Earlier this year, Budsies contacted me asking if I’d be interested in checking out what they do. And what they do is turn artwork into custom plush toys. What a neat idea! Budsies kindly offered to create a toy for each of my girls so we could share with all of you the process from start to finish as well as our thoughts on the final products we received.
The first step of course was to create the artwork. Kay’s not quite old enough to draw an actual figure yet, so I drew a simple outline of a doll and gave it to Kay to colour as she liked. We were also able to add extra instructions to our order: “Happy, cuddly doll for my toddler in pink with aqua blue accents. Maybe that’s an aqua star on her tummy? I think that’s supposed to be blonde hair.”
I didn’t really know how Budsies would turn this into a toy. I thought they might just embroider a copy of Kay’s scribbles all over the stuffed figure, but instead the Budsies designers took her picture and our instructions and put it all together into a cute and cuddly toy that she just loves carrying around! I was so impressed to see what arrived in the mail eight weeks later.
At four and a half, Tee’s a better artist than her sister and was able to clearly draw and describe what she wanted. “Goofy looking big round ball with green eye/arm/leg on one side, blue eye/arm/leg on the other. Big toothy grin. Wearing a magenta cape with magenta hair. She’d like the face/body to be lavender.” Tee’s directions were followed to a T.
She was so excited to see her new Super Friend soar out of the box to meet her.
The actual ordering process was really simple too. After the girls created their artwork, I scanned their drawings and uploaded them to the website. But you can also take a picture of the artwork using your phone then email, text, or upload the image directly from the camera roll. I got a confirmation email the next day that the pictures I’d sent had been reviewed by one of the Budsies designers and were suitable for making our toys. (They email you back if there are any problems or if they have any questions about your picture.)
Each Budsies toy is about 16″ tall – the perfect size to snuggle or use as a pillow on the couch or in the car, while still being totally portable. All Budsies are made from safe, hypoallergenic materials and made to withstand hard play. You can rest easy knowing that their toys also go through testing at a Consumer Product Safety Commission accredited independent lab to ensure their safety and quality.
I recently discovered that Budsies also works with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Eastern Pennsylvania to sponsor Budsies for children going through cancer treatment. They host art days with sponsored Budsies for underprivileged kids in their local community, and they also donate Budsies through Easter Seals of Southwestern Indiana for kids with disabilities. The way this company gives back makes me even prouder to recommend them.
Budsies Make a Wonderful Keepsake
Be aware this isn’t a spur of the moment gift. Each toy takes about 5 weeks to process, design, and create the custom finished product before it ships. Let me tell you though, it’s 100% worth the wait. If you don’t have enough time to order ahead, consider giving a gift certificate. In my mind, kids get lots of presents at Christmas or on their birthdays, often too many to properly appreciate them all. But with a Budsies gift certificate, the child gets a nice surprise under the tree, the fun of creating their drawing, the anticipation of waiting for their new friend, and then the excitement of opening up the box a few weeks later when they can really appreciate it.
Both Tee and Kay love their Budsies. These plush toys are soft, cuddly, and very well-made, but the best part is how they capture a snapshot of my daughters’ imaginations right at this moment. These toys will never be put in the donation bin or sold in a garage sale. They’re true keepsakes, and I hope my girls keep them always as a unique reminder of their childhoods.
Purchase a Budsies toy for your little one or give a gift certificate good for one Budsies for a very reasonable $69. Use my affiliate link to SAVE $5 on top of that! (Discount automatically applied at checkout.)
Place your order by November 14th to guarantee delivery by December 25th in the US.
Disclosure: I received sample items for review purposes. All opinions expressed are completely honest and my own, based on my personal experience. Your experience may differ. This post contains affiliate links. I will receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no additional cost to you.