A long-time crafter, Dolores has created sewing projects for private clients, including pillow covers, linen pillow cases, and sink skirts.
How to Make an Easy Stuffed Toy
In this article, I will show you how to design and create a home made stuffed toy - in this case, a simple, handcrafted stuffed monster. I have included step by step instructions as well as photographs that illustrate details of the instructions on how to make this cute stuffed toy. It's quite easy to make.
The stuffed monster would make a nice Christmas gift, or birthday gift; a handmade toy that really shows you care.
You can see that this little monster is not at all frightening, but rather cute and cuddly. Since you create your own pattern, you can make this stuffed toy any shape or size that you like. The stuffed toy can be made out of scrap fabric (for a small one) or any fabric that suites your fancy. I chose a soft, brown fleece, but any color will look adorable. I am thinking of making a more brightly colored one in the future.
This little monster has been made for a baby so the eyes and tongue are sewn firmly down for safety. For an older child, you could use buttons for eyes, allow the tongue to protrude, or add some yarn hair. Once you get the hang of it, you can come up with your own version to create a unique stuffed toy.
Materials to Create a Stuffed Monster
- Fabric ( the amount depends on the size you wish to make)
- Sewing Machine
- Stiff Paper for the pattern (I used an old grocery bag)
- Felt for the eyes and tongue
- Embroidery thread (and hoop) for adding eyes, eye details, and mouth
How to Create a Pattern for a Stuffed Toy Monster
Decide on the size and shape that you want to make the toy.
Try out a few sketches first until you find one that you like. Remember that the completed project will be somewhat smaller than the pattern due to seam allowance.
Do not make the arms and legs too thin, as they would be too hard to stuff.
Outline your pattern on a piece of stiff paper. Outline the body, arms. legs, and ears separately.
Cut the pattern pieces as shown on the right.
I added some stiffening and tacked it onto the inside of one piece of each arm, leg, and ear. This is not really necessary but seemed like a good idea at the time. (As such things go when you make it up as you go along)
Next, cut the fabric, two pieces for each part - so that would be
- 2 pieces for the torso (front and back)
- 4 pieces each for arms, legs, and ears.
- Make sure that the pieces match up. To the right is a picture of all the cut pieces.
Create the Monster's Face
- Create a face for the monster. If you are making monsters for several children, or siblings, you can make each face with a unique expression.
- Cut 2 ovals for eyes and a small piece for the tongue.
- Pin felt to the outside of the monster.
- Sew down and add detail with embroidery thread.
- Sew the pieces of each arm, leg, and ear together.
- Lay right (outward facing) sides together (in other words, inside out).
- Sew, leaving the ends that attach to the monster body open for stuffing.
- Turn right side out. You can use a pencil if the fabric gets bunched.
- Stuff each arm, leg, and ear. Use a pencil to make sure the stuffing is dispersed to the edges of each piece.
- Leave a bit of fabric for sewing onto the body
- Now, line up the monster and all the pieces as you want it to look.
- This part may be a bit confusing. Or it was to me when I was trying to figure it out.
- Turn the main body of the stuffed toy inside out (lay outer pieces facing one another)
- Place arms, legs, and ears inside (against the outside of the monster), allowing the edges to protrude so they will sew on easily
- Pin all into place. Pin along the edges of the monster's body
- Attach the legs a bit apart to leave room to turn it when you are done
Sew it All Up - Leaving a Small Hole for Stuffing
You can see from the picture below that your creation now looks like a big mess. Trust me.
- Sew as you have it, leaving the crotch open so you can turn it right side out later. You can leave a surprisingly small hole. The monster will be a lumpy mess and a bit of a pain to work with.
- Make sure that you remove the pins as you go and keep the edges lined up neatly.
Now Stuff the Toy
- Turn the toy right side out, easing out the arms, legs, and ears so as not to rip the torso open.
- Stuff. Make sure the stuffing goes all the way to the top of the toy's head. A stuffed toy will use up a lot of stuffing!
Hand sew the small opening at the bottom of the stuffed toy closed.
And there you have an adorable, handmade stuffed toy.
Now that you have created this, you can come up with all sorts of different creatures!
© 2010 Dolores Monet