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Teach Kids to Design and Sew Stuffed Toys Based on Drawings

Why buy toys when you can make them? Teach your kids to make stuff toys based on drawings using this simple method. Even my four-year-old can do this!

Why buy toys when you can make them? Teach your kids to make stuff toys based on drawings using this simple method. Even my four-year-old can do this!

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Last summer I wrote about how I turned my children’s drawings into a felt doll and a felt alien. This summer I’m sharing how your child can turn virtually any drawing into a pattern for a very easy-to-sew toy! These are so easy to make that even my four-year-old is sewing them with very little assistance.

MATERIALS NEEDED FOR SEWING Stuffed Toys Based on Drawings

This is what you need for this friendly felt alien craft.

Here are some optional but helpful add-ons that simplify the sewing process.

WHY USE WOOL FELT?

100% wool felt is much more expensive than the craft felt that is in every craft store. Why bother with wool? It stays looking nice much longer. Of course, it is not the end of the world if you choose to use craft felt instead. It just won’t feel or look as nice.

WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT CLUSTER STUFF

Cluster Stuff is a hypoallergenic polyester stuffing material that is designed to never clump or bunch up. It comes in tiny clusters that are helpful when stuffing tight spaces. I have been using this stuffing for several years now, and it never disappoints. As with the felt, there isn’t a real problem with using something else; it just won’t be as fun or easy to work with (with the possible exception of using wool roving for stuffing…)

How to Design and Sew Simple Stuffed Toys Based on Drawings

Step 1: Select a Drawing

My kids created drawings especially for this project, but you can also choose a drawing they drew without felt sewing in mind.

Your child can bring their drawings to life with this tutorial

Step 2: Trace or Cut Out the Drawing

Since my kids created their drawings especially for this project, we simply cut them out. But if you want to keep the original artwork, you can trace it with tracing paper.

Step 3: Sew and Stuff

We used a whip stitch to make these toys. My kids enjoy sewing with this stitch because it is fairly quick but creates a solid seam. LiEr of ikatbag has a great basic stitches resource may want to refer to.

Step 4: Add Details.

We used ultra fine point Sharpie pens to add details; fabric markers would also work.

Kid designed toys

Step 5: Play!

I love the big personalities that my kids create for these simple little toys that they sew! My daughter Emma even wrote up some details about the Terrister creature she created for this post!

About Terristers

A Terriester is a friendly monster who will live anywhere. They have four footprints. The girls are pinkish purple and the boys are blue. They have two teeth but they do not bite. They have a tail. They have very good balance, and their favorite place is sitting on a door handle. Their ears are lopsided. The right way to hold them is in your left hand. Put your middle finger and your pointer finger around his or her neck. Wrap your thumb around the side of the Terriester’s body on the side with your pointer finger. Tilt it upward over the stomach. Then wrap your ring finger and your pinky below the other arm under your middle finger. Now your Terriester is snug and happy!

Cut stuffies based on kids drawings

Patterns for our Toys Based on Drawings

My kids are sharing their patterns for anyone who wants to give them a go! They are super easy to sew!

Simple pattern for felt stuffed toys.

More Hand Sewing Projects for Kids

My kids enjoy hand sewing, and I have several tutorials on this blog! Here’s a list:

You can find all of my sewing tutorials here.

We created this tutorial as part of Sew a Softie month. Be sure to check out all of the tutorials there for more inspiration.

Have your children designed their own toys this way? We would love to see photos – if you use our patterns, as well! Share your own drawings to toy creations in the comments. You can also leave a note on my Facebook page, or tag me on Twitter or Instagram

MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

6 thoughts on “Teach Kids to Design and Sew Stuffed Toys Based on Drawings”

  1. Love those little softies and terrister is a real sweetie! Like you say it’s great for kids to realise they can actually make their own toys. Thanks for joining in and being part of Sew a Softie again!

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