Introduction: Sew a Giant Creeper

What kid who plays Minecraft wouldn't want a giant creeper doll for their very own? The store-bought ones usually run $10 for the 7-inch dolls and $20 for the 14-inch ones, but these instructions will give you a doll over 52 inches tall!* (That's over 4 feet!). A double layer of fabric is stuffed with pool noodle (for structure) surrounded by polyester fiber fill (for softness). The resulting doll can stand on its own, or be laid down and used as a long pillow. Using a sewing machine is recommended, but, because everything is a cube or rectangular cube (i.e. a cuboid), the pattern and sewing method are very simple.

*One note about the size of the creeper: Minecraft purists will argue that a real-life creeper would be just under two blocks high, which officially is 2 meters (about 6.5 feet/78 inches). The more important measurement in my mind is that your avatar in Minecraft is also about two blocks high, so a life-size creeper should equal your height. So, since my son is a little over 4' tall, a 52" creeper seemed perfect.

Step 1: Gather Materials

Materials Needed

  • 3 1/2 yards light green fleece (mine was 60" wide; you can get by with 3 yards at this width, but there is very little room for error, as you will use up almost every scrap of fabric and will have to be very careful that you cut the shapes out efficiently)
  • 3 1/2 yards muslin (enough to duplicate all the shapes cut out of the fleece)
  • Small amount of black felt (a few square feet would be fine)
  • Matching green thread (two spools should be good)
  • Black thread (just enough to applique the face/foot details on)
  • Polyester fiber fill stuffing (15 lbs.)
  • 1 "Monster" pool noodle (3.75" diameter; four 13" pieces will be cut off of it)
  • 12 regular pool noodles (usually 2.5"-3" diameter)
  • Packing tape

Tools Needed

  • Sharp scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Sewing pins
  • Needle for hand sewing
  • Dark marker/pencil/crayon for marking light fabric and light one for marking black felt
  • Hacksaw (for cutting pool noodles; scissors are fine for the small ones, but the monster noodle is much easier to cut with a saw)
  • Rulers (I used a large drywall square to make it easy to measure both directions at once on a flat table, as well as small hand rulers and a flexible tape at times; a small square is nice as well, especially for marking the black felt squares)

Step 2: Cut Fabric for Creeper Feet, Body, and Head

Here are the dimensions of the pieces you need for each part of the creeper. All of these measurements include an extra inch, allowing for half an inch on every side for sewing the seams (so, the head will be a 16"x16" cube, but the fabric is cut at 17"x17" to allow for half an inch seams on every edge). You'll also notice that you cut the exact same pieces out of fleece and out of muslin. You will layer these on top of each other before sewing them together so that the doll has a fleece exterior and a muslin lining that adds strength, keeping the fleece from getting stretched out too much when you stuff it:

1. Cut out the fabric

Feet

  • 16 rectangles of green fleece 9"x13" (sides of feet)
  • 16 rectangles of muslin 9"x13"
  • 8 squares of green fleece 9"x9" (top and bottom of feet)
  • 8 squares of muslin 9"x9"

Body

  • 2 rectangles of green fleece 16"x25" (front and back of the creeper body)
  • 2 rectangles of muslin 16"x25"
  • 2 rectangles of green fleece 14"x"25" (sides of the creeper body)
  • 2 rectangles of muslin 14"x25"
  • 2 rectangles of green fleece 14"x16" (top and bottom of creeper body)
  • 2 rectangles of muslin 14"x16"

Head

  • 6 squares of green fleece 17"x17"
  • 6 squares of muslin 17"x17"

Step 3: Cut and Attach Felt for Face/Feet Details

Small pieces of black felt are cut out and then appliqued onto the fleece to create the creeper's face and the detail on the feet (toes?). Note that fleece has a front and back side; make sure to applique the felt onto the front of the fleece.

