The Snail Race: An Inspired Craft

Monday, April 9, 2012

Finding myself sinking into a crappy case of the Mondays, and feeling like I should spare the readers from this particular dose of "crazy".... Trust me-- it'd just be a lot of whining and "poor me's" and waa  waa waa.... So instead, I'll take a project I finished and photographed on a happier day and finally get it blogged. That way we ALL win: You guys get a cute crafty idea to think about trying out, and I get to check this off of my "To Blog Someday" checklist, thereby conquering the apathy and inertia I'm sinking into.

Okay. enough of that. Wanna see the cutest game EVER? Completely inspired by this blog post, Red Tail Designs: "Off to the Snail Races", this is a project I've intended to do for AGES. (Note, the original idea is from a 2008 blog post!). And last year, around summertime, I had a perfect excuse to make one of my own, as a massive THANK YOU gift for someone who did many kindnesses for me all in a row, and never let me repay her in kind. So I devilishly worked my tail off on a SUPERgift, one worthy of her good deeds.

Presenting the Snail Race:


It starts with a start line and a giant color dice. But doesn't get REALLY interesting til you introduce these little guys:

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Three felted wool snails, ready to zip along the track in the hopes of winning the race.

Each with their own little personality, each with their own strengths and weaknesses...


And each made with upcycled felted wool sweaters stitched into snail bodies and shells, as explained in the ORIGINAL tutorial, here.

They get ready, then set....


Then with a roll of the dice, it is GO time!
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Each snail gets a turn, and based on the color of the upturned side of the dice, moves to the next square in their lane that is the corresponding color.

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Turn after turn, and one snail takes the lead... And before you know it, the race is over. Wow! Such a thrill! The best part? They can head right back to the starting line and go again. Best 2 out of three, anyone? And when the races are done, the snails tuck nicely into the track itself and the track rolls up for storage.
Pretty fun, right? 

(Thank you Noah, for demonstrating this game. And I spy a bit of me above. Anyone else catch it?)


My version of the snail race is definitely based off of the Red Tail Design version, who got HER ideas from the Ric-Rac blog version. I took it a step further and made my own dice, and really, to make the whole track and the dice, I winged it all. No pattern, just lots of measuring and adjusting and hoping for the best. 

The Ric Rac blog's tutorial for the actual snail is a GREAT one, and I'd recommend starting there for anyone thinking of recreating this fun game. You might even take the easy (read: sane) way out and make a track out of posterboard and construction paper.

As for me.... well, now that I've successfully made one as a gift, I think it's time to get to work on one for my own kids. Noah will be THRILLED. (He definitely cried when I told him I was giving this one away.)

Okay. Who can stay grumpy after all those bright colors?? I'm off now... gonna go work on about a million ruffles for Lucy's birthday. This post got my sewing itch back, and that's a good thing.


  1. Emily, this is so awesomely cute! I'm pinning it--awesome gift idea!

  2. Wow. I LOVE this!!!!! SOOOOO darling! Going to pin it now.... :)


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