Custom Toy Portraits; My Favorite Gift!

I’ve written many times about Bo-Bo, my son’s favorite teddy bear. I adore Bo-Bo, (and the other Bo-Bo, his twin brother,) perhaps to an unhealthy degree. The day that Ben is too big for him, I have no doubt that I’ll be clutching the tan bear, sobbing into him, and wondering where my baby went. Bo-Bo is so much more than some simple fabric and filling.

Jennifer from Custom Toy Portraits understands that toys can be more than just toys. A long-time collector of unique stuffed animals, she began painting them when her daughter was a baby with loveys of her own. Other parents wanted the sweet paintings for themselves and a business was born. Through her custom paintings, Jennifer manages to capture the charm and uniqueness that makes these animals and toys so special to our children (and to us.) Here are a few of her adorable creations:

So stinking cute right? And so affordable. The smallest, a 5″x7″ acrylic on canvas is just $60 and the largest, a 9″x12″ is only $130. I think that is an absolute steal for a one of a kind work of art that represents childhood so well. Birthdays? Christmas? Baby gift? It’s just perfect for any special occasion.

Here’s the painting she did of Bo-Bo:

I just adore it.

Best of all, Jennifer has generously offered one of my readers an 8″x10″ Custom Toy Portrait, worth $100. To enter, just leave a comment and tell me which toy you’d get the painting of if you won. I’ll pick a random winner on Sunday, October 31 at noon. Good luck!

About the writer


What started as an innocent on-line baby book to chronicle Jill Smokler’s stay-at-home days with her children, quickly transformed into a vibrant community of parents, brought together by a common theme: Parenting doesn’t have to be perfect. Welcome to Scary Mommy!


Celenq 2 years ago

I’d probably pick the giant red stuffed teddy bear. All 3 of my kids so far have been in love with it at one point or another. :). Thanks!

Debbie Ball 2 years ago

I would love to have a portrait of my son’s Popples. Popples was a major part of his childhood and it has been safely stored for many years. My son is expecting his first child in April and would be amazed to receive a full color portrait of his childhood best friend for his child’s room.

Mommyofone 6 years ago

I love the idea of these!!! I would totally have her do one of my daughter’s lovie, Bear. She’s pink and wonderful and well loved. I want to capture it while I can… Great review!

Cindy S 6 years ago

I loved this so much that I already ordered. Mentioned to her that I learned it from you. What a special idea.

Karena 6 years ago

If I were to win this fabulous painting, I would choose to have Jennifer paint my son’s BlaBla elephant rattle – it is his all time favorite toy that I bought for him when he was just a few weeks old… I loved how it was small enough to fit in his tiny hand… I have pictures of him with it from when he was small – he is now 4yrs old & still has to have it with him at night while he sleeps… “Ollie” – a shortened version of the French pronunciation of elephant – is looking well loved and a bit worse from wear, but is dearly loved by all in this family (to the point that we had to buy one for his little brother as well as for newly born family members so other little ones may love them too!)

Angela 6 years ago

Well, his current favorite toy is a riding dump truck, but I think I’d make it one of his sock monkeys just because I think that would be way cuter.

Ashley 6 years ago

This is the most amazing idea ever! I would start with my oldest child’s “lovey” whose name is Ruffie. He’s a little blue dog that my son has had since he was born!

Melissa 6 years ago

I would definitely have to have this of my middle child’s doggy. He’s tattered and his seems are splitting but he’s been with us since the night my son was born. Stuffed animals have come and gone in our house but his doggy still sits on his bed.

Jessica 6 years ago

My daughters name is Belle and she has a baby doll named baby Belle(princess Belle as a baby). She loves this doll so much…I have already sewed her once and washed her quite a few times which has now left her with only one eyebrow lol. Baby belle’s hair is so crazy basically it looks just like my daughters who is bi-racial and has some beautiful crazy hair too. People ask why I don’t just buy another baby Belle doll? Which i have thought about but could never do it, this one feels so much a part of the family and I know my daughter would know the difference.

