Old T-Shirts and MaPaPu

In the German parents magazine Die Eltern I ran into the MaPaPu, short from “Mamapapapuppentier”, a stuffed animal made by combining an old t-shirt from Mum and  another one from Dad.  Jennifer Arndt-Lind is the name of the creator, designer and manufacturer of the MaPaPus. She made the first MaPaPu when her first born was very young. She originally gave him her old t-shirt to take along when he went to his Dad, so that he could feel Mum close even when she wasn’t there. Then she had the idea of sewing a stuffed animal using an old piece of clothing from both parents giving her child an opportunity to smell the presence of both parents at all times. She has since standardised the look of the MaPaPus, and the face has been left neutral on purpose because this animal is there to comfort a child that is sometimes sad.

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Photo credit: Die Eltern

Without knowing more about this mother, my guess would be, that it can’t have been easy to sew her t-shirt together with a t-shirt from her ex, right after they split. I love the way she still was able to try to do the best to comfort her son. And now she has made it possible for others to get a MaPaPu too, she sews them all by hand so the price for one is not very modest: 190e (according to the magazine, I haven’t actually checked http://www.mapapu.de) .

Apart from loving the symbolism behind these stuffed animals, I thought it was a cool idea to reuse t-shirts make stuffed animals for kids. Too bad I realised that I really dislike sewing nowadays, when I tried to fulfill my ideas for upcycling tea towels.

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11 comments

  1. HI! Thank you for having our mapapus in your blog! And yes, you are right, it was difficult for my wife to sew her and her ex together. And even more difficult, to put me and my ex together!!! But that was the first view on it – and a kind of ego-view. The right view is the view for the kids and we made the experience, that mapapus helped our patchwork-kids a lot.

    But we don´t just make mapapus for children of separated parents. mapapus have a great therapeutical power with kids who lost a loved person, like its mother or father. Or children in a hospice. Or even parents who lost a child.

    Where a soul is shaken by hard circumstances, a mapapu has magical power to help healing.

    Wow, long time not writing in english. I hope, there are not to many errors…

    All the best for you,
    Hendrik

    1. Wow, thank you for commenting, nice that you found my blog, and that you shared more information about the mapapu’s!

      Und Ihre English ist sehr gut, keine Sorge 🙂

  2. How sweet! But too expensive 😦

    1. Yes, but I can understand the price as it is handmade. Luckily everyone can create their own designs for a fraction of the price, if they wish to do so!

  3. These are so very cute, and thoughtful. I used to sew but now I think I would be unable to sew anything but a pillow case or something. 🙂

    1. Isn’t sewing like riding the bike, you always know it even though it may feel a bit awkward to start off with after a break?! 🙂

      1. Someday when I get another sewing machine I am sure hoping it will be. 🙂

        1. I am a bit interested in trying my mums (grandmothers) old Singer out! Wonder if it still works?

  4. Really nice idea!

  5. The mapapus look really cute!

  6. That is really sweet, and a great concept that must have come at a rough time!

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