As any mom can tell you it's hard to part with your kids favorite childhood toys.
Here's a new use for a beloved old favorite stuffed toy that you child may have outgrown,
or maybe one that's been your favorite! What a unique and easy gift idea for anyone who
is young at heart (and we all still are!)
This is a project that has the potential to appeal to all ages, depending on the stuffed animal that you choose.
This is a minimal sewing project, one that you can even hand stitch if you don't have a machine.
Step 1: Simple Supply List
Stuffed animal -- Your choice as to size, the bigger the animal, the bigger the opening for your storage space.
May need a little extra fiberfill "stuffing"
Stabilizer or thin cardboard -- any stiff material that will bend into a circle. Read directions for more information.
Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
Weighting Pellets -- some stuffed animals already have this inside, which can be reused.
Material for inside lining.
Sewing machine or simple hand sewing supplies.
Lets Get Started!
Step 2: Choose Your Stuffed Animal
First choose a stuffed animal, almost any will do as long as there is a center back seam and there is sufficient area along that seam, 3-4 inches or more.
Carefully using a seam ripper open up the back seam, from the head to the tail.
Step 3: Remove Stuffing
Next, remove any stuffing that may be located in the cavity area. You may also wish to "sturdy up" other parts of the animal while you have it open, I packed the head and the legs, a little more firmly, with the stuffing that I removed. Take a approximate measurement of the depth of your empty opening, this will be just a guide line.
Step 4: Making the Cavity Wall
Using some sort of heavy, but pliable material, you are going to cut a strip the same height as the cavity, and about 12-15 inches long, enough that it will wrap into a circle and be relatively sturdy. I have used heavy duty stabilizer for this but a thin cereal box or foam craft sheets would also work well.
Roll your strip into a circle and insert into the opening, here you may need to cut off the stabilizing material a bit so it sticks just above the animals back about 1/4". Also work with the circle strip that you have inserted adjusting and enlarging as to get the maximum hole space, as in photo 3.
Photo 4 shows re- stuffing the body lightly, between the circle and the animal material, to add some shape back to the sides..
Step 5: Fitting the Lining
Next choose fabric which will be the inner lining of the cavity.
You will now cut a rectangle that will be large enough to fit down into the cavity. This is a trial and error process.
I started with a 9-1/2 X 15" rectangle.
Fold the material in half so it's 9-1/2 X 7- 1/2, right sides together. Sew both of the 7- 1/2" sides. As in photo 3. You can hand stitch if you don't have a machine.
Place in empty cavity, if it's to large re- sew,( as I did several times!). You only need to reduce the size on one end, (no use making more work than you have too!) and try in the empty cavity again repeat this process until you are satisfied with the fit.
You do want it a little larger as we will sew the bottom seam to make a boxy circle next.
When you have the size reasonably fitted you will press/fold the sewn seam down, right sides together, to match the crease line fold in the bottom of the bag. You will mark & sew a straight line, then will cut the point of the bag off. Do this on both sides of the bag. See photo 4, 5, 6, & 7.
Step 6: View of the Lining Bag
Here is view of the bottom of the bag.
And one from the top. The top may seem too tall but we'll easily fix that in a moment.
Step 7: Step Seven
With a hot glue gun, run a small line of glue inside the cavity next to the circle stabilizer to seal it to the material & hold it in place. If you are using art foam opt for regular glue so as not to melt the foam, but you will have to wait until it dries before you continue.
Next I put a handful of doll weighting pellets down into the cavity for added weight and stability. This is why I glued the circle stabilizer to the bottom of the material so the pellets would stay in place. If you feel that your animal is heavy enough, you may omit the pellets.
Step 8: Step Eight
Run a small trail of glue around the outside of the circle stabilizer and press the fuzzy animal material against to hold fast.
Remember to leave 1/4 - 1/2 " of stabilizer out of the top of the hole.
Fold the top of the bag down to about the height of the cavity.
Step 9: Final Step!
Now place your bag into the cavity and push around to get the best fit, it's okay if it's a little saggy in the bottom.
You can adjust the top as needed for the right height. The inner bag needs to extend about 1/2'' above the stabilizer.
Now turn the bag material down over the top of the stabilizer, like you would turn a sock down, making sure to cover the stabilizer. and the top of the fuzzy material. Hot glue in place to create a clean finished edge. This can be tricky when working with hot glue, take your time and finish cleanly.
Step 10: The Finished Product!
A little time, a few simply supplies and now you have a new, unique place to store your gadgets!
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