Picture of Stuffed Hobbes (with pattern)
The comic strip Calvin and Hobbes was wildly popular through its run in the papers. Like most people, I've always been a fan, and now my kids are as well. This year for Christmas, I thought a stuffed Hobbes doll would make a great gift for one of my sons.

The artist of the strip, Bill Watterson, refused to allow his characters to be licensed and capitalize on their popularity, feeling that doing so would undermine the integrity of the strip. Despite obvious interest, Calvin and Hobbes merchandise was never available. 

Since you can't buy a Hobbes doll, I figured I'd make my own. For anyone interested in duplicating this Hobbes doll, I'm sharing the pattern I came up with for free. It is for personal, non-commercial use only.

My son loves his Hobbes and has been happily dragging him around for weeks. Thanks for taking a look at this. If you make one, please post a photo in the comments.

Update! If you need a great costume to make for your kid to go along with this Hobbes doll, check out my Stupendous Man costume instructable! It's easy and your Hobbes-totin' kid will love it.
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Step 1: Pattern

Picture of Pattern

I spent a while digging through my Calvin and Hobbes books studying the Hobbes character when he was in the stuffed-toy form.

Early versions of Hobbes were very cartoony, and things like the shape of the nose and the number and placement of stripes were not always consistent. His proportions also appear to have changed slightly over the years. Later versions were crisp, clean and very consistent in the features. I based my Hobbes doll off of pictures that appear in the later strips.

To create the pattern, I broke the doll down into separate basic shapes. After some trial and error, I had a pattern that yielded all the needed body parts that fit together to my liking.

This pattern requires creating and stuffing all of the different body parts separately, hand stitching them all in place, and then hand stitching all of the stripes in place individually.

If that wasn't completely clear, this project requires a ton of hand stitching. You've been warned!

Begin by printing out my homemade Hobbes pattern, preferably on stiff paper like card stock.

You will need about 1/3 yard of orange fleece, some little bits of black, and a couple small pieces of white. You will also need some polyester stuffing, poly stuffing beads if you want, two black 3/4" plastic buttons, and some thin black cording or yarn.

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seamster (author) 1 year ago
For anyone having trouble finding the link to the pattern, here it is:

seamster's Stuffed Hobbes Pattern

My 29 year old son texted me asking if i would make a Hobbes for his first son who will be born in May...I am thrilled to be asked to make this as he loves Calvin & Hobbes so much that they are creating a Calvin & Hobbes nursery. Thank you for our generosity!

corinne.m.stoney made it!1 month ago

I made my Hobbes for my boyfriend's 21st. I found the stripped fabric in a remnants bin and then went searching for a pattern. Thank you so much for creating and sharing the perfect one. :)

seamster (author)  corinne.m.stoney1 month ago


taratosh made it!2 months ago

I am afraid of sewing machines, so I hand-stitched it all. Not as perfect as yours, but I'm happy enough with it considering I never sew. My son likes to randomly tell his new tiger to stop being so sarcastic, etc. I also enjoy telling people that the sewing pattern for it was made by a guy who "kind of looks like a biker". Thank you sooo much!

seamster (author)  taratosh2 months ago


Thanks for sharing this great photo. Totally made my morning, as did your comments!

That's some real patience to sew it all by hand, too. Very nice work, and the persistence appears to have paid off with a really great looking Hobbes. Awesome!

vintage289 made it!2 months ago
never sewed anything like this before, but had to for my almost born son. I used super fuzzy orange and white plush and black velvet for the stripes. and since I didn't want to wait until he was 3, I stitched the eyes like the mouth instead of buttons. thanks so much for your pattern!
seamster (author)  vintage2892 months ago

Very nice work! I love the fuzzy fabric choice. You son will love his hobbes!

kimberly.imparato1 made it!2 months ago

was so much fun I made a girl tiger for a friend of mine as a suprise...

seamster (author)  kimberly.imparato12 months ago

Hey, very nice work! That's the first tiger I've seen anyone make with this pattern that wasn't a typical Hobbes. Very original!

edumls made it!2 months ago
I love this instructable!! And I just finished them.
Thank you very much for the pattern and the instructable!!
seamster (author)  edumls2 months ago

Your Hobbes looks excellent! Very nice work, my friend.

