Monster Stuffed Toy

1,334

18

6

Introduction: Monster Stuffed Toy

About: I love to cook, knit, sew, and garden. Trained as a Family and Consumer Science Teacher, I taught GRADS and Personal Development, then taught about organ, eye and tissue donation for a non-profit. I'm worki…

I love to reuse or re-purpose things that might be thrown away.
Seeing so many wool sweaters at the local thrift store made me start thinking about what could be made with them. Knowing that when you wash 100% wool in a washing machine it shrinks and makes a very dense, durable fabric, I came up with the idea to make these cute, friendly monsters using recycled/repurposed wool sweaters. A personally designed stuffed monsters makes a great beloved toy for your child or an interesting throw pillow for your living room or your child’s room. They are one-of-a-kind – created by YOU!

You don’t have to be a great artist to design a monster – and if it doesn’t turn out quite like you thought it would, no one will know (but you!).

Step 1: What You Will Need

Materials:

  • 100% wool sweaters
  • Pellon P44F JAS Fusible Interfacing – light to medium weight
  • paper for pattern & pencil
  • Ruler
  • shapes for drawing around (optional) - I used a pie pan and a medicine bottle
  • scissors – both paper and fabric
  • thread – matching for sweaters to be used
  • polyester fiberfill
  • Iron (with steam feature)
  • Hand sewing needle
  • sewing pins
  • Washing machine – hot water, laundry detergent/soap
  • Sewing machine – must have zigzag feature

Step 2: Designing Your Monster

I started with a small drawing just to get the idea of what I wanted. Some of the the things changed as I actually made the monster, but it gave me a starting point.

My monster is going to have a body made of two pieces, the upper one will include the head. It will have arms and legs, horns (every good monster needs horns!), eyes, ears, a nose and a mouth. I think I want it’s tongue to stick out of it’s mouth as well! I’m also going to add a pocket, because I love pockets! I’m going to attach all these parts so that my monster could be for all ages – so no buttons or other pieces that could easily be pulled off by younger children.

Draw your monster on paper – just a rough draft, keeping in mind that the simpler the better. Do it small so you get an idea of what you want. Now is the time to think about how your monster will look. Are its arms and hands one piece? Do you want it to have shoes or will the legs and shoes be one piece? Will it have hair?

Step 3: Drawing the Monster Full Size

Now draw the monster as big as you want it, using your small picture as a guide. You will be cutting this drawing up as the beginning pattern for your monster. I used a pie pan to draw a nice round head, a ruler to draw straight sides, and then drew the rest free hand.

p { margin-bottom: 0.1in; line-height: 115%; background: transparent }

Step 4: Cutting Out Your Initial Monster Pieces

Cut out the drawn pattern pieces – arms, head, body, feet, horns, ears, hands - leaving the face pieces in tact for placement reference. Your monster may have different parts to cut out than mine, but that won’t be a problem. Some of the pieces (eyes, nose, teeth, etc.) will need to be drawn on separate paper to be cut out, since you are leaving the original drawing of the face in tact so you know where these pieces go when you are sewing. I used an empty medicine container to draw a nice circle for the eyes (on separate paper) - I'm not very good at drawing a good circle freehand.

Step 5: Completing Your Monster Pattern

On the pieces of the monster that need to be sewn together (arms, ears, horns, body, feet), draw around the pattern ½ inch out from the edge; this will be the seam allowance. On the pieces that will be applied to the body pieces – eyes, nose, mouth, teeth, pocket – there is no seam allowance, as I zigzag around them to apply them. Now that you have your monster designed and the pattern ready, it’s time to find the material you will use to make it!

Step 6: Gathering Your 100% Wool Sweaters

Gather your 100% wool sweaters. I went to the thrift store to see what sweaters they might have that I could use. I found the following:

  • A green hoodie sweater with a sipper down the front
  • A gray striped sweater
  • An off white sweater – good for the whites of the eyes
  • A red sweater – maybe for the mouth – but definitely for the tongue
  • A lovely blue sweater
  • A caramel color sweater

Step 7: Preparing the Sweaters

  • Fill the washer with hot water and add the laundry detergent/soap
  • Put the sweaters in the washer, pushing them under the water.
  • Run a regular wash cycle.
  • Hang the sweaters to dry – on a line or on plastic hangers. Don’t use the clothes dryer as this sometimes shrinks the material so much that it can’t be used.