Zak 6 years ago

I love this so very much. My nine year old has a stuffed monkey, Elroy that she has had since she was one. He has gone everywhere with us and we once lost him in a Nordstorms. He is loved to pieces and I will cry real tears when she finally shelves him (I hope it is never ever ever and she takes him on her honeymoon).

Jenn 6 years ago

I would have to say that I would be selfish and the painting would be mine. I still have “Mousy” from when I was a child. My mother bought the pattern and made her for me. Her eyes aren’t the same and her pink braided tail is frayed. Mousy lost her cheese long ago and we’ve had to sew most of her parts back on at one time or another, but at almost 41, she still sits in my room, next to my dresser. She is who my first painting would be of.

Andi 6 years ago

I’d get one for Ka, my daughter’s doll.

Kimberly 6 years ago

My 5.5 year old son has his “Bobby” which is the classic bear head on a blanket. It’s discontinued so we cherish it and bring it everywhere on travels. This bear should have a passport! We are currently living overseas and we’ve established that our son can adapt to anything…so long as Bobby is with us.

Mosiphine 6 years ago

Definetly Huggy Bear!

Hatton 6 years ago

They are adorable!!!!
I LOVE the fire engine. If I were to get a painting, I’d get his turtle that his granddad gave to him… because it’s a newer version of Myrtle the Turtle that my husband carried with him everywhere. By everywhere, I mean boarding school, college, our first home… it’s in a drawer somewhere because our dog really liked it.

Patty 6 years ago

I would love-love-love to have a painting of my daughter’s barely recogizable black and white cat named Sammy. That cat has gotten so much love over the past five years he’s much less white and much more black. Great contest! This artist does wonderful work!

Amanda 6 years ago

It would have to be an Ellie… My 7 year old has about 20 different elephants. And he loves them all.

I have been crafting lately and made a couple sock creations… I made a sock-puppy, sock-monkey and a sock-bunny. But, I have four kids, so I asked him what he wanted for his. And, of course, he picked an elephant. I have yet to figure out how to make a sock-elephant.

jcristg 6 years ago

I’ve had Snoopy since my 2nd Christmas. I still sleep with him today, and I’m a 31-year old married woman! My husband is well aware that there will always be a third person in bed with us. HA!

Crystal 6 years ago

Aww! My baby would love his blue “Biba” up on his wall!!!!!

Adrienne 6 years ago

How Cute!!! I think cookie monster would look great on our living room wall.

Jennifer @ The Mommy Mambo 6 years ago

Mr. Turtle would look fabulous on canvas! And my 2 yr old would probably want to sleep with the canvas too. LOL
What he doesn’t know is that I secretly have two Mr. Turtles. One that stays at home only, and one that is allowed on supervised outings to Mother’s Day Out and GoGo’s house and scary doctor visits; like when getting tubes in the ears :(

I must admit I’m kind of fond of the saucer-eyed stuffed shell myself. So cute!

Lori Z. 6 years ago

My daughter would love to have her Giraffe, Georgina, in art form. She goes everywhere with her and even after that phase has ended, we’d have the portrait. I love this idea!

Dawn 6 years ago

I would agree with one of the ladies above #59! I still have my bear from the day I was born and my girls haven’t ever latched onto anything the way I still feel about this particular bear;) What a fabulous and wonderful way to keep on to something so special and “valuable” forever!

Love this blog too. Just discovered it and it’s been a breath of fresh air for an unexpected mother of twin girls…

Renee 6 years ago

This is the best idea! If I don’t win I may buy one anyway!
Puppy is my son Zach’s best friend. He was given to me years before Zach was born as a thank you from a vendor. I started sending Puppy to daycare with Zach so he’d have a friend to make nap time smoother. Now, 3 years later, they’re inseparable. Puppy goes to daycare every day and comes home every night and we’ve only left him there once. Although there have been many mornings where I’ve had to return home after drop-off only to turn around and come back, Puppy in hand. I’d love to honor that special friendship!

