We are so close to Christmas now, but I thought I would share one last gift idea with all of you! This is a handmade stuffed William the Walrus that I made for Ben a few years ago.
This project is fun and turns out quite sweet. I used fabric that I had lying around so you can be really creative with it. At the time I made this in about two days (not full days, but broken up between many naps and tantrums and other mom duties back then) but I think if I tried it again I could easily do this in an afternoon. So you have time!!
Ok, here's what you need:
- One yard of fabric for the body
- Half a yard of fabric for the tummy, snout and feet (something that won't fray like felt is perfect)
- Tiny little bit of white felt for the eyes and tusks
- Black and white crochet thread
- Stuffing (or a pillow you don't want anymore)
- Fabric glue
- Regular thread
- Sewing machine
I started by designing my walrus. This stuffed toy is based on William the Walrus, my character from The Wild. We welcome you to sew your soft toy in William's likeness, for personal use only of course! Here he is in case you forgot:
I used craft paper and cut out a body shape, an oval for the tummy, etc. You can see below the shapes I used...and these do not need to be perfect, they look better if they're not! So use these shapes as a guideline, but feel free to change them up.
A note about sizing. You could really make this in any size, but I wanted him to be on the larger side. The finished size of our William is about 22" tall, and about 8" wide (when stuffed).
If you want to go for about that size, I would suggest making your body piece about 24" tall and 12" wide. Your tummy and face bits can just be smaller within that main piece, but it's really flexible. If you're Type A like me, here are the rough sizes of our bits:
Tummy - 11" x 7"
Snout Area - 4" x 7"
Eyes - 0.5" x 1"
Tusks - 9" x 1"
Feet - 2" x 3.5"
I cut the fabric using the paper templates by tracing around them with a Sharpie. I used a dark grey suiting fabric for the body and the lighter woolly grey fabric for the other parts. Make sure you cut two pieces for the body, and make them larger than you need (leaving room for a hem). The other pieces should be exactly the size you need.
Next I placed my pieces on the fabric where I wanted them to go on one side of the body fabric (the good side), and used a little bit of fabric glue to hold everything in place. Play around with the eyes and other pieces here to get the look you want.
Time to stitch! Using your black and white crochet thread, hand stitch around the tummy, snout, and feet. The eyes are also finished with stitches, and little details added here and there like little nostrils, foot details and whiskers . This part was really fun and quick, you can really just do as much or as little as you want. Here are a few close ups of the stitches that I did.
As you can see, my stitches are far from perfect. I like the look of it, but you can be more careful if you want here. You basically just sew it by hand, then knot the thread in the back when you're done.
Once you've stitched all of your details, you're almost done. Lay the two sides of the body together, with the good side of your walrus facing the second piece of fabric, and pin around the edges as shown above. (Here you can see the mess of hand stitching in the back....doesn't matter though). Stitch around the outside edge all the way around leaving a gap at the bottom for your filling.
Flip it inside out, then give it a quick iron to smooth it out. Stuff it with your filling and stitch up the opening. And you're done!
We have had our WIlliam for four years now, and he's taken quite a beating from my two boys, ha ha, so this isn't one of those precious toys that can't be played with, trust me! I love how it turned out and it's the perfect size for little ones to wrestle with, ha ha.
So, what do you think? Anyone going to give it a try? We would LOVE to see your finished product if you do! Tag us on Instagram #thewildkidsapparel if you do decide to give this a shot!