26 March, 2013

Sewing simple felt animals - for Easter and beyond

I wanted to share with you a basic sewing idea that most children can achieve, that is simple and utilises items you possibly already have in your home.

 You need around an hour of time for the project, a hand-sewing needle, thread, felt (be it an old blanket/jumper or store-bought), stuffing (If you have no fleece, make a beanbag using sand, rice or lentils) and a pen.

The only skill required is that of not pricking your finger with the needle!  
 (In my experience, even a 2 year old child will only do this once 
– it hurts)

This is an activity to do alongside your child, guiding and encouraging them along the way. You will know yourself, how many of the following steps your child will require help with. Safety first.

Find a basic animal shape , either around the home (I have used a farm animal stencil from our art cupboard. A biscuit cutter or tracing from a story book would work well too) or from a computer. Enlarge if required, to about a 10cm width (any larger might take too long to sew. Any smaller might be too challenging and fiddly for a beginner.) 
Simplify the design – curve and elongate any tight corners.
Use a pen to both- trace the shape onto paper, cut out carefully, then trace around this template on to your piece of felt, twice. Remember to turn the pattern over (ie reverse image) when tracing the second copy.
Cut both of the shapes from the felt as carefully as you can.
Thread a needle with a long piece of thread (try the length of your arm from wrist to shoulder), tying the ends of the thread together with a knot.
Pass the needle through the (pen line side of the) felt and pull all of the way until the knot is secure in the felt and the thread is now anchored, ready to begin.

Match the two felt shapes together (pen lines on the inside) and sew around the entire outer edge, stopping to leave a hole to stuff from. 
left to right Blanket-Whip-Running stitches
 You can use any stitch at all – make one up! As long as it joins the two pieces with minimum of space between stitches to avoid the stuffing falling out.
Once filled with stuffing, sew up the hole. Knot the thread and pass the needle back through the animal to hide the tail of the thread. Snip off any excess and your felt animal is now a soft doll/beanbag. Or sew a piece of ribbon or thread to the top of the animal, to hang it.
Happy Crafting! 


  1. Very sweet, and I love the suggestion to make a bean bag version too :-)

  2. These are so sweet...what a lovely crafty idea for the kids!

  3. I find this idea really helpful when I have a group of kids, that need some quieter time to 'breathe in' and I have no activity planned...
    Thank you for your sweet words x

  4. I always wondered how people did these. Thank you! I'm really getting into hand stitching felt. Something so calming about it. Love.


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