1. Cut out black felt pieces

  • 8 squares of black felt 2"x2" (for the "toes")
  • 2 squares of black felt 4"x4" (for the eyes)
  • 1 square of black felt 8"x8" (for the mouth;)

2. Trim the 8"x8" square into mouth shape

  • Cut 2"x2" squares out of the top corners of the mouth square
  • Cut a 4"x4" rectangle out of the middle of the mouth bottom

3. Hand or machine applique the black felt toes pieces onto the bottom edge of a 9"x13" green fleece piece (I used a zig-zag stitch going very slowly on my machine; advancing the stitches by hand using the flywheel is always an option if you find the machine to be too aggressive)

  • Pin each 2"x2" square into place on the bottom edge of a 9"x13" green fleece piece in the pattern shown above, making sure that the corners of the squares are touching. Leave half an inch of space between the black squares and the side and bottom edge of the fleece (this will be used up by the seam, so that when the fleece/muslin pieces are sewn together, the black felt will basically be touching the seam on the sides and bottom).
    • One note about my creeper's toes: You may have noticed that traditional creeper's toes go up and to the right in a zig-zag pattern, appearing the same on each front foot, while my creeper's toes go up and to the middle, appearing opposite on each foot of my creeper. The only reason for this is that I accidentally appliqued my first set of toes on the wrong side of my fleece fabric. Instead of tossing out that piece and restarting, I just flipped it over and appliqued a new set of toes along the same thread lines, causing the pattern to be reversed.
  • Sew the squares down to the fleece. (You can do this in one long continuous stitch if you start at one end of the common middle line between the top and bottom toes, sew all the way to the other end, and then follow the outside edges of the square back to the start)
4. Hand or machine applique the black felt eyes and mouth onto a 17"x17" green fleece piece
  • Pin each eye and mouth piece into place on a 17"x17" green fleece piece, making sure that the corners of the pieces are touching. Although many reference images of creeper faces show the mouth touching the bottom edge of the head block, I moved the mouth up a little bit from the edge so it didn't interfere with the seam. It was still closer to the bottom edge of the head than to the top.
  • Sew the pieces down to the fleece.

Step 4: Assemble the Feet

All parts of the creeper are simple cubes or cuboids (cubes made of rectangles). This makes sewing them together pretty straightforward. All seams should be sewn a half inch from the edge, and back stitches should be made to secure the ends of the seams. When you sew the top and bottom on, you can sew one edge, and then, with the needle sticking through the layers of the fabric in the corner, rotate the whole thing to continue sewing around the next edge of the square. You sew the parts inside out, leaving a gap on one edge of the final piece through which you can pull the cube right side out. You then stuff it and hand sew the gap that was left. I would leave the gap on the top back edge of the foot (i.e. opposite the toes), since this is the edge that will be most hidden underneath the body of the creeper, and which you will eventually hand sew to the bottom of the creeper body.

1. Sew the sides of one foot together

  • Lay four pieces of 9"x13" green fleece on your work surface, good side down.
  • Lay four pieces of 9"x13" muslin on top of these felt pieces, touching the back of the fleece.
  • Pin all of these pieces together side by side along the 13" edges, making sure the good sides of the fleece are facing each other (imagine a sandwich with muslin on the outside and the two pieces of fleece in the middle).
  • Sew each piece together using a straight stitch and matching thread (you might notice I used tan thread instead of green, which was just laziness on my part; due to the fluffiness of the fleece, very little of the tan thread shows through anywhere, luckily; I used my green thread for all the hand sewing, however, where the thread is more visible).

2. Sew the bottom of the foot to the connected side pieces

  • Lay two pieces of 9"x9" green fleece on your work surface, good side down.
  • Lay two pieces of 9"x9" muslin on top of these fleece pieces, touching the back side of the fleece.
  • Starting on one end of the bottom (toe side) of the connected side pieces, pin and sew a 9"x9" fleece/muslin piece to the connected sides. The four edges of the 9"x9" square should align with the four 9" edges of the side pieces. Again, you should be sandwiching the pieces together so the muslin is on the outside and the good sides of the green fleece are touching. this will keep all the fabric edges inside the final cube, leaving only the clean seams showing on the outside.

