Plush Balloon Animal





Introduction: Plush Balloon Animal

Everybody loves balloon animals, but eventually they deflate and the fun is over.  Make your own plush balloon animals, and the party never has to end!  

Upcycle a pair of kid's tights into fun new toys, that make a very sweet gift.  No sewing skills are required - just the ability to tie some knots.   The best part is, each animal only takes one leg from the tights, so you can make two!

These toys are soft, squishy, and perfect for young children or old.  So grab a pair of tights, channel your inner clown, and let's get started! 

Step 1: Materials

  • 1 pair girls tights  (I used the smallest pair I could find, but would go larger next time - you can always cut off what you don't need!)
  • Polyfill or other stuffing
  • Tiny clear rubber bands (like these)
  • Black embroidery floss
  • Sturdy white thread
  • Sewing needle

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Step 2: Filling

Cut off one leg of the tights and stuff with polyfill batting. Artfully smush it all around to make a nice smooth tube.  

Section off the tube with rubber bands as follows.  I included the approximate sizes of the sections I used, but you can certainly change these to suit the size of tube you have or to make a bunny with different proportions:
Face (1.5")
Ear (3")
Ear (3") 
Body (1")
Arm (1")
Arm (1")
Leg (2")
Leg (2")
Tail (just the knot in this case)

Once you've got the rubber bands where you want them, secure the sections with thread and knot.  Pull on the tights to move the batting away from the divisions so they twist more easily.

Step 3: Shaping

Twist the sections together and secure with thread.  Tie the ears together, the arms together, and the legs together.  

You can compress the shapes more tightly by running a thread from head to tail through the interior of the body, but that is optional.

Finally, add eyes by creating French knots with the embroidery floss. 

You're done!  Now that you're a pro, experiment with other balloon animal shapes.  I'll give you a 3-mo pro membership for posting a picture of your plush balloon animal! 



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    34 Discussions

    Aaaawwww!!!!!! 2 cute! :)

    I use it as a pin cushion ... I don't think my little sisters like it when I use them as a pin cushion

    You could use it as a pin cushion! That would be ironic.

    I'll made animals in balloon, and this idea is great !

    Great idea, especially since balloons are a choking and suffocation hazard for very young children. This way, they can have the fun of balloon animals and be safe! The bunny is adorable, too...

    Good post and a great instructable.

    My wife makes stuffed animals, we've found the cheapest way to get the polyester wadding is from pillows. You can even buy 'non-allogeneic' ones, for people who suffer from dust mites etc.

    1 reply

    I use sewing scraps (especially the trimmings from my Serger) as stuffing, but dark colors might show through thin, light-colored outer fabric like the pink tights material used here.
    If I make one of these, I'll probably use pieces from old t-shirts sewn into tubes rather than buying new tights and cutting them. (I like cotton better than nylon or acrylic, and have a lot of shirts with rips under the arms and frayed collars, but lots of usable fabric elsewhere.)

    This a fantastic idea! Our clown unit, can no longer bring balloons to tie, to the hospital visits. However we can bring stuffed animals. These would be great for our balloon tying clowns. Thank You, so much.

    1 reply

    My dad was a magician and made alot of balloon animals. I always hated when they deflated. I wonder if this would work to make a "balloon" sword. It probably would need some support other than the polyfill.

    2 replies

    You could always insert a coat hanger in the middle, not quite reaching the ends on either side. It would just take a little more muscle to twist and manipulate it.

    This looks so cute! I am terrified of balloons (no, seriously), so now I can finally enjoy balloon animals. I will definitely give this a try and post the results. :D

    I remember doing this with my grandmother when I was little! We made pigs. :D This is a wonderful tutorial. Also, this is a great way to use hose with runs in them. You can use the parts without the run to make body parts then sew the pieces together to make the stuffie. Maybe I'll break out those old black tights that I don't wear anymore and make something fun with them. :D Thanks for bringing back such a happy memory!