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) 10 months ago
For anyone having trouble finding the link to the pattern, here it is:

seamster's Stuffed Hobbes Pattern
punkinann21 hours ago

Love this! Wonder if there's any way to modify the arms/legs attachments so the arms and legs fall forward instead of to the side?

seamster (author)  punkinann21 hours ago

That's one thing about this that I wasn't happy about. And I think you may be the first person to point it out!

With less stuffing and better positioning when they are sewn on, the arms and legs could be put in a more cartoon-accurate position. If I ever make another Hobbes, that is one thing I would try to do a little better.


Made this for my son. It was a blast to make. Thank you.

2013-10-25 15.35.47-1.jpg
seamster (author)  Hinkamus23 hours ago

Glad you were able to make one! Thanks for the photo. I love seeing peoples' homemade Hobbeses. I also just like typing "Hobbeses."


amazing pattern and very nice instructions, you are missing some instructions for newbies like me, had trouble knowing how far from the edge to stitch on the head and im having a bit of trouble stitching the strippes, i promis to post an image as soon as i finish him so you can tell me what i can do better thanks for this amazing instructible ^^

txdawood1 month ago


I'd like to make this. Thank you for sharing your pattern. It looks very professional and I think the final product would make a great gift. I have one question though. Is it okay to sew the stripes onto the back before stuffing it? I think it would be easier on me. I am okay with the sewing machine but not that great with a needle and thread. Thanks!

seamster (author)  txdawood1 month ago
I tried it that way and wasn't happy with how it turned out, hence all the hand stitching.

But you can certainly do it that way, and you may quite possibly get better results than I did. Glad you're making one. Let me know how it goes!
taciana.lorenzizanghelini made it!1 month ago

Thanks a lot for the pattern, the instructions are easy. Made my work flow easily.

Here is my Hobbes, or in portuguese Haroldo. I made some accessories for him as well: a tie, a scarf, a mask and cape.


Awesome! He looks great. Thank you so much for sharing the photos!

MashaRaczynski made it!6 months ago

Hello. Thanks for the pattern, it was really easy to make Hobbes with your instructions! I made two: regular size, and a mini hobbes that is about 12cm (4.7 inches). I used plush instead of fleece, and did everything by hand. Plush really hides the seams well. Big Hobbes took about one 50x50cm orange piece of plush, one 50x50cm black and half of 50x50cm of white or so (and there was enough left for the tiny guy).


your little Hobbes made me scream: Awww! :) i love it. Your plushy ones are the cutest in my opinion. I hope I can find some pieces of plush and make one, too.... thanks for sharing!

Little one is really great. You should make one. I carry him around with me :D All you hate to do is scale the pdf to your liking.

have* oi

these are brilliant. I don't have the skills for making this but would be happy to pay if you would be willing to sell/ make for a present for someone who adores Hobbes?? :-)

Awww, he is so perfect looking!! And the plush is an EXCELLENT idea. Not sure I woulda thought of that one. Thanks!

seamster (author)  MashaRaczynski6 months ago

Those are excellent! I love the little one. Very nice work.

Thanks for sharing the photos!

ploepp1 month ago

I just have to say: BRILLIANT! I will make one soon. Maybe for my sister. Or for myself? :-) Thank you so much for sharing.

dtaylor44 made it!1 month ago


seamster (author)  dtaylor441 month ago
Awesome Hobbes! Looks like a prize from a carnival game, but we all know it's much more valuable than those... Very nice. Thank you for the photo!
luciaaddie2 months ago

hi i wanted to make this but i'm unsure how much fabric to buy. how many yars per color?

seamster (author)  luciaaddie2 months ago

You'll need about 1/3 yard of orange, a little less of white, and some small bits of black.

thank you very much. that's very helpful

hphumlebaek made it!4 months ago

Now, I have also made Hobbes (called "Stoffer" in Danish)

Stoffer 3.JPG

And I love that you moved the legs a little farther forward so it sits up!

I have not really thought about moving the legs, but it works fine, and your right it sits up nicely :-)

What is that white fuzzy fabric called? Such a good idea!

It is actually just a white fleece called "Polar Fleece" :-)

seamster (author)  hphumlebaek4 months ago
Awesome! Very nicely done. I like the fuzzy plush fabric you used! Somebody will enjoy this for years to come!

Thanks, it was made for a 14-year old guy for his confirmation and is a "substitue" of a very small tiger, that I jused at his christening in order to comfort him - now he hopefully has a comfort for a long time :-) By the way, I am his godmother.

SpasticPhantasy made it!2 months ago

Thank you so much for this! I came across this about two weeks before Father's Day and on a whim I decided to go for it. (I'd never done anything like this before and only done a few bags for sewing projects.) My husband grew up with the comics and has a whole shelf of books of them. Not sure how long it took me since I mainly did it at night after he went to bed. He's already taken him on two trips when our girls and I couldn't go with him. A much loved Hobbes. Thanks again!

seamster (author)  SpasticPhantasy2 months ago

Very nice! Glad you found the pattern and were able to make one. Thanks for the photos!

mikieat100 made it!2 months ago

Here is my version based on the pattern, Please note this is the first time I have ever made a plush doll (or anything that requires sewing to be honest) It took me about 20 hours.

seamster (author)  mikieat1002 months ago

Alright! This has got to be a pretty difficult first sewing project, so I'm glad to see you stuck with it. Thanks for sharing the photos!

tigerfood2 months ago

Thank you so much for creating and sharing this! My whole family is a big fan of Calvin and Hobbes (my username comes from a comic where Calvin asks why humans were put on earth, and Hobbes replies "tiger food"), and I plan on making this for my nephew.

One question: is there any reason not to machine-sew on some of the stripes before constructing the body parts, like you did with the white belly?

seamster (author)  tigerfood2 months ago
Good question. The answer is yes, or at least it was for me.

I tried sewing the stripes on before hand, but it stretched the fabric all weird and didn't provide a nice clean look when stuffed. It was stretched funny and lumpy. You could try it this way, and you may get different results than I did. Either way, good luck! Let me know how it goes.
kirstygirl2 months ago

I have twins so I made two. The pattern was super easy to follow... thank you! By far, hand-stitching the stripes was the hardest part... although it wasn't hard, just time consuming! Thanks again!

Arrhtheis made it!3 months ago

Thank you for this fantastic instructable, seamster! I had been looking for something special to make my girlfriend for her 21st and this Hobbes pattern just leaped out at me ;-) Congratulations for creating such an authentic looking Hobbes in a simple, easy to follow instructable.

Fab13 months ago

Thanks for the pattern! It was lots of work but he looks beautiful! all done by hand!

Photo on 14-06-22 at 4.31 PM.jpg
Anneannie3 months ago

I made a super sized one, thanks very much for uploading the patterns.

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