A Crafty Mix


Making a TokoLeena to Scare the Monsters Away – Int’l Bloggers Club

It’s that time of the month again which means it’s time for the Int’l Bloggers Club Challenge. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the challenge, bloggers from around the world share something about their country and their traditions. This month the theme is all about how we do, or in our case don’t, celebrate Halloween. All my blogging friends are currently based in the Northern hemisphere so there’s pumpkins and spooky décor everywhere. In South Africa, we’re trying our best to catch a bit of a tan “en die manne gaan nou braai“.

Do you know what’s so wonderful about living in South Africa? It’s the rich mix of all our different cultures, beliefs and odd quirks that only fellow South African’s understand. Like braais and toyi-toyis. We have 11 official languages (sadly I’m only fluent in two of them) and we have no problem mixing them up when we want to make a point. Hayibo wena, it’s kwaai confusing sometimes. We eat worms and chicken feet as a treat. They’re delicious fried with a bit of curry powder. We don’t stop at traffic lights, we stop at robots and can shop for almost anything while we wait for the light to turn green.

When it comes to Halloween, it’s not really a big thing here but we do have monsters. As a child, I was petrified of the Tokoloshe, a mischievous dwarf-like water sprite with sharp teeth, a weird body, and gouged-out eyes. They say the only way to get rid of them is to consult a Sangoma. Sangomas, or witch doctors, are highly respected in the rural areas of South Africa where people believe that most ailments are caused by witchcraft. I’ve never seen a Tokoloshe, but a very dear friend of mine swears that they have one in their home and he’s terrorizing her grandson, Adam. They’ve called the local Sangoma but the spells haven’t started working yet. The little guy is only 5 so we decided to make him a TokoLeena to help keep those nightmares away.

How to make a TokoLeena to frighten the monsters away #FreePattern #MomsterDolls #ACraftyMix

TokoLeena, has one really big button eye, so she can see the Tokoloshe even when he’s invisible. Her other eye is covered with an eye patch, which makes it easier to see the spirit world and call on the ancestors to help her protect Adam. Her large ears can hear a pin drop so the Tokoloshe’s strange shuffling walk will be no problem. And just in case she has long arms to hold Adam tight when he’s really scared.

I made TokoLeena using scraps of fabric and adapted this Momster pattern. As luck would have it one of the scraps had four-leaf clovers printed on it, which I’m hoping brings the little guy some good fortune too.

Int'l bloggers Club Challenge. Making a TokoLeena to frighten the monsters away

The pattern is really basic and can be easily adapted. All you need to do is cut out two of everything. Two body bits, ears, head bits, and arms. I love making the arms looooong so they can give a good cuddle.

Int'l bloggers Club Challenge. Making a TokoLeena to frighten the monsters away

Just sew the head bits to the body bits, sew up the sides of the arms and ears and then add the arms and ears to the body and sew everything together. (The Momster tutorial has step by step instructions).  Leave a gap at the top of the head for the stuffing. The fun bit is making the face. I just used a button for eyes and either draw or sew on the other features.

Int'l bloggers Club Challenge. Making a TokoLeena to frighten the monsters away
Int'l bloggers Club Challenge. Making a TokoLeena to frighten the monsters away

Merlin seems to like TokoLeena so I’m hoping she’ll be a hit with Adam too and that she helps keep that cranky old Tokoloshe away.

How to make a TokoLeena to frighten the monsters away

I hope you enjoyed this little taste of South Africa. Head on over to see what Mary, Pili, Keri, and Katrin did for this month’s Halloween Challenge. Just click on the images down there at the bottom, and let us know what you think.

Sending much love and blessing as always. Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu

Made with love by a Crafty Mix

Categories:   Craft Tutorials, Holiday Crafts, Int'l Bloggers Club, Quick & Easy Crafts


  • Posted: January 16, 2018 04:46


    This is so cool!! My daughter will love to learn about this, and maybe make one!! (She’s 15). Thanks for sharing!!
    • Posted: January 16, 2018 07:16


      Ahhh Amy your daughter sounds so cool. Hope she gets to make one
  • Posted: October 25, 2016 20:59

    Sarah - Craft Invaders

    Such an interesting read Michelle, I'd love it if you shared more stories from South African culture in the future and the doll is wonderful :)
    • Posted: October 26, 2016 06:51


      Thank you so much Sarah. I must say I really enjoy being part of the Intl' Bloggers Club. I've learnt so much
  • Posted: October 20, 2016 22:28

    Linda at Mixed Kreations

    I think I could get use to shopping while waiting on the light, but don't think there is anyway I would eat worms or chicken feet. YUCK! Love your TokoLeena, I hope it helps the little boy. I really enjoyed reading about some of your traditions, very interesting to learn about the traditions of other places around the world.
    • Posted: October 21, 2016 07:36


      Lol, Linda :D They're actually really nice if you don't think about what your eating.
  • Posted: October 18, 2016 16:06


