Handmade Stuffed Animals

Some of my favorite stuffed animals as a kid was a Grover doll and octopus my sister and I made with the help of my mom and a family friend. I remember laughing at how funny Grover’s nose was and how challenging it was to turn the tentacles of the octopus right-side-out and stuff them. So it was sheer delight that my mom was able to find the stuffed animals in the attic.

grover

octo

Fast forward to July 2013 when my sister and I opted not to go to the cabin and get bitten by ticks and mosquitos, but rather create our own mini zoo. My sister drew her patterns on freezer paper (or a paper bag will do too) and selected colorful fabrics from my mom’s stash to make her stuffed animals.

dino

dog

I chose to enlarge patterns from my book Craft-a-Day and modify them slightly.

whale

cat_dog

The result? Super adorable and unique stuffed animals that are perfect for all ages.

Some tricks to remember when making your own:
-Don’t make legs or sections of the animal too skinny, as you’ll need to turn them right-side-out. A chopstick is definitely your friend.
-Always cut your fabric at least 1/8-inch larger than your pattern.
-Add embroidered eyes and details before sewing the sides together.
-Leave at least a 3-inch opening to stuff the animal.
-Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of fabric or even recycle old clothes.
-If you’re traveling, cut out the pieces before you leave and hand-stitch these in the car.