Thank you for sharing your photos. I always love to see that my Hobbes pattern is being put to good use!

screamingdaisy made it!2 months ago
My second attempt came out a lot better. This one is for my husband for his 30th! Thanks again for all of the work you've shared.
seamster (author)  screamingdaisy2 months ago

Very nicely done! Looks like you crocheted a scarf too? So cool. I hope your husband fully appreciates your effort on this!

Thank you so much for the pattern! I had a lot of fun making (this furry version of) Hobbes, which became a nice gift for my 2 year-old nephew! Btw, do you have a Calvin doll pattern too?? :D Thanks so much!
seamster (author)  fabio.freitas.773122 months ago

Awesome! I love the furry Hobbes!

Sorry, I don't have a pattern for a Calvin doll. But if someone were to make one up, I bet that would be quite popular!

magdac made it!2 months ago

I made Hobbes for my grandson. To make Hobbes friendlier I changed his face to the one Alvin sees. He loves it, and his father too ;-). Thank you so much for the pattern.

seamster (author)  magdac2 months ago

Excellent work! I'm glad you found the pattern and were able to make one. I love the nice smiling face!

mantissemantics made it!3 months ago

For my brother for Christmas. Now I need my own. Thank you so much for sharing your pattern/talent!

seamster (author)  mantissemantics3 months ago

You are very welcome! I'm glad you found the pattern. You need to make a Hobbes for yourself!

screamingdaisy made it!3 months ago
Thank you so much for the pattern. It's amazing!
seamster (author)  screamingdaisy3 months ago

Awesome! Glad you were able to make a Hobbes! Thanks for sharing your photo.

I just found this pattern and I am beyond excited to try him out! Thank you so much for this share! I'll try and post a picture when I'm finished.

seamster (author)  crystal.with.stars3 months ago

Yes, please do so! Stick with it . . . those stripes can be a bit tedious, but you can do it!

Sarahtara made it!3 months ago

Thank you for this pattern! I made one for my dad's Christmas present and he loved it.

seamster (author)  Sarahtara3 months ago

Awesome! Glad you found this and were able to make one. Your Dad is officially in the Hobbes club now!

mikieat1003 months ago

Donated these four "fellas" to our local Toy Mountain (charity for kids),I threw in a copy of The Essential Calvin and Hobbes as an introduction, they must be in the hands of their new owners by now. Thanks again for the pattern.


That is so amazing! You're awesome!

Thanks :)

seamster (author)  mikieat1003 months ago

Oh my, that is an awesome thing to do! Major kudos to you my friend. What an excellent gift!

Thank You, Couldn't have done it without your pattern. :)

maliceaver made it!3 months ago

I made Hobbes for my boyfriend for Christmas,to go along with the Complete Calvin and Hobbes set I got him. Now there's a tiger in my tree!! ^.^; This wasa great project and I appreciate how all the steps were laid out and explained. Thanks so much!

seamster (author)  maliceaver3 months ago

Awesome! Glad you found the pattern and were able to make one. Thanks for the great photo!

violingirl made it!3 months ago

This made a great Christmas present.

Merry Christmas!!!!!

(P.S. You probably will need to click on the picture to see the whole thing.)

seamster (author)  violingirl3 months ago

Awesome! Glad you found the pattern. Thank you for sharing your finished Hobbes with me!

robertacummings made it!3 months ago

I made a Hobbes for my 32 year old boyfriend for Christmas, he LOVED it! Worth all the secret hand sewing to see his face! (See the photo for our Hobbes complete with festive cracker hat!) Thank you for sharing your pattern :)

seamster (author)  robertacummings3 months ago

Excellent! Thank you for sharing the photo. I'm glad you found the pattern and were able to make one!

kimrod made it!3 months ago

What an AMAZING tutorial! Thank you so much for the detail and the photos. My 9-yr-old is obsessed with Calvin & Hobbes and had "stuffed tiger" on his very short (and very sweet) Christmas list, so I was overjoyed to find this pattern! Thank you thank you! He is going to be one VERY happy little boy on Christmas morning! --kim in Austin, TX

seamster (author)  kimrod3 months ago

Awesome message!

I'm glad you found the pattern and were able to make a Hobbes for your little boy. Every kid needs their own Hobbes, so every time I get a message like yours, it totally makes my day!

Thank you, and have a great Christmas!

Aggie14564 months ago

what is the seam allowance on the pieces?

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