Plush toy making tips and tutorials

Using felt tip/marker pens on teddy bears and plushes

Marker pens can be used to add detail, highlight features or add intricate detail that can’t be achieved via embroidery (eg on a thick pile fabric) to your creations. Even if you don’t have a obvious design that needs to be drawn, markers can be used behind eyes to make them stand out or for other body details. However, not all pens are created equal – some are more suitable to certain applications than others, and some are just a no-go area all together. Here I’ll take you though the various types of pen I’ve used and my results of each. Dark colours on light fabric Sharpie markers While there’s a good chance you have a sharpie or similar laying around at home, they’re not a good choice for application to fabric. These pens are oil based and long after the ink has dried you’ll find that the colour continues to smudge across the fabric. I’ve nearly ruined a few pieces this way before I realised what the problem is. The blue is the worst for it but the rest of the colours including black will continue to smudge. I’ve also tried supermarket own brand permanent markers that are a little less smudgy Using felt tip/marker pens on teddy bears and plushes

How To: Make perfect plushie feet

Want to know how to make cute plushie feet with footpads and claws? I went though several iterations of plushie feet before I came to a fool-proof template that’s simple but get’s great results. These feet are big and chunky and best suit a chibi or chunky-style plush – but it’s up to you to decide if these will suit your creation. Legs and feet can be hard – when I was making my first dragon plush I went though several styles of legs and different ways of making claws – none of which looked quite right on my roly-poly dragon. I soon realised that simpler is better and I came up with the following template for a shunky plushie foot with a different coloured footpad and big claws. All of it should be completed in a soft fabric like minky/cuddle-soft or fleece. This includes the toes/claws. I tried some large 3D claws in felt and they just looked terrible. I’ve seen a couple of plushies with flat felt claws made from a single layer of felt that are sewn in on the seem – they do the job but I really don’t like the affect either (sorry). The method below is definately How To: Make perfect plushie feet

How To: Get started at plushie making

Interested in making plushies or fabric toys? Here are some really useful pointers on what you’ll need to get started (on a budget) and some tips on what to watch out for. Everyone has to start somewhere. Your first plushies wont be perfect, some skills take some trial and error to get right, but with this guide you’ll be able to skip some of the mess, save yourself some time and have your first creations looking that little bit more polished and presentable. FYI, my first plushies were a Paopu fruit (just like hundreds of teenage girls) and Chiyo-chichi – the father-cat-orange thing from bizarre anime Azumanga Daioh. They were flat and they were a bit crap, but they were something. First, I’ll start with some really important tips. Then, I’ll get to a list of items you’ll want to start with the minimal amount of spend. Top tips Start small, but not too small – Keeping your creation small will help with fabric costs and time spent – but if you go too small then it’s impossible to get a good level of detail on your plush. Also, there is a minimum tolerance in fabric to bend to shape. This depends on the fabric, How To: Get started at plushie making