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!
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.
- Embroidery needles with sharp tips
- Ultra Fine Point Sharpie Pens
- Stuffing (I recommend Cluster Stuff)
- Wool felt.
Here are some optional but helpful add-ons that simplify the sewing process.
- Tweezers – for getting stuffing into tight spaces.
- #2 pencil or chopsticks. Also useful for getting stuffing into tight places.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
More Hand Sewing Projects for Kids
My kids enjoy hand sewing, and I have several tutorials on this blog! Here’s a list:
- Sew a Christmas cat – also a dog and butterfly (free pattern included)
- Felt alien based on a child’s drawing (free pattern included)
- Felt doll based on a child’s drawing (free pattern included)
- Tiny felt animals for kids to sew
- Adorable felt giraffe (free pattern included)
- Ornaments for kids to color and sew (free pattern included)
- Valentine hearts
- Kid-sewn stuffie
- Simple stuffies inspired by children’s drawings
- Super-simple Superhero capes
- Felt pumpkin pie (free pattern included)
- Felt sandwich set
- Easy first sewing project for kids
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. Sign up for my newsletter to receive more crafts, kids activities, and parenting tips in your inbox every week.