Friday, 10 May 2013

The Beatrix Potter Toys and Designs Book

I was lucky enough to receive this book from my aunt last week; it's an ex-library book and someone had passed it onto her. Little did she know that it has been on my eBay watch list for quite some time!

What I find fascinating about books like this is knowing that Beatrix Potter herself was such a clever lady, that seeing the success of The Tale of Peter Rabbit it was her own idea to make merchandise to accompany it, and her other stories that came later. It's an interesting thought when you see Beatrix Potter themed goods wherever you go, and tut at the commercialisation of literature.

Beatrix and Benjamin.

Here is the first Peter that Beatrix made with her own fair hands. He was registered at the Patent Office in 1903.

So this book appeals to my crafty and Beatrix Potter-loving nature. It's quite dated now, having been published in 1992, but when I think about how much commercial fabrics - especially plush and velour - have improved in the last twenty years, I get excited about how much better these projects could look today than they do in these images!

So here are some of the projects in the book: 

Plush fur fabric is much nicer than this now

A typical nineties image. What amuses me is that while the girl in this photo is about the same age I was in 1992, I have a jumper and tights remarkably like hers today. And I often put puppet shows on for my dog. (I don't.) (I do.) I so want that Peter puppet on the left. 

Think of these in today's velour fabrics! Squidgy!

Anyone else have one of these cloth animals in a bag?
I had completely forgotten about mine until I saw this.
Probably another weird nineties thing.

I also had a dressing gown a bit like that, also blue, but with Noddy on it.
A disturbing thought now!

If you fancy a copy of this book so you can make your very own Beatrix Potter goodies copies still quite regularly wash up on eBay, and there are currently a number on Amazon Marketplace. 

Beatrix Potter merchandise, while always around, does seem to come in waves. As a child I remember it being everywhere, with seemingly every other nursery being done out with a Beatrix Potter frieze, Beatrix Potter baby toys, and Beatrix Potter christening gifts. So it's funny that I should receive this book now, while we seem to be at the peak of another wave of popularity. 

My own childhood Beatrix Potter mug.
I have a cheap copy too which I now use as my water pot for button painting.

Did you have Beatrix Potter items in your home when you were growing up? Or perhaps, like me, you have more now!


  1. Love it. Must get that. I have loads of Beatrix Potter goodies from my younger days after I played one of the bunnies in a school play. Thanks for sharing :-)

  2. What a fabulous gift! Like yourself I was brought up with Beatrix Potter infact my Nan has her whole back bedroom devoted still to it (Must take pictures and blog) Jemima Puddleduck biscuit jar still sits on her kitchen side :)
    Fabulous pictures!

    Yorkshire Pud xx

  3. I was obsessed with Beatrix Potter back in the day and I even went to see Beatrix Potter on ice?! Which was the tale of Peter Rabbit et al performed by ice dancers with a weird unseen voice narrating. Bizarre!

  4. Had no idea crafty Bextrix Potter books existed, off to ebay after this! I still have and use a Peter Rabbit money box for 1ps and a peter rabbit paper weight - both from the 90s :)

  5. Those toys look amazing. I can't wait to see your versions :)

  6. What a cute picture of Beatrix with Benjamin on a lead! My rabbit was called Benjamin when I was a child. I loved the books when I was little especially Tom Kitten and Mrs Tiggywinkle. I was always a little scared of Mr McGregor though! X

  7. My whole bedroom was done up in Beatrix Potter when I was a kid. Books, blankets, pictures, toys..etc I have the exact same mug! I also had some of the bowls and plates. I still eat off my Peter Rabbit dinner plate every time I eat at my parents.

  8. We had a Beatrix Potter plate, which was originally my brothers from the 70s, I grew up in the 90s, and my mum still has the plate now in her house! We didn't have an awful lot of other Beatrix potter merchandise though. x x x

  9. I had that little mug too! With the matching bowl and saucer :) I loved them, and they're still packed away at my mum's in Canada. I'm going to have to bring them back to the UK with me next time I'm there! My husband bought me a little Peter Rabbit stuffy years ago that sits by my bed, it's so cute!

  10. Ooh you've really convinced me that I need this book in my life! Some of the photographs although dated, are so beautiful! Reminds me of when I was little :) although like you, I probably have way more Beatrix Potter as a 20yr old than when I was 5... Owell!! Xx

  11. Absolutely gorgeous! My mom still has all of my Beatrix Potter books, so my 3 year old is now enjoying having them read to her on each trip to nanny's house. Timeless :-)

  12. Beatrix Potter is a nice children's author and it is very good that she led a way to a new trend in kids' culture! her tales are truly amazing!

  13. Hi, I have this really old beatrix potter..( im sure it is)..blanket with Peter rabbit on it.. it's generally white.. and has a ruffled edge.. it's sort of quilted.. im not an expert but just a 16 year old girl with a comfort blanket which is very worn out and torn and the printing of the rabbits has completely gone, id really like to know if you know anything about the baby blankets side of it?:( where I can get another for a keepsake?

    1. Hi there, I can't claim to be in any way an expert, but you could consider checking eBay for Beatrix Potter baby blankets and seeing if anything similar to yours comes up. Alternatively you could place a wanted ad on Freecycle, Preloved or Gumtree. Good luck!


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