When I was preparing for last Saturday’s Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire, I wanted to have something at my vendor table where I would draw attention to myself. I had an idea to try something and I finally decided to do it.

The below picture is a special dance pad controller that one would hook up to a console system (such as Wii, PlayStation, XBox, etc.). Using this special controller enables the user to play video games using his/her lower body instead of hands and fingers (like with the handheld controller). Some games like Dance Dance Revolution (also known as DDR) are generally better with using the dance pad controller instead of the handheld controller. Using this controller also helps the user get exercise and burn calories better than just using hands/fingers.


The only problem with the soft pad controllers is that they tend to wear out so they become unusable. Usually the user is directed to throw the dance pad in the trash. The only problem with that approach is that it ends up on a landfill with all the environmental problems that comes with it.

There is an alternative to using the soft dance pad controller. One could purchase a dance metal pad. Unlike the soft controller, the metal controller tends to hold up better and can literally last years. The downsides are that 1) unlike the soft pads, the metal pads can’t be easily folded up so it could cause a problem with people who have limited space in their homes and 2) prices for a metal pad start at $200 while soft pads start at $15 and they don’t go above $100.

So I’ve been using the soft dance pad controller for years while having fun with playing video games and getting some exercise in the process. There were times when I would throw away the latest broken dance pad and I would think that there had to be a way that these could be recycled for other uses. A couple of years ago I attended Otakon 2012 where I took a photo of this cosplayer who managed to fashion this really cool costume from an old DDR pad.

Cosplayer at Otakon 2012

I began to think about the above photograph when my current DDR pad started to act up and stopped responding to my footsteps. In addition I had just signed up to be a vendor for the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire and I needed to make some new crafts to sell at my table. I had a eureka moment one night when I was at Jo-Ann’s Fabrics & Crafts and I found this McCall’s Pattern MP322.


So I decided on an experiment where I took some scissors and cut my broken DDR dance pad apart. I found that, with a decent pair of scissors, it was easy to cut apart.


The McCall’s had patterns for a comfy chair for one doll and a loveseat for two dolls. I got ambitious and decided to work on the larger loveseat. During the construction phase I discovered that the DDR pad didn’t provide enough fabric for the loveseat. I decided to compensate by going back to Jo-Ann’s and buy quilt square fabric as well as fabric scraps from the remnant table.


Due to the use of some leftover vinyl fabric from the remnant table, the loveseat seemed plain in spots. I compensated by using fancy duct tape to provide some design and color.


For assembling the loveseat, I felt that sewing either by hand or machine would be impractical because I wasn’t sure if the DDR control pad’s slick vinyl would be too thick for a sewing needle. Instead I went to my old standby: E-6000 glue.


I used the E-6000 glue to glue the edges of the wrong sides of the fabric together then used some duct tape to clamp the edges together. Since I worked on the wrong side of the fabric, I didn’t have to worry about removing the duct tape once the glue dried.

Here is the result of my hard work.





The original pattern was designed for the popular 18 inch dolls of today such as American Girl, Springfield, Our Generation, etc. The photo below shows two 18 inch dolls—an American Girl doll and a vintage 1970’s Beautiful Crissy doll.


I found that the loveseat could fit a variety of other dolls that are slightly smaller than 18 inches. In other words, I think this loveseat is best suited for dolls from 14 inches-18 inches. Two Wilde Imagination dolls (Ellowyne Wilde and Lizette Dionne) try out the couch for themselves in the photo below.


This couch also fits Mini Super Dollfie-sized ball jointed dolls, which these two Bobobie elves prove below.