Barrel of Monkeys played a small, but apparently memorable part of my childhood. I've been looking into simple interlocking forms for use in 3D modular printing, and was inspired to translate these toys into fabric. This instructable documents the first prototype for an upcoming art installation.
Step 1: Create a Pattern
I freehanded this pattern by looking at one of the monkeys. Since it was a simple prototype, I wasn't too concerned with perfection and this pattern turned out pretty well.
Step 2: Cut Out Fabric
I placed the pattern on top of two layers of fabric with right sides together. I pinned the pattern and then carefully cut out the fabric. Once the two layers (with right sides together) were pinned, I stitched them with 1/4" seam allowance making sure to leave a couple inches open to be able to turn it inside out.
Step 3: Clip Curves and Turn Inside Out
Clipping small triangles around all curves makes the turning inside out easier. Be careful not to clip into the seam! Turn the right sides inside out.
Step 4: Add Stuffing
I added poly-fil as the stuffing, filling the arms pretty tightly. This part was easier than I imagined. Once the monkey was fully stuffed, I hand stitched the opening along the monkey's side.
The finished monkey turned out pretty well, but to actually interlock the arms successfully I'll be adding magnets in the end of each arm as well as the corresponding shoulder/hip. I'm also planning on trying out some digital embroidery for details on the monkey's face. Lots of potential for making many interlocking stuffed monkeys that can play on all kinds of surfaces!