Step 8: Cutting the Sweaters Into Monster Pieces

Once the sweaters are dry, you are ready to start cutting out your monster!!! I decided to use the blue sweater as the body and sleeves, and the caramel one for the head. Those are the big pieces of the monster and will take a good portion of each sweater. I want some contrast in the other pieces so I think I’ll use the green hoodie for the feet and nose, the blue again for the horns and irises of the eyes, and, of course, the white for the eyes! I hadn’t noticed the pockets on the caramel sweater, but since they are there, I’ll use one of them for the pocket on my monster instead of making a pocket from scratch. (So, out goes the pocket pattern!)

Pin pattern on sweater fabric & cut out

  • Body – cut 2 (front & back)
  • Arms – cut 2 for each arm (front & back)
  • Legs – cut 2 for each leg (front & back)
  • Head – cut 2 (front & back)
  • Face – eyes, nose, mouth, cheeks?
  • Ears – cut 2 for each ear (front & back)
  • Embellishments – Horns (cut two for each horn), tongue (cut one), eyes (cut two for the whites, and cut two for the irises), teeth – cut the number you want!

I decided I didn’t like the bright red for the tongue, so I looked through my scraps from other projects and found two colors of orange – deciding to use the darker of the two for the tongue and the bottom of the nose, to add contrast. I also decided to put on eyelids rather than do zigzagged eyebrows, which was my original plan. I cut the eyelids out of green to match the nose.

With all the pieces cut out, I laid all my cut out pieces of sweater together to make sure I had everything I needed for this monster.

Step 9: Sewing Your Monster Together - First the Face

On to the sewing!

We’ll apply the face pieces to the head first.
You will use matching thread for each of the items you place on the face – I used white around the eyes & white around the teeth, blue around the irises, green around the nose and eyelids, and red/orange around the lower part of the nose and for the mouth. Think about what has to be put on first. For example, you have to put the whites of the eyes on before you can put the blue irises on. Both the white of the eye and the blue iris have to be applied before you can sew on the eyelid. Lets start!

  • Cut the fusible stabilizer to match the head piece.
  • Iron the fusible stabilizer onto the wrong side of the front head piece.
  • Pin the whites of the eyes in place.
  • Pin the nose in place – to be sure you have the eyes spaced correctly. Check your original drawing for placement reminders.
  • Using a tight zigzag stitch that is not too wide (I used a width of 2 and a length of not quite 0 on my machine – you will have to try yours and see what you like), zigzag around the white eyes. The eye piece wanted to fold onto itself as I was almost finished zigzagging around it, so I used a pin to hold the fabric in place as I very slowly continued to zigzag completely around the eye.

Step 10: Getting the Eyes Right!

I tried several ways of placing the irises – pinning them in place the way I liked. Using a tight zigzag stitch (again #2 width and not quite 0 length) apply the iris to the white of the eye.

Step 11: Upper Nose

Using a tight zigzag stitch (again #2 width and not quite 0 length) apply the nose to the face.

Step 12: Applying the Eyelids

For the eyelid, cut a piece of fusible stabilizer the same shape as the eyelid, and iron on to the back of each eyelid. Using a tight zigzag stitch (again #2 width and not quite 0 length), stitch around the bottom of the eyelid. Do not apply it to the eye or the head at this point. You are just finishing the edge of the eyelid. I had to go over the edge twice to get it to look the way I wanted it. Pin the eyelid onto the head, positioning it over the eye in a way that pleases you. Using a tight zigzag stitch (again #2 width and not quite 0 length), apply the eyelid to the face.

Step 13: Finishing the Nose

Pin the bottom of the nose in place, and using a tight zigzag stitch (again #2 width and not quite 0 length), apply the bottom of the nose to the face.

Step 14: Placing the Teeth and Mouth

For the mouth I am going to use a tight wide zigzag stitch, but I need the teeth to be in place before I stitch the mouth.

  • Pin the teeth in place. I used a piece of string to simulate where the mouth line would be to get the placement right.
  • Using a tight zigzag stitch (again #2 width and not quite 0 length), stitch the teeth in place along the line of the mouth.
  • Zigzag around each tooth in place.

Step 15: The Tongue!

Because I am going to leave the tongue hang loose, I need to have it ready before stitching the mouth.

  • Using a tight zigzag stitch (again #2 width and not quite 0 length), stitch a straight line down the length of the tongue. This makes it have a center line.
  • Outline the tongue with zigzag – completely covering the edge of the tongue. Do not sew the tongue to any part of the monster at this point. You may have to hold on to the thread, pulling very gently, as you start to zigzag the edge of the tongue to get your machine to move along correctly.

