Is there anything in the world cuter than a teddy bear? A stuffed animal toy is the sweetest thing, with an adorable smile, welcoming eyes, and a soft body that you can hug or snuggle with.
You know that you can find lots of stuffed animals at a toy store, but did you know that you can also make your own? If you enjoy sewing and creative projects, you can create any type of stuffed animal in just a matter of hours.
Want to learn how? If so, keep reading to find out how to make your own stuffed animal, even if you’re not an experienced sewer.
Decide What Type of Stuffed Animal You’d Like to Make
A cute little teddy bear? A regal lion? Or maybe something small and simple, like a ladybug?
If you want to make a stuffed animal toy, the first step is deciding what kind of creature you want to make. If this is your first time, keep in mind that sewing can often be harder than it looks—so, it never hurts to start simple.
Or, if you’re more experienced, you might want to tackle a more detailed project.
It might help to get some inspiration by browsing online toy stores like Plush Collector to get some ideas—check it out here.
Find a Pattern
Once you’ve decided on the type of stuffed animal you want to make, look for a pattern. This is essentially a blueprint of what you’ll create, with paper sections you can trace and cut out onto your fabric.
Your pattern will outline all of the steps in the sewing process and will also tell you how much fabric you need to buy. Of course, mistakes happen, so it’s always smart to buy a bit more fabric than you’ll need, in case you cut it incorrectly.
You can find downloadable patterns online or purchase them from any arts and crafts store.
Purchase Your Materials
Using your pattern as a starting point, purchase all of the materials you’ll need (which should be listed on the pattern itself).
One key ingredient is fabric, such as fake fur, corduroy, calico, or wool. This will create your animal’s exterior, so you probably want something soft and cuddly—especially if you’re making the toy to give to a child.
The only limit is your imagination, so have fun when selecting your fabrics!
You’ll also need the stuffing itself, which you can usually purchase in a large bag. It’s often made of polyester and this is what you’ll stuff into your sewn fabric to bring your animal to life.
In addition, you’ll need some basic sewing materials, which you may or may not already have. These include
- Sewing machine (if you don’t want to sew by hand)
- Sewing pins
Cut Out Your Fabric
Have all your materials ready? Good–now you can get started!
Lay out everything you’ll need on a flat surface, along with your fabric and patterns. Using your sewing pins, gently fasten the patterns to the fabric, so that they stay in place. Then, lightly trace onto the fabric with a pencil.
Next, use scissors to cut out the sections of fabric, as indicated by the patterns. Go slow and don’t rush—you don’t want to mess it up, so patience is a virtue1
Once complete, you’ll be left with all of the fabric cut-outs that you’ll sew together to make your stuffed animal.
Sew the Pieces Together
Following the instructions, you’ll now sew the pieces together. This is done with the fabric inside-out, as you’ll flip it out once sewn together when you add your stuffing.
If you’re new to sewing, you probably want to do some practice stitches using fabric off-cuts, building up your confidence. You can sew your stuffed animal together by hand or using a sewing machine.
You can use any type of stitch, as long as they’re close together. This is so the stuffing doesn’t come out between the seams.
And what if sewing isn’t for you at all? Don’t worry—you can also find patterns where you connect your fabric pieces together using glue, rather than stitching.
Add the Stuffing
Once your animal is sewn together, you’ll flip it so it’s no longer inside out. It should now look like a stuffed animal, minus the cuddliness.
So, it’s now time to add the stuffing! Push in as much as you want, depending on how stuffed you want the toy to look.
When finished, sew the remaining opening up that you left to put the stuffing into. Your new toy is now almost complete!
You might want to finish it off with some cute little details, like button eyes or a sewn smile. You can also add a ribbon around your stuffed animal’s neck or a fun outfit.
Congrats, you’ve now made your first stuffed animal!
Make Your Own Stuffed Animal Toy With This Guide
If you’re looking for a creative arts and crafts project to try, use this guide to learn how to make a stuffed animal toy! Yes, it can be challenging, but it’s a lot of fun and finishing the project will give you great satisfaction.
You can gift your cuddly new toy to a child in your life, donate it to a charity, or start your own stuffed animal business—the choices are endless!
We can’t wait to see your adorable new toy!
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