Around Christmas times I noticed these dolls called Fugglers (funny-ugly monsters). Other than using artificial human teeth to crank up the creep factor, they were basically the same felt dolls that I used to hand sew as a kid in the 70s. At a showing of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse I saw a trailer for an UglyDolls movie. So a trend of simplistically shaped, creepy felt dolls has emerged. Fine. But the fact that they were charging $15.00 to $30.00 for these things seemed preposterous. Until I went to make one.
Material costs mount quickly. If you are just making one single doll for yourself or a friend, and you want to make one exactly like one you've seen you MIGHT be able to make one a bit cheaper than just buying one. Assuming you already have a sewing machine and a hot glue gun and glue sticks and thread (do you KNOW how much a single spool of thread is?) and you don't even remotely factor in your time.
Time generally can't be a factor when crafting. You have to be doing it for the love of the craft or as a challenge or as an expression of creativity. I make more than $20.00 an hour at my job and I value my free time more. Even if you calculated the time spent crafting at minimum wage levels it would be far cheaper for you to ultimately just buy the item.
BUT! If you are going to make these in bulk for children to decorate for a library, or Cub Scout or Brownie program, then it WOULD be fairly cost effective and much cheaper than buying them. And the kids will have the fun of decorating and creating their own Creepy Ugly Doll.
Step 1: Gathering Materials
I tried to get all of the items from national chains as opposed to regional craft stores. I started at Dollar Trees and then worked my way up to Walmart. I was initially going to try to recreate a Fuggler doll as much as possible, but the molded plastic eyes were $2.49 a pair and they didn't have the color I wanted. I decided to try to make them as cheaply as possible.
Here's what I used:
Hot glue gun
One piece of felt for body (23 cents from Walmart)
Additional felt for mouth, decorations, etc. (Free scarps or 23 cents per color)
Wiggly eyes - $1.00 from Dollar Tree. 125 various sized eyes for a buck. Walmart charges twice as much for the same amount.
Piece of white foam for the teeth - Got it at Walmart but can't remember the price. Let's call it a buck.
Fiber fill - this is what jacks the price up. A 20 ounce bag is $5.00. The brand I always used is now up to $9.00 a a bag!
I think that is it.
Step 2: Doll Template
I created a variety of templates based on the Fuggler designs. I went to Amazon, downloaded clear shots of the various Fugglers and then created a pattern based on the outline of the image.
I scaled the image down in Publisher and created a template that would fit on half of a felt square. I actually made it an inch smaller for an overlap concept hat I used in the creation of this doll.
I printed the pattern on card stock and then cut it out.
Step 3: Fold
Take your felt square and fold it in half.
Step 4: Cut
Cut the square in half
Step 5: Trace
Trace the pattern you created or draw free hand you monster body design on one of the half pieces of the felt square..
Step 6: Line It Up
Line the other felt half next to the body piece.
Step 7: More Cutting
Cut the felt at approximately the middle of your doll's head.
Step 8: Then...
You will then take the pieces you cut, and unless you them with utter straight edge perfection, flip each piece so that the factory cut edge faces each other. Then overlap the pieces by about an inch. This is why I scaled the body slightly smaller. you can see that when I put the pieces side by side, that if the body took up the whole half sheet, then I couldn't try out my little overlap concept. The idea is that once everything is sewed together, you can turn the body inside out and then easily stuff the body from the slot opening. I was hoping that you wouldn't even have to sew it closed, but the overlap area isn't large enough to keep the stuffing in place and be hidden. It's still nice to have the overlap to glue or sew it shut.
Step 9: Stapler
I then attached the front piece to the back piece just using a stapler since I didn't have any straight pins with me.
Step 10: Sewing
I then sewed the outline of the monster body, using a fairly tight stitch. Not necessarily for durability, but to make tighter turns when sewing such a small pattern.
Also, this is one of my little tricks. With most sewing projects the pattern has seam allowance, or you have to add seam allowance, and then you cut out both pieces and pinn them together and then you have to sew a quarter of an inch in, following the presser foot...
Just have the pattern exactly the way you want it, you don't have to cut out either piece, you perfectly follow the line traced onto the fabric, and then you cut it out, creating the seam allowance edge after the fact. It's a lot quicker than all that cutting and pinning and slowly sewing.
After you've sewn all the way around you cut off the excess, turn it inside out and...
Step 11: Voilà
Your un-stuffed doll body.
Step 12: Poke It
Using a stylus pen, a pencil, or a dowel rod, poke through the interior of the doll through the opening in the back and make sure that everything turn inside out real good and the seams are really tight.
Step 13: Stuff It
Then stuff the body, getting into the tight little spaces of the arms and legs. It is not pictured but once stuffed I sealed the overlap area in the back of the with a bead of hot glue. It has a nice brain surgery look to it.
Step 14: Decorate
I then used different colored felt to make eye highlights and a mouth.
I attached everything with hot glue set to the low heat temperature.
I cut out teeth from the foam and glued them into the mouth.
I cut additional strips of purple felt to make eye lids to give it a slightly more sinister look.
Step 15: The End
And that's my take on the Creepy Ugly Doll fad. Well. My take on making them as quickly and cheaply as possible for children to decorate.
I've already come up with ideas to make them creepier.
But that will be another Instructable.