3. Sew the top of the foot

  • Starting on the left or right side of the foot (not the back of the front of the foot), pin and sew a 9"x9" green fleece/muslin piece to the foot. Sew the front and side edges completely, but leave a 4" gap along the back edge of the foot. (I would leave this gap in the middle and machine stitch the two sides of the back edge about 2" from the corner, to make a clean corner on each side.
  • Pull the foot right side out, so the green fleece is now on the outside.

4. Add structure and stuffing to the foot

  • Cut a 13" piece of the 3.75" diameter "monster" noodle and slide it into the gap in the foot. This will provide structure to the foot so the creeper can stand on its own.
  • Add polyester fiber fill around the sides of the noodle until the foot feels relatively firm. try to keep the noodle centered in the foot. I didn't place any fill under the noodle, as I wanted this side to be as flat as possible for stability.

5. Hand sew the gap on the back of the foot using matching green thread (I used a basic whip stitch).

6. Repeat steps 1-5 above for each foot (remembering to keep the appliqued toes in the correct position on the two front feet).

Step 5: Assemble the Body and Head

The body and head use the exact same technique described in detail above for the feet, except that, instead of using one monster noodle for the structure, you will tape together several regular pool noodles to create a firm core in the body and the head, around which you will stuff polyester fiber fill. The edges that will be hand sewn should be located on the back of the creeper on the edge that will be most hidden by the rest of the body (the top back edge of the body, and the bottom back edge of the head.

Assemble the Body

1. Layer the fleece and muslin pieces together, making sure good sides of the fleece are facing each other.

2. Sew the sides of the body together, making sure to alternate the 14"x25" (side) pieces and 16"x25" (back/front) pieces.

3. Sew the bottom and top pieces on. The bottom can be sewn totally be machine, but a gap should be left on the back top edge of the body's top so that the body can be stuffed. This gap will have to be most of the back edge to accommodate the noodle structure.

4. Make the noodle body. I didn't take pictures of this, but basically I cut a bunch of noodle down to the height of the body (25 inches), and then began using packing tape to connect the pieces to each other, creating a fairly rigid cuboid of noodle that was a little smaller than the interior of the fleece/muslin body.

5. Pull the body right side out and place the noodle structure in the middle.

6. Stuff polyester fiber fill all around the noodle structure until the fleece/muslin body feels firm.

7. Hand sew the back edge of the creeper body using matching green thread (I used a basic whip stitch).

8. Repeat the basic steps above to sew and stuff the creeper head. Note: When creating and placing the noodle structure for the head, you can make it 15" tall rather than 16", since you don't need the flat edge of the noodle to go all the way to the top of the head (i.e. you don't want to feel the flat noodle edges at the top of the creeper's head after it's all sewn up; but you do want the flat edges of the noodle head structure to rest along the bottom piece of the head, so they sit against the flat edges of the noodles that make up the structure of the creeper body).

Step 6: Connect the Feet, Body, and Head

The finished pieces are hand sewn together using a basic whip stitch.

1. Draw lines along which to whip stitch the pieces together.

  • Lines for the back edges of the feet to be sewn to the bottom of the body should be approximately 2.5" back from the bottom seam of the body. This allows the feet to stick out behind and in front of the body. The feet will stick out the sides a little as well. I would make them touch in the middle and let them stick out whatever they need to on the edges.
  • Lines on the bottom of the head should be drawn approximately 2" in from the bottom seam. In other words, if you look at the bottom of the head, you'll see the seam forming a box; draw your sewing lines 2" in from this box, creating a smaller box. I did not try to sew the actual body seam to the bottom of the head, as I didn't think this would look good due to the curving around the seams due to the polyester stuffing.
  • Lines on the top of the body should be drawn approximately 1.5" in from the edge of the top seam, again forming a smaller box within the box made by the top seam.

2. Hand sew the feet, body, and head together. Double your thread in your needle for extra strength, and place knots occasionally for added security.

Step 7: Enjoy Your Epic Creeper Doll!*

*Adding explosive capability not recommended.