    Renee 6 years ago

    BTW—Did any of you Mommies bawl during that last scene in Toy Story 3? I did—just thinking about Zach someday not needing Puppy.

velocibadgergirl 6 years ago

I love this idea! I think I’d get the bear in my son’s crib, along with the tag blanket he snuggles with while he nurses <3

Jessica 6 years ago

LOVE IT! Wow, look at the detail she captured. Absolutely beautiful.

Hands down, my son’s Mickey Mouse plush is his cherished toy. He takes the darn thing everywhere, the gloves are no longer white! I am wondering how long this love affair is going to last!

E… 6 years ago

Oh, how we’d love to have Charley, the best brown dog ever, on our wall forever. My son is five, and I keep wincing at the thought of him outgrowing him!!

kribss 6 years ago

my son graduates this year- i would love to get his well loved blue bunny done!!

Jaime 6 years ago

These are awesome. It would have to be my daughter’s “Batty-pet” – a small mechanical “fur” covered leopard that she named Batty because when her grandparents gave it to her, they realized after she opened the box that they needed to find some batteries to make it work. apparently it was quite a process, and Batty was born. Needless to say, after the Batty incident of ’09, she no longer gets batteries, but she’s still around, and in my daughter’s bed each night and backpack each day.

OHN 6 years ago

Frisky. My son named his little bear Frisky and we have no idea where it came from (the name, not the bear). He would be mortified if he knew I told the world that when he was in junior high we were on vacation and while rounding up laundry I found Frisky under his pillow. When I asked him, he sheepishly told me that he knew he was “too old” to be taking a bear with him, but that unbeknownst to me, Frisky had been on ALL of our vacations, packed by him and then hidden in various spots, not to be found by his brothers, who would never let him live it down. He said Frisky would ALWAYS go on vacation with him.
This son is now 22, in love, and planning a cruise with his girlfriend. When he leaves, I will check the drawer in his old room to see if Frisky actually made it to the ship…my guess is that he will.

Andrea 6 years ago

My son never got attached to any toys until his babysitter gave him a little spotted puppy when we moved away, still known simply as ‘puppy’–all other dog dolls are just ‘other puppy’–I love this idea, it’s adorable!

Heather Martin 6 years ago

The toy I would get is actually one of mine, not my kids…hah. I’ve had Frederick Teddy Bear Martin (Fred Bear) since I was five months old – it was a first christmas present from my grandmother. To this day, if I’m feeling lonely or having trouble sleeping, I grab Fred and bring him from his ‘home’ in a dresser drawer to bed with me. My mom calls him her ‘first grandson’, he’s been on *every* single vacation I’ve ever taken, and he’s pretty much the most important material object I own. Having a painting of my buddy would be the most awesome thing ever. 😉

Cheers, here’s hoping I win! Have a great week, and thanks for your fantastic blog!

Caitlin 6 years ago

Ooh! I’d get one of my daughter’s “Edward” (name having come from my husband randomly naming it Edward Norton one evening). It’s one of those animal torsos attached to a blanket bottom. It’s a green blanket and a multi colored lion up top and she LOVES it and sleeps with it every night and tucks it in to sleep every morning. It’s adorable and I’d love to get something like this so she has him even when he’s worn to shreds.

Kristina 6 years ago

My 2nd daughter has a bear that she calls Beary Bear. I swear Beary Bear is her appendage some days. He’s always with her. I bought an extra to have a back up but now she keeps both of them in her crib at night. I’d love a portrait of him for her bedroom!

Jennifer K 6 years ago

Can I pick the TV? Just kidding – her lovey.

Mary Ann 6 years ago

Oh my goodness. Love this! I think I’d have to ask my daughter which toy to have painted though.

MentalMom 6 years ago

This is an amazing giveaway! My daughter doesn’t have a favorite toy but her ducky blankie and a bear she has had since she was born would make a great painting!


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