December 10, 2011

Tutorial: Crinkly Stuffed Felt Toy!

I've been wanting to do this for awhile, but was unsure of my hand-sewing skills, or what materials to use. Finally, I bought a pack of craft felt ($3.97), embroidery thread ($1.97), some larger needles ($1.22) and used what I had on hand for the stuffing (cotton balls & empty plastic wipes packs). So let's get started! (Click on images to make them larger!)

1. First, I traced an owl-like shape on a large sheet of sketch paper. It wasn't even, so I ended up just cutting my felt halfway, then folding it in half and finishing cutting (to make sure it was symmetrical). I chose light blue for the front of the owl, and yellow for the back. To make the back piece, I just used the front piece as a guide. I also evened out the edges that weren't a smooth line.

2. Next, I cut out my details. I traced a plastic cap from my camera for the eyes (white felt). For the iris of the eye, I used a button as a guide and cut out smaller circles of dark blue felt. The beak, I cut out a triangle of purple felt.
Ignore my dry cuticles. They need love!
 Using my sketch paper, and my original owl drawing, I drew lines for the tummy of the owl, and the wings. Then I pinned the felt to the paper, and used it to cut out my shapes. (I used orange for the tummy, and bright green for the wings).

3. Next, I sewed the smaller details to the owl (except the eyes, I sewed the iris to the white felt first.)
I used a simple stitch, just over under. I didn't mind my knot showing where I tied off the thread for the orange piece, because I knew a wing would cover it. For the eyes and beak, I just knotted it on the back of the blue piece, since that would later be the inside of the toy. After I sewed the wings on, I trimmed the edges to make them all even (see how the orange is not even with the blue felt?)

4. I didn't take a lot of pictures for this next step, and honestly I'm not going to be any good at describing what I used to sew the front and back together. I did a blanket stitch, and I learned it HERE. I find that she is awesome at explaining it, and for the sake of not having 100+ photos in this post, just use her tutorial for the blanket stitch!

For the blanket stitch, I started a little below the left ear (with my back & front pieces pinned together, of course) and took a break once I was almost at the other ear. This is when I stuffed my toy.

I cut up 2 packs of plastic wipe cases, because I wanted a crinkly toy. I knew this wouldn't be enough stuffing, so I also used about half a bag of jumbo cotton balls (I didn't want to spend a lot of money on batting). I went ahead and stuffed the body of my owl, pinned the ears, and stitched up the first ear (still doing my blanket stitch.)

5. Once I finished the first ear, I shoved more stuffing in, and with my finger pushed it up into the peak of the ear (so it wouldn't be flat). Then I continued stitching until I had just a little bit left of the second ear.

And then I finished stuffing, by shoving cotton balls into the ear.

6. I finished up my blanket stitch, still following this tutorial, and I was done!
You can see the blue wipe case through the yellow felt - Oops!
 One regret: I wish I had not stitched along the outside of the tummy & wings, because I don't like the look of the blanket stitch overlapping the existing regular stitch. But I wasn't about to re-do it!

Hope this tutorial helps someone! I plan on giving this toy to my Marshmallow as a Christmas present. He loves to try and grab the wipes (and squirms trying to roll over) while I'm changing him, so I hope he'll enjoy his crinkly toy instead! Next I think I might tackle doing some felt ornaments. Should I do yellow stars or our initials? I'll ask the fiance when he gets off work...

Thanks for looking! :)

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