Three weeks after my daughter was born our friends came to visit and brought us an amazing gift - a custom snake plushie. What is really cool about it? It's covered with custom labels - representations of each of our friends who participated in the making of the plushie.
My husband and I are members of an Internet forum called Multiworld and it's on since about 14 years. We all know each other for awhile and we observe constant changes in our lives - school, studies, work, adult life... Now, many forum members got married, and some, like us, have also decided to have kids.
It was so nice of our friends to celebrate this major change in our family life through a gift that could not be bought in any shop and that was tailored to us and to our baby girl.
I wrote this intro, so that you could understand why our project looks the way it does. Another couple from Multiworld welcomed a newborn recently, and a new plushie snake was born, too!
Let me tell you a story of making the cobra named Leszek...
Here's a list of things (and people) I needed:
- my hub and our friends
- sew-on badges made by us and our friends (all made of colourful felt and thread
- minky polar fabric (150x100 cm) x 2 (red and dark blue)
- colourful felt pieces (for eyes, mouth, tongue and decoration)
- colourful thread
- 2 short zippers and 1 medium long one
- sharp scissors
- sewing machine
- custom labeltag (purchased online)
- bubble wrap
- toy stuffing
Step 1: Organise the People
What we needed was the place to share all info and project updates. A place to state what was needed to proceed and to announce the deadline.
It was critical to have it all organised, since our forum members are from many different cities and we could not meet in one place at the same time. We used a certain social media website that we all know and starts with F.
After creating a secret group, I could gather all ideas in one place, share plans, shopping list, and of course present stages of creation. We could decide who is doing what and how much time there is to actually do it.
Step 2: Prepare the Body. Arrange the Decoration.
I cut the snake out of two minky fabrics (red for the upper part and blue for the lower part) including the head, the body and the cobra's hood.
The body consists of two parts of material that look like the surface area of a cone, where the length of each slant is 150 cm and the length between them is approx. 30 cm (see the picture).
The head consists of two "half ellipsis-like" parts, where the base's length is about 30 cm (to match the body). The interal part of the mouth is slightly smaller and shorter (see the pic).
The parameters aren't super accurate, I'm sorry! I didn’t use any plans myself and the pics with my doodles were taken today - just to show you more or less how I did it. Remember to include some margins on the material, so that you could sew them together on their wrong sides.
The snake's overal length is about 180 cm and his girth in the widest part is 60 cm.
Then I arranged collected stickers and attached them - at first with some pins - to the body.
I decorated empty space with some letters, numbers, shapes and several additional stickers (that matched the personalities of the future owners of the cobra), and of course with the name of our forum - Multiworld.
Step 3: Tell People What to Do and Supervise Them.
Since I became responsible for preparing the cobra's body, it was my call to establish some deadlines and express some demands towards everybody.
People were to prepare their own custom sew-on stickers out of felt and write me beforehand what should be the size of them. Then they had to send it to my home address until the established deadline.
I also tried to supervise and motivate people by presenting those stickers that already reached me.
Step 4: It's Sewing Time - the Decoration!
My husband and I spend a couple of long nights on hand sewing (some elements seemed too small or too complicated to sew them with a sewing machine. Plus, I didn’t want to wake my one-year-old up).
Step 5: The Final Sewing of the Body
After finishing sewing in all decorations, I sewed up two parts of the hood (including a small zipper on both). Then, I placed them (on their right sides) inside the body (with its right side inside and wrong side outside) and sewed them into the body by sewing up the edges of the body on its wrong side. So hard to explain it! Hope that you get it! Sorry for a poor photo documentation :( Just in case I'm adding some photos of our snake, so you can check how the head should look like (I'm not its author!)
The head was hand sewed at first, so that the material did not escape while sewing it up on the machine (round edges).
Then, I sewed together the internal parts of the mouth with the external parts of the head (on the wrong side). After that, I connected both parts of the mouth, simultaneously sewing the tougue into it by placing it between both pieces of the fabric. Finally, I attached cobra's head to the body, sewing in also a zipper in the place of its throat. I did all that partially using the machine and partially needles and thread alone.
Step 6: Custom Label Tag - Nice Finishing Touch
It wasn't in any way necessary, but it did add some character to our custom plushie cobra. I added some funny description to the washing instruction icons and included our forum's logotypes in the label project. The label was ordered in an online shop which helped in designing the project.
Step 7: Wash It With Love
Although I have already washed the material after purchasing it, I washed the whole thing again for extra assurance.
Step 8: Fill It Out With Bubble Wrap or Some Toy Stuffing...or Both!
I used some amount of a bubble wrap to stuff the head, the hood and the end of the tail, and toy stuffing to fill out the middle part of the cobra.
*****I am truly sorry for not preparing a propper photo documentation :(((( ****
Step 9: Make Some Little Sweetheart Happy!
Leszek the cobra was introduced to the family and instantly became their friend. At the moment he serves as a nursing pillow and baby cocoon, but in the near future he'll teach his little owner about shapes, numbers, letters, colours ..and he'll serve as a vehicle powered by his parents' pulling skills!
I hope you like this Instructable and that you will find it useful or in any way inspiring. I am truly sorry for not preparing a propper photo documentation.