innocent distraction in the night if sleep just wasn’t happening. I also drew spider diagrams and other little bits to help to motivate my friends into writing down their thoughts, rather than bottling them up.

I didn’t do all the pages, because I wanted to make sure there was space for them to make their own decisions in what they’d use their new sleeping pal for.

I think the pads went down quite a treat! And even if they aren’t used, the sentiment was there. Now they know that there’s someone out their who understands their insomnia and nightmares and cares enough to want to help.

If you made any homemade gifts for Christmas, let us know!


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