    Hi Michelle: I had never ever heard of a tokoleena. I really enjoyed reading about your South African traditions. Not eating worms, ever. That's a thought fit for North American Halloween lol. Post a recipe. I think your doll is awesome, your a kind lady to make one for your friends little boy. Hope his scary situation goes away soon.
    • Posted: October 19, 2016 08:49


      Lol, thanks Leanna. The worms aren't everyone's cup of tea but they are delicious if you get over the eewwww factor. I also hope that TokoLeena helps Adam. I'm seeing my friend on Saturday so I'll find out.
  • Posted: October 18, 2016 13:59

    Sarah Jean

    It's scary and cute at the same time. :) And your Merlin looks just like my Squeakers!
    • Posted: October 18, 2016 15:15


      Thank you Sarah ;-) P.S. Merlin sends Squeakers lots of love
  • Posted: October 17, 2016 21:30


    Michelle, I love learning things about other cultures and South Africa is totally unknown for me. You made me giggle when you said you don't stop at traffic lights! My mom used to cook chicken feet in the soup and I love them. The TokoLeena looks fantastic, and it's great it can help to keep spirits away so Adam can sleep
    • Posted: October 18, 2016 05:58


      Hey Pili, I must admit I'm loving the Int'l bloggers club. Sharing the little bits about our cultures always makes me smile and feel so much closer to everyone. Here's to chicken feet and robots ;-)
  • Posted: October 17, 2016 17:27


    Great tutorial, thanks for sharing :) Thank you Michelle, for stopping by, hugs Biljana
    • Posted: October 18, 2016 05:58


      :-) my pleasure Bijana, your stuff is gorgeous
  • Posted: October 17, 2016 15:12

    Julia - Vintage with Laces

    TokoLeena turned out fantastic, Michelle! She's got such a cute face and a cool hairstyle. I'm sure Adam will love her. Merlin will be disappointed when she leaves. Maybe he can convince his Mom to make one for him too. ;) Sending some belly-rubs for him and your other furry family members. :)
    • Posted: October 17, 2016 15:40


      Awwwww Julia, Merlin is going to be soooooo impressed. He is such a people's furr baby. Thank you so much <3
  • Posted: October 17, 2016 12:49


    I love the TokoLeena doll Michelle, I want one for my girls!!! What interesting traditions and customs, I'm sure it must be a nice time for you all and this doll will for sure keep Adams nightmares away!!
    • Posted: October 17, 2016 12:53


      Thanks so much Katrin, it's really lovely learning about everyone via their blogs. It's a great challenge
  • Posted: October 17, 2016 12:17


    Michelle, it's cool hearing about your country. That's funny that you don't stop at traffic lights but for robots. Your TokoLeena doll looks lovely. You always do such a great job making things!! I'm sure Adam will like her.
    • Posted: October 17, 2016 12:28


      Thank you Keri ;-) I always thought everyone called them robots until I tried to give directions to someone from the States and told them to turn right at the robot. The look on their face was classic, lol.
  • Posted: October 17, 2016 11:00


    very interesting indeed :) :) And yes the tokoloshe story sounds accurate, haven't seen it myself but I heard some stories. The day I share such stories with my kids I'll need TokoLeena to protect them :)
    • Posted: October 17, 2016 11:06


      Ke a leboga Stew. If they ever need a TokoLeena I'll make them one for sure. Your kids are way to sweet to ever feel scared.
      • Posted: October 17, 2016 11:11


        Ncooo... sweetest thing I've heard all morning :) :) Dankie.
        • Posted: October 17, 2016 11:13


  • Posted: October 17, 2016 10:17

    [email protected]_diem

    Oh, this story is amazing! Where I live, we scare bad spirits while wearing costumes, but it is not Halloween. We dress up during Karnival period, usually in february. We scare them off and welcome spring time. This doll is beautiful!
    • Posted: October 17, 2016 10:37


      Hello Ana :-) I've been following your beautiful blog and I'm so glad you came to say hi all the way from Croatia. It's so fascinating how each country has so many beautiful traditions and how we all celebrate our human-ness in so many different ways. Sending lots of love
  • Posted: October 17, 2016 09:10

    Mary-the boondocks blog

    Aww Michelle that is such a sweet doll. It is so fascinating to me to learn about your country. I cannot imagine learning so many languages. And all of the customs and beliefs. Your TokoLeena has such a sweet expression on her face. I know that little Adam will be comforted just by holding her. The hair on top is also very nicely done. Happy, er, Halloween!!
    • Posted: October 17, 2016 09:22


      Thanks so much Mary, I hope Adam likes her too. You're right South Africa is a fascinating country, warts and all. Very few people can speak all 11 languages I'm afraid, sadly I'm one of them. The most spoken language is isiZulu followed by isiXhosa and I barely understand either of them ;-( Happy Halloween to you to my friend

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