For a unique and treasured keepsake, try making a plush toy or pillow from your child's drawing. This technique would work well for just about any creature, including monsters :) I think vehicles and buildings would work well, too. Just remember--it doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be made with love.
Last summer, Bubby spotted some adorable plush fish in a gift shop and immediately wanted to buy one. I told him maybe we could make one, and when we returned home, I did a little bit of looking online for a pattern, but Bubby seemed to lose interest, especially after I made his platypus.
But over Christmas break we were in another gift shop. Bubby saw some stuffed fish, and took up the cry for a fishie to call his own. I really thought he wanted to just buy one, so I told him I'd put it on his list. But no...he wanted me to make one.
I asked him to describe how he wanted his fish to look, thinking I would try to find a pattern that fit as many of his criteria as possible, and when he started telling me about the details, I realized I should just have him draw it. This way, it would be exactly what he wanted.
Here's what he came up with.
Step 1: Make the main shape.
You can cut apart your child's drawing, and use it as a pattern. If you want to save the drawing, make a photocopy of it first.
The body is irregularly shaped. Kind of an oval, but with a bump near the back on the top, and the bottom comes to a point in back. I just cut out the body that he drew and used it as my pattern piece, cutting two body pieces from green fleece.
Step 2: Add the details before stitching the main shape together.
This includes eyes, nose, mouth, paws... Don't be afraid to include some whimsical details as well. This is a child's drawing, not a real-life representation.
I added a fleece mouth, eyes, and gills to the body pieces before stitching them together.
Then I added the colorful flannel dots. I cut them, using jar lids for a pattern, and Bubby placed them where he wanted them on the body pieces. I used a slightly contrasting thread to attach them, using a fun swirl on the larger dots.
Next up were the tail and fins. Bubby's paper wasn't big enough to draw the fins, so I traced the outline of the top, bottom, and rear of the body on a separate piece of paper, with enough room for Bubby to add the fins and tail.
I made the fins and tail using Bubby's drawings as my patterns, and using this method to add seam allowance. After I turned the fins and tail right side out, I topstitched some fin lines on them.
3. Stitch the plushie together, turn, and stuff.
Let me know if you try it! I would love to see your creations :)