Introduction: Sew Your Own Animal Plushy

This penguin plushy is fun and easy to make! And it only requires a few basic, hand-sewing supplies. So pull out your scrap fabric and scissors and get creative by sewing up a plushy companion!

Once you've made a penguin, use the same techniques to create a full, plush animal, menagerie!

Have fun and keep making!



Embroidery Floss or 2 strands of each color thread (black, white, and orange)

Felt or other fabric (black, white, and orange)

Pencil or other marking tool

Penguin Pattern (pdf attached)

Thimble (optional)

Pins (optional)


Cotton Balls or Batting (for stuffing your plushy)

Step 1: Cut Out Pattern Pieces, Trace, and Cut Out Fabric

Print out the template provided, then cut out each individual pattern piece.

You'll need two eyes, feet, wings, and body pieces, but you'll only need to cut the paper template piece out once. You can trace each piece once, then flip it over and trace again for a mirrored pattern piece.

Tip: The eyes are so small you may just want to cut them free hand instead of using the pattern.

Once you've cut all of the pieces out, trace them onto the correct color of fabric (Body, Eyes, Wings= Black, Face/Belly = White, Feet/Beak = Orange) and carefully cut them out.

Tip: You probably can't see your pencil marks on the black fabric. You'll most likely need to place the body and wings on the fabric and carefully cut around the template, holding everything in place with your hand as you cut. Or you could pin these pieces to the fabric to make it a bit easier and safer to cut around the black pattern pieces.

Now that you've got all of the penguin pieces cut you're ready to move on to sewing!

Step 2: Sew Eyes and Beak to Penguin Face/Belly

If using embroidery floss, the first thing you'll need to do is separate two threads from the floss. Embroidery floss is made up of 6 strands of thread and that will be just a bit too much thread for this sewing project.

If you're using single stranded thread, you'll need to cut 2 strands of each color and thread it through the needle at the same time (gently twist together first), to get the same affect.

Once you have your floss ready, go ahead a thread a needle with the black floss or thread. Be sure to knot the long, trailing end of the thread.

You're going to start by sewing the black eyes onto the white penguin face/belly. You're going to be using a back stitch for both eyes.

To do this, start from the rear of the pattern and push the needle up through the white felt and the eye. Then push the needle back down (toward the rear of the pattern) through the eye and white felt. You've basically made a half of a back stitch and that's all you'll need.

Finish this stitch by running the thread under the knot and original stitch several times. It's not the fanciest knot but it'll hold! Be careful not to go back through the front of the pattern or your knot stitches won't be hidden. Repeat this process for the other eye.

Now, switch to your orange thread and use the same technique to attach the orange beak.

Step 3: Sew Penguin Face/Belly to Body

You're now ready to attach the face of the penguin to the front body piece.

Place the face of the penguin on top of one of the black body pieces to make sure it fits. You can trim excess fabric at this point if you need the face/belly to be a little smaller.

You're going to use a whip stitch to attach the face to body. Switch to your white thread for this step.

To do this you'll start the same way we started with the back stitch. Carefully push the needle from the back of the pattern and through the white felt. Try to keep the stitches close to the edge of the white felt (near the black body) because this will hide the stitches a bit better. Now push your needle toward the rear of the pattern, this time going through the black felt.

You should have created a little loop (or a whip) that is holding the white and black felt together. Continue this same stitch (up through the white, down through the black) until you have stitched around the entire circumference of the face and body.

Finish this stitch with a knot on the rear of the pattern just like you did in previous steps.

Step 4: Attach Feet to Body

Switch back to your black thread. Use a back stitch to attach each foot to the rear of the body. The body should be on top of the feet, barely overlapping the orange fabric. This allows you to stitch through the black body and keep the stitch hidden since you're using black thread.

Finish each of the feet with a knot on the rear of the pattern.

Congratulations you have the penguin's facade!

Step 5: Sew Up and Stuff Penguin Body

Take the back body piece of your penguin and line it up with the front you've already created.

Using your black floss and whip stitching, sew the around the circumference of the body pieces. Be careful not to go through the white face/belly, if you want your stitches to be (somewhat) hidden.

Once you get within about a half inch of finishing the whip stitching pause for the stuffing of your penguin.

You can really pick any place you want to leave this gap. We've started our whip stitch at one foot and stopped when we reached the other foot. So we'll stuff our's from underneath. We could even just finish our stitch here and we'd have a finger puppet!

Keep your needle and thread attached because you will need to finish this stitch soon.

Stuff your penguin with cotton balls (pull them apart to have "fluffier" fibers) or batting, until you reach your desired level of plushness.

Finish the stitch with a combination of back stitches (through the feet) and whip stitches (in the middle) and finishing the whip stitch and knot back at your starting point.

You've got a plushy! But we still need to add the wings!

Step 6: Attach Wings

Flip your penguin over and line up your wings. Use a few whip stitches to attach the wings. Try to hide the knots under the penguin's wings, by coming from the bottom up when you start your stitches.

That's it! You're plushy is complete!

Thanks for reading!