Day 279. Craft: Stuffed elephant

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This stuffed elephant is adorable and is great for presents. I have the one in these pictures on my mantelpiece now but can imagine it in a little girl’s room or a nursery. The first one I made is sitting on a bookshelf in my mother’s home. There are so many ways to tweak this elephant that you could possibly make one for any occasion. Although it does take some time to make, the steps are fairly straightforward. I found this craft on Create Studio’s blog.

2013-11-16 13.24.56Materials needed:

  • Elephant pattern
  • Bow pattern (see my previous post)
  • 1/2 yard of gray felt (you could do less than 1/2 yard but to be safe I suggest that much)
  • Pink felt, enough to make a bow
  • Decorative matching scrap fabric, enough for two ears
  • Pink embroidery thread
  • Stuffing
  • Bean bag filler plastic pellets
  • Needle, pins, scissors

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First, print out the elephant and bow patterns. You will need to enlarge the elephant pattern and switch to landscape style before printing it. I suggest printing it at 250%, but it’s really up to you and how large or small you want the elephant. You may want to print it in a few different sizes.

Cut out the pieces of the elephant pattern once printed and pin them to your felt. Now cut out the felt pieces. For the ears, cut out two pieces from the grey felt and two pieces from your decorative scrap fabric. Make these pieces larger than the ear pattern because you’ll turn in the fabric when you sew it.

2014-02-02 12.14.40Once all of the pieces have been cut out, pin them together. The pieces tell you what each is for (see picture above) so that should help you know where everything goes. Match everything up as best as you can, this was a difficult step for me because the underbellies never seemed to actually fit. I ended up cutting a bit of fabric off of the underbelly pieces but perhaps I just did it wrong. This go around I left off the feet and the small trunk piece. I decided I would add them on when I got to those parts. You do not need to pin the ears onto the elephant at this point either.

2014-02-02 12.15.07Now that the elephant is pinned together, start sewing! You will be sewing this elephant by hand, using a whip stitch. Watch this video to see how it’s done (thank you Create Studio for finding it). Start at any point of the elephant you feel most comfortable. I actually started by sewing each little foot pad on first, then the trunk piece, and then sewing the rest of the body. This way it got the tiny pieces out of the way. There was no way I got enough thread to do the whole elephant in one go so I tried doing it in chunks, one foot to one foot, trunk to foot, etc. Take your time and don’t feel bad if it’s not as perfect as you’d like, this is homemade, it’s not supposed to look uniform. Create Studio suggested a great idea when sewing the trunk, add some stuffing as you sew instead of waiting until the end. Although I did not do this I do admit it probably would have made stuffing the trunk much easier.

Note that there will be an opening in the stomach of the elephant where stuffing can be inserted. Do not sew this opening until you are satisfied with the amount of stuffing.


elephant earsOnce your elephant is sewn, it is time to make the ears. Sew one decorative scrap piece to one felt piece. As you sew the decorative fabric onto the felt, turn under the fabric so there is a smooth edge, no frays. When the ears are done, go ahead and sew them onto your elephant.

Then make a bow for it. Sew that onto the elephant’s head, in front of one of the ears.

Now we’re finally ready to stuff it! As mentioned earlier, there should be an opening on the stomach of the elephant where you can insert the stuffing.

I used bean bag pellets to stuff the feet of the elephant. This way there’s a bit of weight on it to help it stay upright. The good thing about these pellets is that they can be washed, so, if for some reason you need to wash the thing, you can do so without any worries.

After filling the feet about halfway with pellets, I filled the rest of the elephant with stuffing. Depending on how firm you want it, you may end up using a sizable portion of stuffing. Stuff away to your heart’s content!

The final step to this cute little creature is to sew up his stomach now that you’re doing stuffing him. This is also the time to see if any of your stitches are loose or if there is an area you need to sew up a bit more.

And there you  have your own stuffed elephant!

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Some thoughts: Next time I’ll choose a softer felt because this one was a bit difficult for the thread to go through. I will also try to find a thicker thread so perhaps I won’t have to stitch as much.

I just love how these elephants can be any color, any combinations, any sizes! I’d like to make a gray and yellow one next!


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