Comments

author
tcman2006 (author)2016-09-29

And I thought your miklshake straw lightsabers were good (no offense intended)

author
KneXFAN200 (author)2016-09-22

About how much does it cost?

author
EricMason (author)KneXFAN2002016-09-23

I don't have all the receipts, but here's some estimates:

Fiber fill: $25 for a 10 lb box at Walmart; prob $40 worth if you stuff it until firm
Fleece Fabric: typically $5-10$/yard; so maybe $30 or so
Muslin Fabric: $4/yard, so $15
Thread, packing tape and a black felt: $10
Funnoodle: prob $15 or so

So my estimate is a little over $100. You can change fabrics, make it smaller, or stuff it less or with something else to make it cheaper. Joann sends out lots of coupons and holds sales you can take advantage of.

author
KneXFAN200 (author)EricMason2016-09-24

Thanks, I might go to the DI (deseret Industries) and get some matireals for cheaper. I'm 11 almost 12 so I probably can't pay that much. Good thing my DI is close so I can get it for cheap.

author
EricMason (author)KneXFAN2002016-09-25

Fleece often had a good amount of stretch, so if you go with a less stretchy fabric, and don't plan to stuff it too firm, you could skip the muslin.

author
destinyinhim made it! (author)2016-08-29

Okay, so this is pretty amazing. I would say I am beginner/intermediate when it comes to sewing. Because of this, I had to go back for more fabric 2 times because I never seemed to have enough (cutting out squares is harder than I thought!) My 7 year old daughter wanted a softer, friendlier version of the typical creeper (note the smile) - so I used a flannel fabric without any muslin or pool noodles. It came out the perfect amount of cuddle-squish for her so I'm happy :) I ordered 20lb of poly-fil because the instructions said I needed 15lb... However, I didn't even go through an entire box of the 10 lb box - maybe because we didn't stuff him to stand completely upright on his own. I would like to return the other box, but my son wrote "creeper guts" on it when it arrived so there's that. All in all, this was a very fun and very rewarding project and I wanted to thank you for posting it! My daughter is beside herself and I'm the hero! Oh, and it's as tall as my 10 year old!

years old

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author
EricMason (author)destinyinhim2016-08-30

That looks awesome, and shows how you can adjust the fabric and stuffing level to suit your taste. The one I made is probably a bit overstuffed, to be honest, and i think one like yours that you can more easily cuddle will probably get a lot more love. Thanks for sharing your pics.

author
destinyinhim (author)2016-06-10

Hi there. I'm fairly new to machine sewing but I'm pretty sure I can do this! Thank you! However, I am wondering if the muslin in a must have? What happens if I don't use that second layer?

author
EricMason (author)destinyinhim2016-06-10

Hi,
Fleece can have a lot of stretch to it. I would be afraid that without the muslin, as you stuff it, it would quickly get stretched out of shape, or the stitching would get pulled out, so you simply wouldn't be able to stuff it very much or very well. As it is, it's hard to keep any kind of angular shape when working with fabric at this size. Stuffing it with some kind of shaped foam might work, but I'm not sure where one would get such foam, or how costly it would be.

If I was doing a really small version of this, or if I was using a different kind of fabric for the outside that wasn't very stretchy, I would be okay skipping the muslin.

To be honest, if I was doing it over, I think I would make it a little smaller (like somewhere between 1/2 or 3/4 the current size) to make it a bit more portable. this would save on fabric and stuffing costs as well, and make it easier to make it free standing and rigid. Thanks for the interest, and share any pics if you do make one. I'd love to see it.

author
MakersClub (author)2016-04-14

This would be great to sell!

author
EricMason (author)MakersClub2016-04-15

Thanks for the idea. If it is was more complicated, I guess I could sell the pattern. But I'm happy if people can make it themselves.

author
parisusa (author)2016-04-13

Voted! I'm a Minecraft, Terraria & Mario Mom so I truly appreciate the work that went into this! Thank you for sharing all your hard work with the community!

author
EricMason (author)parisusa2016-04-13

Thanks so much! I definitely have a minecraft and mario kid as well. In fact, we just finished his Mario-themed pinewood derby car.

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