Step 16: Placing the Tongue

Decide where the tongue will go – again I pinned it several places before I decided on the placement I liked.

Step 17: Finishing the Mouth and Tongue

Sew the mouth line, using a large zigzag (I used a width of 3 and a length of not quite 0).

Once you have decided where to place the tongue, pin it in place with the right side facing the upper face. This will allow the tongue to be sewn in place and to hang loose once the mouth is completed. Using a large zigzag (again, a width of 3 and a length of not quite 0), zigzag the mouth line, sewing over the bottom edge of the tongue. The mouth line will need to be done at least twice to fill in completely.

Step 18: The Pocket

Applying the pocket to the back body piece will be next.

  • Cut a piece of fusible stabilizer larger than the pocket piece.
  • Apply the fusible stabilizer to the wrong side of the back of the body piece.
  • Pin the pocket in place on the front of the back body piece.
  • Using a tight zigzag stitch (#3 width and not quite 0 length), apply the pocket.
  • Steam iron the front face and the body back piece so the finished pieces lays fairly flat

Step 19: Arms, Legs, Horns, and Ears

Assembling the arms, legs, horns, and ears (using straight machine stitching for assembly).

  • With right sides together, pin the arms together and stitch. Do not turn right side out.
  • With right sides together, pin the legs/feet together, stitch. Clip the curves – and turn right side out. Steam flat.
  • With right sides together, pin the horns together and stitch. Turn right side out.
  • With right sides of hands together, pin, and stitch. Clip the area between thumb and hand. Turn right side out. Steam flat.

To assemble the hands with the arms:

  • Lightly stuff hands.
  • Baste the open end of hand together inside the stitching line.
  • Place hand inside the arm, matching seams. Pin in place.
  • Sew hand and arm together, being careful to catch the hand well in the stitching.
  • Turn arm right side out. Steam arm flat.

Ears:

  • With right sides of ears together, pin and stitch. Turn right side out. Steam flat.
  • Fold the ear; pin the fold in place. Baste along the edge of the ear to secure fold. Steam flat.

Lightly stuff arms, legs/feet, horns.

Step 20: Getting the Body Together

Assembling the body of the monster! (Using straight machine stitching for assembly)

With the right sides together, pin the face piece to the lower body piece; sew together. Steam the seam open.

With the right sides together, pin the back of the head piece to the lower body piece; sew together. Steam the seam open.

Step 21: Final Assembly of Your Monster!


Pin arms, legs, ears, horns to the body in appropriate places. Notice that the arms, etc., are pinned so the edge of the arm is along the edge of the body.

Baste arms, legs, ears, horns in place.

Pin front of monster to back of monster, folding arms, legs, ears, horns inside. Pin the side seams of the front and back so the upper/lower body of each match.

Sew around the body pieces, leaving a 3 inch opening in the seam on the lower body. You will use this to turn the monster right side out and stuff it.

Step 22: Stuff It Full!

Turn the monster inside out. Steam the body of the monster – especially the edges so it lays nice and flat before stuffing.

Stuff! Make your monster as full as you wish. I like mine to be fairly full! Push stuffing into the corners and edges. Work the stuffing around so there are no lumps. Once you have your monster stuffed to your liking, pin the edges of the opening together.

Hand sew the opening edges closed, going over the stitching twice to give a secure closing.

Step 23: Your Monster Is Finished!

Stuffed Toys Speed Challenge

First Prize in the
Stuffed Toys Speed Challenge

Be the First to Share

    Recommendations

    • Cheese Speed Challenge

      Cheese Speed Challenge
    • STEM Contest

      STEM Contest
    • Role Playing Game Challenge

      Role Playing Game Challenge

    6 Comments

    0
    devilman2465
    devilman2465

    8 days ago

    Cute stuffed Krampus doll.

    0
    DiannaP14
    DiannaP14

    Reply 7 days ago

    I didn't know what/who Krampus was/is! I can see that now. I just made him up out of my mind. Interesting!

    0
    devilman2465
    devilman2465

    Reply 7 days ago

    Wow, I thought for sure you were going for Krampus since his tongue sticks out and the patch on the back looks like the basket he carries. Cool!

    0
    Penolopy Bulnick
    Penolopy Bulnick

    24 days ago

    Very nice job on this! That face looks professionally done :D

    0
    DiannaP14
    DiannaP14

    Reply 24 days ago

    Thanks!