Jessa Decker-Smith’s 7-month-old daughter, Hazel Decker-Smith, right, wears a pacifier with a felt mustache attached to it, in Denver, as her brother Eli, 4, wears his own, pacifier not included. | Jessa Decker-Smith~AP
Updated: July 14, 2012 6:00AM
Here’s what passes for funny in the crafting world: putting a big, bushy mustache on nearly anything — pillows, glassware, jewelry, even knitted coffee-cup cozies and baby pacifiers.
A mustached baby? That’s a giggle.
The mustache motif — with handlebars or without — has been around for several years in the crafting world, and its popularity remains steady.
“I remember some of the first mustaches cropping up in 2007 in jewelry,” recalls Emily Bidwell, merchandising specialist and In-house Style Expert for the online crafts site Etsy.com.
What began as a practical joke, she says, endured because of the mustache’s simple, strong and universally recognizable shape.
Some images become popular then fizzle out — the space alien is one — but the humble mustache endures.
“Over the years we’ve just seen more and more mustaches,” at Etsy, says Bidwell.
A recent search of the online, handmade marketplace found more than 14,000 mustached crafts for sale.
Among those is the black, acrylic ‘stache necklace crafted by jewelry designer Ran Milstein of Ramat-Hasharon, Israel. He sells it from his Etsy shop, Milkool.
“I see the mustache piece as something silly, and wore it myself a few times when costumes were required,” Milstein says. “I know that it brings smiles to people’s faces, and that’s all that matters.”
His customers include a teacher who used her laser-cut mustache necklace to quiet a rowdy classroom, and a woman who bought several for family members to wear to her father’s funeral.
“He had a glorious mustache and (she) hoped these would help to lighten the mood,” Milstein says.
Jessa Decker-Smith of Denver saw a mustached pacifier on Pinterest, the online “pin board” where people share favorite photos and ideas, and decided to make a few for her baby daughter, Hazel, and mustaches for her two older sons. “It was so funny and so easy to make,” she says.
Mustaches have become a popular party favor at weddings, appearing in Etsy’s wedding décor listing.
Two of the more popular styles of mustaches used in crafts are the handlebar, with its curly ends, and the droopy horseshoe. Their simple, strong lines are easy to cut out of paper, felt or fabric.
Amy Anderson of Seattle is a crafts blogger who painted a handlebar mustache onto a small wooden stool two years ago, and still fancies that piece. “I like funny crafts or unexpected things,” she says.